Jump to content

Riding in fifth wheels


floncto

Recommended Posts

Just saw a report of a toddler falling out of a moving fifth wheel in Helena Montana when the rig was making a left turn near Costco. The news report showed several other children who had apparently also been traveling in the trailer milling around the scene. The truck towing it wasn't even a crew cab, so I don't know if the entire family could have ridden in the tow vehicle. It certainly seems dangerous and, to me, irresponsible to have passengers in a towed vehicle. Just hope the little one isn't seriously injured and recovers. Please, don't let anyone travel back there!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hate when children suffer due to their parents' stupidity. I hope the little tyke is going to be okay.

 

We had eight people, and even with a crew cab we couldn't all fit in the tow vehicle. Our solution was to drive a second vehicle. Not very economical, and sometimes it was a real pain in the rear to deal with, but it was the safest option for us all.

 

Edited to add: And I'm pretty sure it is illegal to have passengers in a towed vehicle.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It depends what state your in whether it is illegal or not. Unfortunately some people let law govern whether things are safe or not. I can only say that because of personally seeing two 5th wheel accidents and the total destruction of the the trailer spread over a wide area that NO ONE will ever ride in a 5th wheel I am towing (not even the mother in law)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A year or two ago there was a link posted on another RV forum that took you to the story of a family who allowed their three children to ride in the fifth wheel while traveling so that they could use the toilet and have room for activities. On this occasion when the couple stopped for a break in a rest area they found all three children dead of CO exposure.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This subject has been cover time and again. As mentioned, it depends on the state stature whether some one can ride back there. I used to have a Excel spread sheet that covered the details of each state but can't find it. Some states allow riding back there if there was a radio communication with the tow vehicle. Another was the person had had to be 14 years old and could only ride for 2 hrs. at a time. Frickin' crazy stuff like that. Once when I was working as a night host in a RV park, A guy came in towing a fifth wheel. He pulled in and shut off his truck and I heard another engine running. He got out and clicked a remote to turn off the generator in the front bay. Went to the door of the trailer and unlocks it. Out came 3 kids, 2 dogs, and the mom. Holy cow! In my opinion......you can't fix stupid. :rolleyes:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've ridden in the back of a fifth wheel when we had to have it towed and the tow driver's vehicle didn't have enough room for DH, me and the dog. I'll never do so again!!! Other than walking around in a moving motorhome, I can't think of few things more dangerous!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Some folks have a greater risk tolerance than others. Some jump out of perfectly good airplanes with a parachute on their back just for fun. Others tie a long rubber band on their leg and jump off a bridge hoping it will catch them before the slack runs out and their head bashes into the terrain below. I used to race motorcycles in my youth - probably at least as fool hardy as the other activities I described. Is riding in the back of a fiver more or less risky than the activities previously mentioned?

 

I'm older (hopefully wiser) and more risk adverse now, so I wouldn't do it except for in an emergency situation where I had little choice. But if someone decides to ride back there of their own volition, who am I to judge? I've done some foolhardy things in my day too, like the time I joined the Army. As far as bonehead moves goes, risking life and limb, I think that beat's them all, hands down. I guess if you're not too smart, being lucky helps. If one does decide to ride back there might I suggest securing a good health and life insurance policy - just in case.

 

Chip

Link to comment
Share on other sites

. Is riding in the back of a fiver more or less risky than the activities previously mentioned?

 

 

Chip

I agree people are free to be as stupid as they want to be as long as they arent effecting others safety. The only difference in what you said above is that sky diving or bungee jumping is a personal choice. Unfortunately most of the riders in the back of a 5th wheel are children and the parent has made a poor decision on their behalf. I hate to see it but if an adult makes the decision to ride back there so be it. Don't roll the dice with your children.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree, but risk is relative. When I was a kid (and I'm sure you experienced something similar) and it was Friday night we all loaded up in the back of my dads pick-up or the neighbor's station wagon, totally unsecured and bounced and rolled around on the way to the movie. Our 59 Impala didn't even have seatbelts, let alone any laws requiring their use. Child safety seats, were unheard of. No one rode a bicycle or horse with a helmet, and few rode motorcycles with them - unless one was racing. We played football and baseball without helmets, padding or such. No one had a portable phone, and our parents lost touch of us for hours at a time, yet most of us managed to survive.

 

It seems that today we are much more risk adverse than we were then, both for ourselves and the safety decisions we make for our children. I wonder what the next generation will bring? Will we be afraid to go walk down the street without a helmet, knee and elbow pads and a GPS device? Even today few will leave home without their cell phone. Or will we simply accept the fact that no matter how cautious we are, that some will always succumb to accidents and a few will die. It seems that the Overton window has shifted to the side of caution and what society deemed reasonable and prudent judgment a mere half a century ago is foolhardy and irresponsible today.

