The Story of the Big Tree that Wouldn’t…

Paul poses w/ the victim of our tree encounter

It was a dark and stormy night….

Well, OK maybe I’m just being overly dramatic and wishful. It was more like a perfectly clear, windless and very bright sunny day. With ne’er a weather forecast to blame the young enthusiasts left their campground in the giddy knowledge that all could be handled. After all, the intrepid voyagers had been on their trip for many months, had bounded great mountains, crossed hair-raising ridges and penetrated deep forests. In other words they were Experts, Kings of the road, Masters of the wheel and so on. You get the picture…

All that stood between them and their next adventure was a few turns and a couple of trees. Now, granted the trees were a tad tight, and I’ll begrudgingly admit that a few of them were even somewhat worrisome, but after all these were mere trifles for the WheelingIt Gods.

See those gashes? Beware the tree....

All went well of course. Turns were conquered, trees glided by and much self-congratulation was in progress….right up until the tree that wouldn’t. You see, it was the last turn, the last curve and just a few inches to the left of where it should have been, and the darn thing wouldn’t move. It just wouldn’t! It wasn’t even the bottom that was an issue, it was a sneaky curve at the top where the tree was hanging lazily into the road. There was a heavy crunch, a sound a bit like fingernails running down a blackboard and a nice, long squashed metal bit (formerly not squashed I might add) spinning off to the side.

Paul jerry-rigs a temporary fix on the awning cover

Yes, after many faultless months yours truly had just encountered our first collision and our back left slide-cover was the victim. Apparently we weren’t the only ones who’d done this. This particular little devil of a tree showed ample evidence of other RV encounters with multiple big gashes on the side. Despite the company, however, our egos deflated like great, big popped balloons and we were left gaping stupidly at the damage.

Now, overall it wasn’t too bad and I could say the lesson let us off easy. It was only the outer metal cover of our slide awning that was crushed and we can order the parts online, but the impact on our egos was everlasting. There’s probably many excuses I could make, but in the end it was simply the result of overconfidence. The tree that wouldn’t has taught us to look up and always, always have a spotter on the road.

So now, when we see other RVers missing bits of their rig rather than chuckle privately about their mistake, we humbly commiserate and go over to share our story. After all we’ve been there…and chances are we might be there again.

P.S. I’m sure you’re dying to know who was driving. As an honest woman I can’t possibly give such a sensitive and painfull piece of information away, but I’ll just say it wasn’t me…..

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  1. Lynne says

    Must’ve been those damn cats driving again while you were asleep!!! I have yet to christen “the hog,” but Dan has scratched it with trees and a small rock. It didn’t matter that I am always the spotter on the road. He ignores my waving and jumping up and down anyway and does his own thing. Aw well…men just don’t know how to drive!!! And he hugs my side of the road, too! However, I’ve no doubt my humbling moments are coming soon. I’ll let you know when I really really screw up! :)

  2. Sam says

    I feel your pain. I have helped two others jury rig repairs to their coaches from trees and took a satellite dome cover off on a tree ar Hunting Island several years ago. I wish I had thought to blame it on the cat though, I’ll have to remember that one … :-)

  3. Marilyn Cameron says

    We almost got caught hitting a light fixture at a gas station in Walden, CO. The canopy had enough headroombut it was the light fixtures hanging down from the ceiling that was the concern. Jim had to weasel our way out of the place with help from a bystander. No, we did not get fuel. Now we are looking for clearance info AND green diesel pumps. We’ve been told that not all canopies are marked either.
    Sure glad it was just a “little” hurt and not a big one!


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