Sunday, January 23, 2022


Pay attention to passing motorists’ warnings of trouble

On the road, most of us have experienced looking out our window to see a car passing by with someone waving frantically, and pointing toward our vehicle or behind it. Most of the time these are good Samaritans who have spotted something wrong with our vehicle or the one we’re towing. This message and the ensuing responses were posted at our RV Advice Group on Facebook and we believe are worth passing along.

And thanks to those of you who care enough about others to flag them down when there’s a problem!

From a group member

“This is a tip for new RV drivers. As cars pass you, every so often, take a glance at the passenger seat of the car passing you. If they ignore you then that’s good! But, they may just be trying to get your attention to alert you that something behind you is not right. Maybe a strap is loose, or something is hanging. These things don’t cause an alarm for you, so if you can become aware about it sooner, you might just be able of fix it before something bad happens. Here’s to safe travels.”

And here are a few responses

“Had that happen while pulling a U-Haul last month. A wonderful young man came up beside us, stayed there til we noticed. He pointed, we pulled over….flat/blow out. Didn’t hear it or feel it! We were so thankful!! BTW, U-Haul came within a half hour and changed the tire quick!”

“Happened to me yesterday. My tow car trunk lid was up and some nice gentleman kept blinking his lights and motioning me that something was wrong. Of all the cars which passed, only 1 made such an effort.”

“Just happened to me. My water heater door was flapping and someone pulled up next to me and let me know.”

“Yep, on a small travel trailer last year people tried to get my attention but I didn’t get it at first. Lost a propane tank and one was dragging under the trailer, sparks flying and actually caused the tank to puncture. Could have ended in a disaster – lucky.”

“My husband used to drive truck and it was someone passing him that alerted him that the back of his truck was on fire. He was able to pull off as there was an exit right there and everyone was safe. Truck, not so much.”

“We had one of our bin doors open on the driver’s side. Luckily someone came up next to us and honked and pointed to tell my husband. He had not noticed it.”

What about you? Has a passerby ever pointed out a bad situation to you that saved your day? Please leave a a comment.



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Art M.
3 months ago

We were driving through a rainy Seattle on I-5, a few days after picking up our trailer 6 years ago. A passing motorist yelled that the tail lights weren’t working on the trailer. We pulled off at the next exit, and found the 7-pin connector had fallen off the tow vehicle. It was very easy to push on, so fell off easily too. Fortunately, I had a collection of bungee cords, including a small diameter, 6″ long one, which I wrapped around the connector and the socket hinged cover, locking the connector in place. I’ve used the bungee cord ever since.

Cheri Rae
6 months ago

Earlier this year a truck driver honked and pulled up next to us, pointing back towards our RV. I told my husband we need to pull over, somethings wrong. We had lost one of our Disc brakes. We limped down the road and fortunately there was an RV repair shop. They were so gracious, and allowed us to spend two nights there until our installer could come to replace the Disc brake and check everything out. We were so grateful to that truck driver. I wish we could have thanked him personally.

6 months ago

Just last week, driving I-80 in Nebraska. Mini-van pulled along side and honked their horn to get my attention. Pointed to the trailer. I did a quick check of the tires and saw no issues. Then a tiny wisp of smoke… I pulled over to find a blown wheel bearing. Found a trailer repair place about 10 miles away, limped in only to watch the wheel roll away in their lot. Repair took about 3 hours. Included repacking all wheel bearings. And replacing the burned out one. Folks said plenty of grease, but sometimes bearings just fail.

Mel Jones
6 months ago

We recently had a car motion us to pull over. He came over and told me something looked wrong with our outboard rear tire. I checked it closely and couldn’t find anything loose. I’ve probably driven 700 miles since then with no issues. Better safe than sorry. I really appreciate other drivers that point out problems to RVrs.

6 months ago
Reply to  Mel Jones

This was probably a scam if he suggested “take the next exit my buddy can fix it for you.” They will try and get you to buy a new tire when there is nothing wrong with it. Know your vehicle, know your tires and know the scams.

John Koenig
6 months ago

I took off with the compartment key still in a compartment lock. A kind family pulled along side of me while we were in stop & go traffic crossing the George Washington Bridge heading into NJ and notified me. I was able to jump out, run back and grab said key before traffic moved again. God bless them!

6 months ago

Last Sept. I-5 North bound coming into Salem Or.– A guy pulled in front of me & started to tap his brakes & motioning me to pull over.. pulled over & he got out while I was getting out & told me I had a problem….walked back to my front axel & the tire tread had completely separated from the tire carcass…First blowout in 20 years of RVing…. I NEVER FELT THE BLOWOUT…..There is still some good sams out there……Am now prepared for any future tire troubles…. Scary place trying to change a tire beside a freeway when cars are passing you at 75 plus mph…

Ed Thomas
1 year ago

Traveling down I-95 in our class C, a car pulls up next to us and honks/points behind us to the tow dolly with my VW on it. Wife get up and go’s to the back to check things out,, I hear a loud cry, “Ed, the d**n thing is on FIRE! Not what you want to hear at 60 mph on the interstate. Pulled over sharply, stopped and grabbed the fire extinguisher and raced to the back. The fender on the left side and come loose and rotated under the tire, which was now fully engulfed in flames 🔥. I got the fire out but told the wife to call 911 since I had emptied the extinguisher. About that time I was joined by the fire Dept, ambulance and state police (someone else had already called 911. Some young men stopped and helped me get the VW off the dolly and over to the side of the rode. Wife drove it home, I drove the RV and USAA road service picked up the dolly and delivered it to my driveway. Repaired it and sold it a couple of weeks later. Ought a Honda CRV to tow.

