Thursday, June 1, 2023


Important tow vehicle tip for first aid while traveling

It was a lot like a slapstick movie! Or so my husband says. All I wanted was an aspirin for my niggling headache. It wasn’t a full-blown migraine—yet. I just needed to take an aspirin and I’d be good to go. Getting to the aspirin is the unlikely impetus for this important tip.

I pride myself in being a highly organized person. I’m the gal with the mantra, “A place for everything and everything in its place.” So why hadn’t I ever considered that I might sometime need a simple aspirin while on the road? I can’t tell you. But after my recent struggle, my husband agreed. We needed tips for accessing first aid while traveling.


We currently own a fifth wheel RV that we pull with our F-350 dually truck. It’s a pretty big rig, both in length and width. This is important information, as you’ll soon see.

We happened to be traveling on a state highway in the middle of nowhere. Just FYI, all state highways are not created (or maintained) equally. Some roads have seen recent improvements, while others, well, let’s just say they could use some attention. I’m talking sharp curves, steep hills, narrow lanes, and little to no shoulders. Even some of the “improved roads” still await highway markings (center stripes, etc.).

The ordeal

An aspirin. That’s all I needed, but getting to one was going to be an ordeal. Of course, I first searched my purse. I found the campground reservation information, two Olive Garden mints, and the button that fell off my husband’s sports jacket last Sunday as we were leaving church. No aspirin. (So much for “A place for everything and … well, you know.)

The search

My headache had progressed so that now I figured it was going to require two aspirin. Not finding any medication in my purse, we had no choice but to find a safe place to stop our rig. (I knew we had aspirin in the RV’s medicine cabinet.)

The highway’s shoulder was nonexistent, and the road dipped up and down. We figured our safest bet was to pull over as far as possible at the top of a hill. At least traffic following us would see our rig in time to slow down and go around. We hoped. My husband set the brakes and activated our emergency flashers.


Next up, we needed to retrieve our orange traffic cones. I knew they were in the back of our pickup truck. I didn’t know they were stuck under the large blocks of wood we usually placed under the landing jacks when parking in soft soil or sand.

While my husband carefully crawled out of his truck door and gingerly sidled against the truck to grab the cones, I decided to exit as well. Seeing he had loosened and grabbed the cones and was busy placing them behind our rig, I figured I’d open the RV and get the aspirin.

Two steps

I took just two steps out of my truck door and slipped about ten feet down into the ditch. Recent storms had not only greased the long ditch grass with rain, but it saturated the ground, as well. I won’t go into the messy and embarrassing details, but it took me four tries to get out of the steep ditch.

Doggone steps!

My next hurdle was deploying our solid step system. With the RV parked so close to the ditch, those steps were not even close to solid ground. I was muddy and wet through to my skin from my ditch disaster. I slowly belly-crawled over the deployed (and useless) steps, up and into the RV, accompanied by my husband’s applause and shouts of what I hoped was encouragement.

At last

By the time I righted myself inside our RV I was way past caring about making a mess on the floor. Or muddying the bath light switch. Or embedding grass and muck into the bathmat. I was flinging mud like a mad woman. Hey, I was a mad woman! (Angry, not crazy.) I needed aspirin, darn it! Probably four or five, by now!

My husband helped me open the pill bottle and got me a cup of water. He lifted me down, out of the RV’s exit door and set my feet on a tiny patch of pavement while he closed up our rig.

By the time I clambered back into my truck seat I was overcome with laughter. I thought to myself, “This is why we RV. We’re making memories! We may end up muddy and wet and embarrassed. But, gosh darn it! We’re making memories!”

The tip

If you’ve read this far into the article, you may be wondering, “What’s the tip? When is she going to describe the important tip for accessing first aid while traveling?!” If you haven’t guessed it by now, I’ll tell you: Keep a first aid kit inside your tow vehicle. At. All. Times.

Do you keep a first aid kit inside your truck? Ever have any misadventures like mine? (Please tell me I’m not the only one!) Use the comments below.

And if you need a small first aid kit to always keep handy, here are several options.



Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh is an avid RVer and occasional work camper. Retired from 30+ years in the field of education as an author and educator, she now enjoys sharing tips and tricks that make RVing easier and more enjoyable.


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1 month ago

I loved the fact that you were able to laugh when all was said & done. We’ve been full timers for almost 13 years & had plenty of misadventures. , including a big one the first day out. We realized early on, if you can’t have problems, fix them & get over it, then being full time is probably not for you. We just had a misadventure with our tow vehicle a couple weeks ago. Instead of blaming each other for something that was probably our own fault, we did what was necessary & went on our way. We love our way of life & hope to end up living in our motorhome in a nice permanent park when we’re ready to get off the road. Safe travels to all.

