Thursday, December 23, 2010

Motorhome Brake Dancing

Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
Maybe you can help solve this constant problem my wife and I have every time we park our rig. It’s a little embarrassing but I know many other people suffer from the same situation. We both drive our motorhome, we both take turns dumping the septic, we both know how to troubleshoot all the appliances. We are a great team. The problem is, she thinks she’s an expert at backing up and parking the rig. She is always telling others that I’m terrible at it. The fact is, I just give better signals than she does. I can get behind the motorhome and maneuver her right into the tightest spots with good hand signals. When I’m driving, I can’t even see her in the mirrors. She is usually in a blind spot behind the rig, flapping her hands and her gums. While she’s back there dancing around I can’t see or hear her. We have discussed this problem a million times, but I still can’t get it though to her where to stand and what signals I need. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
--Brake Dancing in Denver

Dear Brake:
This is a huge problem. I hear this constantly. If you look around the campground as people arrive you will see this scenario played out time and again. Couples seem to get frustrated with each other when trying to work together to park, especially in tight spaces. I suggest patience. Armed with that I suggest a couple props. The first is very important--an oven mitt. Yes, you heard me right. This is most important. If the person behind the rig giving parking signals wears an oven mitt there are certain signals that will not be able to be seen no matter how frustrated that person becomes. This can go a long way toward keeping the peace until the rig finally gets parked. Another piece of equipment that comes in handy is a cheap pair of walkie talkie’s. You can often find them at second hand stores for a few bucks. Another problem I see, in a majority of parking conflict cases, is over politeness. Not between the couple but with blocking traffic. Don’t worry about blocking the road or holding up another camper. We are all in the same boat (land yacht). They don’t mind waiting for you to take your time and get parked properly. Just don’t let them help you. Remember, they don’t have anything invested. Your spouse is going to make sure you don’t impale your rig on some hidden branch, but a bystander may not be as concerned. The next time you park the rig make a conscious effort to hold your tongue. Remember, it’s in a slippery spot. Make a pact, no fighting over parking. Watch others and see just how silly it is, then put yourself in that picture. Your New Year’s Resolution should be, “I’ll watch your back-up, you watch mine.”
--Keep Smilin’, Dr. R.V. Shrink

##RVT794

4 comments:

mogul264 said...

One way is to have the 'expert' do the backing up, to show you how easy it is, and YOU do the directing! The 'expert' will soon find out how EASY it is to "say, but not do"! In tight quarters, TWO directors, preferably all with walkie-talkies, one rear on driver's side, one front on passenger's side, helps immensely !!

Dottie said...

Even though my husband and I both drive, we learned early that He gives the best signals and I take the best directions. My perfect backing in has nothing to do with me without him directing me. God love him, we do pretty well as a team. Who cares who drives as long as the job gets done and done well quickly. I get a lot of admiration from on lookers. It's great to know I am in good signaling hands. LOL

Dottie said...

Even though my husband and I both drive, we learned early that He gives the best signals and I take the best directions. My perfect backing in has nothing to do with me without him directing me. God love him, we do pretty well as a team. Who cares who drives as long as the job gets done and done well quickly. I get a lot of admiration from on lookers. It's great to know I am in good signaling hands. LOL

Anonymous said...

I have learned that no two people see the same thing, Proven by the fack that I have been backed into a building, I was driving, backing into a limb that broke a top window on the overhead bunk area, a long limb that was above my view in mirrors. Another was ripping off a phone line driving forward and again out of my view because of overhang on the camper.
I have no problem backing up motorhome with trailer, what I need is the second pair of eyes to watch for obstructions out of my sight, weather above, at the rear or any other blind spots.
Mickey