Dumb And Dumber

 Posted by at 1:57 am  Nick's Blog
Aug 192011

I got an e-mail from a new fulltimer, who said she had totally embarrassed herself while guiding her husband into a tight site in an RV park where the rigs are only feet apart. She reported that she was walking slowly backward, waving her hands to help him get parked, and was so busy concentrating on the job at hand that she wasn’t paying attention to what was around her until she suddenly tripped and fell, after backing into a folding chair in the site behind theirs. She said the fact that a lady was sitting in said chair, talking to several other people, and that she landed in that lady’s lap, only made things worse. She’s got a good sense of humor, which is something every RVer should pack, and was able to laugh at herself once it was all over, but said that she really felt dumb when it happened. She said it was a great way to meet new friends.

I told her not to feel all alone, we all have our stories like that. And we don’t stop doing dumb things just because we get some miles under our belt and stop being a rookie.

A couple of years ago, Yuma, Arizona got a year’s worth of rain on the day we were parking RVs at our Western Rally, and I did the same thing while guiding an RV back into a parking site. The only difference was that, instead of landing in anyone’s lap, I landed in a drainage ditch half full of cold, muddy water. I think I’d have preferred a stranger’s lap!

Early in our fulltiming adventure, we spent some time at a campground in California, and met some very nice folks while we were there. The day we left, I unhooked our utilities, ran in our slide rooms and retracted our leveling jacks, and away we went. As we were driving out of he campground, first one person, and then another waved at us. In fact, everybody seemed to be waving at us. Some of them even pointed and waved!

I honked my horn and waved back, commenting to Miss Terry about how friendly all of these RVers were, and how we sure had picked a neat lifestyle. About that time, we pulled out onto the highway, and I glanced into my rearview mirrors, only to see that I had left all of our window awnings out! Of course, there was no way I was going to stop then, with all those people who had followed us to the exit to see us off watching! Terry said later that leaning out the windows to release the awnings while I was driving was not her idea of a “neat lifestyle!”

And most of you are well aware of the infamous episode in Bremerton, Washington a few years ago, when I proved that you can drive a 40 foot long MCI bus conversion up a hill so steep that the front tires are on the ground, and the rear bumper is dug into the pavement, and the drive tires are several inches in the air.



I also proved that while you can drive into that situation, you cannot drive back out of it! That requires the assistance of the police department, the fire department, a very large tow truck, the local news media, and a large crowd of onlookers!


We all pull dumb stunts now and then. And some of us seem to make a career out of it. The important thing is not to repeat the same mistakes over and over again. That gets boring. Variety, after all, is the spice of life!

I’ve got a good friend, whose name I won’t reveal to keep from embarrassing him, who is a very intelligent guy. In fact, he’s one of the smartest people I know. But that still doesn’t keep him from occasionally doing something dumb. Really, really dumb.

At our rally in Casa Grande a few years back, we had a lot of rain, and the ground was saturated. On the day the rally ended, this person, whose name I won’t reveal, decided for whatever reason made sense to him, to take a shortcut across a flooded area instead of staying on the road, which would have taken him all of, maybe a whole 30 seconds longer. I don’t think it was the same large tow truck that came to our rescue in Bremerton that showed up to pull him out, but it sure was a biggun! 🙂 Looking back on the incident my friend, whose name I won’t reveal, has all kind of excuses, but his wife Jan White, whose name I will reveal, doesn’t believe a one of them!

Stuck RV Casa Grande

A few months ago, while we were staying at the Pima County Fairgrounds in Tucson, Arizona, this same friend, whose name I won’t reveal, proved that he is versatile if nothing else. My friend, whose name I won’t reveal, was moving from one RV site to a different site, and unhooked his water and sewer hoses, but then pulled away without unplugging his 50 amp electric cord. It’s amazing how long those things can stretch! My friend’s wife, Jan White, knew I’d needed to know about this as soon as possible, so she wasted no time in pounding on our door to say “Come and see what (name deleted) did!”

