Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Well, That Was One Way To Meet New Friends !

In the first 24 hours following a disabling accident in an RV journey, one speaks to a bunch of new folks. For vagabonding introverts, I am not sure that has been a great thing, merely a thing. Because I seldom have informative blogs, excuse me, "meaningful" per the co-pilot, perhaps I can offer up one in this post of what transpires after such an ordeal.

Let's count the friends:
  • North Carolina State Highway Patrol- 2- The 911 dispatcher (hat tip, did well, from this "expert witness") and the investigating trooper. Well, investigating is perhaps going a bit far since he never once exited his vehicle other than to return my paperwork and the bogus ticket for an unsafe tire which he never looked at or inquired about. Officer Iam Surly also never inquired as to our condition opting instead to immediately go for the standard fare of asking for "vehicle registration, insurance and ID's for you and your passenger". Guess Teri resembled someone from his Wanted file (well-kept chicks over 50 wanted by young bucks).
  • Roadside assistance- 3- CoachNet folks calling me back trying to find a tow solution, although not obligated since it was accident related and therefore up to the trooper or my insurance company to assist. But trying to point out I-40 was an eastbound/westbound highway was a chore as I kept on getting "My map shows you southbound". Uhhh---crow flight is not standard direction.  HINT: In the USA, even numbered interstates run east/west, odd north/south. (See, that right there is MEANINGFUL).
  • Towing service- 7- Three in communications, two drivers and two who had to come let us in to the storage yard to get more belongings. Yup, we are still a fan of undergarments and toothbrushes. Oh, as you can see from our tow truck photo, you would have thought I told them I had crashed the Space Shuttle.
  • RV park-1- Originally thought RV was OK so had KOA hold a spot for us, until we discovered batteries decided to launch themselves rendering us without power.
  • Hotel desk clerks-2- One upon arrival and one second morning to announce we needed 2nd night as no bed bugs were discovered.
  • South Dakota insurance agency- 2-  one morning call and one afternoon call for questions.
  • Truck insurance providers- 4- the initial call to after hours number to report the accident, plus 3 people on the claims/adjusters side, all who have decided I should  be the event coordinator since none of them have called me back. My main point of contact locally has been pretty much non-existent explaining to me she was new. Based upon my only conversation with her, I am thinking she was a Pharmaceutical Rep. who left with some of the product.
  • RV insurance provider-1- (Yes, we have different companies for our truck and RV). So far, just called them Monday afternoon as policy info was locked in our rig.
  • Collision repair service-1- They specialize in trucks AND RVs, ideal for us, and they have an excellent reputation (holds breath).
Twenty-three new acquaintances, almost one per hour. Frankly, just grateful "Paramedic" and "ER Doctor" didn't join the list.

8 seconds of terror trail before the Eagle landed.

Oh yeah, one more shout out as there was a THANK YOU JESUS dialogue from my passenger as we grated to a stop, so that makes 24! I think I was too busy perusing the cab for a roll of Charmin and some Febreeze before any words came to mind.

The extent of my damage to State of N.C. property were 2 posts like you see in this photo. Yes, two. For that, the officer noted $4000!! as estimated damages. I darn near went up and tapped his shoulder to say "sleep through Damage Assessment class, did ya?" Tow driver even laughed commenting "those stakes run the State about $150 each installed".

So what did we glean:
1) Sunday travel double-edge sword. This was only the second time in 6+ months to do so. Blessing--lighter traffic perhaps helped with someone not being in the left lane as we decided to take ownership of the whole highway. Drawback--trying to get tow solutions, repairs, campgrounds, etc.
2) I am a comparison shopper, hence we ended up with 2 insurance companies having to deal with. I played the odds of not having a claim (have not had auto at fault accident in 36 years of driving) and lost. So be it, I would do it again for the 30% savings.
3) I am not a fan of overlapping insurance coverages (ie, rental car, roadside, etc). So we have a piece meal, but workable solution proceeding forward. Our RV, because it was our home, had an "emergency expense" clause to go toward temporary lodging and food. Teri has knocked off Cracker Barrel and Chick Filet off the crave list. Our fairly priced hotel is very nice and comfortable. Once those funds dry, our Roadside Assistance covers another small amount to supplement. Essentially, we can live for about 15 days before we have to hunt for cardboard, find highly traveled intersections and don our transient costumes.
4) If you are not sitting down, this is a moment to take a seat. After being held hostage for 36 hours this afternoon, it was time to find out what the hold up was with having no communication since our truck and fiver arrived into the tow yard. Rightfully so, neither insurance company was impressed with a $3,900 tow bill--yes, that is not a typo and was an insane amount. The monster tow rig in the photo never even came over to our side of the highway. It was 2 men and 3 hours total time from dispatch to return to tow yard, a distance of 35 miles each way. More shockingly, when I offered up all of my photos and willing to be a witness to my facts, the insurance company seemed indifferent. And you wonder why we have skyrocketing premiums?

So, where we are at time of posting this evening. The truck is being towed by itself to a repair shop through its insurance company as they paid 1/2 of the tow bill. The RV insurance will now have to come in and solve their piece of the tow which amounted to the tires being kicked and verifying the flashers on back were still working--they did zilch otherwise as it merely stayed attached to the truck the entire time never striking an obstacle.

