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Rollover accident - Lessons Learned in a FWC / Ranger Combination

Accident FWC Eagle

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#1 larryqp


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Posted 15 August 2019 - 02:08 PM

First, no one was serious hurt. We were extremely lucky.


My buddy and I were on a road trip in my 2009 Ford Ranger 4x4 with a 2014 FWC eagle shell. We stopped in Las Vegas, NM at a fuel stop to fuel up, lunch, restroom and switch drivers. I'm the owner and at that moment became the passenger. Then 50 miles north on I-25, the truck was hit by a crosswind, my buddy over corrected a number of times and then lost control. We rolled at least twice according to the witness traveling behind us. We were doing 70 mph, clear day, dry road, no alcohol involved. After the first roll the camper which was bolted thru the bed of the truck per the manufacturer's instructions and equipment was thrown from the truck and landed upside down on the grass beyond the breakdown lane. The truck rolled again and then landed right side up in the breakdown lane facing south about 15 yards from the camper. Good samaritans stopped, gave us water, called 911 and then after turning off the engine and sitting quietly for about 10 minutes, we opened the doors and stepped out.


Lessons Learned


1 ) The FWC Eagle is amazingly strong. The roof was partially open, but intact. The door was stilled locked and closed. All of the contents of the camper remained inside. The Eagle was winched on its roof onto the wrecker flatbed and later at the shop, flipped right side up with a fork lift. I inserted my key, put a little pressure on the door, unlocked it and was able to open and close the door with very little effort. Everything on the inside was thrown all over the place. When I did the build out, I used straps and small screw to anchor everything. Which was fine for rough off road travel but not a roll over. The pull out slide for the bed was up against the door. Next FWC, which is on order, I will add a small slide bolt to lock the bed slide in place. I will also use small snap clips to "lock" the roof latches. I think the roof would have stayed in place with that minor change. We were able to savage 90% of our stuff, but it was difficult because the bed slide and fabric was in the way. I will use nuts, bolts and backing plates to secure all straps, rather than small screws.


2) The 2009 Ford Ranger is one tough little truck. All four doors, opened and closed as if nothing happened. The rear axle broke and the passenger wheel was tough about 40 feet over a fence on the side of the highway. The thru bolts remained intact in the bed of the truck. The wrecker company was able to start the engine to power the steering and assist getting it on the wrecker.


3) SEATBELTS AND SHOULDER STRAPS WORK.  I have a broken clavicle and bruises. My buddy had minor cuts and bruises.


4) Maybe I should do all the driving, from now on. LOL


We rented a big Ford Flex, loaded everything into it, grabbed a motel in Gunnison, CO and attended the Rocky Mt Overland Rally a few days later. Believe it or not, the saddest thing was that after working on the build for 3 years, and finally getting it just right, I wasn't able to show it off at the rally. LOL


I'm taking this as an opportunity to upgrade to a bigger unit.

A 2016 Ford F150 4x4 FX4, supercab, and a 2019 FWC Hawk shell with furnace, stove and few few other items. I'll finish the build out with solar panels and other stuff myself.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Eagle wreck 108kb.jpg
  • Ranger wreck 118kb.jpg
  • Both units in wreck sm.jpeg
  • Eagle window side sm.jpeg

Edited by larryqp, 15 August 2019 - 02:49 PM.

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2016 F150, FX4, XLT super cab

2019 FWC Hawk Shell

2009 Ford Ranger 4x4, XLT, Supercab total loss on 7/30/19

2014 FWC Shell total loss on 7/30/19

Towed behind our home which is a 2005 Kountry Star Diesel Pusher

#2 Cayuse


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Posted 15 August 2019 - 02:37 PM

Wow!  Glad both of you are OK!

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#3 Wandering Sagebrush

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 02:40 PM

Ouch! That is not what anyone wants to have happen. You’re lucky to have so few injuries. I’m sorry that it happened, but I appreciate your sharing. It’s a huge lesson for the rest of us.
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#4 Seattle Mitch

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 02:44 PM

Glad you are both okay. Good luck on the next build.
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#5 hebegebe


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Posted 15 August 2019 - 02:49 PM

Lucky Larry!!!!!!!
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#6 WjColdWater


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Posted 15 August 2019 - 03:49 PM

You guys are very fortunate to come out in ok shape! Thanks for sharing and better luck with the future rig.
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#7 Vic Harder

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 04:20 PM

“not being able to show off the build” is the worst that happened? great attitude and good fortune! glad you are OK!
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#8 CougarCouple


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Posted 15 August 2019 - 05:32 PM

Well sir’s looks like y’all did everything right, and we’re handsomely rewarded. Good to hear you are OK.


Edited by CougarCouple, 15 August 2019 - 05:32 PM.

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F250 extended cab, Cougar from ATC. You guys rock thank you!

#9 Casa Escarlata Robles Too

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 05:59 PM

Yes glad no serious injuries.


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#10 Smokecreek1


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Posted 15 August 2019 - 06:50 PM

Wow, you made it out okay, and getting ready for more adventurers! Never a boring moment when you own a pop-up camper!



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