Extra Bunk End Protection from Falling Limbs

Discussion in 'Let me tell you about my trip' started by Straw805, Sep 9, 2019.

  1. Straw805

    Straw805 New Member

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    Hi everyone, my family just purchased our first PUP this summer and are obsessed! It has been so good for my marriage and my two young boys. We had a great maiden voyage at a local state park and then our second trip we decided to try a KOA for the kids. We had been there but 45 minutes when a giant limb fell and crushed the boys bunk end and pierced our roof.

    Everyone was ok but I couldn't stop thinking that if that had happened when the boys were sleeping, my five year old would've been crushed. There had been no rain or wind and everything above us was green and healthy- we couldn't even see where the limb had broken off from.

    Needless to say, I'm terrified to let them sleep under the canvas anymore! They are 5 & 2 and I had it set up with the mattress removed so that the pack and play was on one side of the bunk end and a toddler mattress on the other. I had them both sleep under the hard roof part of the trailer for the rest of the weekend. My question is, is there some type of reinforcement I could add to the canvas end to help protect from these situations in the future?

    I know it was a freak incident but I'll never get it out of my head now! I was thinking something like the metal end pole that holds the canvas up (kind of U shaped) that i could add to the middle as well just for one extra layer of protection against falling limbs? Does this make any sense?
     

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  2. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Well-Known Member

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    Anything you put over the ends will help. Tarps, Gizmos, etc. As you can tell by your roof, campers are built light and thin.

    I try not to setup directly under trees. Even then, a good wind can carry branches some distance.

    Hiking with scouts through some old growth forest, and a limb the size of a tree fell 20 yards from us. There was no sign of disease, rot, insects, etc. at the base of the limb. In Florida last year, a 4" limb fell on the campground road behind us.
     
  3. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    Sorry don't have any advice, but sorry that happened. I have been very fortunate that i never had any problems in all my years and I camp under trees all the time and in bad storms. A popup is just a fancy tent on wheels and there is only so much protection canvas can provide.
    I'm sure anything can help, you may have more set up time, but like you said rather be safe than sorry.
     
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  4. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

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    We are avid tent campers from back in the 50s-60s and been camping in our POPUP trailer since 2008 most often Creekside and a lot of these are off-grid.

    We do carry our NOAA WX Alert radio set for the county we are in and really watch the skies when camping in and around thunderstorms...

    In all of these camping experiences we have never had accident like you have shown here. Like said there isn't really you can do to prevent something like this except use common sense perhaps of your surroundings etc... Maybe look up in the woods where you are setup for dead limbs etc...

    We have vacated our camp site a couple of times when bad reports have come in over the NOAA Radio Alerts... 45-50 MPH winds is definitely time to get out of a TENT or POPUP TRAILER...

    I have seen a lot of folks have a hugh 20ft by 30ft tent cover over their whole camp site. This is what a lot of campers like to do camping at ELKMONT CAMP in the Smoky Mtns Natl Part at Gatlinburg TN... It is more for shade however...

    About all I can think of saying just be aware of your surroundings. We was at ELKMONT CAMP one year where the stream that goes through the Camp Ground flooded out and washed a few tents down stream one year. We was just one roll away from that haha...

    Like said not much more you can do haha...

    Roy Ken
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
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  5. neighbormike

    neighbormike Well-Known Member

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    Wow that's scary! Glad no one was hurt! That's always been a fear of mine, especially camping in wooded areas.
     
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  6. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    It , is scary. And i cant imagine what it felt like. I can say , yes accidents happen, and it doesn't have to be in a camper/tent under a tree. Plenty have gotten hurt or worse just walking in mantained parks. Im talking cities etc. I know that dosent help much. For how often it happens, i would try not to worry about it. But thats easier said then done.
     