Greg electric cord 2

Now, even though I have not revealed his name, my friend was a good sport about both incidents. Like I said, we all need to pack a sense of humor. In fact, he’s such a good sport that, after he reads this blog, it wouldn’t surprise me at all to find him under my Winnebago adjusting the brakes for me or maybe putting some kind of additive into my fuel tank, as a way of thanking me for respecting his privacy! 🙂

So what about you? Do you have an “errors in judgment” that you’ll admit to?

Thought For The Day – Mistakes often result in the best memories.

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Nick Russell

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  17 Responses to “Dumb And Dumber”

  1. I’ll share, because I am still beating myself up over this one. When my daughter was at college, she was in a singing group which performed often, and we’d take the RV down and spend the night. Lucky for us, there was a row of street parking right by the theater, and the last space had a bit of extra curb behind it which neatly accommodated the back overhang of our 27′ motorhome. We made a habit of arriving early, pulling straight into that last space, and setting ourselves up for the evening.

    This past spring we visited the town for the first time in a couple of years and of course made straight for “our spot”. I was driving, and I happily pulled over into the spot along the curb–not noticing that since the last time we were there, an electronic speed-limit-warning box had been attached to a telephone pole, and the box was extending over the curb. I ran the RV right into the electronic box, scratching the cab overhang window and catching the box on our awning support. It took some fancy maneuvering, with my husband’s careful guidance, to detach ourselves from the box without pulling it right off the telephone pole.

    Luckily the box was fine (I assume it still works, LOL!) but our poor awning support is seriously bent. We will have to replace the whole awning if we can’t find the right part. Meanwhile I have to look at it every time I get into the co-pilot seat, and it breaks my heart. Where do the police get off putting those boxes there to snag RVs, anyway?????

  2. On another topic, I thought of you last night as we were “dining” in a local pizza parlor. Across from us was a group of three families with at least 486 boisterous, noisy kids running around, yelling, and playing catch over the heads of other patrons. On the way out I mentioned to one of the fathers that this was a restaurant, not a playground. In return I received a glare and a grunt. I bring it to your attention because I recall reading several rants from you on this topic. In the meantime, I’m trying to recall if I have ever done anything dumb (LOL).

  3. If you have not had some kind of incident, you have not done it long enough.

    During my years of boating, I could probably mention tons of them including the one where I was walking backwards on the dock guiding our boat into the slip and proceeded to walk right off the dock into the river.

    Within the first month of RVing, we pulled into a parking lot to do a check-over of our motor home, only to have clipped the overhead sign with the air conditioner. After picking up the letters from the sign that fell onto the pavement, it was then I noticed I was parked in front of the local police station!

    You are right Nick in that people need to laugh as long as there was not life treating situation. It will happen.

  4. Which one should I share? How about forgetting to unhook the power plug from the box, no to common. I got it, the overflow! While dumping and flushing the black tank awhile back, I didn’t realize just how full the tank was, so while flushing with a closed valve, I step away for a few minutes. While standing at the front of the MH, I noticed water draining off the roof. About the same time my wife flushed the commode. The contents (dirty water) went everywhere in the bathroom. As I was cutting the water off and opening the drain, for some reason, she flushed the commode a second time with the same results. Needless to say, she wasn’t happy about me causing a Robin Williams RV movie scene with our RV. After emptying the tank, I took the unit back to our site and lifted one side with the jacks so as to allow me to rise the top of the MH with clean water.

  5. Our is like Marty’s, except while flushing out the black tank and forgetting to turn the water off, we didn’t spout out the top — just overflowed the commode. Two separate times. Twice is enough.

  6. We brought our brand new Montana home on a cold March night. ( We were still employed then but living fulltime in our previous rig) Since it was expected to get below freezing and it was late, instead of hooking our new rig up to the heated hose thingy, (my term) hubby suggested letting the water drip in the kitchen sink so as not to freeze amd he would connect it correctly the next morning.

    I got up at 6 in the morning to see both sinks overflowing with water, the carpet soaked about a foot into the living room and water flowing like Niagara Falls out of the kitchen slide. OOPS – hubby had only partially opened the kitchen gray tank valve! I was in tears, my brand new 18 hour old dream rig was a wading pool. No permanent damage!

