Tuesday, November 28, 2023


Husband’s forgetfulness causing navigation issues

Dear RV Shrink:
My husband likes to be in charge of navigation. He controls the GPS, reads the maps, plots our course, and likes to drive the Blue Highways of North America. The problem I have is his disorganization. He never remembers to set everything up and have all his route information figured out before we shove off. We get a few miles up the road when he starts asking me for directions. He forgets to set up the GPS, loses his map and takes it all out on me.

I know he is just frustrated so I tell him to find a wide spot, pull over and get his head straight. Do you have any suggestions for a disorganized husband and RV pilot? —Lost in Lone Pine

Dear Lost:
I don’t know your age, but in the ’60s we were told not to trust anyone over 30. There was a reason for that. Studies show that after 30 a neurological condition develops called CRS (Can’t Remember Stuff). It’s like a computer virus that starts erasing the memory in your hard drive. Your husband may have a problem keeping his hard drive straight. Let him continue to be the Captain and the Navigator, if you have no desire to take either position. It sounds like his only problem is preparation.

Many people develop a checklist that includes important reminders like putting the antenna down, taking things off the counters and making sure the jacks are up. You can add to this list things like setting up the GPS, placing maps strategically, studying the day’s route and figuring fuel stops. It is easy to forget some of these things when you are busy making sure the hatches are all secure before takeoff.

Even if you think you know where you’re going, it is a good idea to double-check before pulling out. With bigger rigs it is sometimes hard to find a place to turn around. A mistake can also cost you a few bucks if you have to go several miles out of your way because of bad planning, a confused GPS dialog or maps you can’t put your hands on. Like the Boy Scouts always say, “Be Prepared.” —Keep Smilin’, Richard Mallery a.k.a. Dr. R.V. Shrink

Can’t get enough of the Shrink? Read his e-books, including the new Book 2 in his two-book series: Dr. R.V. Shrink: Everything you ever wanted to know about the RV Lifestyle but were afraid to ask or check out his other e-books.




0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe to comments
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Peggy Coffey (@guest_53628)
4 years ago

The husband does the driving, period. I navigate, find and reserve campgrounds, fuel stations, and rest areas. We both know the route and the plan in case the unexpected happens. We’re a team.

Ralph Pinney (@guest_53586)
4 years ago

While these are good suggestions, I would add that the passenger should be taking more navigational responsibilities. It will require some work and learning, but will greatly improve the situation. If you use a smart phone and /or a tablet (I.e. an iPad) you can learn navigation.
The other option is to start doing more of the driving and let DH navigate.
BTW, I really resemble the CRS comment.

Impavid (@guest_53557)
4 years ago

I had to look up “Blue Highway”. Found In 1978, after separating from his wife and losing his job as a teacher, Heat-Moon, 38 at the time, took an extended road trip in a circular route around the United States, sticking to only the “Blue Highways”. He had coined the term to refer to small, forgotten, out-of-the-way roads connecting rural America (which were drawn in blue on the old style Rand McNally road atlas).

Don Schneider (@guest_53517)
4 years ago

Have your husband print out a copy of all the directions the night before you leave. Then you will know where your going and how to get there without the GPS being on.
Then make sure the GPS is on as you unhook the water and power and you should be OK to survive another trip together.

Ronl (@guest_53511)
4 years ago

The driver should drive and the co-pilot should navigate. This guy is obviously a control freak and doesn’t know how to delegate. Both of these folks will remain miserable until this guy loosens up, trusts his wife and let her do her part. Or switch roles and she drives.

19KC69 (@guest_53556)
4 years ago
Reply to  Ronl

I agree. In a marriage, one person shouldn’t do it all. My husband drives and I navigate. It works.

Sign up for the

RVtravel Newsletter

Sign up and receive 3 FREE RV Checklists: Set-Up, Take-Down and Packing List.