Our Totaled RV

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On April 9th we left Arizona with the RV in tow and set off for our new home in Big Stone Gap, VA.  The springtime drive was beautiful, everyone was enjoying the trip (including the baby and dogs), and after two years we finally felt like we had this RV thing down. Have you ever noticed that in the movies everything is perfect right before disaster strikes?  That is exactly what happened to us, and now we have a totaled RV.
5th Wheel RV

I won’t go into details about the wreck because an insurance claim is still open for the truck.  The important thing to note is that all people and pets are fine.  Wear your seat belts, folks.  They probably saved our lives in this situation.

Totaled RV

These photos were taken the day after the wreck.  We now know that the RV is totaled and have agreed on a settlement, so I feel comfortable sharing.  As you can see, the 5th wheel portion of the RV nearly split open.
5th Wheel Totaled Hitch Damage

It takes a great deal of force to bend metal like this!
Our RV is TotaledRight before we began our journey, I commented that I felt like everything finally had a purpose and a place.  Ha!

RV Totaled Window Damage

This is the interior side of the bedroom window where the RV started to split.

RV Totaled Closet Damage

We had already cleaned up the mess at this point.  Clothes were strewn everywhere  I found them on the bed, in the shower, even in the kitchen sink!

Totaled RV Floor Damage

How do you like the new flooring that was installed the week before we left?  If you look closely you can see purple paint spilled along the front of the couch and a big gouge to the left of the baby’s bouncer.  I have no idea what would have made that hole in the vinyl.
Totaled RV Interior Damage

Paint cans were hammered shut and stored under the kitchen sink.  I wish I had a recording of exactly what happened inside this RV during the wreck.  The counter tops were cracked and splattered with paint too.

RV Totaled Countertop Damage

Our Totaled RV

So what do you do when your totaled RV home on wheels is wrecked on the side of the road?

First you open an insurance claim.  Then you rent a truck and a U-Haul, salvage what you can, and get back on the road.
RV Life Family Roadtrip

The wreck serves as another reminder to us that tangible things have little value.  These happy campers don’t stay down for long!

We continued to Virginia, and I started my job on the planned date.  Our intention was to stay in the RV until we closed on a property that was large enough to build our dream home on and install a series of RV hook-ups.  But that fell through too.

Next the plan changed to securing a house to rent, which is surprisingly tricky in southwestern Virginia. The demand is high and property managers rarely allow dogs.

After about a week of living in a hotel, we signed a year-long lease on an 800-square-foot house on five acres and moved in the next day.
Shopping w Baby

The home is simple and small compared to most, but it suits us just fine.

Initially my little shopping buddy and I made a quick trip to purchase the essentials – window coverings, light bulbs, sheets, a shower curtain, etc.  Then we bought baby chicks!

Baby Chick

Having chickens is the one thing we missed most while living in a RV.  Furniture will come in time.  We spend most of our time on the floor with Sadler anyway.

Strangely, I don’t feel sad or disappointed about losing the majority of our possessions.  I feel grateful and free.Happiest Camper Blog

So what does a totaled RV mean for HappiestCamper.com?  It means there will be more posts focused on minimalism, family, exploring our new surroundings, and always looking for the silver lining.

I’ll also share details about our insurance and claims process as it progresses.  Eventually RV’s will be part of our lives again, in some capacity.  We are exploring the possibility of buying a RV park.  Now THAT would be an adventure!

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35 thoughts on “Our Totaled RV”

  1. So many emotions roiling through my heart for you! Overwhelming gratitude that you’re all OK, shock and horror at what happened to your RV — especially after so much renovating, and excitement about your new life ahead, in a part of the country that is part of my soul.

    My daddy’s people are from Grundy, figuratively just up the crick from you, and we just spent a week in the area over Easter.

  2. Wow. I’m so glad that everyone was safe!! Thank you for sharing what happened. As shocking and terrible as this is, it is beautiful to see your family moving forward and forging a new path. Blessings to you all.

