Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Well, We Hadn't Planned On A Christmas Tree INSIDE The RV...

Current Location: Auburn, WA

...but apparently some greater power felt that we needed one!

We've been having a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit. I think it's safe to say that we've never been real big on the holidays to begin with and this year, our hearts just aren't in it. But we were trying and on Friday we woke up to blue sky and bright sunshine. What is this? An early Christmas present? We spent the day exploring and elevating our moods. By the time we returned home, we were even talking about doing some decorating. Boy were we fooled. It turns out that it wasn't an early present at was simply the calm before the storm.

Friday evening the winds starting picking up and there were some significant gusts. We found out after the fact that gusts were reported as high as the mid-60's in the region. We're fairly tucked in where we are so while we could hear the wind, we weren't really feeling it. So we weren't overly concerned. I guess we should have been.

We headed to bed around 11pm and were first woken up around midnight with small pine cones pelting the roof. For all you RVers, you know how loud that can be. These are fairly small cones so we didn't think they would be damaging, but boy was it loud. We slept fitfully for the next couple of hours, until we heard a BANG. We both thought, uh oh, and sprang from the bed. Of course, it was 2 am so you couldn't see much outside. I thought that maybe a plastic vent cover or light cover might have been broken, but knew there wasn't much we could do about it in the middle of the night, so we climbed back in bed.

Neither of us really slept and about a half an hour later, we heard a much bigger BANG and we both knew that it wasn't good. Again, we jumped out of bed, while both the animals were running for safety toward the bedroom. I can't publish what came out of our mouths, but I can share a picture of what we saw:

Yep, what you're seeing is a tree branch in our living room!

There was no going back to bed this time. We threw on some clothes and went outside to find a huge tree branch leaning against the side and on top of the RV. Although we knew what we'd find, we climbed up on the roof and sure enough, one of the limbs had broken off and punctured through the roof.
The sound was so loud that it woke Tracy's aunt and uncle up. Once we saw the lights come on, we went over and shared what happened. They graciously agreed to take in two very freaked out animals until we could get a handle on the damage and figure out what we needed to do.

Thankfully, Uncle Jack had some tarps in his garage which we used to patch up the hole. It wasn't raining, but who knew how long that would last and the last thing we needed was to have water damage on top of everything else. Even more thankfully, the wind had died down some, allowing us to be up on the roof without fear for our lives.

Once we finished the patch job, we thought we would lay back down and catch a couple of more hours of sleep. Yeah, right! Not only were we unnerved, but when we entered the RV again, we noticed some additional damage on the living room slide. I guess all of our focus was on the ceiling fan and neither of us had noticed the hole in the slide.

Yep, another limb had come down on the far slide (opposite side from where the other branch fell) and punctured through the roof there. We did remove a large limb from that slide, but neither of us had noticed the hole in the roof!

More expletives. Then it was back up on the roof to survey the additional damage. Sure enough, there's a big hole in the center of the slide roof. By this time, I'm sure you can image that our moods were quite foul. Instead of trying to tarp this one, we decided just to pull in the slide for the night and would deal with it in the daylight.

I'm sure we both felt like just laying down and crying but neither of us did. After getting over the initial shock, I actually think we kept our emotions in check pretty well.

While we were laying in bed waiting for daylight to arrive, I found myself counting my blessings. What could we be thankful for after a night like this? First of all, no one got hurt. It could have been so much worse. Second, our home is still livable, at least for the short-term. We are warm and dry and all of the systems are functioning normally. Third, we have insurance. Although this is our home and one that we love, it ultimately is just a thing and it can be fixed. And lastly (but not least), if this had to happen, we couldn't have hoped for a better place. Although we questioned whether we were at fault for parking under trees and not pulling in our slides during a windstorm, we realize that this could have happened anywhere. And at least here we have a lot of help, moral support and love.

The several days that have passed have been busy with phone calls and sharing of information. So far the insurance company has been very easy to work with and very expedient. For those of you looking for an insurance agent, we used Miller Insurance and received a policy through a subsidiary of Nationwide. Although Miller isn't involved in the claim process, I would hope that they would step up to the plate if we ran into problems with the adjuster. After an initial hiccup in getting assigned to the wrong adjuster, Nationwide has been very responsive and seem to move quickly. Even though we are in the midst of the holiday season, we already have an estimate from the adjuster and an appointment on Monday with the RV dealership. It is the same dealership we used back in October to have some warranty work done, so they are familiar with the rig. They understand that we will be homeless during this time and have promised to expedite the repairs as best they can. So far, it all seems way too easy and I'm a bit leary. But I hope to be able to report back in a couple of weeks that all went smoothly.

So while this disaster did nothing to improve our Christmas spirits, we are extremely thankful for all that we have. And although we gave up on the idea of decorating, I guess we did end up with a Christmas tree in the house after all!

Merry Christmas!


  1. so very sorry you both had to go thru this...

  2. I know how scary that is - I lived in Pollock Pines on the western slope of the Sierras - during a very heavy snowfall with high winds, the top of one of my huge cedar trees sheared off and drove right through my roof into my living room. Thank goodness for insurance. Now it's another good story to tell, and you have the photos to prove it! You were so focused, I think you did great! Hope the repairs go quickly.

  3. Hope your repairs go quickly...just another reassurance that we are not strange when we ask for a site without any trees!

  4. OMG !!!! GEEZUM !!!

    I'm glad you will get it fixed soon but having your home torn up for any reason is the pits.

    At least you still have your sense of humor Connie...

    "And although we gave up on the idea of decorating, I guess we did end up with a Christmas tree in the house after all!"

    I love it! :) HAHAHAHA

    You and Tracy take care and have a wonderful Christmas despite the angry tree.

    Take care,

  5. Glad to see it wasn't much worse, you could put Eternabond over the hole until it is repaired, that stuff just doesn't leak. Glad to hear the insurance isn't a big hassle. they like getting their premiums but hate to pay out. Be safe out there and Have a great holiday. Sam & Donna...

  6. So sorry to hear about the storm damage to your home! Glad that no one was hurt though!!

  7. Wow! This is one Christmas you'll never forget! It's a wise thing to stop and count your blessings when you have a chance to calm down and catch your breath. As you said, it could have been so much worse. As long as you and Tracy were not hurt, nothing else matters. Hope the repairs will be swift and you'll be back home very soon.

  8. OMG! That is some serious damage. Thankgoodness no one was hurt.
    Your right it could have happened anywhere and it CAN be fixed.
    Keep us posted on the repairs and try to have a Merry Christmas anyway.

    Travel Safe
    Dawn & Denise

  9. Times like this make it a little easier to write that insurance premium check.Have a Merry Christmas despite the setback.

  10. Wow, this weather is wreaking havoc all over the west. I'm impressed that you kept your cool and kept the "things" aspect also in perspective because I know first hand that is hard to do. When we were headed to get our rig out of the flood area all I could see was our home floating down the river with all our "stuff" in it. Mu DH was the one show reminded me it is just stuff and can be replaced.Hope all the repairs go well, we have the same insurer so will be interested in how it goes.

  11. I am glad you are both OK and so are the pets. You are right to count your blessings. It could have been so much worse for you.

    I hope you have a Merry Christmas in spite of everything that happened. And just remember are blessed.

  12. It is always a bummer when something bad happens to your "home". I have had some damages over the years to my motorhome including getting T-boned by a car driving with no lights on.

    The good news is I have Nationwide Insurance like you do and they've always stepped up and have taken great care of me, all repairs were done well, quickly and to my complete satsifaction.

    Good luck!