Dale Sain
1 year ago

I got a lot of “Thumbs up” when pulling a 24′ ski boat with my Class A. It made me smile. Until one afternoon when a frantically waving lady pulled in front of me and stopped. Yeah, a little too quickly, but the right rear boat trailer tire had exploded; damaging only the fender. I know, now I have a TPMS, but the boat is gone.

Jerome friedman
1 year ago

Our front jacks on our 5er drifted down while we were driving and were almost all the way down. A trucker passing honked his horn and frantically pointed. Could have been disastrous. Until we had them replaced, we taped drinking straws to the bottom plate so we could easily monitor the Jack’s through the side view mirror.

1 year ago

Twice in 15 years. Once the trim on rear passenger side tire was pulling loose. Second time the trim on driver side tire was loose.

Doug McIntire
1 year ago

More than once. I am thrilled by the kindness of strangers. One time last year on the 101 up in the Redwoods a truck passed me an jumped out to flag me down. I pulled over to find the tires of my toad locked and about gone. If he had not gone to so much trouble I’d have been metal to road before long. Saved the trip and the car, but not the front tires.

Vanessa Simmons
1 year ago

Multiple cars flashing their lights at me on I-84 heading into Portland at night. My stinky snake was hanging out of the carrier dragging. Had a guy pull into a rest area behind me just after I crossed the TX state line into LA to tell me I had a bubble on my RV tire. It was the size of small pumpkin … saved my RV and probably me.

Guy Mazzarella
1 year ago

Twice. I was towing a trailer. They came alongside waved and yelled I had a flat tire, pulled over to find a shredded tire on the passenger side of the trailer, never felt or heard it.
2d time driving our brand new Coach on I-81 in VA. Pulled into a rest stop to eat lunch, van pulled in next to us, an Amish family got out. The father came up and said the inside rear tire on the passenger side was flat, they had followed us for 5-7 miles to let us know. It was, got it fix by a roadside AAA and then continued on

1 year ago
Reply to  Guy Mazzarella

That was one fast horse and buggy

Ridge Gardner
1 year ago

We got side swiped in a torrential rain storm on I-75 near Valdosta, GA. When it happened we felt a slight lurch, but nothing more. Never saw the vehicle that hit us. About ten minutes later (still raining hard) a good Samaritan pulled along side and waved. I took the next exit and once stopped I found a six foot piece of aluminum trim sticking out the left rear of the Airstream at a 45° angle. I’m very grateful to that concerned motorist and glad I had a hack saw.

1 year ago

I had a bar on my hitch come loose and someone wave and point to the hitch
I pulled over and put the bar back on the hitch.

Chester R Nichols
1 year ago

I’m one of the good Samaritans that always checks others rigs. When I spot a potential problem I alert the driver. If no response I Will look for a passenger.
I do this so we can all have safe travels wherever life leads us.

Ridge Gardner
1 year ago

Thank you.

RV Staff(@rvstaff)
1 year ago

Many years ago, during my daily commute on I-5 from downtown Seattle 20 miles north to my home, I noticed a car with Canadian license plates. None of their brake lights were working. It was during rush hour and we were creeping along slowly, bumper to bumper. It was almost impossible to even change lanes. I lost sight of the car a couple of times, but about 30 minutes and 5 miles later, I was finally able to get to their passenger side and safely maintain the same slow speed as them. The passenger saw me looking at him through my open window and rolled down his window. I yelled, “You have NO brake lights!” The driver said, “I didn’t hear her.” The passenger said, “I did.” He gave me a thumbs up and a wave, and I drove past them. I saw them take an exit off the freeway a couple of blocks later, next to which there was a big Chevron station. I’m sure they were heading home to Canada from a trip to the states. I was afraid with no brake lights they wouldn’t make it home without getting rear-ended. —Diane at

Raymond Clark
1 year ago

Out on a bike ride I had someone coming up on me fast. I signaled to him to slow down, he did to give me the glare and the finger.
His passenger was screaming at him to look ahead, she saw the herd of deer I was warning them about.
He was able to break in time to avoid ruining his and the deers day.

1 year ago

Was with a group of folks a couple of years ago, young (mid 20’s and up) when these two loud mouths started laughing and saying the fun trick they pulled on an “old people couple” driving their big RV and tow car. They yelled and pointed back at the end as if there was something wong. They got a big kick that the RV immediately pulled over while they drove laughing down the road. Me and two others (who had RV’s) then proceed to tell them what we thought of their prank. It got so bad they left. Strange what some people call fun.

Peg Daigneault
1 year ago

Had this happen just outside of New Orleans. Passenger was waving for us to pull over but my husband said that he felt nothing wrong. It started to feel creepy to us Canadians so we just kept going. There was nothing wrong when we stopped.