What is there to confess about stopping for gas?
I purchased my current RV at the end of 2017. After I retired, I took the RV on its initial cruise from North Alabama to Florida to visit a relative. They were going to install a 50 amp hookup so I could hang out in their driveway – a common occurrence in non-HOA neighborhoods in Florida.
The two routes available were 1) I-65 S and then pick up I-10 or 2) I-65 S to Birmingham and then I-20 E through Atlanta. I chose the Atlanta route with an overnight stop just south of the city. (Note: I-20 is in bad repair. It rattled my teeth and made me wince for my beautiful new RV).
I started out later than planned and my drive was slower than expected so I was greeted with the horrendous Atlanta rush hour. An hour later I reached the southern edge of the city; Rattled and tired, I decide to gas up before hitting the campground for the night.
Pulling off an exit, I turn into a convenience store station on my left. Entering the pump area – Cruuuuunch Scrape Bang! Heart racing and unable to stop quickly, I went ahead (scraping continuing) and stopped at the pumps. What had I done?
After a couple of minutes, I disembarked to face the damage. I had caught the RV’s awning arm on the station’s cement awning post. The RV awing arm was hanging off, the RV awning itself was threatening to fall off, the right back side of the vehicle body was scraped and the tail light was broken. I probably stood there with my hand on my stomach and tears in my eyes for a couple of minutes — seeing imaginary $$ floating off the damaged RV. A couple of guys came over and said something like ‘Whoa!’.
Remember, I’m by myself (well, the dogs were with me), sitting at a convenience store at the edge of south Atlanta – a little scary. I was afraid to drive it as the whole awning looked like it would fall off any second – I could imagine the highway wreck that would cause. I was hoping to get an escort to the nearest RV dealership to keep traffic away in case the awning did fall off on the drive. I called everyone – wrecker companies, police, fire department – no help. So, my son drove to sit with me until morning. He would provide the escort. It was a 24-hour convenience store – interesting goings on. A drunk guy came over in the morning and offered to rip it off for me. I politely declined the offer and he wandered off.
5 months later, I was able to retrieve my repaired RV from sick bay and truly begin my RV’ing adventure. 5 months you ask – umm yes. That’s all I’ll say about that experience (insurance, repairs, parts, etc).
So what is the confession? I should have recognized that I was tired and rattled after going through the Atlanta rush traffic. I had enough gas to get to the campground. It was a bad decision to stop for gas at that convenience station. Safety was not uppermost in my mind at that moment.