Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
I read about other women in your column who seem to have the same problem I do. My husband knows just enough about working on our rig to be dangerous. Recently he was wiring our tow vehicle for lights. First he read RV forums for two days, then he watched a YouTube video, then he bought what he thought he needed. That was followed by two days of swearing, fuming and high blood pressure. He said he wired everything properly but he didn't have a right turn signal. Every time he hit the brakes he blew the fuse to our tow plug. It took him a whole day just to find that fuse. His name is Dick and I call all of his many problems Pre-Dick-aments. That annoys him, but we always have stories to tell after he tackles one of these projects. He finally figured out his problem. The right turn wire was shorted out on a sharp piece of metal. He was told by a fellow camper that he could simply buy a wireless set of lights that attach to the car trunk and not have to deal with all this wiring hassle. He never listens to good advice. How can I reason with him that he is shortening his life by frustrating himself on a regular basis?
--Hard Wired in Astoria
Dear Hard Astoria:
Go a little easy on your husband. I applaud him for his sticktoitiveness. Those wireless lights sound good, but you have to fool with batteries all the time to keep them burning. I agree your husband should chill out a bit and not become so frustrated. He should think of each new project as higher education. The more research he has to do the more he learns about each system on his rig. The guy with the wireless system probably can't find his wire crimper and butt connectors with both hands. Your husband now knows where the tow plug fuse is, what caused it to fail, how everything is wired from the plug to his lights, what diodes he used, and where the wires are run and secured. If he has a future problem he won't need a service technician or a bank loan to have it fixed. You are a lucky women indeed. I would embrace his adventurous mechanical spirit and support him with encouragement and praise when you see him pulling his hair out. I saw a similar situation recently in a New Mexico state park. A guy was trying to fix his motorhome furnace. He had it completely out and seemed very frustrated. He kept yelling, "I need a nurse." At first I didn't know what that meant. Finally I figured it out. Every time he yelled, "I need a nurse," his wife came out of the motorhome with another rum and coke. He finally discovered he needed a new electronic board for his furnace after just a few hours and more than a few rum and cokes.
If you want to be a referee instead of a spectator you may need to go to bar tending school.
--Keep Smilin', Dr. R.V. Shrink