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Old 04-01-2012, 07:49 PM   #1
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Default Truck conversion crash kills 5 in Kansas

Early reports are saying a truck conversion rv pulling a race trailer crashed killing 5 of the 18 occupants. Wow, they had 18 people in the rv? Looks like the t/c might have had three rear axles in one of the pictures. The trailer has 3 axles. Said they were coming back from a race event in Texas heading home to MN. No other vehicles involved as far as known yet. The picture shows the box pretty much disintegrated. I wonder who made it? I don't remember ever seeing a t/c with three rear axles. Anybody know more about this? I can't find the pictures I was looking at to link to. Anybody else find the pictures to link here?
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Old 04-01-2012, 07:51 PM   #2
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Here's a link with the story and some pics: 5 from Jordan, Minn., killed in Kansas RV crash | StarTribune.com
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Old 04-01-2012, 07:55 PM   #3
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I think the picture I had seen was misleading about the drive axles. Looks like the picture in that link above only shows two drive axles. But look at the sofa. Not much structure there.
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Old 04-01-2012, 10:25 PM   #4
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Long wheelbase on the truck. Look closely at one of the pictures. Did the chassis bend near the middle? Where it was stretched?

I wonder if the truck rolled over, or did it come apart because the chassis flexing or bending at the stretch as it went down into the ravine.

Must have been an absolute nightmare.
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Old 04-01-2012, 10:46 PM   #5
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I've been looking hard at this mess because I am close to ordering a conversion. It looks like the cab roof has been cut for a large walk thru or perhaps has an aero cab converted. Looks like a FRP type conversion or whatever you want to call the Renegade, Haulmark, Optima, etc style wall. Would the steel frame construction NRC, Showhauler survive any better? The answer may be in the trailer condition. Same old reasoning about seatbelts saving lives-keep the occuppant in the vehicle and they have a better chance of living-of course the vehicle has to remain together for this to happen. A shame for sure but there may be lessons in the outcome.
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:53 PM   #6
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I was thinking the same thing on FRP walls. That is the only way I can figure everything just came apart clean at the floor frame level like that. Any sort of superstructure framing would show some evidence remaining above the floor level. And the trailer structure stayed largely intact with a traditional steel frame walls and ceiling, while the truck simple came apart at the seams. Could have been a homebuilt as well, except we all seem to err on the side of overbuilt. I did see a youtube video of a home build of a 5th wheel trailer than had not one bit of metal beyond the chassis, the entire superstructure was plywood. My bet is on FRP though.

Good point on the cab cutout. I was planning a large cutout, and my only thought was how to make the hole to work well with a seal/boot. Now I'm thinking about how to reinforce the opening to make up for the lost strength. Should have been obvious in retrospect. On the other hand, would even an unmodified cab be expected to hold up with 40,000# of truck rolling over on it?

Any guess on how long that entire rig was? looks like a 30-32' (plus tongue) triaxle trailer, and 40-45' truck. Was it even legal? Was this one of those over length race rigs that we all wonder how they even go down the road without getting stopped? Could be part of the cause, those really long rigs get in trouble fast if you get just a little bit out of shape, like crosswinds etc.

Regardless, terrible tragedy for the family and our hearts go out.
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:17 AM   #7
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Newss this morning said the 17 year old son was driving and he survived. So the cab did it's job if that's right. I think the mom survived too. Wonder if she was in the cab. Said it hit the guardrail and went over. I wonder if he blew a steer tire? Remember if you blow a steer you should floor the go pedal to maintain control. Don't hit the brakes.
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Old 04-02-2012, 08:05 AM   #8
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What a horrible tragedy , I hope a full investigation is done, I would be good to have some insight on the cause. Be careful out there.....
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:13 AM   #9
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The other interesting thing is that the trailer is facing the motorhome, it become completely disconnected from the tow vehicle. Who knows how this tragedy happened but an investigation would be interesting and informative. BTW-18 people in a coach-what's up with that?????
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:25 AM   #10
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One of the pics made it look like the cab had a big cut out. But I just saw a pretty good AP picture that makes it pretty claear the cab roof wasn't cut.
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