Jul 282013

We’ve been on the go a lot playing tourist the last few days, so yesterday we decided to stay home and relax. I got a lot of writing done, Terry mastered a couple of knitting stitches, and in spite of a terrible internet connection I managed to answer a bunch of e-mails.

One was from a Gypsy Journal reader who has been telling me about a legal issue he’s dealing with. He wrote few months ago that he had been in an accident when somebody in a minivan pulled right out in front of him from a parking lot and he couldn’t stop in time to avoid a collision. Even though the other driver was cited in the accident, the RVer is now being sued by the other party, whose attorney is claiming that there was shared liability because the RVer did not have an auxiliary brake on the car he was towing behind him. The allegation is that he might have been able to stop in time to avoid the accident if he had been using one. He tells me that his attorney is not optimistic about the outcome of the trial.

I know people who say they don’t have an auxiliary brake and don’t need one. Yeah, there was a time I thought so too. For years we towed a Toyota pickup behind our MCI bus conversion without an auxiliary braking system with no problems. But one day in Dothan, Alabama, we had the same thing happen. Some fool ran a red light in front of us and I had to make a panic stop or run over him. Fortunately, the bus stopped fine, but the Toyota ended up with the front wheels sitting on the motorcycle rack on the back of the bus. Now I have an SMI Air Force One auxiliary brake and feel a lot more confident about being able to stop both vehicles in a hurry if necessary.

The only time I left the motorhome all day was to walk down to the trash dumpster. Coming back, I stopped to take a couple pictures of the campground.

Chimacum SKP park 

Chimacum SKP park 2

A while back I did a blog about funny mailboxes. Let’s add this one from the Escapees RV park to the collection.

Chimacum SKP mailbox

By the end of the day I had written over 3,000 words on my current book, stopping just in time to enjoy the delicious chicken fajitas and refried beans Terry made for dinner. It was nice having a slow day at home, even if we did manage to keep busy.

Speaking of books, a while back I told you that I was reading Beating the Odds by Escapees RV Club co-founder Kay Peterson. While I’ve always had a tremendous amount of respect for Miss Kay, I have to tell you that her book brought me to tears a time or two and I came away with an even greater respect for this wonderful lady who has overcome so much to accomplish so much more than even she ever envisioned. It’s a story of hardship, of disappointments, and of ultimately overcoming any obstacle that life throws at you to reach your goals. I’ve always said that living well is the best revenge, and Kay Peterson is the epitome of that sentiment. Get a copy of her book and read it. I think you’ll agree with me.

Thought For The Day – Well behaved women rarely make history. – Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

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Nick Russell

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  3 Responses to “Slow Day At The RV Park”

  1. Whatever small amount of money that foolish RV owner saved by not having an auxiliary braking system will be a drop of water compared to what it is now going to cost him and his insurance company. He will have a very difficult time getting insurance going forward.

    Penny wise and pound foolish and A fool and his money are soon parted.

  2. 1. Beating the Odds by Kay Peterson is a really, really, REALLY good read. She is one interesting lady and now count her as one of my personal role models because of the way she and her husband just seized life and made it their adventure.

    2. We did not have an auxiliary braking system for our tow car for the first few years, because we towed a very light vehicle. Once we upgraded to a toad that was a bit heavier, we researched brands and went with the SMI Air Force 1. Nice unit, and we have moved it to subsequent vehicles easily. In many states there is a requirement that you have such a system if you are towing anything heavier than 3000 lbs. Research and decide if the cost of such a system is not a good idea! We surely think it is!

    3. Some of our friends have begun using a camera system in the front of their rigs that capture the view going down the road. The unit is similar to those used by law enforcement in their front windows to film traffic stops. They turn it on in higher traffic situations to record just such nitwits as you reference in your story above. I DO know of more than one instance where the actual footage of an impossible situation has saved an RVer from liability. Is it overkill?? I don’t know. You can’t cover every base. But it is certainly worth considering. We are comparing prices of a few systems and considering the purchase. It is also dandy for sending friends a little view of your trip down a beautiful stretch of highway!!

  3. Convincing those that don’t have an auxiliary brake to get one is like convincing those pulling those big 5th wheels with their 2500 trucks. We have a friend who pulled a 16,000 lb 36′ 5’r with his F250 for about 5 years. They ran through many red lights because he couldn’t stop. They ordered a new 38′ 5’r and the wife said she wouldn’t go anywhere unless he bought a new F350 diesel that’s rated to tow it. He did and finally admitted that he was wrong and should have had a bigger truck all those years. One convert, yay. Some people are just too stubborn to admit they are doing something that could cost them a lot of $$$ in the long run.

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