Thor’s Hammer vs. Gulf Stream

Tree Roof 401

Thor’s Hammer vs. Gulf Stream

5:30am April 7, 2017 .
Thousand Trails South Jetty, Florence, OR

Thor’s Hammer vs. Gulf Stream..!!

While science shows that Hugging Trees is good for your health. We’re are of the opinion… that a tree hugging you, or your coach is absolutely not healthy, and should be avoided.

Our theory was given a proper test early Friday morning. Without the warning of lighting or thunder, just the fury of the wind at work… a two or three ton, 90ft+ Hemlock Tree was literally thrown at our beautiful Gulf Stream Coach, hitting us with approx. twenty tons of force on the roof of our bedroom. Scary way to wake up.

Fortunately like Captain America’s iconic Shield, our coach endowed with the magic of Gulf Stream, deflected the force the tree from smashing our coach to the ground.

Like Dr. Myron MacLain’s “Vibranium alloy“, Cap’t Steve Rogers’ Shield, Gulf Stream’s technology protected this branch of the Rodgers Family. 

Well, you gotta find a way to laugh about this sort of thing… we can’t live in fear, we can “seize the day” and move forward. Besides, we are not personally injured.

The tree certainly damaged our coach, the takeaway is…

Gulf Stream’s unique coach construction and Creator insurance saved our lives.

Like Thor’s Hammer, this tree is unliftable by ordinary humans, it will require a small crane or other professional well insured removal, to prevent further damage to the coach. So obviously, our coach is going no where until Thousand Trails safely and professionally removes their tree, it is currently pinned down here at the South Jetty, Florence Resort.

Fortunately, we love it here and our coach is our shield, so no further safety worries are obvious. Though being pinned under a tree and dealing with the imposed accident negotiations does affect our income and it has been a stressful week+ already. Marileen has had some trouble sleeping since, likewise DuckBird. So we pray the matter will be resolved before the stress and financial burdens grow beyond reason.

Unfortunately, the damage did not stop at the exterior, inside the coach, the bedroom roof is damaged enough that the moulding around the ceiling on the passenger side of the bedroom came down. Likewise in the aviary, you can see that the roof is crushed at the corner of the wall at the bedroom / bathroom and the ceiling shows some crease across the middle over the bed.

The damage is enough, we fear that we may not be able to bring the bedroom slides in to travel.

Additionally, the damage to the corner where the tree is currently lodged is severe, it has cracked the shell of the coach and exposed it to water damage. (click the image to enlarge)

Likewise the impact destroyed our bedroom ceiling speakers which came crashing down on my wife and I, fortunately the speakers did not hit either of us,  if they did we would be fatally injured as they weigh perhaps 3lbs+ each (old heavy magnet style speakers).


A Thousand Words in Pictures

Following is a large collection of images. Turns out the damage is quite extensive. But if the coach were not built so well, we would not be here to take the pics and post the story.


** Every picture can be clicked to enlarge.

PICS – Exterior
PICS – Roof Views
PICS – Interior Damages
PICS – The Tree


Gulfstream – Built Tuff

The Hemlock tree could have just as easily fallen in any direction, without much but another RV to hit.

“Fortunately, it fell on our built tuff coach.”

Had the tree fallen west, rather than to the south, it would have completely destroyed either of two smaller RVs, clearly not able to withstand 2-3 tons, likely completely destroying them.

Both of these smaller RVs are owned by very nice folks, and it’s awesome they did not get hit. Praise the Creator for that, and our Gulf Stream motor coach.

The unique construction of our Gulf Stream is what saved our lives. Unlike most motorhomes and coaches…

Gulf Stream starts with a custom designed strong Freightliner XC-Series Motorhome Chassis, then builds a custom roll cage, similar to a Dune Buggy roll cage with more sections of course (see the cutaway pic).

This unique design provides superior strength and in this case. Even so, the tree also made limited contact at the intersection of a less sturdy interior wall, between the bedroom and laundry.

The wall of course was crushed, as it obviously could not have held the impact of Thor’s Hammer, it is merely 2×2 construction.

In the pictures below, you will see the interior damage is quite extensive in the corner of the bedroom and inside the laundry closet.

However, the roof sheeting over the bedroom is damaged all the way across, such that if the roll bar cage were not there, the tree would have smashed the bedroom roof on top of us. It’s most likely my wife and I would have been seriously or fatally injured.


So Now What?

Much of the damage to the coach is visible and the pictures below offer a fairly comprehensive view of the situation. But full damage to the frame is yet to be determined. In part, the Hemlock tree must be removed to see the actual impact area, and evaluate what can be fixed and what it will cost, etc.

a fellow that not so long ago worked for a coach builder took a look, shook his head and said likely the insurance company will total the coach as the cost of repair will be too high.

Of course we will have to wait a few days to see how that works out. Once we have the insurance plan figured we can plan on where this goes next. My wife and I live full time in this coach so we need to fix or replace it to continue our lifestyle.

Since we may have to replace our coach, it’s simply a no brainer, we buy yet another Gulf Stream, this one saved our lives, duh. Plus, we love it, see why here.

Naturally, I’ll be calling my friends over at Gulf Stream next week, I’m going to beg them to re-open the Motor Coach division and build us a new coach.

Why would I gamble with any other brand after this incredible test for quality construction and value..?

You might guess… Gulf Stream is a family run company that builds RVs for families. Of course this commitment shows when you survive a disaster like this.

It’s clear they designed it to survive the worst you can throw at it, even a 2-3 ton tree it seems. Our Gulf Stream faired better than many Stix + Bricks homes as the news shows for the same night in Oregon.
Not to mention, Gulf Stream has always gone out of their way to help us with any little thing, even the dumb questions.

They treat you like your a ten million dollar customer, at every call.

In a world where most companies are focused on profits… the team at Gulf Stream focuses on safety and quality.

We can certainly say we’re proud of our Gulf Stream, and we’re happy to be alive to say that today.  ~Many Mahalos to Team Gulf Stream.

see the news: OregonLiveIt was one of the harshest windstorms in the past two decades“, KOIN-TV6: “Wind topples trees, power lines” and KGW-TV: “More than 3,000 PGE customers still without power“.


Thousand Trails – A Silver lining..?

The tree hit us like Thor’s Hammer, at about 5:30 am, minutes later, the entire RV park lost power and water. So with nothing but 12v to work with, we opened a file on the laptop, and started documenting the damage to our coach. Who’s going sleep after such a close call.

7:45 am, we sent the damage notice to Shari Paulsen, the District Manager for Thousand Trails.

10:39 am, her response: “…submitting our internal paperwork shortly, and once that is received by our insurance company, they will contact you…”

more see: Updates Below

Thousand Trails offers a near perfect camping experience, one reason we recently upgraded to Thousand Trails Elite Membership. If only the darn Hemlock tree was cooperating with the same spirit.


Notes + Updates

This is an ongoing matter until our coach is first out from under the big tree.

Then we need to deal with the damages.

The following are related updates, research notes, etc.

UPDATES – Thousand Trails
SCIENCE – Hazard Trees
CREDITS – Sources



Mahalo for visiting…

Dustin + Marileen