Jun 27, 2017

A dramatic day, we came close to losing our RV twice!

Yesterday morning I altered the direction of my walk.  The roads at the far end of the park were too wet due to the rising ground water.  A quick explanation for those not familiar with our water problems.  The lake we live on rose very quickly the beginning of May and then overnight it started to come over our patio and up to the house.  We were evacuated for over two weeks.  The creek that flows into our lake with the spring run off had so much force that it diverted from its normal path and created havoc.  The lake has receded but the creek no longer has a path to follow as its normal channel is full of debris so it is running free.  That has led to an enormous amount of ground water.  The creek is looking for somewhere to flow.  A good deal of it ended up in the storage facility here in the RV Park.  Many  stored RV’s had been evacuated but then it was too late to get any others out.  Ours was one of the few left behind and also one of the heaviest at 30,000 pounds.  It was a few weeks ago when we were told that we could not take it out.  Things have gotten worse.

Had I not deviated from my usual morning routine I would not have walked along the back path and discovered that somehow overnight our RV was now surrounded by water.  In fact we were only two inches away from water seeping into our basement.  I rushed home to tell Colin the news.  We went back in the golf cart so he could see for himself.  We immediately went to the office and asked to see the manager.  We asked him to please put on another pump to save out RV from damage.  He told us that there were no other pumps available in the city.  Not acceptable 👿 There was no way we were just going to sit back and see what might or might not happen.  We left and quickly formulated a plan.  We headed home and Colin called a tow truck.  While I checked about renting our own pumps to get rid of the water ( lots of pumps available for rent by the way…..I did leave a message about that for the manger  ), Colin went back to the RV  with a few neighbors to get their opinion.  The reason for the neighbors was also back up as no one was allowed in the storage lot at this time.

Here is the RV surrounded by ankle deep water.  Being a diesel pusher we sit low very close to the ground when the air bags are emptied and here we were just two inches away from water entering the RV.  I was at home when the phone rang, it was Colin’s cell phone calling me without his knowing.  He must have pushed the call button thru his pants pocket.  I heard him discussing with Barry and Clem that they should just move the RV now!  There was no way to communicate with him so I headed to a vantage point close to the storage lot.  Why didn’t he call to let me know?  Turns out he was just motivated to “move that bus” and didn’t think to call me.

Clem owns a trucking company and knows the ins and outs of these huge beasts.

Bit by bit he directed Colin to back up and turn with as little extra movement of the back tires as possible. This area had been wet for a brief period of time in the last few weeks but still wasn’t saturated as far as we knew but caution was required.

You can see by Clem’s feet how deep the water is.  Colin just kept backing up bit by bit.  Barry was on the other side directing the move.  The fellows had already walked the area and decided that it was safe to move the RV.

We had no idea how long the water was going to be there or if it would get worse so the decision was made to move to a slightly higher area that was not underwater.  I was frustrated to be standing on the back path simply observing the move.

Colin backed up just a bit more to the left of this photo and stopped to assess the next step while I hightailed it in the golf cart to the storage lot.  As you can see there are few RV’s in the lot as most had already left.  Well at least our RV was safe and out of the water.

After a brief meeting and hugs with Colin and letting him know about his phone I went home to get him some water and to pick up Steve.  Here they are looking at the road and discussing whether the RV make it or not, soft spots, etc.

Steve works at building roads and we value his opinion 100%.  Thank goodness he was home.  They are standing in one of the worst areas.  You can see to the right of the screen two cement curbs used to separate parking stalls, above and below the orange thing.  Steve moved them both out of the way and he and Colin determined that that was the path the RV should take for the right wheels.  Sadly Steve had to leave due to previous commitments so he was not there for the grand finale.

Meanwhile Colin had received a call that the tow truck was only 15 minutes away so he called Clem ( in the blue ) to come back and I snagged Robert to be a spotter.  The tow truck driver thought that Colin could manage on his own and WHEN he got stuck he affirmed that he could get him out.  Everyone was on the same page and so Colin proceeded.  At Rosalie’s suggestion ( she had dropped by earlier for a few minutes ) we used a piece of plywood that was nearby to place under the worst spot.  Steve and I agreed that we should have more plywood but the tow truck was there so it was time to hit the gas pedal.  Amazing how we all were going in and out of the area and yet no one was allowed to.

Colin had to go straight back before he could turn and avoid hitting that blue shed.

It was tricky to drive as well as direct, as the road was narrow and went soft…we have no idea where…. not to mention the noise of the diesel engine re communication.  I should explain that until late last week there was no gravel and it was all just a mud pit but 3 – 4 trucks of gravel were brought in but no one knew if it would hold the weight of our RV.  In fact the tractor that spread the gravel sunk in a few places.

…and then it happened.  During the turn the left front tire sank.

Right down to the chassis.  It was time to bring in the 36 foot tow truck waiting in the wings.

He backed in and as we were already backing up we were in a good position.  Quite the brute of a tow truck.

This is the fourth time we have been towed. The first time was by a dump truck in Acapulco ( now that is a good story ) and that tow cracked the back fiberglass cap as he just had a simple rope and didn’t know where to connect.  Walter the tow guy yesterday had a huge thickly cushioned rope and hooked it up to the tow hitch.  He and Clem got signals synced and it was time to winch up our RV.

I was told to move away in case the line broke away from the RV, so my photo angles are limited. Bit by bit, inch by inch, Colin was being pulled out of that sink hole.  His job was to steer as the brake was off and the RV was in neutral.

Poco a poco, terra firma was achieved.   Suddenly I realized that I had tears running down my cheeks.  There was just no that we could lose the RV in addition to the girls.  Saved for the second time in a few hours.

