RV Catastrophes: Post your story!

Bikes, trikes, personal mobility and getting to/from the event - this is the place to discuss general transportation issues.
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Captain Goddammit
Posts: 7963
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2003 9:34 am
Burning Since: 2000
Camp Name: First Camp
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: RV Catastrophes: Post your story!

Post by Captain Goddammit » Wed Jul 31, 2013 8:37 pm

I always came to BRC in a truck with an 11 1/2 foot truck camper, with a flatbed trailer behind.
In 2008 I decided it would be nice to have a motorhome on the playa, and I didn't think my old Winnebago was gonna cut it, so I bought a 24 foot, class A, 1985 Pinnacle with a great running 454. I went with a shorter rig to keep the weight down cuz my trailer weighs almost 10,000 pounds.

Being a wrench-turning gearhead, I went over everything. I put tires on, a new fridge in it, a new extra-heavy-duty built transmission, a new radiator, new cooler, new everything that would be likely to fail if I didn't. I didn't screw around, I took care of everything.

But then...

Coming up some mountain in north Oregon, the new radiator ruptured and sent coolant into the new transmission, locking it up. The hot oil overflowed due to the extra liquid inside, dripped onto the exhaust pipe, and caught fire.

The best part of the story is the "save". I called a friend back home who wasn't going to Burning Man that year. In literally 4 clock hours he arrived from Seattle, with a soon-to-be art car with it's roof cut off already - but it was a 3/4 ton Suburban. I could throw all my shit on it, tow my trailer with it, and get home.
He didn't have time to do anything but give me the Suburban and head immediately home with his wife who had followed in her car - he knew all I needed was that truck and I could handle the situation. I towed the Land Yacht to a friend's house in Portland, drove back to Seattle, put my camper on my truck, threw all my shit inside, went back to Portland and hooked up the Land Yacht, and made it to Black Rock City on Monday evening, much to the amazement of everyone who'd heard what happened!

I never went back for the motorhome.

I've since decided firmly to stay with my one-ton-dually crewcab/camper/trailer combo. It tows the trailer infinitely better, and I'd much rather head out to the middle of nowhere in a vehicle I drive throughout the year - and I know what condition it's in! Most RVs sit all year, then get heavily loaded and driven on long trips. Disaster waiting to happen!
GreyCoyote: "At this rate it wont be long before he is Admiral Fukkit."
Delle: Singularly we may be dysfunctional misfits, but together we're magic.

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