It Can Happen To You

 Posted by at 12:22 am  Nick's Blog
Apr 102017

Ever since I started doing seminars at RV rallies, one thing that I have preached over and over is that both partners in an RV must know how to hookup and drive the rig, even if only one of them is the primary driver. As I always say, you don’t have to know how to drive or tow it clear across the country, but knowing how to at least get someplace safe should be considered a priority for anybody traveling in an RV, because you never know when an emergency might happen and you will have to do it.

We have seen it happen to other people, and it has happened to us. Just last night I got an email from a regular blog reader who said that her husband became ill and had to be taken to the ER. He’s going to be okay, but they had to leave the campground they were in because somebody else had reserved their site and there was no room for them to stay there. She was able to back the truck up to their fifth wheel, and with her husband talking her through it, get it hooked up so they could leave. Then she drove to the next campground. Good work, I’m proud of you Linda Joe!

I know that sometimes having your spouse teach you how to drive an RV can be challenging, at best. But if you two can’t handle it, get somebody to at least teach you the basics, be it a fellow RVer or a professional instructor like those from the RV Driving School. You can find them at rallies across the country, and their instructors are first rate.

When I brought this up in a seminar one time, a woman said that they had Sky Med, which would fly her and her husband home in an emergency and arrange for a professional driver to transport their rig. That’s all well and good if you have the time for that. But what if you were us several years ago when I had a sudden vision problem and could not see while we were driving on the bypass around Atlanta, Georgia? We managed to get our bus conversion onto the shoulder of the highway and Miss Terry took the wheel and drove us someplace safe where we could spend the night.

Yes, ladies, you can do it! We know many women who are quite comfortable behind the wheel. Just as Terry, who drives better than I do and does all the driving when we come to high bridges. Just as my friend Nancy Kissack, a solo RVer who drives a 40 foot diesel pusher all over the country. Just ask my pal Sharon DelRosario, who soloed with a truck and fifth wheel before she met hubby Don to share her travels with. Sharon is one of the instructors for the RV Driving School I mentioned above. Please, please take my advice and become familiar enough with your rig that you can handle it in an emergency. Because it can happen to you!

Yesterday morning I formatted the Kindle version of my new book The Gecko In The Corner and about 5 p.m. it went live and is now available on Amazon as an e-book. Thank you to all of you who have already downloaded a copy and shared my Facebook post about the new book. And for those of you not into e-books, I will be bringing out a print version soon.

Congratulations Dick Reed, winner of our drawing for an audiobook of Point Taken, the tenth book in my friend Ben Rehder’s excellent Blanco County mystery series. We had 88 entries this time around. Stay tuned, a new contest starts soon.

Thought For The Day – If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there’d be a shortage of fishing poles. – Doug Larson

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  7 Responses to “It Can Happen To You”

  1. You are so right. You never know when it will be your problem. We were sort of caught off guard by our mutual aging process. He has a vision issue, I have an arthritis in my hands issue . We had a wonderful Freightliner and fifth wheel set up for 17 years . Loved it to pieces. Well the truck had a stick shift and a pretty stiff clutch. We tried to imagine me driving because I can see and him shifting when I hollered …..we had a pity party ….and then we downsized.

  2. Got the book this morning.

  3. It’s happened to us a couple of times. Last summer I didn’t drive because of my eyesight. It makes a long day for the driver. We find if we share the driving things go better.

    We can both do the complete job of hitching. Some women just do the inside job, but the men need to to be able to do it too. I had the shattered heel and wasn’t able to do anything.

    If we both go outside and one does the water, the other the electric it doesn’t take long at all.

  4. Ladies tell me all the time how they are amazed I can drive that thing!! My response is always YOU CAN DO IT TOO. It’s not like you have to go on the freeway 65 mph right off the bat (or at all for that matter) … practice in a parking lot first like I did!! I know many husbands can’t imagine their wives driving, but EVERY ONE OF THEM should at least know how in case of an emergency.

    P.S. Got the book ;-)))

  5. Good advice. I agree.

    We are currently looking to replace a travel trailer with an interior that fits my husband’s height. He has to bend his head when he’s inside. Not comfortable at all!
    As we are searching, we wondered how a trailer is measured…from bumper to ball or just the box?

  6. Ladies, take that RV Driving School course. We took it in 2000 at Life on Wheels in Moscow Idaho by the original owner, Dick Reed. (By chance the same Dick Reed that just won your book?). The school charges for the woman and the man is like $25 extra. Do that too. My DH learned a lot and we had just driven across the country. Lots of tips and tricks given too. I’ve personally put over 100,000 miles on a 40′ diesel pusher as I’ve had to drive solo. Since he passed in June 2009 and I loved the life style too much to give it up. As for Sky Med. He died while we were on a trip in the middle of the country on a Sat. And they couldn’t pick up the coach until Wed. To transport it to Atlanta. So I just hooked up the car and got behind the wheel and 11 hours later backed it into it’s spot beside the house. I’ve gone through two sets of tires and new batteries and a host of different upgrades and repairs. So if I can do it so can you. Start by just driving in to your parking spot in the next campground, do some backing in when there is a nice spot to try it out on. Drive the rig out in the morning. Do it, do it, do it. We are all aging out! Safe travels. JJ

  7. I have been full time and solo since 2004 and met you, Nick, at the Lancaster Elks Lodge during that spring’s Escapade. Terry was out and about so have never met her yet.
    My rig is a 38 footer and before I got it the biggest thing I had driven was a Uhaul with a 10′ box. I bought my rig almost 400 miles from my home base so had to get it home myself. Did a little practicing in their parking lot and headed for home the next morning on a narrow 2 lane highway over a mountain pass in the rain. Once I got home I figured if I could handle that drive, the rest would be a piece of cake. I worked in So Cal for many years but just went full time on the road March 13 (not a Friday 🙂 ) and am getting into the swing of things, but YES gals can drive the RVs, you just have to put your mind to it! I would love to take the driving course but hasn’t happened yet mostly due to logistics and timing.

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