Motorhome doesn’t slow at exit. Terrible crash. See video

Motorhome doesn’t slow at exit. Terrible crash. See video

Here’s yet another reminder to drive carefully. We don’t know the make or model of the motorhome that crashed after failing to slow at a highway exit, then rolled over several times near Coalinga, California. A woman passenger in the motorhome was ejected from her seat and died. The driver, 74-year-old Robert Littlejohn, was transported to a local hospital with major injuries. Officers believe alcohol or drugs did not play a role in the accident.

Watch the short video. One thing to take away from seeing it: RVs are not sturdy enough to survive intact in a serious accident. Drive carefully.

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23 thoughts on “Motorhome doesn’t slow at exit. Terrible crash. See video

  1. Chuck

    It doesn’t matter if your RV is 20 days or 20 years old, it’s the last place you want to be in the event of a wreck. If the federal government ever start crash testing these vehicles it will shut down the industry.

  2. Rory

    I understand the sentiment, but not the logic of buying not a “used” RV but an ancient RV and thinking that when you rebuild it you have something so much better then a new one. It’s not that you will save money, you will over the 2 or 3 yrs you expect it to take you to rebuild it, you will spend as much or more money if you do it right. Staring with the drive train, suspension, tires, brakes and other mechanicals. Then you tackle the interior, But from what I’ve seen on Youtube, most folks start on the interior, and when they have that like they want it, they feel they are ready for the road. Then they get “bummed out” when something mechanical breaks down. Even if you did it right in the beginning, it is still a 20 yr old vehicle, that has seen it’s better days, been used up or sat in all kinds of weather, for who knows how long. You can’t rebuild the chasis and the frame. That is still 20 yrs old. I will probably get bombarded for saying that, but it is true.

  3. Marty

    I was taught a long time ago (by my dad – a long haul truck driver) that the yellow freeway exit/entrance signs are “prima facie” speed limit signs as determined by highway engineers. These are not speed limits per se but suggested speed limits based upon the road curvature, banking, etc. We always slow to the posted limits when signs say to do so,.

    1. Jeff

      You also must remember that the Yellow warning signs are for Automobiles only. For larger vehicles, you must slow down below the posted limit.

  4. suzanne

    I have written before about being hit by (sounded like a locomotive!) but was someone using cellphone, we believe. Driver said she felt something down by her feet and reached for it, came back up, hit rumble strips, over-corrected and ran into our left corner (24′ Sprinter Itasca). Husband instinctively veered off into sloped field where we sped (felt like a 100mph though his foot was on the brake). We ultimately rolled over one complete revolution. Came back upright with a flat bed mhome with couch still attached and no cabover. I was shaken but ok and husband has a traumatic brain injury now. We were the only 2 vehicles to be seen on the freeway west of SLC at the time. A couple of people did pull over to go through our stuff (and actually stole some things). We saw them scanning the area but were too shook to do anything about it. Our warning: It didn’t take much to flatten the RV. Stay in your seatbelts at all times and only in the cab area.

  5. Tommy Molnar

    While headed south on Hwy 95 in Nevada two days ago, we came up on an ‘incident’ (the yellow diamond warning sigh said “Incident Ahead”) where a driver of a motorhome had a heart attack and ran off the road, just missed the guard rail, and totally demolished the vehicle as it rolled in the ditch. It was hard to tell that is WAS a motorhome as we passed. The driver (the only occupant) perished in the ‘incident’. Point being, RV’s are NOT built like tanks. They are build as light as possible, so structure is sacrificed.

  6. Joan

    I was driving east on 40 from Tennessee to Asheville, NC yesterday in a 27′ class C and was absolutely astounded at the speed with which some RVs passed me. At that location, 40 has a 6% grade and many tight curves. There was one fifth-wheel in particular that came barreling pass me, entered a curve, and then started braking hard. The trailer was moving back and forth erratically. Everyone behind him slowed, waiting to see what would happen. He straightened up and continued his fast pace down the mountain.

    1. Tony

      The laws of physics, if not actual law enforcement, will catch up to him one day.

  7. Isabel Alvidrez

    Does anyone know how the driver of the RV is doing?

