Lesson

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rpmhart333

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LESSON

This is going to be a long post, so be forewarned; it won't be 'War and Peace', but it might edge toward 'The Great Gatsby' in length. It's the old story: give an old man a keyboard and he'll try to write about a room full of monkeys with typewriters...or whatever that old story is.


My presence on the Forum is not because it reflects my situation but the fact my wife and I took a cross-country van trip some years ago and this was the source of much of my information. Staying here rather than moving to one that's accurate, living in a park model with an old Class C in storage that'll become my Unabomber Cabin if my late-stage ALZ wife passes before me...well, that's because my belief in Voluntary Simplicity deems it the best place to be: if one thinks Simple, Small is the mindset to embrace, and there are few living spaces smaller than a van. Despite the way society seems to be going, actually living IN a shopping cart isn't in my knowledge base...but give it a few years at the rate we're going? There might actually BE a Cart Forum.

(got some ideas for that if the petrol runs out or becomes so expensive that we're all immobilized, but...maybe later for that discussion)

My purpose here is a cautionary tale.

This home is in a stable small-town park--mostly elder residents, a few Viet Vets like me, to give an era to it--and one of my "pals" here is a 50ish fellow that seems rather bi-polar (not my nature to pry)...whose not-terribly old (2015ish) Class A went up in flames and the ferocious explosion of at least one propane tank a couple of nights ago. He kept a nice rig and a nice area around it, but the fire was so ferocious that it totalled out the next-door neighbor, too.

He wasn't there at the time but his beloved cat was. And that's what's hurting him most of all.

Our hope is that since he leaves the door open the cat was able to claw through the fiberglass screen and escape and has been driven into the woods by the destruction of its home...especially because of the explosion(s) involved, but it's a wide area to search and his home is a 2/3-consumed shell down to the chassis, so about all we can do is hope that Booby returns and lifts his spirits.

(no, we don't know how it got that name; she looks neither like a waterfowl nor a mammary. there may be another explanation altogether. perhaps the old term for a Dunce. and 'Bubbie' means Grandmother in Yiddish, for example.)

The Lesson to which was referred to--if you haven't already guessed--is that he let himself become seduced by the stability and security of the park in his four-years-or-so here and let his insurance lapse, so now he's without even clothes or his celphone; his only possession left is his nearly-as-beloved Harley, which he'll now have to sell to keep himself off the street; he has no family we know of, and we're uncertain if he can even work.

He's not catatonic, but is shell-shocked.

So...advice to all of you, most of whom don't need it, but a reinforcement of a wake-up call...PREPARE. The End Times are always near, and Dame (or Damn) Fortune is always there with the cold steel suppository to wake you up.

(that last sentence may be a little overboard. if a re-read leaves it in here, blame it on my creeping senility. or Albino Brain Chiggers.)

Peace upon all your houses, movin' or sittin' still, and all your beloveds.
 

WanderingRose

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Letting insurance lapse is what I would call “daring the devil”.

I’m sorry for your friend, and hope the Red Cross or other such entity provide him with some help with basic needs until he can get back on his feet.
 
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Carla618

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Sorry about your neighbor. Another lesson could be from knowing the cause of the fire. Perhaps it could have been prevented? Maybe some neighbors could discuss starting a gofundme for him?
 

Solarcoast

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Great cautionary tale. My greatest fear is not to loose my vehicle/home but to loose my cat. Can't get insurance for that. Because of the cat I am far more careful than I would otherwise have been. Three smoke alarms of different brands all within 5yrs old spread around the truck. Two carbon monoxide detectors of different brands.

All my wire runs are way oversized for the current they carry and have very conservative breakers and fuses. The box area that contains most of the solar components is lined with hardy board in case something does catch fire. None of the wiring is ran inside the walls or ceiling it's all ran in a wire chase. No propane or propane appliances inside the truck.

So sorry to hear about this man's misfortune, I hope he is able to rebuild his life after this.
 

bullfrog

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Even if he had insurance with today’s prices he would be lucky to replace it with an insurance settlement alone. We have not insured our old motorhome for many years as it is permanently parked but before we did that we made sure we had a big enough emergency fund to replace it, it wouldn’t be worth much anyway. As we live simply the goal is being able to survive with just a simple back pack and a few bags, if the motorhome did burn we hopefully would be able to grab the fire extinguisher and go bag that stays ready at the foot of the bed and be on our way to storage to get our plan “B” living arrangement. Should our go bag be lost we would be on our way to our safe deposit box as well to make additional copies of important documents at least the ones not stored in our phone and tap our emergency fund. Our motorhome is simply a place to shelter. We actually shelter in several places over the course of a year. Lots of seasonal workers move from job to job that supply housing and simply camp between jobs. Even at 71 years old with a worn out body I manage to find simple seasonal jobs with some form of housing. My wife at 65 years old is in worse physical shape but still working. If we couldn’t then we could still volunteer for a place to stay. That doesn’t mean we haven’t been saving and planning for the day we get to a point we need a different amount of assistance. Just because you gain the benefits of living cheaply in an RV doesn’t allow you to stop trying to better your situation. It just allows you the flexibility to go find better things and make the most of them. There are lots of opportunities out there. If all you have is a back pack and a bike you are still a lot better off than many. Personally I would get on the bike and go find them rather than sell it and wait for the bills to come due. Hope your neighbor snaps out of remorse of his loss and finds his way forward. Best wishes to him. Homes On Wheels Alliance may be able to help as well. Everyone needs to be thinking of what if and doing the best they can with what resources they have.
 
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maki2

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There is no propane in my rig to explode. Not in the least inconvenienced living without it. There are plenty of reliable alternatives for refrigeration, heat and cooking.
 

NctryBen

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Only a couple years ago I was on a call for a burning Semi. Started with an axle, then tires... I grabbed the engine/ pumper truck and headed expecting the tender ( truck with water) to be close behind. Well, it didn’t start... and mutual aid wasn’t called quick enough so my measly 500 gallons of water as careful as I was would eventually run out. When I initially arrived, the cab was already engulfed. That fire spread fast. The fuel tanks blowing was then the biggest concern. I wasn’t to far away when they did. It was a nightmare to say the least.
We can speculate causes and whatever... No matter what we heat, cook or otherwise with there are issues. We all do our best to avoid the worst nightmare of loosing our homes. I pray this man can get back on his feet. Get back into a decent home. It is definitely an experience that will always be in the back of his mind.
As I travel I come upon spots much like left from the burning truck I experienced. I can’t describe how that morning effected me. The helpless feeling of a truck burning so hot that by the time we did have water it only made it worse. All we could do is protect the woods from lighting up and keeping the road shut down. Fire safety is huge... especially with the colder weather and our need to heat our homes on wheels. Good post sir... I hope this veteran is treated kindly and well. And this post open our eyes some of the possibilities of what could happen in an instant.
 

RoamerRV428

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So sorry for this situation! Terrible.

But like bullfrog said it isn't just having insurance it is making sure what ya got fits the situation. One has to keep that in mind also. As much as one hates ins., when ya need it ya need it. Good lesson, don't lapse insurances! I know I would never take that path.
 
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