Thursday, February 2, 2023


RV Shrink: Divvy up RV chores; Don’t bite each other’s heads off

Dear RV Shrink:
We left our travel trailer in Arizona at a motel parking lot and flew home to Wisconsin during Christmas to visit our kids. When we arrived back in Arizona, a week later, we had a mess. Our propane had run out and our refrigerator full of food all spoiled. That is when the blame game started.

My husband said I should have thought about how much propane we had when we left, and I think that should be his job – I have enough to think about. Should we have designated jobs? I am better at certain chores than he is and visa-versa.

We are all cleaned up and over it now, but it did put a damper on our return to the RV lifestyle, and not a good start to the New Year. —Thawing Relationship in Tucson

Dear Thawing:
There are always going to be hiccups. Learn to roll with the punches. Not all relationships work best the same way: You need to figure our what works the best for you. Teamwork should most likely play a part. If you both have your strong suit that’s fine, but help each other think things through.

I am sure you both had many other things on your mind during the holiday rush, airline scheduling, and storage issues. Leaving an RV, along with all your possessions, should take some careful considerations. It often comes down to the simple Christmas tradition of “making a list and checking it twice.” That way, when you come back you don’t have to spend a lot of time wondering “who was naughty, and who was nice.”

Everyone has a different threshold when it comes to comfort level when storing a rig for a short period of time. It sounds like a motel parking lot worked out for you, but I would think you would enjoy a bit more peace of mind if you worked out a short storage stay with an RV park or dedicated storage facility. I recommend this because I remember last year in Tucson a group of young musicians parked their trailer full of instruments at the motel where they were staying, only to discover it missing in the morning. That makes a thawed refrigerator sound like a small problem. 

If you plan to leave your RV for short trips in the future, I would highly recommend a dedicated list, similar to the one you should have for everyday moving tasks. Even with that you should work together to double-check that list items have been accomplished and done correctly. Whenever I finish hooking our toad to the coach, my wife will say to me, “All five positions?” I don’t find this annoying. It makes me think about it, assure myself I did things right, and saves us thousands of dollars in transmission repair costs.

You continually learn from your mistakes. Adversity builds character, and senior moments tend to become monumental, which makes two heads better than one – so don’t be biting each other’s off. —Keep Smilin’, Richard Mallery a.k.a. Dr. R.V. Shrink

Can’t get enough of the Shrink? Read his e-books, including 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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chris p hemstead
3 years ago

Visa-versa. I like it.

RV Staff
3 years ago

I could have “corrected” it, but I liked her version better. 😆 —Diane at

Larry H Lee
3 years ago

Well said (or in this case “written”). Also, recall that difficulties are the things we grow on (and make for good stories later). Married 39 years, my wife has more than a few of those stories to bring out for entertainment purposes around the “campfire” (with or without wood and flames). And yes, we both have learned and improved our relationship throughout those years and trials, many if them in our 24 foot travel trailer (which partly explains why we have a 40 foot motorhome with 3 slides now).

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