Wednesday, September 28, 2011

RV travel awareness

Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
We have had years of trouble-free travel around North America, meeting many wonderful people. However, we recently had a scare that has my wife in a twitter. We were headed for Florida last week on a four lane road when I noticed a car pull up beside me and look over my rig, then drop back behind my toad. It seemed odd, but I didn't mention it to my wife. I kept observing the vehicle in my rear camera, wondering why he didn't pass me. After several miles, my wife noticed a man on the overpass we were approaching. Suddenly she yelled, "He's going to drop something on us." I slowed but it was too late. The guy actually ran to the other side of the overpass and tossed a balloon or bucket of red slime, trying to hit our windshield. He missed and we kept driving. Shortly, the car tailing me zoomed past. After the initial shock wore off, we put two and two together and figured they were partners in crime trying to force us to pull over and possibly rob us. We stopped later in the day and found that the red slime that splattered on the front of the motorhome washed right off. I carry a gun, but if this mixture would have hit my windshield, I would have pulled over immediately and most likely jumped out to see what happened. My gun would have been locked away in the motorhome and I would have been had. I am trying to convince my wife that this is a rare event, that we will be more on guard, but not to let it ruin our travel pleasure. She continues to dwell on what could have happened. Any advice on how to get over this potential dramatic event.
--Shaken but not taken in Tennessee

Dear Shaken:
It happens. Not just while RVing, but anywhere. You can run but you cannot hide. It is wise to stay vigilant while traveling. Rest Areas are one of the most important places to be on your toes, but not the only place. Many of our beautiful National Parks have their own jails. To get into Yellowstone National Park's jail you need a reservation on the 4th of July. Moving from a tow vehicle to an RV is another time to stay alert. I wouldn't be in a hurry to forget this episode. In fact, you should tell your story to as many people as you can. I hope you reported it to state or local police. If you are right, and these people were trying to stop you, they are likely to try again. You will never be prepared for every scenario that some low-life can think up to take advantage of trusting people. Paying attention to what is going on around you while stopped or driving can nip a lot of trouble in the bud. Seeing that car slide in behind you caught your attention. Awareness is your first line of defense. I'm sure in time your wife will reconcile her feelings about this scare, remembering all the wonderful moments, events and people that greatly outweigh this one.
--Keep Smilin', Dr. R.V. Shrink

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Always remember—when seconds count, the cops are only minutes away.

Anonymous said...

Should of had your gun where you can get to it RIGHT NOW!

ReneeG said...

I'm glad I read this article because I actually often skip over this section of the newsletter. Today I learned something very valuable - to be always vigilant of possible crime while on the road. We are, but I have never heard of this. I will certainly be aware from this point forward. Should I observe this happening to someone else or to us, I will immediately call on our cell phone and report it.

Anonymous said...

A gun locked away somewhere in your rv is no place for a gun! I have a concealed weapon permit & do carry 90% of the time. If I amnot carrying & in the motor home I have a holster next to my seat for east access. We travel the back roads of the NW alot & trust me I am more afraid of the 2 legged animals than I am a grizzly. I might ad that my wife now carrys her own after a near bear encounter. Personally with the way our economy is headed there seems to be more people turning to crime. I intend to be prepared. Often in our travels I have newbies ask what they need on the road. Personal protection is at the top of my list. I do encourage anyone who does go the gun route to seek some trainig.As they say....Better to have it & not need it ,than to need it & not have it!

Anonymous said...

I carry a pistol on me at all times when traveling, or just going to the store. I avoid the states that I have no permits for. They don't need my business.

Unknown said...

look out for water balloons, they will go through a windshield, I had one hit me in the face.

Cheryl B. said...

Have to agree about the guns accessibility...should be right next to you or on your person. I do appreciate you sharing this story as it brings awareness reminders for us RV travelers. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I know this could happen anywhere, but having an exact location would be great. They are probably locals.

Anonymous said...

I'd really like to know where this happened.

DJ said...

When I see humans on an overpass I change lanes just before hand. Especially around Halloween.