So here we are, 2.5 hours after I had exchanged my $1000 for the title to this cute little trailer, I get rear ended on 580. Remember The Before?
Getting rear ended with a trailer is really frightening. The impact isn't as hard as getting hit bumper to bumper - as my dad said "it's like a pillow between you and the person who hit us." With a trailer swerving from side to side, I can only assume it had gone the lanes on either side of me. Before I get schooled on which lane to drive in with a trailer, I wasn't in the right lane because it was an exit only.
After having the third top scare of my life (#1 was the 2014 Napa earthquake & #2 was the 1989 earthquake) and after the little trailer stopped swerving from side to side, I tried to make my way to the shoulder of 580. I dragged the trailer across one lane of traffic and sort of got on the shoulder. The sound is etched in my brain forever - metal scraping on asphalt. The woman who hit me had already pulled over, her brand new light green Subaru parked ahead of me on the shoulder. In 97 degree heat, on my dad's birthday remember, my dad and I got out to assess the damage. Not so good.
While we knew we had to work on the trailer to shore it up, this takes the project to a whole new level. Granted, she did some of the demo work for us, but...yeah. If anyone is wondering if connecting the safety chain on a hitch works, I am here to tell you it does. That chain was the only thing keeping that trailer attached to my car. Though I pulled over as far as I could, with the trailer off the hitch ball, I could only get so far, and the trailer was blocking that exit only lane.
While we exchanged information on the side of the highway, melting in the heat, waiting for the cops, somehow I kept it together. I was shaking like a leaf of course, but I didn't cry, I didn't have a meltdown, I didn't yell or become a crazy person. When the cops arrived, one of them helped my dad pull the trailer onto the shoulder a bit more while the other one talked to me and the other driver. I'm not sure what exactly happened, but she got spooked and drove into me. We weren't stopping, we weren't stopped, we were all moving, slowly, and she just drove into the back of my cute little new-to-me trailer.
She hit me hard enough that Enrique's hitch (see above pic) was angled up at his bumper and the trailer's tongue bent so far towards the trailer that the tongue jack broke the front window and the tongue bars crumpled the body on both sides.
CHP sent the other driver on her way when everything was documented, and then stayed with us until a AAA flatbed showed up. We chatted, standing on the side of 580 for another hour. Happy birthday, dad.
Silver lining(s): No one was hurt. The chain saved the trailer from hitting other people.
Next up: what is this thing, valuation, sucky insurance dealings...