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Refueling Station Gone Bad....

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Here's an interesting event we experience on the US287 at a Valero in Childress, TX a couple days ago:

We're at a regularly used Valero pumping at island #2 of four aligned left to right.  Perfect pull-off/pull-onto the highway option for us.  Topping off the Tundra, D's in the right front and I'm inside the store getting some sodas.  A couple pulls into island #3 to our right - tons of room as we're in the forward-most pumping station on our island.  

The dude's TV is a 1-ton dually hauling one of the longest twin-axles 5th wheel we've ever seen.  He cuts to the left way too tight and nails the blue bollard protecting the pumps from an errant vehicle or in this case, a 5th wheeler.  D observes the entire episode from the passenger's seat - as he is scraping the bollard along the "Solitude" 8 to 10 feet forward of the left-front wheel.

He doesn't stop - he continues to drag his RV until impacting the front running gear assembly, bending the axle/spindle to the rear until the front tire is occupying the same space as the rear tire.

I'm stepping out of the store at this time finding the wife trying to figure out what to yell at her spouse - I mention to her that her two left wheels are in FULL contact and will not roll correctly in that particular configuration.

She says, "NO SH!T" - an appropriate reply to my stupid comment, I'm not realizing what had just happened.  At this point, the driver manages to back up and "uncouple" his RV from the blue bollard.

I top-off the Tundra and hop in when D explained to me what she just witnessed.  Not over yet, it gets better -- (read: worse):

The dude pulls forward and attempts a U-turn directly in front of us - way too close, I back up Casablanca allowing him to swing free and miss our grill.  The two street side tires aren't smoking but they're squealing loudly and burning rubber is wafting about.  

Jackknifing his rig in front of us, the Solitude's overhead compartment slams into the TV's left rear cab smashing the rear window, ugh!

They come to a stop in the fueling area for island #1 headed 180 degrees from their original direction prior to impacting the bollard.  This is the pic of them examining the damage...


The wife is not impressed at this time and is using some rather choice words emphasizing her concern...

Nothing much we could do but offer an assist to call a tow truck - they just said that they'll handle it.  We drove away unscathed and feeling bad for them.

Lesson learned?  Keep your head on a swivel even if you're not moving!



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Art, Diane, Magnus & Oscar (double-Aaarrf!)

  • 2022 TUNDRA
  • 2017 LE II; Hull #226 "Casablanca"
  • HAM call-sign:  W0ABX


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Posted (edited)


I think Fivers must have some kind of a death wish.  We saw something similar with a guy at Joshua Trees NP trying to squeeze a much too big rig, complete with a Harley on a back end lift into a clearly too small site.  The camp sites were bordered by boulders, and he tore the living $#!! out of fiver and truck.  After screaming at the host for a few minutes, about how everything was her fault, a ranger stopped by and invited him to leave the park.

Edited by Wandering Sagebrush
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Hull #364 - The Roadrunner 

2023 F350 CCLB SRW 6.7L


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Posted (edited)

Wow!!!  is an understatement. Glad you both were able to safely depart that demolition derby. 
💯 on point Art with having 360 awareness and both heads on a swivel. We prefer refueling at the large truck stops when we can.
When parked to refuel my bride and navigator steps out and does a walk around of our rig every time we stop while I top off the diesel.
This is just one of our best practices when we are rolling.


Edited by Patriot
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2020 OLEII - Hull #634 aka-  “XPLOR”

2021 F350 6.7 liter Diesel Lariat Ultimate Tremor 

North Carolina 🇺🇸



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We owned a Class-A, then a C and now our Oliver, a progression of down-sizing. Never considered a 5th wheel. They just seem unnatural in some way. Think it's crazy every time I see the HUGE ones on the highway and more so on some narrow country road. The guy Art and D noticed @MAX Burner didn't learn from his first maneuver. Unfortunately, it will likely not be his last.

About 10-12 years ago we were on a cross-country move with a cargo trailer. Pulled in for fuel and for a moment I forgot I was towing. Went around the pumps quickly and too closely, then all of a sudden my brain said STOP! If I did not regain my wits, I would have hit the bollard hard and destroyed the trailer. After my heart moved back down out of my throat, whew! I slowly backed up to correct.

You know that thing we say about our Olivers? "You hardly know it's back there." This was the case with this trailer. Always remember it's back there. Chris and I say often, "Who is that guy? That's always on our bumper!"


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Chris & John in Prescott, AZ | 2016 EII #113 | '01 Ram 2500 Cummins!

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