Tree Crushes Brand New RV

Tree Crushes Brand New RV

An accident or a random act of God can ruin your travel plans within seconds. It happened to a couple at West Branch State Park Campground in Ravenna, Ohio, when a tree crushed their brand new RV. Keep reading to find out how things turned into a nightmare so quickly. And get tips for avoiding tree damage to your RV.

Fallen Tree Destroys Three-Month-Old RV

Talmange and Ashanti bought their Open Range 322RLS travel trailer only three months ago. But unfortunately, their time with it was cut short. Disaster struck while they were on a weekend getaway at West Branch State Park.

A thunderstorm was rolling across the region when the power went out at the campground. So Talmange and Ashanti decided to turn on their inverter, which they had down before. But this time, it unexpectedly caught fire and started smoking. So they quickly got out of the RV. Little did they know that the smoking inverter potentially saved their lives.

Moments later, they heard a snap, and the trailer came off the jacks and started to slide. Not comprehending exactly what was happening, they watched their truck catch the RV. The travel trailer’s hitch ended up resting on the truck’s back bumper. 

Once the commotion stopped, they realized a tree had fallen through their RV. The tree ripped their living room slide-out right off the rest of the unit. The only damage to the truck was some paint chipping on the tailgate and a destroyed bumper.

Man trying to figure out to get his RV past a fallen tree.

What Caused the Tree to Fall?

After assessing the situation in the daylight, they found the tree was rotten. Campers who stayed on the campsite prior sent in photos of the tree rot at the base. But the campground had not taken action. The thunderstorm’s high winds and rain likely finally pushed the tree over the edge.

The campground did take action the day after the incident. They cut down additional trees around the campsites that posed a risk. While Talmange and Ashanti are thankful no one was hurt and they had insurance, they also recognize that you always need to check nearby trees.

Who Is Adventure Bandits? 

Talmange and Ashanti call themselves the Adventure Bandits. They have a popular YouTube channel that documents their RV travels. Their channel is fun and encourages others to get out there and explore campgrounds and attractions.

In the video about the tree incident, they express how much they appreciate the RV community. People in the campground came together to support them and brought them food, water, and tubs to pack up their belongings. While none of us want bad things to happen, this was yet another reminder of how much good there is in the world.

Are Trees the Biggest Enemy to RVers? 

Trees definitely pose a threat. Like Talmange and Ashanti said, it’s important to check any trees you’re camping near. Look for damage to the trees, dead and rotting trees, and branches that seem unstable. It doesn’t take a storm to topple a tree.

Why Having Adequate Insurance Is Crucial 

With no insurance coverage, you could end up with tens of thousands of dollars in expenses when an accident happens. Talmange and Ashanti’s Open Range travel trailer was completely destroyed, unsalvageable. In other words, if they didn’t have insurance, they would have lost the entire cost of a brand new RV. But since they have insurance, and assuming they have adequate coverage, the insurance company should help. Even minor RV repairs can get expensive. If another vehicle hits your RV’s back bumper, it might do minimal damage but still cost you big if you lack insurance.

Tips for Avoiding Tree Damage  

So how do you avoid tree damage to your RV? Take a look at these four tips.

Check the Weather 

Check the weather daily while RVing. If a storm or high winds are coming, assess how many trees are around your RV and the potential for tree damage. Move your RV if you have any red flags or a gut feeling that it’s unsafe.

However, even if you check the weather, things can change quickly. So a good rule of thumb is to check the weather in the area where you’re staying or along your travel route.

A woman in the rain with an umbrella.

Avoid Parking Under Trees 

Avoid parking under trees whenever possible. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, but it doesn’t hurt to try to stay away from them. If you do have to park under trees, check for potential hazards. And if you’re at a campground and are unsure about the trees on your campsite, report it immediately and ask for a new site.

Check Your Clearance  

Always check your clearance before pulling into a parking spot or campsite with trees. Get out and assess the height of the tree branches in relation to the roof or air conditioner of your RV. Also, check the sides. The last thing you want is heavy tree branches scraping up your RV.

Know Your Limits 

Knowing your limits is essential for all aspects of RVing, including trees. If you’re in a forested campground and have many trees to navigate around, determine if you can safely get in and out.

We hope you all stay safe out there while RVing. Stories like Talmange and Ashanti’s are heartbreaking, but we can learn from each other. Remember the tips here the next time you camp. Keep yourself and your RV out of harm’s way. Have you ever encountered fallen trees while RVing?

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