Thursday, September 28, 2023

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Oh, this RV crash is horrible. There is a lesson here

I’ve seen RVs like these being built. The quality of this motorhome, I’d guess, is somewhere between the houses of the first two little piggies — not quite as flimsy as a straw house, but not as strong as a stick house. And not even close to a brick house.

The good news about this crash is nobody was badly hurt. Hard to believe, but true.

The RVing couple onboard was likely belted in. Good for them. But now do you understand why you should not let people walk around inside a coach while it’s moving? How do you suppose a couple of kids sitting unbelted at the dinette would have fared? Okay, erase that thought: It’s too painful to ponder.

The frames of most coaches like this are put together with thin pieces of wood (to be lightweight), assembled using staples and glue, with some screws here and there. A coach like this is never crash tested, like cars. Hardly any RVs are ever crash tested, at least not in North America. You can see a crash test conducted in Sweden in the first video below. Oh, it’s ugly.

In the case of the accident in the photo above, the RVers were likely driving along just as they always do, and then something suddenly and totally unexpected happened. Maybe the front tire blew. I can’t tell from the photo. But two seconds later, they were tumbling and then all was quiet and they were upside down, and likely shell-shocked from the ordeal.

So stare at this photo for awhile, and be glad it’s not your rig, and maybe understand a little better that an RV wrapped around you as you speed down the highway offers only a pittance of protection.

After watching the video immediate below, watch the next one about how to react if you blow a front tire. We show this to our readers often. Some told us that what they learned from the video likely saved their lives.

Be safe out there, my friends.

And now watch this video about how to handle a front tire blowout. Knowing this could one day save your life.

Chuck Woodbury
Chuck Woodburyhttps://rvtravel.com
I'm the founder and publisher of RVtravel.com. I've been a writer and publisher for most of my adult life, and spent a total of at least a half-dozen years of that time traveling the USA and Canada in a motorhome.

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Neal Davis
20 days ago

Thank you, Chuck! Yes, you’re absolutely correct. I sometimes wonder how aware of their safety are those driving or pulling an RV that goes blowing past me as I drive the interstate at 62-65 mph, and less when the speed limit is beow 70 mph. Thank you for this column. It saves lives because it must at least briefly make readers aware of the fragility of what they are inside or pulling.

Sally
10 days ago
Reply to  Neal Davis

Absolutely agree, we are in a 38’ diesel pusher towing a car. We never go over
65 mph. My husband doesn’t ever take any chances with tires either he’d rather spend the money and be safe. This is such a tragedy and tugs at my heart 🥲

Pat Dour
23 days ago

Although I always wanted a Class A diesel pusher, when we started looking at motorhomes my wife asked if they had airbags. Although I sold into the RV industry for years, I had never asked or thought about this feature. Since they do not have airbags, we opted for a Super C to have both airbags and the convenience of three doors. The trucks and van chassis that C’s are built on do have both the airbags and a cab that has undergone some impact testing during development. I believe that they also offer some additional protection with the “cage” of the cab. The RV manufacturers are great at developing new ways to provide all of the creature comforts of home while on the road, but their primary focus is not safety. Just my opinion.

Nelsie Palmer
24 days ago

We had a terrible wreck in our RV. The rig was pushed by a semi passing us on the left, into a parked rig on the right. We rolled down a slight hill and then rolled over. One of us suffered a broken kneecap and the dog had a slipped disk. The RV and everything in it was a total loss. We now have a van conversion which we believe is far safer than any Class A.

Admin
Diane McGovern
24 days ago
Reply to  Nelsie Palmer

Wow! That’s awful, Nelsie. But we’re glad you all made it out fairly unscathed. Take care, and have a great day. 😀 –Diane at RVtravel.com

Kirk
24 days ago

I believe the overturned image is a Winnebago Class A gas…might even be the model 27n as the compartments and dislodged slide outs match my 27n. Yes it is disturbing to see the damage but heartening to hear occupants did survive. Winnebago does claim on the sales brochures for 2020 that the cab is surrounded with a steel SuperStructure for the occupants.

Alpenliter
25 days ago

Again, my Born Free Class C rises to the occasion with three roll bars!

DW/ND
25 days ago

It is hard for me to believe any Rv vehicle involved in a crash as depicted in the rollover here would fare much better – regardless of how it is or was constructed. The violence and shear forces when encountering the ground surface at speed could only be imagined as being very similar to a stix and brix home being torn apart by a tornado or hurricane force winds! Not many structures or vehicles can survive a direct hit either on a foundation or a direct contact with the ground! Drive with care, stay alert and be prepared. IMO!

Roger V.
25 days ago

This is just one of the reasons we bought a Class B campervan from Winnebago. It has the original van construction complete with the full complement of automotive safety features built into the driver and passenger part of the van. And No seating for anyone back in the house portion – perfect for us.

Kelly R
24 days ago
Reply to  Roger V.

Exactly, our Class B suits us fine and it is built to standards, unlike many RVs. If it rolls over it ain’t gona look purdy, but it will be recognizable.

DonH
25 days ago

Happily, there ARE Class A rigs which don’t come totally apart in a crash. But buying one of them new today is for the very well off only. Prevost is the undeniable champ with a stainless steel monocoque chassis, but to get one you need to fork over something north of $2 Million! I believe Newells and Foretravels are similarly well made, and I know that Country Coach made their dynamax chassis very much like the Prevost, but of mild steel vs stainless. These high end rigs also offer really superior build quality in all of their systems. Any of these rigs can be had older than 10 or so years for a small fraction of what they sold for new, and offer far better value for money than anything new. Moral of the story: if you want to survive a serious crash in a diesel pusher, spend your money on an older, high end rig like one of these instead of the new crackerboxes that almost every manufacturer is producing today.

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