Happy Trails Leads to Tragic Ending

Well, I honestly don't know where to start. First, we are alive, and all 3 babies are alive and ok.

  We started our morning off by finishing up for everything we needed to do, loaded the trailer on the hitch, my husband Greg took a couple of pictures of us in the toaster and ready to go. Life was good until 20 miles down the road on the freeway to Oregon.

  Going 60 mph in a 70, she started to sway out of control. I was slowing down tremendously as she was pulling me all over the road. Next thing I know, we are up on 2 wheels on the left side, then on the right, back on the left, did 3 - 360's with us landing in the emergency lane facing traffic.

  Rosie flipped and tore herself off of the hitch and slid several hundred feet on the freeway. A gentleman in a semi-truck stopped right in front of us and several cars. They helped flip her over and get her on the side of the freeway in the emergency lane. I somehow turned my toaster around and we got her hooked back up, although she is totaled.

  We instantly figured out what happened after the state police let me go (and thanked GOD I wasn't sited)  and everything that flew out of Rosie was somehow picked up on the middle of the freeway. Although, I do have to say, I saw my can of tea in the middle and my rear end ran out, picked it up and brought it to the side of the road and I put it down. Somewhere down the line, Lisa picked it up and put it in the toaster.

  There was a gal with 2 older sons that stuck around and the truck driver and helped us make sure Rosie was secure and back on the hitch. A mile down the road was Coffin Rd. (Yes this is real) and we got off the freeway to turn around to go home. Her axle is messed up and we went 30 miles an hour all the way home on the freeway.

  She kept wanting to jump off the ball. When we got home, we looked at her and figured out that the metal had been stretched as if to fit a ball larger than the standard 2" and this is what happened. We had a lot of room to pack her for being 11 feet, although we didn't take advantage due to this being our first trip out. With the added weight, she was bouncing without recognition.

  All the weight was evenly distributed and now there are severe holes in the walls, broken windows, cabinets moved, the stove moved, and goodness knows what else. Although, the axle tilts left and right and is very scary to be in.

  After we figured it out, on the way home that at 30mph she wanted to jump ship, we decided at this point that she will never be taken out, never fixed and we will call the insurance and have her hauled away. She is totaled.

  After $5,000.00 dollars later and our hearts broken, I just don't know if we, or I, can ever trust another vintage trailer again. Talking it out all day yesterday with Lisa, we also figured out that it was the weight that was in the trailer that made her jump ship. I have driven her around town and on the freeway with absolutely no issues doing work to her to take her here and there, although she was never packed up, she was empty. She just couldn't handle it with how the front receiver was. Who would ever expect, how could I of known that I almost killed my best friend and our 3 babies along with myself.

  When we got in the house from this experience and sat down to a cup of tea to put it all together and be very thankful that my toaster didn't flip over as it tried to 3 times, we regrouped, got on the phone, called the 2 places we had reservations for and canceled to call another to stay in a cabin with 3 little white fluff balls.

  With that, it was a miracle that I found a place that would take them as she stated first they don't allow little dogs in the cabins, then it was ok for one, then two and finally 3 as she listened to my horrific story that just happened an hour earlier. We got inside the trailer and OMG....what a mess. She was rocking severely as we could only find one thingy to put under her.

  My bumper on my new toaster has from the right side of the ball hitch scratches and gouges, although never pulled off and the alignment is still perfect. This didn't bend the frame of the car as this was something major I was worried about.The bumper needs to be replaced, although it,s not bad at all. It just looks like it's a 3 year old car instead of a 3 week old car. *SIGH*

  Well, my new Ford Flex literally saved our lives and I am severely happy with my choice of cars. I traded my 2012 Ford Escape that I bought in February as I didn't feel safe in it, now I know why. We were planning on pulling Rosie as she had the tow package, although I never ever felt safe in that car and I keep thinking what if we were in the Escape, we would of for sure rolled and would of been dead. No joke.

  The people that helped us kept praising my car as they were telling us how she handled while up on 2 wheels on each side and how under control she was the whole time the trailer was swaying and flipping. Me, I was just trying to save our lives. My God, what a tragedy.

  We found what we could that we needed out of the mess in the trailer, loaded up a few coolers, lawn chairs, our clothes in suitcases now and got in the toaster and headed for California still. We are in Bend, Oregon at the moment with me drinking my tea and about to get my booty in the shower to get out of here.

  I don't know what to say, I don't know what to think except I count every lucky star in the sky for buying a brand new car 3 weeks ago and having it be safe enough for me to pull off the stunt driving that I did to save our lives. I was apprehensive about getting back in to drive, but life has to go on.

  So, with all of this done and said, I just don't think I will ever buy another vintage trailer and have fun like I am supposed to. It's not in my cards and I can't tell you how heart broken I really am. Working on her for a year straight, $5,000. later to have her totaled. Loooong sigh.

