Never Work Alone
by Linda Seagall
Our worst RV adventure did not occur on the road, but before we had the opportunity to take our "new" (pre-owned) RV on our first journey.
My husband, Jim, had removed the solar panels from our previous motorhome and installed them on our new one. He had minor adjustments to make on Thursday, May 23, 2013. As he was preparing to go to our storage site, he told me, "You don't have to come with me. I just have a few little things to do."
I replied, "You are going on the roof; I am going with you."
I sat inside the motorhome reading, as Jim tightened screws on the roof. Suddenly, I heard a horrible thump and instantly knew he had fallen. I raced out of RV, pulling my phone and dialing 911 at the same time I looked for him. I found him not moving on the ground. I had placed my call at 3:30 p.m.
As I talked with the 911 operator, he began to move and tried to sit up. She advised me to keep him lying down as paramedics made their way to us. Within 10 minutes, the paramedics arrived, took vitals, and carted him off to the trauma center.
My husband's injuries included breaking eight ribs in multiple places, his right breast bone, his right shoulder blade, a bone in his left foot and a bone in his left hand. He remained in the hospital for three weeks, most of the time in ICU.
We were lucky. He was 76 years old when that occurred, but he healed and we still go RVing.
The moral of the story is simple: Never go on top of an RV alone, and always make sure you have cell-phone coverage before you do. Jim still climbs up onto the roof (a necessity at times). But he never does it alone. I not only am with him, I watch him, albeit white-knuckled.
(You can read more "lessons-learned" in my book, Don't Back into the Palm Tree! Real Life Lessons for New and Wannabe RVers.)
Thank you so much for your story - what a frightening time for you! I'm so glad that Jim has healed and is still happily RVing. I don't like heights at all and was always scared when I had to go up on the roof.