The line to the tow truck was removed and the truck moved up just a short way just in case he was needed again.  Meanwhile it was up to Colin with the continued direction of Clem and Robert to get the RV out of there.  You can see how close to the edge we still were.

Inch by inch, left, right and a bit more here or there, close on one side then the other.  Here we were on firm soil.

Finally out on the street.  Thank you all (  Clem, Barry, Steve, Rosalie and Robert ),  for your advice, expertise, guidance and for being such wonderful neighbors.

From the first call to Mario’s Towing to getting out of the storage lot took about two hours.  It seemed like forever to me.  We then had to pay the driver and find a spot to park the RV.  We could not take it home as the park was in the process of cutting up sections of the main road and re asphalting.  We temporarily parked in the front lot, went home and at 2:15PM ate something for the first time that day.  My steps were already over 10,000.  With clearer heads we decided to take the RV back to Freightliner on the Westside.  On May 8th we had removed it from them before our servicing was complete as we needed a place to stay while evacuated.  That took till about 4:30PM and by then we realized that we were still hungry so we went out for some Japanese salmon teriyaki and veggie tempura and a few glasses of wine.  Finally back home I collapsed into a lump.  It was quite the day but we did save our RV not once, but twice.  At the moment I don’t care what happens to the rest of the storage lot, we have our RV out and that is all that matters.  Now we know that for certain, we will be able to head to Mexico in October.  Seriously there had been some doubt that that might happen based on the water in the storage lot.

Management and staff told us it could not be done and refused to allow us to do it.  However it was time and we did it 😀

We do have Good Sam Roadside Assistance but in all the drama we didn’t think to call until after the tow truck had been called.  Good Sam told me that I could put in a claim after the fact which I did this morning.  Hopefully we will get some of our $300.00 back.  If not, no matter, it was worth every dollar to get our RV back.

I’m beginning to wonder when I will ever get back to my Venice posts.

Was it just a dream?


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22 responses so far

22 Responses to “A dramatic day, we came close to losing our RV twice!”

  1. Well done! Like Wlliam Wallace screamed… “FREEDOM”
    Now you will also be able to go to a nice place this summer.

    • Contessa says:

      We do feel the freedom. We have wasted several weeks on this, like we won’t be heading anywhere now until October.

  2. ARIZONA GAL says:


  3. Dee Tillotson says:

    Am so glad you took the bull by the horns and went for it. Sometimes you can’t worry whether you piss off other people when you have to save your RV investment. It is good that your insurance company will pay part of the expense; I kind of thought they would once you explained the situation.

  4. George Yates says:

    Nice that you saved your coach and all will be well again. you can soon be out travelling again.

  5. So happy for you guys! If they had tried to stop you I would have hired a lawyer, your RV is a very valuable asset and some dumbass thought you couldn’t get it out. I would tell everyone you know that still has units in there to do the same, screw it, let them try and stop them. Getting a number of people together on the same page sure helps as trying to go against the crowd is not in their best interest and and surely is worth the $300 for the tow. I imagine that tow truck could get all those units out, yours being the most difficult as appears the largest. Well done!

    • Contessa says:

      The thing is that between the that massive tow tow truck and us the ‘road’ is compacted so now is that time to get out. No one else had tried to.

  6. Rosalie says:

    Oh Wow!!!…..great photo’s and stories; too bad it was so devastating. Glad the Motorhome is now safe and sound.

  7. Rae says:

    I held my breath all the way through your post and almost passed out before I got to the end of it!

    I imagine you felt the way I did after I lost my brakes and Miranda burst into flames from the extreme heat. Time seems to stop.

    I’m so glad your rig is okay. Do you think you’ll make it to Banff now?!

    • Contessa says:

      I can’t believe it got done in such a short period of time, it seemed like forever at the time. Very stressful indeed.

      Not sure that we will got to Banff now. Business is slow and Colin is not sure what our time frame will be. I am happy to just get the steering issue dealt with and to do some renos. At least we will be free to travel is we so choose.

  8. Dolores T says:

    Well I must say that was thrilling, was holding my breath, like that would help after the fact!!! So glad u were able to get it out if there, that u took a different walk. Those (stupid) silly people/managers that would not let u do it b4. Surely they knew all along the water was going up! U should have been notified!
    Now where r u going to park it until October??? Good question???
    Take care…

  9. chris says:

    Sent you an email. That was some event! Wow! I am surprised though that the tow was only $300. Not having a motorhome, based on size and weight I would have expected more. When will this end? Yikes!

  10. Sandie says:

    You really had me on the edge of my seat until I knew you were out. So scary. I am so glad you are out of there regardless of the fact that they said you couldn’t do it. Better to ask forgiveness than ask for permission and get turned down. Now hopefully, things will slow down a bit and you can relax.

  11. Don & Kathy says:

    And another nail biting adventure and so very proud of you and Colin doing what had to be done, I am, and I am sure you are, not very impressed with the lack of effort on the part of your Manager – bet he is pissed and now embarrassed.

  12. Upriverdavid says:

    I’m so glad it worked out for you folks…As I sometimes say to myself..What’s $300. bucks..I ‘ve spent that on ale or some other silly thing not as important…eh?

  13. Nice that you got the RV out with out any damage and put somewhere safe where you won’t have to worry about it and the rising water again.


  14. Paul Walker says:

    You certainly live an exciting life! Wow, we are speechless over here.
    I am wondering if this flooding will be settled down in a couple of weeks. We are headed to kelowna in a couple of weeks. We are bringing our RV and plan on camping. Would love to meet you if your available and not to busy.

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