  7. I would like to share one incident which shows that stuff can happen even when you do everything as right as you can.

    We were in a FL state park. We were given a nice site. Peter walked over the site checking it out. It appeared OK, nice and firm. He directed me into the site where I sank up into the sand up to the rear axles. Turns out it had been a tent site until recently. It only had a thin crust of firm sand, underneath was sugar sand.

    Naturally we attracted a crowd. We had to call our towing service who was able to winch us out. We got another RV site. From there we could see the old site. One of the people in the crowd told us that the week before a large fifth wheel had been sunk in up to its axles. He/she thought it might have been the same site.

    I watched from our new site as the workers at the state park brought in a tractor, moved some dirt around, brought in a little more dirt and some gravel. With the small tractor they leveled the area, drove around on it for awhile and then left. A trap waiting to happen for the next unsuspecting rig.

    We have also done some stupid things but I think I’ll stop there.

  8. I did the same thing you did with my tag axle gas powered motorhome in Florida. Luckily my son was traveling with us and he unhooked his trailer and put the truck in 4 wheel and backed me out. My trailer hitch dug into the pavement and the cop directing traffic threatened to fine me for digging a hole in the street.
    Than another time in the SKP park in Bushnell, I backed into the site the told me not to back into, and the rear end sunk into soft sand. In about 5 minutes about half of the campground was there helping me get out. Both very embarasing situations….but we survived

  9. Gee. We don’t have any of those stories. Right. 😀

  10. In his old age, Nick has forgotten some of the facts about the Casa Grande rally. We had already been waiting for an hour because of a long line of horse and cattle trailers coming into the fairgrounds for a 4H show. The line of vehicles was completely blocking the way to the exit, and a kid standing nearby said that last year it took over 3 hours to get everyone into the fairgrounds.

    A few minutes later a pickup truck took out across the grass and was out on the road in about two minutes. Then a Class C and a very large 5er pulled by a big semi. All made it through with no problems.

    The grass was hard packed, except for one slightly muddy spot. My undoing was that when I came to the muddy spot I slowed down. If I had kept my speed up I would have sailed through just fine.

    Of course Nick had to take advantage of my plight by using this on his blog.

    But then I get up every morning knowing that I can trim my beard with a pair of scissors without cutting my ear off, like he did . . . twice.

    Nick, I’ll check with you in a couple of weeks about that brake job.

  11. I think I’ve done it all. Drove off with the TV antenna up, and then tore it off on a tree. Flooded the motorhome while flushing the black tank. Drove away without unhooking the water hose and did about $500 in damage to the hookup in the water bay. My worst was turning the wrong way up a one way street, then trying to back up and jackknifing the toad. That required three cops to direct traffic onto another street to clear the traffic jam I had created.

    Did I mention that this was in my first 45 days as a fulltimer? My wife asked me why I didn’t just have an affair like other men did!

  12. And all I did was run over a fire hydrant! I feel so much better!

  13. Never make Jello in an RV !!!! end of story

  14. We were zooming along I-10 in West Texas when my wife noticed that our awning had come unrolled and was flapping wildly along side our travel trailer. We stopped and determined the awning was a total loss. I could have cut it off but couldn’t reach it. It was COLD too! The roadside assistance folks were estimating 3 hours before they could get to us. It took us at least half an hour to figure out that we could unhook the trailer and back the truck along side with me standing on the tailgate making me tall enough to cut the off awning. Yep, we just left it on the side of the road. Glad a cop didn’t see us doing that bit of littering!

  15. My mental lapse goes back to 1989, when I assured my wife that oh yes, we could fit through the toll booth at the Dallas Ft Worth Airport, in our Southwind.


    $750 “toll,” plus the embarrasment and the folks laughing and pointing.

    For the life of me, I can’t remember why we were driving the coach to the airport that day… we weren’t full timing then…

    Jim Bob in St Augustine!

  16. Thanks, all! I thought I had the corner on the market on dumb and dumber. I won’t specify about my Helen Keller method I used twice while starting out: Once to check the length of our 5er, and once to check the height. Like you said, though, you gotta learn and do DIFFERENT stupid stuff next time.

  17. I thought I recognized the friend with no names coach. Haven’t seen it since 2013 in the Codey area.

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