Friday, September 28, 2012

A Scary Trip Across the Confederation Bridge

The Confederation Bridge is a 9km long, 2 lane bridge that connects Prince Edward Island to mainland Canada. Other than a ferry at the other end of the province it is "the Island's" only vehicle transportation link to the rest Canada, and yesterday we nearly shut it down.

As we started out to cross the bridge it was very windy but the large trucks and other RVs seemed to be heading out with confidence so off we went. About 500 meters onto the bridge our awning started to bang and shake. The wind was blowing underneath it and it was coming loose. Oh my!

Once you get on the bridge there is no turning back and no stopping as there are no pull off lanes. So we had no choice but to continue on. For 9 kms. With the awning banging and crashing against the side of the Adventure Bus. About half way across the awning itself started to come off the roll.

I read a blog once (I wish I could remember which one) about a couple whose awning came loose on a very windy day on Interstate 5 in California and she had to hang out the window and hold on to the awning until her husband was able to pull off the road. I had visions of doing the same thing for 5 kms on the bridge - a very scary prospect.

Meanwhile, Arch had visions of shutting down the bridge when the awning blew off. He drove very slowly and adjusted the passenger side mirror so he could watch the awning. The cars behind us could see what was happening and gave us lots of distance and we kept going - creeping along at about 50 km/hr. And we made it! Thank heavens!

We pulled in to the Tourist Information Centre at the exit to inspect the damage and see what our situation was. The force of the wind had broken one of the clips holding the awning in place and about 25% of the awning had come off the roll. We were struggling to get to get everything back together - Arch on the roof and me down below, when a man who could see we were struggling and stopped to help. His assistance was just what we needed and within 5 minutes everything was back in place. Except the awning was still partially off the roll.

Today Arch will try to fix that and design a back up system to hold the awning in place if this ever happens again. Any suggestions?

Other than that our trip to PEI was great - I will do a blog post about that later.


  1. Get to an RV repair shop. Awning repairs are tricky - getting the right tension and security.

    1. I think you are right. A couple of people have suggested that, in addition to the "factory installed" system we should also have a back up one that we can install ourselves. Some sort of a tie-down I guess.

  2. How scary!!! we've traveled that bridge many time without incident...but it was never during a windy period..usually they close it when the wind is bad often in the winter months due to winds snow and visibility...glad you made it safe and sound...being in the RV sure put you higher up..whereas the cars travelling wouldn't even notice the wind...good luck hope the repairs are minor...

    1. It was scary Elaine. But, the cool thing about being up high is that you can see the water and where you are going whereas the folks in cars can't.


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