It’s official. Both the truck and RV are totaled, so now I can share the whole story.
We were traveling eastbound on I-20 through Mingus, Texas. My husband was driving (thank goodness!), and it was time fuel up. I was riding in the backseat with our 8-month-old son. Upon exiting the highway, Dave pressed the brake pedal, but the truck and RV failed to slow down.
The exit was typical of most where it merges with a frontage road that leads to a stoplight. No vehicles were on the frontage road, and it was imperative that we stop before reaching the red light and crossing into traffic.
Dave calmly said “Oh, no” multiple times as he thoughtfully steered the rig into a ditch separating the exit lane and frontage road. I closed my eyes. The rig crashed down before bouncing up and back down again. My eyes briefly opened to the sight of a merge sign rapidly approaching the windshield. We barreled through the sign, flattening it, and finally came to a stop.
The baby didn’t make a sound while his 5-point harness car seat (affiliate link) held him safely in place. Dave and I only bounced as far as our seat belts would allow. Dottie, our Wheaten Terrier, was thrown from the front seat to the back behind the driver, but she was fine. We were all fine. Friendly reminder to wear your seat belts, folks. This outcome could have been MUCH worse!
After briefly assessing ourselves and damage to the vehicles, Dave thought he could move the rig out of the road. We limped toward the first place to turn, looked up, and saw this sign for Cactus Rose RV Park. What are the odds???
Before leaving Arizona, two shops and a mobile mechanic inspected the 2003 Ford F250 Superduty. (My husband is very thorough.) We also stopped at a RV dealer that aired up the tires and did a safety check. Fluids were topped off. Lights were in working order. The trailer brakes were adjusted and tested. Meticulous work was done in preparation for our cross-country trip.
We pulled into a parking space and called our insurance company, which is GEICO. Both the truck and RV had full coverage policies. Friendly reminder to carry quality insurance plans. You never know when you might need it.
The truck policy covered a tow to our shop of choice within a 100-mile radius, up to $1,500 for a rental, and ultimately full replacement for the cost of the vehicle. Under the RV policy, full replacement was awarded as well as $1,000 in emergency funds which covered a U-Haul and several nights in hotels as we continued our journey to Virginia.
An initial quote made by the insurance adjuster for the truck only listed repairs for the external damage you see in these photos. We insisted that something more must be wrong since the truck failed to stop. They had not even looked at the brakes or under the vehicle at all because the cause of the wreck was not documented by the initial staff who took our claim details. An assigned adjuster simply took the damages at face value. A second look revealed a broken front axle, which pushed the repair estimate over the total loss threshold. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you find yourself in this type of situation.
Overall, we were pleased with GEICO and the total loss payments we received for both the truck and the RV. Our replacement vehicles look much different these days.
You can see photos of the RV damage in this post. We are now shopping for land in southwestern Virginia to start our own RV park.