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Things that go “bump” in the night


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Traveling at night is not safe for man nor beast.  We were returning from a wonderful trip to California to admire the ocean and red woods and frolic with some friends.  Our plan was to take three days to travel from California to Denver.  When we passed Green River, WY on the second day, I (under the influence of that dumbing agent called testosterone) decided to drive into the night so we could reach Denver without having to camp in the beautiful Water Pocket Fold area near Green River.  At about 9 pm traveling 65 mph on I-70 through Silverthorne, CO (one hour from home) a moose decided to introduce itself to our Grand Cherokee.  All I remember is hearing a bang and seeing a moose’s head smash into the passage side door window where Marcia was setting.  The Jeep instantly moved about 4 feet sideways, all power shut down (lights, engine, power steering, power brakes) alarms and warnings started flashing and blaring, the side airbags deployed, and Marcia screamed.  How I kept the Jeep and trailer from crashing is still a mystery.  After making sure Marcia was not hurt too bad, I focused on coasting the Jeep about a mile to the Silverthorne exit, which included a construction zone (two lanes narrowed down to one).  Luckily, I had enough momentum to get off the exit and into a Safeway Parking lot.  I learned that it is very, very hard to steer and brake the Jeep pulling a 6,000 lbs trailer when the power steering and brakes are no longer working.  The long and short of it is that the Jeep was totaled, the Oliver was fine, moose was killed, and Marcia had minor bruising from the airbags.  I really feel bad about the moose. I hope this lesson on the stupidity of driving at night during our travels doesn’t fade as time passes.


 

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Yikes, I am so glad you both survived that! I worry most about coyotes and deer at dawn and dusk. Except when on National Forest roads, I have never really thought about moose, especially about one crossing an Interstate highway.

What do you plan to replace the GC with? Something a little stronger, maybe? How about a roo bar?

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I completely agree about not towing at night. Even if you saw the moose in the darkness, you might not have been able to slow in time. It is hard enough in broad daylight when you come over a rise and see three large deer standing motionless in your lane.

John Davies

Spokane WA

Edited by John E Davies
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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Very glad that you're ok.

We have some high power amber offroad lights that we use when we're in the middle of nowhere.  Ours are Baja Designs Squadron Pros, but if I were buying them now, I'd get their new LP4 Pros.  They probably triple the distance that we can see, and they make a huge difference.  The only problem is that you absolutely can't use them when around other vehicles.  But for off road or empty highways, they're unbeatable.

 

Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Wow. Scary. Even more glad now that I only drive 60MPH tops, only mornings and early afternoon, and no more than five or six hours in a day. It makes me stop and smell the roses. Glad you all made it through that event okay. 

roguebooks

2017 Tacoma TRD Sport 4x4

2018 Legacy Elite, Hull #309 

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MandD -

Sorry about your wife, sorry for you, sorry for the moose, and sorry for the Jeep.  Ouch! on so many fronts. 

When you mention that the Jeep moved 4 feet sideways, I assume that the Ollie simply followed right behind and didn't exhibit any kind of sway or other "strange" movement?

Thank you so much for posting your bad experience - it is fair warning to all of us.

Bill

2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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So glad you both are ok and that no one was seriously injured or worse. Thoughts and prayers lifted for a speedy recovery from the trauma and your wife’s bruising. Glad your Oliver survived unscathed.
 

David & Kathy Austin

2020 Ford F-250 6.7 liter Powerstroke Lariat “Tremor”  - 2020 OLEII - Hull #634 

 

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Wow, that is scary!  Glad you and your wife are ok.  Things can be replaced, people can't be.    What is the black spattering on the front of the Ollie?  Moose residue?  Jeep shrapnel? 

2019 Elite II - Hull #461

 

Tow Vehicle: 2019 Ford F-250 & 2019 Nissan Armada 

 

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Thanks to all for the kind thoughts and words.  I forgot to mention that the accident happened in September last year.  It took me this long to post the results.  Marcia is fine. All bruises are healed.  I was amazed at the extent of the injuries caused by the air bags.  I’ve replaced the Jeep with Ford F-150 3.5 Ecoboost. Nice vehicle, but it doesn’t ride as well or pull as well in the mountains as the Eco Diesel Jeep.  The picture is the only one I have with the truck and trailer. When we were pushed about 4 feet to the left the Oliver did not sway or cause any issues.  In fact, I didn’t even feel the trailer until I tried to stop without power brakes.  The brown stuff on the trailer is the animal equivalent of what us humans place in our trailer’s black tanks.

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You were extremely lucky that it was a side hit. A direct hit, especially in a car size vehicle, usually takes out their legs and the body rolls up the hood. Their body is usually 5 to 7 feet at the shoulder and can weigh from 900 to over 1000 pounds. From there it takes the top of the vehicle off down to the steering wheel. We have seen where it ends up on the roof of the camper. The results are not close to pretty. 

In the fall, especially, the moose will move to the roads for multiple reasons. To get way from the bugs, the heat of the roads, or able to cover larger areas in the rut. With no natural predators they will stop and stare at a vehicle dating it to come closer. Extremely lucky, and we are so glad all are OK...

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Glad to hear there were no serious injuries and that you’ve totally recovered and are back on the road!  It may not tow or ride as well, but do you find the extra cargo space useful?  Mile

Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

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Mainiac—the State Patrol Officer also mentioned the same horror stories about moose and vehicles.  In addition, a front impact would have caused an air bag to explode into my face making it highly unlikely I would have kept everything on the highway.  We were definitely lucky that night

Mike—I love the extra cargo space. Our two cats have plenty of room in the new larger carrier we bought to fit the back seat and we never have to leave our bikes behind again.  I should mention that the drop off in pulling capacity is minor and could be only perception on my part and I like the 10-speed transmission.  Since the Jeep was totaled, I had to make a quick decision on a replacement. I bought the truck in late September and In October, we drove the truck and trailer to the New England states chasing the leaf colors. The truck work flawlessly.

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