I’m not sure how it happens, but it does. We can arrive at a campground and Miss Terry can back me into our RV site on the first try and it goes smooth as silk… if nobody is there to see it. But let there be half a dozen people standing around watching, and it will take me half a dozen attempts before I get parked, usually at an angle to the site, and only after running over the power pedestal, water bib, and at least one slow moving poodle. Okay, it’s really not that bad. All I did was scrape the power pedestal, and the poodle got safely out of the way. But you get my drift.
There are only two kinds of RVers – those who have done something dumb, and those who WILL do something dumb. So just relax, it’s all part of the lifestyle. We all make mistakes. The secret is to try not to make the same one over and over again. Throw something new into the mix, just to keep things fresh.
A couple of weeks into our fulltiming adventure I managed to ding up the side of our motorhome, and the only excuse I can claim is, Nick happens. We were parked at the fairgrounds in Torrington, Wyoming, and we were the only RV there. Pulling out of our parking slot, I turned the wheel too soon and swung the back end of the RV into one of the concrete barrier posts, breaking off a chunk of molding. The damage was fairly minor, but I felt terrible. I have to give Miss Terry credit, I know she wanted to cry, or beat me over the head with the handiest rock, but she just smiled (feebly) and said “accidents happen” as she surveyed the damage.
I was still beating myself over the head about the incident a few days later when we arrived in Moscow, Idaho for Life on Wheels. That was the first time I met Dick Reed, founder of the RV Driving School, who would become a dear friend over the years. Seeing my distress, Dick took me for a walk in the instructor’s parking lot. “Do you see that scrape there on the motorhome? That’s Charlie Minshall’s. I think she did that on a light pole. This here is Bill Farlow’s truck. He got that ding last week. And this one here is…..” By the time our little tour was over, I began to feel like the occasional boo-boo is a badge of honor among serious RVers.
Of course, that wasn’t my last mistake. I once pulled out of a campground somewhere in California with all of our small window awnings still extended. I commented to Terry that everybody there sure seemed friendly, the way they were all waving and pointing at us as we passed by. It wasn’t until I got out to the main road and glanced in my side mirrors that I realized what I had done. And by then there was no way I was stopping. The wind really messed up Terry’s long hair while she hung out the windows unhooking those awning straps!
But even on my worst day, I don’t think I’ve ever come close to the stunt the RVer in this video pulled. It’s a little over eight minutes long but trust me, it’s worth the time to watch it all. Once you do, no matter what you kind of mistake you make, you won’t feel so bad about yourself.
Have you entered this week’s Free Drawing yet? This week’s prize is an audiobook of Mountain Angel, the first book in my friend Suzie O’Connell’s excellent Northstar Angels romance series. To enter, all you have to do is click on the Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.
On the topic of making mistakes, I just finished a good book called Homeowner With a Gun, about a couple of gangbangers who made the ultimate mistake when they broke into the wrong house, and the far reaching effects of that mistake. Check it out and leave a review when you finish reading it.
Thought For The Day – You know who thinks everyone else is an idiot? An idiot.
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I have a lot more dings/accidents than you do, or you just itemized a few. Driving uphill on Peabody St towards Stone Co.courthouse in Mtn View, AR, I got several waves and a few gestures toward our RV. I waved back. But when I slowed down at the top of the hill, someone tooted their horn and pointed down towards our rear axle. Looking in my outside mirror I saw my electrical cord being dragged 25ft
Oooops: I corrected my forgetfulness but now I’m afraid/ashamed to go back to Whitewater RV Pk and check out my mistake. What if I pulled over the 30+inch electrical “connection pole”??
Whew….. I lucked out. None of my yearly rv neighbors ever mentioned this in the rv pk, so maybe I really lucked out
Yeah that video is worth watching. Some good laughs. I like Dick’s attitude and words of wisdom. My first boo boo was in Calgary, Alberta. I stopped at a truck stop. Dutifully started the engine in the Saturn and ran it through the gears. Put it in park and got in the MH. Luckily about 5 truckers stopped me. I only pulled it 6 feet. Number two was on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The right rear tire was low but I had no way to add air. We pulled into a campground that said closed but it looked open. Yep, it was closed. Took a wide turn to get out of there and must have popped the bead on the tire when I hit a curb. We stopped at an visitor center two miles down the road went in and never checked the tires. Went another 20 or 30 miles down the road and going under a bridge I heard a strange sound. Pulled over and all that I had left was a wheel and two tire beads. The rest was all gone. This summer we left early one morning and the wife set up the Jeep for towing. Then turned the key to lock the wheels. We drove about 18 miles and took a right turn and heard a terrible screeching during the turn. Then it went away. Half mile down the road she said pull over quick. I think she sensed in her sleepiness that she had locked the front wheels. The right front tire did not look like it was supposed to but was still drivable. The good news is that it took me 144,000 miles to make these mistakes and I hope I’ve learned a few things over those miles. Here’s to all those RV drivers that can laugh at themselves and provide some comedy for the rest of us.
Mike has put a few dents and dings in the rig, but as you said it part of the life style we live. I just have this funny picture of Miss Terry hanging out of the bus trying to get the shades up.