 

Why have we changed so much in such a short time? Are we so much smarter and safety conscious today, or just more timid and frightened of our own shadows? Risk takers built this country and made it into the great nation we are today. We made it to the moon and back with 3 brave men sardined into a tin can, strapped atop a huge bottle rocket, supported by eggheads with flat top haircuts and sliderules, but with enough moxie to actually believe they could get men there and get them back safely - in spite of the tremendous risks. And you know what? They pulled it off. I think the heroic American cowboy spirit is now an anachronism. Sure, there are still a few hero's among us, but they are now the exception, whereas in my dad's "great generation" they were unsung and even commonplace. Sadly there are few left who will morn or even notice the passing of an age.

 

Chip

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Unfortunately, the law will have to govern until they start requiring oral and written exams in order to obtain a license to procreate. :o

And that is the bottom line. Riding in a towable or truck camper is tempting fate IMO. I often wonder about the intelligence and common sense of legislators. Even most motorhomes only have a protective cage around the front seats.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And that is the bottom line. Riding in a towable or truck camper is tempting fate IMO. I often wonder about the intelligence and common sense of legislators. Even most motorhomes only have a protective cage around the front seats.

 

Ray.. Ummm.. did you just say "intelligence", "common sense" and "legislators" in the same sentence??

 

You need to get out of the house and go camping more! I think the city air is starting to mess with your mind, brother. :P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Isn't it all about freedom of choice than relative social standards? When I was a kid, placing your children in the back seat of a car without any restraints was normal and socially acceptable. If you were lucky enough to have lap type seatbelts, an extra cautious parent may have told them to buckle-up. But it was the unquestioned right of the parent to decide. There was no policeman going to write you a ticket if you chose differently.Today you would be ticketed or even go to jail for that same behavior. Right or wrong, the state has intervened and removed this decision from the parent, valuing minimizing what was once acceptable childhood risks over parental freedom of choice. Why was it OK then, but not now? The same knee jerk reaction occurred with corporal punishment of children. Even gentile spankings ( a brief swat to the butt) have turned into child abuse, especially if done in public. Now I hear that certain communities prohibit children from playing outside unsupervised - the state will even abduct the children from their parents to "protect them" as if the state has a right to do so, unless it can be proven that someone is actually harming them, not just the perceived risk of harm above a certain threshold. Weighing a risk/benefit to children is quite different than child abuse. All we did when I was a kid was play outside unsupervised, yet we all survived! I think the state won't stop exceeding its authority until they exert complete and total control over our lives, removing our children from us and raising under the supervision and propaganda of the all knowing state who can surely indoctrinate raise them better than we can. I can understand this behavior in Russia, Cuba or Communist China, but in America? It's sad to see, but I guess I'm an anachronism for I value freedom over life.

 

Chip

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Isn't it all about freedom of choice than relative social standards? When I was a kid, placing your children in the back seat of a car without any restraints was normal and socially acceptable. If you were lucky enough to have lap type seatbelts, an extra cautious parent may have told them to buckle-up. But it was the unquestioned right of the parent to decide. There was no policeman going to write you a ticket if you chose differently.Today you would be ticketed or even go to jail for that same behavior. Right or wrong, the state has intervened and removed this decision from the parent, valuing minimizing what was once acceptable childhood risks over parental freedom of choice. Why was it OK then, but not now? The same knee jerk reaction occurred with corporal punishment of children. Even gentile spankings ( a brief swat to the butt) have turned into child abuse, especially if done in public. Now I hear that certain communities prohibit children from playing outside unsupervised - the state will even abduct the children from their parents to "protect them" as if the state has a right to do so, unless it can be proven that someone is actually harming them, not just the perceived risk of harm above a certain threshold. Weighing a risk/benefit to children is quite different than child abuse. All we did when I was a kid was play outside unsupervised, yet we all survived! I think the state won't stop exceeding its authority until they exert complete and total control over our lives, removing our children from us and raising under the supervision and propaganda of the all knowing state who can surely indoctrinate raise them better than we can. I can understand this behavior in Russia, Cuba or Communist China, but in America? It's sad to see, but I guess I'm an anachronism for I value freedom over life.

 

Chip

 

I agree that the government has overstepped it's responsibility to protect our young. However, it's not as simple or as cut and dry as you put it.

 

Surely, you agree that no parent has the right to submit their children to slavery, working in factories or other venues. Surely, you agree that no parent has the right to sexually use and abuse their children. So, you probably agree that we as a nation have the right to step in and protect your children from you. The debate is where to draw the line.

 

I personally believe that we have gone too far, but that's just a personal opinion. Everyone else in this country is entitled to their opinion. Obviously, the majority disagrees with you and me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • 5 weeks later...

All of this maybe the result of a generation of us that permitted the lame head officials in OUR government to think for us. Dim lights know better. Or, that is that what we permitted. Perhaps it is time STOP most of this foolish behavior. You can stop much of this behavior by CUTTING OFF THE MONEY!

 

Safe Travels!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...