  I will save up hopefully enough to go to a dealership and buy a little 14 footer and go have fun maybe next year or so. At the moment, my emotions are running high and I just don't honestly know where I am supposed to go from here. My heart is broken and I have realized I am not meant to have the life style of glamping. I'm just seriously happy that no one is dead, because I literally saw death within split seconds.

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Comment by Leah on April 27, 2015 at 9:15pm

Reading this for the first time brought back memories that hurts the soul. Well, the husband and I are going for a brand new one in Iowa, if we decide to take the deal it will be a road trip with 4 little pitter patters. This is why I wasn't supposed to die yet.

This is Pixie Prissy Pants and she just turned a year old! I have 3 more precious babies who are much bigger than her. We shall see how it goes!

Comment by Cravin Morhead on May 29, 2014 at 11:13pm

I hope you Thanked GOD for riding with you that day!!! That incident could have went R E A L L Y bad I am sure you know that I am glad everything turned out as well as it did I am sorry about your camper If I may ask did you ever check to see if the camper axles were square with the frame I thought I read some where that if theyare out of square it could cause the camper to sway   I know the ball hitch was messed up and that would cause it to pop off the swaying is what concerns me It bum's me your giving up on vintage tin but at least you did not give up on the life style.... Keep on truckin   : )

Comment by Leah on September 11, 2013 at 9:35am

You are absolutely right Lakota. We did walk away without a scratch and that is the most important thing in the world. Time to move on, although when I get home, she is sitting next to my driveway and I don't know how I will feel when I see her again.

Comment by Lakota Wolf on September 10, 2013 at 8:35pm

Life is funny that way, I'm sorry this incident happened, But most of all your safe. You never know what lays ahead of you in life and you just deal with them on a daily basis. Thank goodness everyone walked away.

Comment by Leah on September 10, 2013 at 11:04am

No worries! It's all good! Lisa, I and the 3 fuzzies are heading into Redding to go enjoy downtown, get out, walk the babies, enjoy the day and shake it all off!

Enjoy your day sweets! :0)

Comment by Brenda Salzano on September 10, 2013 at 11:02am

Oh Leah, I sorry I did not know what the "beep" was and missed your chat comment.  Your so welcome and I am wishing you the best!!  Hugs again Sweetie!

Comment by Leah on September 10, 2013 at 10:36am

Hi Everyone,

  First, thanks everyone for the kind words and concerns. It truly means a lot. Not sure how I'm feeling about getting another vintage as I'm just going to let this one play out. It's going to be a while before I get anything. Lisa and I were adding everything up that we spent on her and buying her last night and we came up with close total to 10k. Ughgh.

  Brenda, I will look up the article and read it. Thank you so much! Don't quite know what to really say and seriously don't know how to feel. I think were both pretty solemn about the situation. The thing is...we are both bummed about it, although we haven't broken down and cried, haven't gotten any anxiety over it or seriously upset. It's has just been...it just wasn't meant to be feeling as if we get upset, it won't change a thing to help the situation.

  One thing I do remember is...when we finally stopped heading the wrong way in the emergency lane, I told Lisa to stay in the car with the kids and one gal met me to ask if we were ok. I looked at her and said..."Well...that was an experience!"

  So, at the moment, we have gone on with our vacation, it's just a bit detoured and it's ok! Really it is. Bummed, but happy we are all 100% ok and still alive. We seriously had some wings and a prayer watching over us that day!!!

  I am such a happy, go lucky gal that this won't stop me...just a detour...defintely will still tow...but need to do some serious talkin' about vintage or a new one!

  Dont worry...be happy! Whooohooo! :0)

Comment by Brenda Salzano on September 9, 2013 at 10:41pm

I found this article which was really good.  I know you do not want to pull anything for awhile but when you feel up to it is covers some excellent advice.  I esp like the last part.  About what to do and not do when you start to get fishtailing (sway) http://www.timberman.com/RIG/sway.htm

Night and get some good rest !

Comment by Jimco_W001 on September 9, 2013 at 9:02pm

Sorry to hear about your accident Leah.Glad that everyone is OK!Go enjoy your vacation and have some fun.

Comment by Brenda Salzano on September 9, 2013 at 8:06pm

I am so sorry to hear about your ordeal!!  I agree with Pat, just let yourself rest a bit.  Dont give up on your dream to go Glamping in a vintage trailer.  Sometimes a great blessing will come and surprise you down the road.  I have pulled trailers for a long time and there are lots of things to factor in.  Small ones are harder sometimes then the longer ones.  Main thing is you are safe and home again.  Tomorrow is another day.  Hugs from Coos Bay, Oregon.  ;-)

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