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
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
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