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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.

##RVT969

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Gary
4 months ago

Happened on a trip to Canada. We entered Washington when a first vehicle pulled along side of me and did as the cartoon image reflected. I merely looked over, smiled, and mentioned to my wife, “I don’t think they like Californians” and continued on. They gave up and sped away.
A second vehicle immediately approached with a single elderly female driver. We made eye-contact and she calmly pointed toward my rear and mouthed a concern. My wife turn-on the rear camera – our car dolly’s right tire was shredded and running on it’s rim. Got off the freeway at the next exit. The lady followed us and asked if we needed help. We gratefully thanked her for her help, installed the spare (must have), ordered a complete replacement spare to pick-up along the way, and most importantly installed a TMS. It paid-off because we experienced a flat on the other dolly tire on the way home, saving us from another shredded ordeal.
Get a TMS. Don’t have kids play “horsey” on dolly fenders.

Kaeleen Buckingham
4 months ago

Going down the interstate and a young lady indicated something was wrong. The electrical cord had worked it’s way out and was dragging down the road.

Vanessa Simmons
5 months ago

I pulled into a rest area in East TX and a guy pulled up beside me and told me I had something on my rear TT tire. I looked and didn’t see anything and he said on the inside. Got down and peeked and sure enough a bubble the size of a large grapefruit on the inside of the tire. Roadside assistance came and changed it, expecting to see a blown tire and damage. He asked how I knew and I told him a very nice gentleman told me. Went to the next town in LA for a new tire and the tire dealer was surprised that the tire hadn’t blown.

Steve
5 months ago

We were several miles up the road from an Oklahoma state park where we had spent 3 nights. Two-lane highway, but a car passed us, honking its horn and pointing at the fifth wheel. Fortunately there was a paved shoulder, so we immediately pulled over. We discovered that the antenna was up, opened the trailer, and cranked it down. We had no TV reception or cell service at the very remote park, but I had put up the antenna with hopes of getting a weather report (always a good idea in OK, KS, or TX). Since we never watched the TV, I forgot about the antenna. The park had numerous trees, but we were fortunate in not hitting any when we left. We now have a dry erase board with a complete departure checklist on it and a motorhome with a short, no-crank, 360-degree TV antenna!

John Mitchell
5 months ago

I had a car pass me one day (I was driving my 40 footer DP) and the passenger kept making a funny gesture so I decided to stop and have a look – my mud flap bolt on one side had worn through and the heavy flap was dragging on the road. Damage was minimal (then) but one corner was friction burned. I had a chance to tie it up with my 2nd best tool (besides Gorilla tape) – a small roll of wire. I was able to fix it when I got home. I replaced the 1/4 inch eye bolt with a 1/2 one -both sides. Thank you to the youngster for helping.

Deborah Mason
5 months ago

In our case, yes, we were towing, but it was our Class A that had the problem. Smoke coming from the differential (the bump in the back axle). Luckily we were able to limp to the next exit, go back one exit to a truck repair place. We lost a few days waiting for repairs, but we did do some exploring of an area of Wyoming we’d always said we should stop and see some time.

Goldie
5 months ago

We have tried to get a message to folks several times, with mixed success. Some folks paid attention, some folks ignored us and at least once, when we were in our coach and trying to let another coach know they had a bin open, we sped up, pulled along side, beeped horn, pointed, waved, pointed, waved…finally got a glance over and flipped off. Sigh.

scott
5 months ago
Reply to  Goldie

their loss, really, their possessions

Gerald Harris
5 months ago

We were driving along and one of our bikes had fell off the stand. A construction gravel truck stopped behind us with flashers so we could fix the problem. Another time our tow truck was smoking and people were waving and honking their horns and we were shocked to discover our tow was on fire. It really could have been a terrible mess if the fire would have ignited the RV engine. We thank those Good Samaritans who flagged us down on both occasion

James
5 months ago

Passed a 5th wheel with upper bedroom slide-out, out. (Air Brakes?) Wife got them to pull over.

