Monday, May 12, 2008

Near Death Experience


I am a very keen Caravan User, I would rather go on a caravan holiday they go to some exotic country, many of you may consider me daft but there you go. My latest Caravan was a 2007 Compass Rally 650 you note the word was! Since I started with my caravan I had always pulled them with a Ford Twin Cab Ranger with out the slightest problem but the joke of being called a POSH PIKEY did begin to wear a bit thin so I decided to change to a Land Rover Discovery. My first shock was that my 2003 Ford Ranger which I purchased in 2004 for £12000 only fetched £4000 in December 2007, my first trip out with the Disco and the Caravan was in late April we travelled the short distance to Folkestone for a long weekend travelling down the M20. The Disco performed terrible it rolled all over the place allowed the caravan to rock; Lorries were sucking me in and then pushing me out you dare not travel over 50 mph for fear of your life, experiences I never had with my Ranger. So on my return home I decide this Disco must go I tried to trade it in for a Ranger only to be told that I would lose another £4000 on the deal so that was a non starter, so I stuck to the vehicle. Last weekend the second weekend in May we would try again I had picked out a lovely Caravan site near Guildford with a beautiful lake. This time I would double check everything I telephoned a Disco dealer and consulted the hand book for the correct Tyre pressures, load rating etc, the caravan club and the camping and caravanning club were contacted and their Technical Services gave the correct Tyre pressures all done and of we go. So off we go I still had serious doubts but maybe the M20 with all its Lorries made ruts in the road made the drive different. As we travelled I felt a little roll on the Disco but asked the wife what she thought, she said it felt better I agreed. On reaching the M26 the wife said it seems alright now and we began to enjoy the journey we were on an open no Lorries, no cars, on a flat road, the sun was out, no wind what could go wrong.
Well things did go wrong within a minute I felt the caravan beginning a slight snake within seconds the whole caravan snaking form side to side I could not control it, my wife Valerie shouted “what is happening” all I could say “I have no control” the caravan pulled me in a complete 360 degree circle, the Disco lurched up into the air as the Caravan turned over and then it stopped. We were on the hard shoulder facing on coming traffic miraculously the caravan had unhitched itself before rolling down the bank, my wife and myself were left seated in an upright Disco. Luckily my wife is not one of those who panics easily, she said to me “look at our beautiful caravan” I retorted “Sod the Caravan we are alive” with in seconds I was out of the Disco telephoning the Police while I was doing this a couple of cars stopped one had a couple of nurses who checked out my wife which we were grateful to.
Now we have to await the Insurance claim and all the rig moral that goes with that and see if they can tell me what happened although in all probability it was a tyre blow out. Interestingly enough while the accident was happening I or my wife had no sense of panic or fear yet we both thought we were about to die, as she said to my youngest daughter “God had decided it was not our turn to meet him yet”.
One thing is for sure I will rely on my instincts a lot more, I did not like the Disco and felt unsafe; some times we put more emphasis on finance then feelings a lesson well learnt now at least I will reach my 59th birthday.
What next well the Disco is certainly being sold, do we have another caravan who knows? I am in need of a new hip and knee my wife tells me maybe it to much me hooking up and putting awnings up etc I would like to say we will back on the road again but I will not look forward to the first trip.

Martin Clarke 118 east Street Sittingbourne Kent ME10 4RX

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.