We should have estimate on truck damage by tomorrow afternoon. Once the RV posts bond and is released from custody, it will go to the same repair shop (blessedly they work on both) to have a thorough systems and safety check to certify it as towable and liveable.

And just think, who started this whole thread on the Darker Side of full-timing?

Much to ponder...much to ponder...I did receive this link today along with this link from my wife via email. Is it time for a team meeting?

And do we have a potential complication brewing in the Caribbean tonight?

Oh, and to close out, one more gem from the wife's memory bank as we awaited the trooper's arrival--"you remember last night commenting you didn't have much to blog about right now". Careful what you ask for.

The journey of life continues, the RV one is on hold. But the thought of a small ranch home with a 3 legged hound chasing around a flock of hens by day and howling at the moon by night sounds appealing----------------------------------------tonight.


  1. If you end up in the house we want to come and visit. LOL

    I hope everything goes quickly and stress free from here on.

    I would think you could find a better way to make friends.

  2. Honestly I can't see any damage to the cable post's. They are both still erect are they not? Must have been doughnut & coffee time for that trooper. Sounds like things are coming together a bit. Hopefully the rest of your issues will fall into place and be resolved smoothly.

    1. Yeah Chris, the two posts damaged were under my truck. Not sure about the trooper, you and I both know their type well.

  3. I could not believe it when I logged on and read the last post! OMG! I am so glad you guys are "ok" (not gored, flipped or out of your vector). Wow, how scary! David, kudos to you for keeping the truck and rig in one piece (so to speak). I know you gave credit to the posts for keeping you guys upright, but you were the one driving. You said it best - it could have been a lot worse.

    Take care you two! Rushing over to Teri's blog to see what she has to say. May God put the RIGHT friends in the RIGHT place for all your needs. Thanks for keeping us posted.

    1. Thanks DD, it is a huge process to begin road to normalcy, but just thankful it doesn't include physical therapists!

  4. A very interesting tale. . .that I am sorry you needed to tell. . .but you are a great writer!

    Hang tough. . .it's gotta get better,


    1. Thanks Janice, can only go up from here, beats going upside down on the road!

  5. Holy crap you guys, and I don't mean what happened when you were talking to Jesus. Your heads stayed pointed skyward, and that's the goal, but sheesh. Glad you're writing about it.

  6. It's a sad world where everything we do is hindered by numbers and paperwork. Glad you're ok but sorry you're having so many issues.
    $4k for a couple posts? Nonsense.
    $4k-ish for a quick winch-out and tow to the lot? More nonsense.

    It's crap like that which drives our economy in the ground. $400 worth of posts and a $500 tow job turned into an $8,000 incident. I'm interested in hearing about the estimates to your truck and camper. Another way that numbers are driven up to force Insurance companies to pay out the wazoo and jack up our rates.
    Sad thing is, this type of thing will only get worse.

    And a citation for WHAT? What a crock of $%!%! I'm a police officer myself. I can't think of one good reason to give a citation in a situation like that. Also, I would have helped you recover any items thrown about, stood by until your rig was out and given you a ride where you needed to go.
    Too bad that Trooper doesn't care about the public he's sworn to serve. Many Toopers around here are jerks too.

    1. Couldnt agree more Jared. I just met with adjuster who told me what tow co. told him and replied I had photo evidence they were lied to, so am sending photos to ins co. Officer left 1/2 hr before tow arrived, wasnt there on a curve to provide "cover" with his overheads, nothing... I worked 30 yrs in Crim Justice system myself, not sworn position, just sworn-at :), 22 yrs with a PD.

  7. So glad it didn't turn to TWENTY-FIVE new acquaintances !!!

  8. Ugggg.... Your disaster just scares the heck out of us !!

    Giving major thanks above that you are safe !!

    Our first winter away we had a propane fitting break in half, a gas leak, and an electrical short ...

    Needless to say, we were questioning this "RV Dream" we had.

    I can see us buying a property in Snowbird Country, and simply driving or flying back and forth.

    We will be watching your progress, and wishing you the best !!

    PS - We LOVED your post about the realities of Fulltiming ( or Snowbirding in our instance ) How true !!!!!

    Take care ... TnT

    1. yeah TnT, we are playing the what of/could of happen game mentally...our rig was always a gem to pull, no issues at all, but never felt 100% comfy behind the wheel, probably too many years in 911 and too many as a fireman...always concerned about stopping in a short distance, so I always had huge separation margins...and then when your fears materialize, YOU REALLY STEP BACK....

  9. WoW! A REALLY great post! Thanks!

    That's the thing - if you are on the road long enough SOMETHING always comes up. Not near as bad as your situation but we got our truck and trailer stuck in the sand two winters back and had to get a tow - ugh!

    Of course - the tow charge didn't amount to 'highway robbery'!!!

    1. Yeah, Teresa, once I had face to face with adjuster y'day and told him the FACTS of what services the tow provided, I got his attention. I sent him all of our photos and told him we were willing to sign sworn statements attesting to our info. Again, we are not out a dime on the tow services, but at some time, principles take over.

  10. Again glad that you are safe. As far as the gouging....
    Unfortunately, as one poster already said it seems to be the way. They figure since insurance is paying, hit for all you can.

    It is the same way currently with health insurance......

    Prayers continuing

  11. Haven't heard anything for a couple of days. How's it going?

    We are continuing our prayers for you guys.