Losing an RV Awning
by Marilyn Russell
(somewhere in Missouri)
Maybe not the WORST story, but certainly a "cautionary tale."
Several years ago, driving our rv on a very windy day, we took one of our customary precautions: set both rear view mirrors to hold ALL awnings in sight. My husband, ever the vigilant driver of our truck/5th-wheel duet, had just checked our speed: 76 mph. The traffic was heavy and rain was threatening.
To accommodate the increasing wind speed, he wisely slowed our speed. Within 45 seconds, while checking the rear-view mirrors again, he remarked to me: "Look at that: we're taking flight!" We had sensed no unusual noise or changes from within the safety of the truck cab.
And indeed, as we watched our mirrors in amazement, the awning continued to unfurl, the top edge ripped away, and the 2 stanchions which normally secure it to the wall of the rig had joined the now-flying and completely-unfurled awning. We watched it gracefully waft above the 5th-wheel, disappearing out of mirror view.
Our concern rapidly shifted from the lost awning to it's final destination. The on-coming traffic and the potential to blanket an entire vehicle unlucky enough to be following us became our focus. Suddenly, as if instructed to do so, the awning fluttered to it's final resting place - all tidy and lined up along the shoulder of the road.
As our fellow-travelers whizzed past our rig and as we slowed to a stop, we wondered at our incredible luck. And we no-doubt shared some anxious thoughts with others traveling this road about what COULD have happened.
Now, we have a new item on our Check List for Departure: Secure the awnings. We can report a good track record with two-sided velcro strips which we simply wrap a couple of times around each stanchion. And we sport a new awning, this one in a color we prefer!
I am sure glad I wasn't driving behind you as your awning sailed toward me - think I would have ended in a ditch!
Thanks so much for this story - I'll be double checking things from now on.