Weather forecasts predicted Santa Anna winds further West on the coast, and we were feeling the remnants of it as we drove West on I-10 just East of Banning. Suddenly we started hearing something flapping, flapping, and then something was dragging on the highway behind us!! What the heck??? Ken, all excited, said, "It's the awning!!" The wind, coming from the rear, had grabbed our patio awning and ripped the back arm of the awning completely off the motorhome and we were dragging it down the highway!
Ken immediately pulled off the highway as far as he could get on the narrow shoulder! We were scarcely able to get out of the front door because a guard rail was blocking the doorway. The arm of the awning was lying out on the highway and the awning fabric was flapping all over the place in the heavy wind. What could we do?? We could not stay there on the side of the highway!!
I walked back behind the motorhome and pulled the arm of the awning off the highway. Then I had sense enough to call our insurance company, National Interstate. What should we do?? Their representative gave me a claim number and said to take pictures and do whatever was necessary to get off the highway!
Ken went back inside and got his fillet knife. As it turned out, we were fortunate to have pulled off beside that guard rail. Ken was able to stand on the rail and reach the top of the awning. With his fillet knife, he sliced through the fabric and removed the awning. Well, almost removed the awning. The front end of the roller was still attached to the front awning arm!!!
Ken got out his hammer and screwdriver and started working to knock the bolts out of the awning arm and was finally able to get the entire awning off of the motorhome!! But the metal shield was still attached to the motorhome and flapping in the wind, slamming into side of the motorhome. We were afraid the shield would cause additional damage!
But, now we could drive to the nearest exit, which was only a few feet away, and into the lot of a nearby service station. The metal shield was attached using three layers of canvas. Ken climbed up his ladder and sliced through the canvas with his fillet knife and removed the shield.
During the whole process of removing the awning, I thought it was genius how we tied lines to the awning roller and later to the metal shield and lowered them gently to the ground so they did not fall on either of us or cause more damage by dropping down!! Pretty smart, right!!
We were finally free of the awning and we could drive on the Temecula Valley RV Service. We had called them earlier and let them know we would be very late for our appointment.
We had reservations at TT Wilderness Lakes so before going to Temecula Valley RV Service, we decided to go to the campground and find a site because Halloween weekend is a very busy time at the campground. Amazing!! We found the perfect site right away. As we were putting an Occupied Sign on our site, Sue and Jack called. They were on the Pickleball court and saw us as we drove in. They were having Happy Hour at 4:30. I explained our situation. We were going over to Temecula Valley RV Service and did not know when we would get back.
When we arrived at Temecula Valley RV Service, Bill, our service representative, turned us over to Eric, the owner, who examined the awning damage and made estimates of the cost to replace the awning with all new equipment. He took over and will handle everything with the insurance company. Wonderful!! We have nothing more to worry about! Our insurance will cover the cost of installing the new awning, and we have been so good for the past few years that we have no deductible to pay!! Things went so smoothly and easily, I told Ken on the way back to the campground that Temecula Valley RV Service is so great to work with that, no matter how bad the situation is, they make you think you are actually enjoying it!!
Happy Hour With Sue and JackWe returned to the campground at about 4:45 PM. We had to drive right by Sue and Jack's site on our way to our site. They were sitting outside enjoying Happy Hour and begged us to stop. So we parked the motorhome in front of their site and joined them.
We showed them where the awning had been taken off the motorhome!
Sue and Jack of the Six Pack, or Eight Pack, or Ten Pack, depending on how many are tagging along.
Alan and Trudy joined up with The Six Pack when we were all at TT Verde Valley in the Spring. They are still with them!!
Mark and Linda. They are not members of the Six Pack. Is this not the most romantic picture ever!!??
Here we are!! Relaxing at last!!