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  7. StarSeven7

    StarSeven7 Member

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    That's very scary! My brother-in-law has always been paranoid about trees/branches falling on their tent while we're family camping and we always laughed at him because we never had any issues. Last summer we were camping and a dead branch fell on our trailer during the day. Thankfully it didn't cause any damage but we did move our trailer to get out from under that tree. This summer we were camping in a very wooded campground where there was a large wooded section in between sites that were in the "middle." It was around midnight and we were sitting around the fire with our kids sleeping in the trailer and we heard a series of loud bangs. I thought someone was lighting off firecrackers but my husband knew right away what it was and totally freaked out - it was a huge full-size tree falling over!! He thought for sure it was heading towards out trailer and our kids sleeping inside and I've never seen him so scared! Thankfully it fell the opposite direction, not towards our trailer (and it was far enough away from the sites on the other side to miss them too) but when we walked in there to check it out the next day it was definitely a huge full-grown tree! Now I'm much more wary and cautious of trees while camping but at the same time, I know sometimes it's just a freak thing and you can't prepare for it unless you camp someplace with no trees at all. OP, I'm not sure that there's anything you can do to reinforce the bunk ends at all but I don't blame you for trying to figure out what's possible!
     
  8. BillyMc

    BillyMc Well-Known Member

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    I know it's scary, but it's nature. You faced with a catch 22. Anything you add could end up causing injury in another way. If falling limbs are bothering you, choose site that are out in the open. About 1/3 of the roof on our house has been replaced due to a tree limb. I don't think anything you add is going to give you any meaningful added protection to a camper. It sucks your camper was damaged, but I'm thrilled no one was hurt.
     
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  9. tzmartin

    tzmartin Well-Known Member

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    Statistically very rare. I wonder if an extra bed bow placed half way would offer a little support. I wouldn't permanently attach it. Maybe it would slow down a falling limb to be the difference of a death blow vs. a concussion.

    However, most limbs I've seen fall more straight down rather than laterally, as your pierced roof seems to show.
     
  10. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    I fear this. I always check the canopy above us, but that's sure not foolproof. So scary.
     
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  11. MNTCamper

    MNTCamper Active Member

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    Well, first thing I would say is that looks pretty clear that the branch was dead - that is a trimming issue on KOA for sure, they should be liable. But you will have a lot more of that in public campgrounds. There isn't a lot you can do to prevent this other than to choose sites that are not under trees, in particular trees with dead limbs or go to a hardsided travel trailer. It is important to look up and assess the over head area of the campsite before setting up. Luckily this is a rare occurrence.
     
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  12. Ladiesman

    Ladiesman Active Member

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    Wow! Thats all i can say. That had to freak you out. Like everyone else said choose sites with out a canopy of tress overhead if you are a little paranoid right now. I cant blame you if you are after that but don't let it ruin something that you yourself said has been great for you family. You are now a little wiser and know what to look for in a site
     
  13. Dingit

    Dingit Well-Known Member

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    Well, now we're all going to be paranoid!

    You can get creative with PVC and make a roll cage type of structure inside the bunk area. It would have to break down for travel, but I've seen folks do shelving and bathroom units with similar setup time. In the future, you could use it to hang curtains to define personal space for the kids. (They don't need it now, but they WILL...:eek: )
     
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  14. BillyMc

    BillyMc Well-Known Member

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    Not me! Next month camping where there is nothing but trees.
     
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  15. neighbormike

    neighbormike Well-Known Member

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    I'm under several right now! [:)C]
     
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  16. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    We are ALWAYS under a bunch of trees. I won't camp where it's not wooded.

    As I mentioned before, this is something I've thought about in the past. I've been a regular tent camper my entire life (55 years) and always in the woods. Nothing like this has ever happened, so I know it's rare. Something made me worry about it two years ago or so, and have been making the grandchildren sleep on the dinette since then. I think it was an article about a tree falling on a tent.

    Other than giving up the pup, I just don't know how to avoid the risk. I absolutely examine the canopy, but that's not a sure thing either. After this post, I may make everyone stay under the hard roof during storms.

    Since I don't want to move to a TT, or camp in fields, it's just going to have to be a calculated risk we take. All I can do it take the precautions I mentioned above and then get on with life.
     
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