Saturday, December 9, 2023


Hubby worried wife’s “navigation” in RV will get them stuck

RV Shrink

Dear RV Shrink:
I need your help. We bought a 34-ft. motorhome and my wife thinks we are on the Lewis and Clark Expedition. She is an avid bird watcher and is building her life list as we travel. We are now in the desert Southwest and she has me driving down roads that I don’t think are designed for a big motorhome – we don’t know where half of them will lead. Often I have to unhook the tow car just so we can turn around.

How can I convince her this is not a smart thing to do? I don’t like conflict and it always turns into an argument, especially if there is a Mangrove Penguin to be found. —Tow Truck Bound in Buckeye

Dear Towhee:
Sounds like a great adventure to me. However, I agree – you could get into trouble if you are not careful where you drive. I have several suggestions that might help, and arguing is not one of them.

First, download a free Google Earth App. The pictures may not be current, but unless you are studying a new road it should be represented. Do a fly-over with Google Earth and see where the road leads. It will show you terrain, turnarounds, road conditions and much more.

Another suggestion is to detach from the “Mothership” and go scout it out with your tow vehicle. It sounds like you should invest in a Jeep, if you haven’t already. In the region of the country you are now exploring, there are multitudes of semi-backcountry camping sites that will accommodate a large RV. They happen to be in some of the best birding areas.

Let me give you a suggestion. I am going to assume you are in Buckeye, Arizona. Go northwest a bit to Alamo Lake State Park. It has great birding with desert and riparian areas. Camp at the park for a night and explore all the BLM camping options around the park and the lake.

Using both techniques I suggested above, you should be able to find a perfect site to bird, explore and hike, all inclusive with your camping. The park offers sites with hookups or no hookups starting at fifteen bucks and they come with world-class sunrises and sunsets.

You can also buy detailed maps of the areas you are exploring, but there is so much free information online, I would suggest you put it to use. When I hiked across Arizona I downloaded free topo maps of the whole state onto my GPS. These resources will not only tell you where you are, but also tell you where to go – before your wife does. —Keep Smilin’, Richard Mallery a.k.a. Dr. R.V. Shrink

Can’t get enough of the Shrink? Read his e-books, including the brand-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.




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Billy Bob Thorton (@guest_68111)
3 years ago

Put her behind the wheel, lower your deductible, buy the best towing coverage, and close your eyes.

CaptKonig (@guest_41546)
4 years ago

Buy a GPS which allows creating a profile for you RV (length, height, weight, etc.). Then let the GPS tell you and the navigator that it is not familiar with an area where you are.

Billy Bob Thorton (@guest_68106)
3 years ago
Reply to  CaptKonig

Hey, try that and post it on youtube. Wait, somebodies already did, its hilarious what a GPS followed blindlessly by the Darwin exceptionists can produce.

Robbie (@guest_41477)
4 years ago

Benchmark maps of the western states are a fantastic resource for back roads and well worth their price. Amazon carries them.

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