    1. RV Staff

      Sorry, Isabel. I just Googled it and couldn’t find any updates. We hope he is doing OK. Maybe one of our readers knows Mr. Littlejohn and can update us. —Diane at RVtravel.com

  8. Rudolf Graner

    Disappointing, it is actually NOT a video, just one picture, thats all. So we can not understand the situation and learn something. Waisted time for me. sorry!.

    1. Chuck Woodbury

      Rudolf, nobody was there to capture the crash. The point of our video was more about how fragile an RV is in an accident, rather than the exact reason this one occurred. The guy was going too fast and the RV rolled. What I found most interesting was how totally destroyed the RV was. A car would have fared much better.

      1. Jeff

        You are correct CHUCK! Too many people think that Motorhomes are like TANKS. Sorry to say, they are merely a house on wheels and not designed to be driven down the road like race cars.

        1. Ron

          I’m a member of the Tiffin page on facebook. We recently had a lady who insisted that her Tiffin’s driving area (including passenger seat) had a steel cage to protect her because her dealer said so when they bought their motorhome.

  9. PATRICK PETERMAN

    I find your news and current events very useful please keep up the effort; your fighting a good fight! RAMBLINRANGER

  10. Chuck Woodbury

    Iggy, yes I’m aware of the RVIA’s mission. I simply believe they should be looking down the road, two, three, four years and ahead and realize that if there are no places to stay/camp with the manufacturers’ RVs, then sales will suffer. And they should do more than just talk about poor quality. Thanks for your comment.

  11. Iggy Konrad

    Chuck, don’t forget the RVIA is a lobbying organization. Their main goal is to sell RV’s, What happens afterwards is the buyers responsibility. One may argue your point but far more camping style RV’s are sold then high end motor homes. I don’t “camp” in my 40er either but most campgrounds aim first at the campers because they fill up the parks, motor homes don’t. It’s sad but it’s all about money.

    I’m very concerned by the quality of the product being shipped out by manufacturers. If things don’t change future sales may take big hits as the buying public stops investing huge sums to “camp” in products that have full of defects. Kinda like the auto industry found out when Toyota entered the U.S. in the early 70’s. If some company were to produce a high quality RV and stand behind them with good warranty and services, they could corner the market. Now the idea is to do things on the cheap. Our MH is a 2014 and we have looked at moving up to a new unit but we’ve got all the bugs worked out and things are running well, do we want want to go through this again? Most likely not.

    Just another rant. Thanks for your column.

    1. Booneyrat

      I agree that ALL Rv manufacturers have quality control problems. After buying a new fifth wheel from *****Design last year I am soured on anything new anymore. Seems money really is the root of all evil.

      1. Chuck Woodbury

        Booneyrat, FYI — we don’t mind you mentioning the make and model of your motorhome. It might help others in their decisions about what to buy.

        1. Booneyrat

          OK,Grand Design.

      2. Robert Pulliam

        Sorry to correct your statement,but money is not the root of all evil. It’s the love of money that is the root of all evil. Lol. Money is good, but if you love that money your love of that money is what causes your evil ways.

        1. Wolfe

          I’ll triple correct you, Robert. As you should have learned in basic economics, money is just a placeholder for effort – a way to trade my effort for yours when you don’t want my exact product. So, a love of money is a love of productive effort — and very admirable. Such a person wants to produce in a manner that others will value.

          What people MEAN by a love of money is that someone seeks to steal your effort (be paid without contributing value in return), but that statement in my experience is usually given by the thieves because the rest of us are too busy producing. Hollywood elite billionaires talk about how the love of money is so bad, while the factory workers never say “Gee, I wish I could be paid less for my sweat…”

    2. Tina GAllagher

      I couldn’t have said it better myself. I guess that’s why there is such a growing movement to buy used RV’s of all kinds and rebuild them, or build one from scratch (that’s my goal for the next two years). RV Parks are businesses- if they want to pass up business, fine by me. I’ll find free campgrounds as I go. I’d rather have to repair something I put in wrong than pay $25,000 or more and find out that it’s gonna take 3 or 4 months or more to fix something that should have been done right in the first place. No thank you.

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