I just keep staring at this picture. I am trying to reject this reality and
insert a new one but it’s not working. The biggest thing I am having
problems processing, is how the hell all of this work, the months of
blood, sweat, tears, heartache and success have ended in a course
of about 10 seconds. I keep looking at the air conditioner, as it was
wrapped around the pole, and wondering aloud, “There’s no way that
I am seeing that thing demolished. I ran the wiring myself, made the
bracket myself, and I was there when our friends helped hoist it up
But there it is, in a gut-wrenching mass of insulation, aluminum and
Here’s what happened:
We departed from our house for the truck rally in WPB around 4:30.
Traffic was out of control en route to the turnpike but it was at
a manageable pace and the truck and airstream were doing perfectly
fine. We got on the turnpike and traffic was a bit thick, but otherwise
normal for 5pm. Keep in mind that Abby and I had extensive
experience driving this 31-foot airstream on this exact truck when we
picked it up and drove it from Maryland to Fort Lauderdale. During
that trip I encountered the roughest driving conditions in Delaware
that included fog, hills, traffic, and wind.
We passed the tollbooth on the Florida turnpike and I was trying
to get the truck up to speed as you have much more control over
the airstream when traveling at speeds between 55 and 60 in this
truck. When you’re driving around 20-40 mph and having to apply
the brakes, things start to get a little hairy. A mile down the road,
traffic started to dramatically start to break and since I can’t break this
5000lb. land whale like you would a normal vehicle, I started to slow
down slowly but steadfastly. As we were able to break through the
bit of wiggle it tends to give, I started driving again. Just as I started
to get to 20-40mph, the traffic stopped briskly and I had to apply the
breaks again more aggressively this time as I couldn’t just speed up
to get it to a more steady speed, and she started to really shift into
traffic. At this time I didn’t feel safe being in the middle lane, so I
went to the right lane with the goal being the upcoming exit to get off
the highway and take another route until this traffic passed.
I figured I could give us ample wiggle room to speed up in the
breakdown lane if need be, but it would mainly get us out of harms
way, should she dip into the other lane. I felt her ass shift over to the
left in an obscenely wide arch and that’s when I knew we were not in
control, she was.
I waited for the ass end of the airstream to buck and reach the end of
its arch to my right. Seeing that it was past the point of no return, I
turned my wheel hard left and hoped that the velocity of the airstream
would whip it out of rush hour traffic and more into the cleared out
side of the turnpike. Also, I had my wife in the passenger seat, our
friend Adam in the back seat, and there were a lot of cars behind us,
so I wanted to make sure she was as far out of possible harm’s was as
I could muster, if you know what I mean.
As we were now turning towards traffic, I felt the airstream smash
into the sign pole and disengage from the pickup truck with an
ungodly POPTHUD and we were clear from the truck. We came to rest
alongside the airstream and perpendicular from traffic. We had done a
360, during rush hour traffic, with a 31-foot airstream, with 2 tanks of
propane, and a running generator with 5 gallons of gas. Holy shit.
We took stock of injuries and there were none. This is the bright side.
The downside is we didn’t have insurance on the airstream trailer, only
the towing vehicle was fully insured. We were not only on the phone
with our agent an hour before we left, but he drove by the accident
and witnessed it. Was this stupid? Well, we had an opportunity to do
a soft launch in WPB and we determined it to be calculated risk. Let
me reiterate: We were not driving without insurance; we just
hadn’t gotten the food truck insured yet.
What you can do.
Against my better judgment, I’m going to ask for help. We had 2
cranes and a lot of towing to pay for in order to get the airstream
towed away for salvage. Frankly, we’re broke. My wife and partner
James have invested our lives savings, and only 1 of us has steady
employment currently. We’re setting up a donation page that will help
us take care of costs for the airstream and then we can take restock
of what to do next. Honestly, unless I find an investor or some sort of
short-term loan, I’m not sure we can pull this off anymore. I’ve got to
figure out how to pay rent next month and take care of my wife.
People have asked how they can help, and the answer is with your love and support is all I need. For those who want to do more, here’s the link.
Onward and Upward,
More pictures after the link