Mary Hazel
5 months ago

Yes, a ways out of town in a sketchy area I noticed a very persistent vehicle following me, honking and waving their arms. Very beat up car. I thought they were gone and pulled off and then there they were, out of their car and running toward me. I thought I was about to be robbed. No! They were Good Samaritans who saw my coach battery (it had a funny mount under RV by axles) being dragged behind me by a cable with sparks flying. Yikes

Travis
5 months ago

A friend of mine got flagged down in his RV on the highway by a gas station attendant in his little truck because my friend drove off and left his wife at the gas station. LOL

The Lazy Q
5 months ago
Reply to  Travis

Darn that gas station attendant. Ruined a perfectly good plan.

The Lazy Q
5 months ago

Numerous times I have attempted to flag someone down who had an issue such as bin door open, sewer hose dragging, awning loose, antenna up, steps down etc. only a couple times did they pay attention to what I was trying to convey. Unfortunately there are also a lot of times I see something wrong but they are going the other direction or hauling on by and nothing I can do.

Engineer
5 months ago

Driving thru Atlanta a new Jaguar came along side of me and a cell phone was on the roof. I blew our air horns to get the owners attention and he rolled his window down and flipped me off as the cell phone slide off the roof at 55mph. Oh well…..

Dion A Chilberg
5 months ago

On I-10 in AZ, we had a highway patrol motion us to pull over. Then he just kept on going. We had a bin door open on the driver’s side.

Glenn S
5 months ago

I pulled out of home base and 2 miles down the road someone flagged me down and pointed to the rear of my MH, so I pulled over to investigate and found that I had been towing my 50 ft. 50 amp shore power cord.
No damage fortunately. Coiled it back up and continued down the road.

Chuck
5 months ago

Oh yeh, Two weeks ago had a double towd rear wheel blow out. We were able to take an exit in the middle of nowhere on the I 10 35 miles W of Blythe. Tires destroyed, rims saved. 30 seconds more and we would have destroyed the rims. Took a few hours to get a tow, but I am forever grateful for the warning! BTW maybe we should spend some bucks on potholes.

Diane Mc
5 months ago

1) We had a slide out tray in our basement storage….slide out. Fortunately on a 2 lane road. We had just made a sharp turn. 2 shady looking guys in a beat up car waving to us. Not sure at first, but then saw the tray out in our right side mirror. Only lost a roll of paper towels. Also, don’t judge a book by it’s cover. 2) Driving 65 on I-80 thru Nebraska. We had blown a tire on the MINI Cooper. So grateful we were waved down. Down to the rim. 3) A fun one….after we knew there wasn’t an issue…a couple flagged us down and wanted to know about towing our MINI Cooper. The husband seemed a bit embarrassed…it was his wife that wanted us to pull over. Sweet couple. And answered their questions.

Donna
5 months ago

Yes, a compartment door was open – fortunately all we lost was the laundry basket.
If I might suggest, to help others out, keep a small erase board up front so if you see something wrong, you can write it down and show it to them. We did that when someone’s tv antenna was up.

Marlene
5 months ago

I had to honk at this women about 10x to get her to stop. This was leaving a parking area and her back compartment was open. She finally stopped. If someone honks at me I immediately pull over (when safe) and do a walk around.

Pat
5 months ago

This happened to us as we were leaving Memphis. I was on the interstate and a car passed me waving frantically and pointing to the rear of our MH. I looked in the side mirror and was startled to see 1/4 of the front of our toad! Long story short, one of our tow arms had malfunctioned. On closer inspection, as a result the other arm was now bent, too. We weren’t able to get a replacement until we reached Mobile so we both drove the remaining 2 days of our trip. It could have been a disaster without that warning.

Diane Mc
5 months ago
Reply to  Pat

That reminded me. Don’t think some waved at us, but when looking at the rear view camera the MINI Cooper looked like it was up against the motorhome! It was! On I-10 in Louisiana. Fortunately there was room to pull over. And fortunately my husband carries lots of parts. One of the pins had sheared off that holds the tow bar. We had an extra one. And again, fortunately, our RV park was 2 hours away, up a 2 lane road at lower speed, and we had booked a couple of days. Before we took off from the side of the road ordered another tow bar to be overnighted to that RV park. Swapped it out the next day.

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