Tuesday June 20
Day 9
To my Cousins', with Disaster

I didn't take any pics today because my route was an old familiar one and 90% through urban/suburban areas, with traffic and lotsa road construction to make it worse.

I lingered until fairly late in the morning at the campsite in Maryland, because the morning was cool and the view out over the woods and little meadow was so pleasant. Once I was on the road, a jog up I 81 took me to the Pennsylvania Turnpike, which lead into the New Jersey Turnpike, I179 over to the Jersey shore, a jog up the Garden State Parkway to Red Bank, where I exitted, got onto Front Street (Red Bank's main street) and met my appointment with disaster.

It was by then the evening rush hour so traffic was heavy and the road was narrow and had telephone poles right along the right side of the traffic lane. I was thus watching constantly that I didn't sideswipe any poles, or drift over the yellow line into oncoming traffic, all the while looking for my next turn. What I did NOT see was a sign announcing that there was an underpass ahead with clearance of only 11 feet 4 inches. Yeah. I drove under the railroad overpass watching nervously left and right, and there was an immense BANG followed by a second immense BANG. A moment of stunned incomprehension, and then I twigged that was my 2 rooftop air conditioners hitting the bottom of the overpass. I sickly envisioned tangled wreckage up above, and God knows what kind of damage to my roof.
A look back at a red light revealed that the rear airconditioner is completely gone, leaving nothing but a big hole in the roof. A moment later the top of the ladder sagged, broken, into sight of the rearview camera. Ohmigod, my brand new motorhome.

Once I got to my cousins', Marty went up on the roof to assess the damage. Given that I had the bad luck to get in that mess in the first place, my luck was very good. There is no damage to the roof, and the airconditioner parted company with the motorhome quite cleanly. Repair is going to be simply buying a new unit and dropping it into place. Even the electrical connections pulled apart neatly at their connectors; there is no torn wiring. Marty says that particular underpass is notorious for eating unwary trucks; a pal of his who has a wrecker quite often has to extricate a truck stuck under there like a cork in a bottle. At least THAT didn't happen to me. I must have just barely failed to clear; there were 5 or 6 metal girders supporting the overpass, and I appear to have banged only on the last one. Unfortunately, the first bang made the motorhome bounce on its suspension, and it was on the top of the bounce when the second airconditioner hit, thus the disaster. The first airconditioner has a small scrape on its housing and is working perfectly. Thank God for small favors, eh?

Anyhoo, now the motorhome has to go into a repair facility to get a new A/C installed -- and the generator fixed, too. Fortunately I'm planning to stay here in NJ for 2 weeks, split between two different cousins' houses.

And here's another big "fortunately" -- this didn't happen until I was virtually at my destination. Imagine the problems if it had happened on one of those back roads in Kentucky, or while I was driving around Oklahoma City looking for a place to do my oil change??

And the major "unfortunately" -- I am probably looking at a $3,000 repair bill. The second airconditioner as an option was I think I remember $2,500. :-((