Neal Davis
1 month ago

I’m sooooo sorry for your misadventure with the drainage ditch, Gail. I certainly hope that you did not need more than one or two aspirin once you were again safely ensconsed in the truck. Thank you for the admonition to have an accessable first-aid kit. Our rig is a motorhome and there is aspirin and Aleve in the medicine cabinet of the mid-coach bathroom. Two containers — one with medicines and one with bandages and such — are in a cabinet above the bed in the back of the RV. It is the cabinet nearest the entry to the bedroom. We also have a first-aid kit in the cargo area of our towed vehicle (a Jeep Grand Cherokee). Thanks again and don’t forget to add aspirin to the truck’s glovebox or console storage area. Safe travels! 🙂 😎

Last edited 1 month ago by Neal Davis
1 month ago

I have a basic med kit in my purse. I have carried that since the kids were little (the youngest is 38). Plus when traveling I carry a first aid kit in a backpack that goes in the tow vehicle, or back in the TT or on hikes.

Alan Lentz
1 month ago

I am not sold on the new step systems and your experience adds another reason to not entertain the system.

1 month ago

Gail, great story! (By the way, you didn’t get mud in the truck, did you?) HA! Loved it.

Bill Byerly
1 month ago

Laughed so hard i got a headache…now where did i put MY aspirin ¿

1 month ago

A video of this would have won on American Funniest Videos. Glad you were able to find the humor in it and enjoy the memories.

Glenda Alexander
1 month ago

Just wish we had a video of your “adventure”. :>) No, actually, I’m sorry this happened to you but glad you learned a valuable lesson — and maybe taught a few readers, too.

Edward Wilkinson
1 month ago

This should have been an adventure included in The Long, Long Trailer with Lucy and Desi. I will probably confuse you with them as time goes by, and think that it was part of that great classic!

Thanks so much for sharing in such an entertaining fashion. Anyone ever tell you that you have a way in telling a story? Great job. I give you an A+ today.

1 month ago

The visual of your story brought a smile, especially the greasy grass, Glad you were not hurt. Thanks for the story. LOL.

Last edited 1 month ago by Cancelproof
1 month ago

One small first aid kit pouch style in the truck, a larger metal cased one easily accessible in the basement of the fifth wheel and a large “fishing tackle box” sized one in the trailer.

1 month ago

Fortunately my wife keeps a WELL stocked medicine cabinet in her purse. Along with several hair care products, electronics, calendars, notepad, and possibly a roll-top desk.

Gary G
1 month ago
Reply to  Barry

YEP, If I or her need something it’s in her purse, reminds me of a bag in a Harry Potter story.

Larry Lee
1 month ago
Reply to  Gary G

That’s it! You have given me the perfect idea for the next birthday gift for my DW- a roomy canvas bag with Harrie’s Carry Bag embroidered on the side. I am already aware that ANYTHING will fit in it AND everything I need will be found in it.
Thank you.

Diane McGovern
1 month ago
Reply to  Barry

It’s always good to be prepared, eh, Barry? 😆 Have a great day. 😀 –Diane at

1 month ago

Yup. Towing headaches are common so we have a container of ibuprofen in the center console at all times. We also have a zip lock bag with Pepto Bismol tablets and Immodium for those roadside eatery misadventures.

1 month ago

For stopping, a long straight stretch of road would be the safest but aren’t always available. Also, agree completely on the steps; great when fully parked and setup but horrible in transit.

Kathy Niemeyer
1 month ago

This is why I have a motorhome instead of a trailer! Just pull over and walk back and get what I need. No worries about weather.

Glenda Alexander
1 month ago
Reply to  Kathy Niemeyer

Me, too!

1 month ago

Gail, I read this out loud to my husband over our morning coffee. It’s so funny! Thank you for brightening our morning and for passing on a very important tip. “Making memories!” That would be a really good bumper sticker.

1 month ago

First aid kits in both vehicles, plus a military trauma bandage in driver door of the toad. First aid trained, including CPR. Just hope to never need it.

1 month ago

Noticing that the linked First Aid kits contain NO ASPIRIN (at least the few I looked at), please remember to add your favorite pain reliever!

Jim McGee
1 month ago

Yes I do have a first aid kit under the passenger seat. Bad part about it most stuff in It has probably expired. I’m gonna check it out. My recommendation would be to try to wait for a side road to pull over parallel to the highway that is wide enough to do so. That would prevent the ditch experience.

1 month ago

We keep a first aid kit which includes all the things we need, especially bandaids in all our vehicles. When traveling by air, walking, etc. a kit is in backpack.

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