Sunday, September 8, 2013

RVing the dark side

Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
When we started RVing it only took one bad experience to decide I never wanted to drive in the dark again. My husband seemed to agree, but he has a tendency to make time and push the limits of our driving day. Recently we were headed for Anacortes, Washington to a county park. It was getting late, but we were only an hour from our destination. My husband talked me into going all the way, so we arrived in total darkness. The road into the park narrowed to one lane, took a hard left, and went straight up. We had no idea what we were getting into, and there was no turning around. When we reached the top of the hill it was a dark wooded area. Luckily an angel appeared. A camper stepped out of the dark and motioned us into a wide campsite, then disappeared. We never did get to thank him. I don’t know how to cure my husband of pushing the limits of light. He says, “Never again.” But then he forgets our bad experiences and away we go again into the night. What say you?
--Scared of the darkside in Denver

Dear Darkside:
I’m with you. We made the same decision years ago. Rules are meant to break. It is easy to talk yourself into pushing on when you get close to your destination. If you are familiar with your destination it makes some difference, but you can still have problems along the way which compound quickly in the dark. Experience usually makes for better judgement. Most RVers have found out the hard way that driving at night is not the safest method of travel. Our maiden voyage years ago ended in a gas station in Corbin, Kentucky. First, the owner of the station had to pull us off the top of an icy mountain in the dark with a wrecker. He told us we would be safe sleeping at the station overnight. His last words before leaving for the night were, “Don’t get out of your trailer during the night, my German Shepard will eat you alive!” We swore we would never drive after daylight again. Yes, we have broken that rule a few times, but usually we regretted it. So cut your husband some slack on having a short memory, we all have a tendency to forget the bad times.
--Keep Smilin’, Dr. R.V. Shrink

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

After many years of RVing, I have finally made some progress in getting my husband to stop earlier rather than later. My rule is that we start looking for a place to stay NO LATER than four o'clock. I have reinforced this behavior by making sure there is a cocktail and snack at the ready as soon as we are parked and set up. We have come to enjoy that bit of down time before dinner to just enjoy the scenery or to watch the antics of fellow campers and it offers a much more relaxed approach to the rests of the evening. He has learned the hard way that it is not fun to find and set up a campsite in the dark!!

Nick Murabito said...

My wife and I are full-timers. We have learned that driving in the dark is nothing more than an accident waiting to happen! We have rules for driving, and we stick to them as closely as possible. No night driving of course is # 1. We also try to drive no more than 200 to 250 miles a day. A 300 mile day is a long day. With this thought in mind, we normally stop driving about 2 or 3 in the afternoon. Actually, we try to start after the workers are at work, and stop before they are on the road again in the afternoon. Life is too short. Slow down and enjoy life. And that is another thought. Why do so many RVers have to drive so fast? I normally drive between 55 & 60. There are times that an RVer will pass me as if I am standing still. What is the rush?

Anonymous said...

We traveled 8000 miles last summer and found that if you are tired and still driving you make BIG mistakes. We mapped out our next days travel using our pc and GPS and then we know way ahead of time where we are headed and like others, try to get it done so we can get settled in and enjoy the evening. Sometimes just so we can jump in our jeep and go visit a great restaurant in the area.

Monica said...

I HAVE to agree with Nick! We tried 300 miles a day while going to Mesa Verde, CO. It was too long in traveling! We like the 200 to 250 a day! You can relax in the morning, have your coffee, get on the road, then by about 2 you stop. You can relax, either make dinner, or go out, or go explore what you've pulled into. We NEVER drive at night! Learned real fast not to do that again. Take your time people! I'd rather get there late then not at all!!!! Pleasant travels to everyone.

Anonymous said...

We get on the road after breakfast and off the road for supper. Since I have night blindness, we are off the road before sunset.

Ed Price said...

If you have more common sense than your husband, then it's time to start using that common sense. However you do it, you need to make it clear that he doesn't have the willpower to stick to a promise, so it will be you who makes the decision on when to cut off the evening driving. You can set a specific time, or you can simply say its now dark enough and he can find a place to stop, or you can make it a deadline when your GPS flips from day to night (which is usually about local sunset and well before twilight ends).

RV Four Seasons said...

Drive safe out there... Driving during the day is safer and you can enjoy the scenery! It's always nice to hear stories about good samaritan fellow campers.