  3. First, prayers to you and the family and thankful you all are fine. May I ask what caused the accident? I did not read that anywhere. Enjoy your new adventure.

    • Thanks, Debbie. I’m not sharing information about the accident until all claims have been processed.

  4. We have an open range Rainer 2016 it’s very roomy but we have just one bedroom. You may want to explore other floor plans but open range is great quality for the price. Thanks for sharing your experience and so happy it turned out ok

  5. Hugs from my family to yours. Sorry this happened to you. Glad people and pets are all safe. Was your sewing machine damaged beyond repair in the wreck?
    I hope you settle in well and get fair deals from your insurance.

  6. So glad that you are all safe and have such a positive attitude. Sorry to hear your sewing machine was totaled.

    We had a very close call last summer coming within inches of the vehicle in front of us and not getting hit from behind.

    God still has plans for us both.

  7. My in-laws bought a class A one year. While on way to home,they managed to roll it-about 1 hour from home. On their first trip w ith it but they were so lucky, no one was hurt. So replacement Class C was
    bought. Parked in front of my house, being loaded for its first trip. Something in garage caught on fire as did the camper. I had just left for work & daughter got up, opened door and you can imagine the rest. No one got hurt including the cat. We eventually bought a custom built fifth wheel. Knock on wood, its fine, a slight scratch or two.

  8. Just want to p ass on that if yhe baby’s car seat was involved in the wreck, it should be replaced and the old one destroyed. Even if it looks fine, it has stress and may fail at a later date.
    Have been a Volunteer Fire Fighter for 25 years and just poo assing along what we have learned through the years.

  9. Glad y’all are OK…material things will be replaced in time. We live in central VA….been here 4 years and love the area.

  10. Soo glad you are all okay…On our way back from Alaska, we ran into an associate who lost a wheel on a rented tow dolly…twice…it was her 2nd time…no one hurt. But very strange to come across someone you know, on the Alaska Highway. And that 150 miles just coming over the border is horrible! Then a few miles down the road, we were flagged down, by people (a whole family) because our spare tire had came detached from out from under our rig and bounced to the side of the road, without incident(Thank God). Apparently, they got ahead of us, somehow, and waited for us to come by. It was the longest journey and although beautiful, I cant listen to George Straight anymore! Lol Seriously, though, thank the Lord for His providential grace and watchcare over you, us and our fellow travelers.

    • Wow! Fellow RVers are the best, but there must be away to prevent this stuff from happening in the future. Glad everyone is OK!

  11. Glad to hear everyone is OK. Good luck with the insurance claims on the truck.

    Now, get to work on that RV campground! We need more places to go RVing. 🙂

  12. My husband literally an hour ago lost control pulling our brand new travel trailer and the wrecker says once they put it upright it’ll fall apart. I’m lost on what’s the next step. Insurance stuff etc etc . Bought it a week ago from camper world. All the paperwork is in the trailer still. Actually they are still trying to get it off it’s side now. Any any info would be greatly appreciated!

    • Oh my goodness! I’m so sorry! To only have it for a week too. That’s awful. Start by calling your insurance carrier. They will walk you through what to do next. Since you’re commenting here, I assume all people involved are safe. Thank goodness for that. Your insurance company should take good care of you.

  13. Thanks for the inspiration on the uhaul – I was just trying to figure out what to do next! Much appreciate your sharing your struggles and how you overcame them.

  14. So glad you’re OK! I remember when you first posted this to the RV Entrepreneur FB group. How are things going for you now? Are you considering getting another RV any time soon?

    • Wow, that seems like forever ago! We are in a house and enjoying the roots and space for now. I am itching for a new DIY project though. Perhaps a canned ham or airstream is in the near future…Thanks for stopping by, Bill!

  15. Glad you are OK, this is upsetting as we are getting ready to buy a 30′ 5th wheel for the first time so I can travel to historic sites and write articles. We are planning to remodel the one we buy also. Do you know the reason for the accident? We have an older F350 Powerstroke and are buying a goosneck hitch setup.


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