Monday, July 30, 2012

Junk in the trunk

Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
My wife and I are green minded individuals and take our recycling responsibilities seriously. Our ideas part company when the recycle starts to pile up and we can't find a bin to dispose of it properly. My wife insists we carry it until we find the proper receptacle and I tell her we don't have the room for large amounts of recycle. It is an ongoing argument. Often we have recycle in the tow car, in the basement storage and even in the roof pod. Help me, please.
 --Junk in the trunk in Tahoe

 Dear Junk:
 Recycling is good. You just need a better program. I know many national, state and local parks offer various degrees of recycling. Often it is only cans and plastic. Cardboard and glass are often not an option. Depending on your travel schedule, I would think you could find a recycling program in most communities, allowing you to jettison your load on a regular basis. If you have your land yacht anchored somewhere for a length of time and there are not facilities to unload recycle, your only option is refuge. Other than spending time compacting your stores to make more room I believe you must eventually loosen your load. Some garbologists actually take everything in one bin and sort at a facility. I think it is commendable that you want to recycle on the road but there are limits to what you can do with RV space. You will begin seeing more recycling opportunities at campground facilities because it is cost effective to break refuse down for many pick-up services. I would sit down with your wife and hash out some reasonable understanding of how much you can carry and where. If you're online, I would almost bet there's an App for finding recycle in areas you visit.
 --Keep Smilin', Dr. R.V. Shrink

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Avoiding the draft

Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
My husband and I share the driving time while traveling in our motorhome. We also pull a toad. We have different driving methods and mine seems to annoy my husband. When he's driving, I don't say a word. When I'm driving I am always getting his unwanted advice. He drives fast, I drive slow. It makes him nuts when I pull over and let other vehicles pass. We usually drive the blue highways that are commonly two lane. I don't like to hold people up while I sight see. I do the speed limit and he says I shouldn't worry about those behind me anxious to break the law by wanting to pass. Do you think I am encouraging people to live dangerously? I feel much more relaxed driving when I don't have a parade of vehicles following me, antsy to get around.
 --Pace car driver in Davenport

 Dear Pace:
You are not a traffic cop. You cannot control how the rest of the world around you will drive. If it makes you feel better to pull off in a safe spot and ease congestion behind you, I would consider that a polite gesture. Don't accept your husband's guilt trip for driving defensibly. Letting faster traffic build up behind you will only encourage some to take a chance to rocket by. This will involve you in their gamble to make a successful passage. What you do not want to do is feel pressured to pull off on some poor road surface that could cause you to loose control, damage tires or force you to make a full stop. Slowing while in the occasional passing lane often helps. Pulling over in small towns, historical markers and rest areas, also can help if you find a large following behind you waiting for the green flag. Tell your husband if he can't sit up front, relax and let you drive, he'll have to go to his room. --Keep Smilin', Dr. R.V. Shrink

Thursday, July 19, 2012

RV companionship

Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
I have been traveling my whole life. I have picked up some odd habits over the years that drives my traveling companions nuts. I guess that's why I am always ending up with a new one. Women like me but not on a full-time basis. From Steinbeck's Travels with Charlie I learned to do my laundry in a plastic garbage can hanging from bungee cords from the ceiling of my truck camper. At noon I add rinse water and hang out to dry in the late afternoon. I also save time by cooking on my engine block while driving. To ensure safety, I wrap my meatloaf in three layers of heavy duty aluminum foil. My latest traveling companion was a great gal who loved my meatloaf and laundry technique, but she dropped me for a guy with a bigger rig. She would never admit it but I'm thinking it was the fact that she had to shower outside all the time. She started complaining about all the windows covered with decals of all the wonderful places I've been. It's not like you can't see light, plus every window is full of great memories. I try to share everything I know about traveling and the RV lifestyle. I think of myself as kind of a mentor. It's usually when I pull out my blue "honey wagon" on wheels when the relationship starts to fall apart. Do you think it's me or am I just a poor judge of character? I'm working for a few months driving a train in Orlando. I just met a woman who seems wonderful and wants to travel. Should I give it another go? Let me know what you think.
--Wally in Orlando

Dear Wally World:
It takes all kinds to make the world go round. You just have to find someone that marches to the same drum you do. I'm thinking you might make someone a great catch. You cook, you do laundry, you shower on a regular basis, and you have outside interests like decal collecting. I know it's hard to teach an old dog new tricks, but you might want to consider eliminating the "honey wagon" and adding an indoor shower. You can never compete with a guy with a bigger rig, but you can try to improve what you have. They say there is a good woman behind every man. So keep looking behind you. I would also hang out at the decal display in tourist traps and spark up conversations with women making purchases. There are all kinds of pickup lines for that type of occasion. Life is one big numbers game so keep rolling the dice, eventually you will find the right partner, or die trying.
--Keep Smilin', Dr. R.V. Shrink

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

RV awning issues

Dear R.V. Shrink:
My wife is always insisting that I roll the awning up when we go sightseeing or shopping for the day. I have camp all set up and would rather keep things covered. We witnessed an incident last year, watching an awning blow up and over a motorhome in an unexpected storm while the occupants were away. I think it was a fluke and not staked down as well as I do. I also have a middle support pole. Could you convince her she is paranoid? I hate rolling it up and down all the time. --Polie Roller in Pocatello 

Dear Pokey:
I am not suggesting you should roll your awning up every time you leave your site, but I think I would err on the side of caution with your wife. An awning is nothing more than a sail on the side of your rig. Mother Nature has a way of getting your attention at the drop of a hat. I, myself, have seen several awnings ripped off. It takes minutes to roll one up when you leave for any amount of time and that same amount of time to drop it back down. If you lose it to a windstorm it will often cost you more than a few hundred dollars in fabric. Usually the hardware is bent and anchor bolts are ripped out, causing damage to your siding. You will also spend much more time dealing with your insurance company and awning installer than the few minutes it takes to roll it up.

--Keep Smilin', Dr. R.V. Shrink