View Full Version : Side Swiped By a Big Truck

10-01-2010, 03:41 PM
We bought a 2011 3585RL Big Horn the last day of July 2010. We have had a 35-ft motor home and two travel trailers, but this is our first 5th wheel. First trip out we were side-swiped by a wide-load big truck on I-75 South at the Florida line. The guy NEVER even stopped and the pilot truck behind him saw the whole thing. Our 5th wheel is in the body shop needing two new windows, both awning rails, a new door, new decals and some scratches fixed!! Our insurance with Nationwide sent us a letter saying the accident did not effect the value, but we are considering just selling it when it is back to "new" again! We are almost too frightened to travel in it any more!! Any encouragement out there??

10-01-2010, 05:57 PM
Hi edmarsha,

First, welcome to the Heartland Owners Forum and Family. We have a great bunch of people here with lots of information and all willing to share their knowledge if needed.

Really sorry to hear your 5th wheel life is starting on such a bad note. If your unit is in a good shop, they should be able to fix it just as good as new. Hang in there and stay in contact with your repair shop so they will know you want your trailer back to use and not just leave it parked.

Meanwhile, enjoy the forum.

Jim M

10-01-2010, 06:20 PM
I had an 18 wheeler change lanes on me and his mirror punched a hole in the front cap of our previous SOB fifth wheel. We put it in a good shop and they fixed it as good as new.

I know our damage wasn't as extensive as yours, but it was bad enough to frighten my wife any time a big truck got near us.

10-01-2010, 07:02 PM
Let the body shop do their magic, than hitch it up and enjoy the new trailer. Stuff happens and we have to figure that the odds of it happening again are rare. there are idiots on wheels in every state and in every type of vehicle. as the saying goes, jump back in the saddle and ride again.

It has been my experience that our 40' 5'er handles many times better and is much easier to drive than our 36' diesel pusher.

10-01-2010, 10:12 PM
Ever since I was a child in Wyoming, my parents always told me one thing. If you get thrown off you get back on. That is what we do reguardless if we are riding a horse, bull, motercycle, car, truck or whatever.

If you let fear run your life you just as well sit on your front porch in a rocking chair and watch the world go by. But be sure your not near a highway, you might have a car run into your house, don't live in tornado alley you might be killed by a tornado, don't live to near a whispering brook, it may turn into a roaring river, don't stand outside near a tree you may get hit lightning. I could go on with many more.

The answer is Cowboy Up. Don't let fear run your life. God tells us not to live in fear, for he will take care of all things.

Get your trailer fixed and go see what a beautiful country that God has made for you. You can't beat it.


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10-02-2010, 07:44 AM
Thanks everyone for your encouragement. Feel some better!!

10-02-2010, 08:57 AM
Although I don't have one I intend to add one soon...a very loud air train horn. I know several folks that have one and when they toot it 'the part the seas'. Sounds like a great addition to the vehicle for safety reasons. "They won't move out of your way if they don't know your there"

10-02-2010, 09:19 AM
I bought one HERE (http://www.airhornsoftexas.com/) and highly recommend them. He offers many types of horns and no junk. You can buy it as a mail order package or he can install it for you.

10-02-2010, 08:18 PM
Which one did you buy and what accessories did you include?


10-02-2010, 10:09 PM
I bought the UP horn and a Viair compressor. The compressor is in the tool box and the horn is under the seats, mounted on the frame. If you buy one and mount it there, mount the horn facing to the rear so the trash doesn't get into the trumpet like mine does. I put a switch in to go from the train horn to the factory horn. It doesn't take long to figure out how wimpy the factory horn sounds when compared to the 100 db. train horn.

10-03-2010, 12:47 PM
Last year, while sitting at a red light, we were hit by a distracted driver who had a cigarette in one hand and cell phone in the other. Since I see we live close together I can tell you we were in front of Belk, SB, in Griffin when we were hit. She was way too fast for that congested area! She managed to hit slightly off center and at a pretty good speed. She bent the back frame bar, destroyed the ladder we just installed, and damaged the back and awning sides. There were also some other minor issues to the inside due to the jolt from an off-center hit. She even managed to tear the bumper off of our truck that was 35' in front of the impact! We insisted we take the trailer back to our dealer in Tucker and not just use anyone closer so all would be Heartland products and service. It did take a while to get all repairs made but we were assured by our dealer that we had lost no value in the unit. I did have my doubts about even keeping the North Trail but we've had it back for almost a year now and have had no problems. Good thing all is working because I just don't like any other as much as I like my North Trail!