My friends, longtime RV columnists and speakers Joe and Vickie Kieva, call the chores around an RV blue jobs and pink jobs.
Typically the pink jobs are the ones inside the RV – cooking, housecleaning, packing when it’s time to hit the road. The blue jobs are the outside ones – hooking up utilities, pulling out the awnings, dumping the holding tank.
By the names the Kievas have given them, traditionally the blue jobs are the ones the guys handle, while the lady of the house is responsible for the pink jobs. Of course, this is a generality. In many homes on wheels, all of the duties are shared by both parties. And of course, there are plenty of solo fulltime RVers who don’t have anyone to help carry the load and are responsible for everything.
Dumping the holding tanks seems to be the most dreaded and unpleasant chore for many RVers, and I’ve noticed that it is almost always the man who gets this duty. I always wondered about that, and brought it up one night when a bunch of us were sitting around the campfire. “Why are women so against dumping the tanks,” I asked. “After all, aren’t they usually the ones who changed all of the diapers?”
“Yes, I changed all of the diapers,” one lady responded. “That’s why I refuse to empty the tanks. I’ve already paid my dues!” Makes sense to me.
I don’t mind emptying the holding tanks, though Miss Terry certainly is capable and willing to do whatever task comes up. I also handle all of the other outside duties, as far as hooking up and unhooking the utilities, checking the oil and water before we pull out of a campsite, etc. We usually hook up our Blue Ox tow bar together and run a light check on the bus and van.
Inside the bus, Miss Terry is the worker bee. Partly because we still have some things we need to finish building in on the bus, and she has her own way of securing thing so they don’t go airborne in an accident, and also because by the time I’m finished outside getting ready to take off, she has most of it done.
When we’re set up at our destination, I usually stay out of the day to day things. I think I’m more than capable of washing the dishes, but Terry says I make too much of a mess, and who am I to argue with her? After all, it’s her kitchen! So I leave her to it, and I stay at my computer “working” all day long.
(Here’s a tip for any newlywed guys out there – all you have to do is break one or two of her favorite dishes, and you’re relieved of KP duty for life. Fill the RV with smoke while you make her breakfast in bed just once, and you’ll never have to do more than make coffee forever more. Laundry? Remember all the reds and light colors go into the washing machine together! There’s another job you’ll never have to do again.)
Of course, once in a while I have to get off my rear end and actually do something to justify my existence. I carry out the trash, visit the neighborhood dogs, and hand Terry the tools when something needs fixing.
My least favorite job in the whole world is making the bed. One reason for that is because in the close quarters of our bedroom, with no slide out, it is difficult to reach the head of the mattress to hold it up while we change the fitted sheets. And because I’m basically a slob and Terry is a perfectionist, I always think that if the sheet and bedspread cover the mattress and the pillows are at the head of the bed instead of the foot, we’re done. Terry says we have to tuck in the sheets and smooth out the wrinkles. My argument that it’s a waste of time, since we’ll just mess them up when we go to bed, falls upon deaf ears.
So what is your least favorite chore around the RV?
Thought For The Day – Honesty is the best policy, but insanity is a better defense