Tuesday, November 28, 2023


RV Shrink: Teamwork important during “senior moments”

Dear RV Shrink:
I’m starting to worry about my co-pilot. After going over our departure checklist she sat down in her seat and seemed ready to roll. The problem was the slides were still out and the jacks were still down. It bothered her more than me that she forgot. I usually do the outside chores while she readies the inside. Do you think I should take over all the departure duties? I’m hoping it was just a senior moment. —Forgot to Remember in Freeport

Dear Forgot:
Teamwork is your answer. We all have senior moments. Often it is just a matter of not being in the now, thinking of some other issue, or perhaps worry. Besides the checklist you should be double-checking each other.

Whenever I come in from hooking up the toad, my wife will ask “all five positions?” – to make sure I have set everything correctly in the vehicle for towing. We both have our usual chores, but we also question each other if there is any doubt.

Forgetfulness can be very expensive. You will get so much better mileage with your slides in and your jacks up. The same goes with driving and parking.

A co-pilot is a very important safety position. Many people travel solo and do it all themselves, but most couples work together parking, navigating, setting up and tearing down. Patterns and routines will help insure you never forget some simple but important step when preparing for take-off.

Solo travelers are used to doing everything for themselves. They have their own routines. If you are used to doing things together, keep it that way. I have witnessed people hitting trees and post while parking or squeezing into a dump station because they were not used to doing it without their co-pilot. There are many other things to consider, but I forget what they are right now. —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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Connie VH (@guest_83371)
3 years ago

Checklists are the answer. Either type your own (add to it as you need to…spreadsheets are great for this, or find one online. Then laminate it.

If you don’t have a laminator onboard (and really…who DOES?), just take your printout to an office supply store and pay to have them do it. It’ll be worth it.

You can write on the page, checking off your must-do items as you do them with a dry erase marker….not a permanent marker nor Sharpie! You can then easily wipe it all off clean, to be used again the next time you take off.

I love mine! One for me, inside. One for hubby, outside.

It’s also helpful as I learn his outdoor job, and he learns mine. I like to write my notes on his margins, copy the page before I clean it, then add my notes to my spreadsheet of his duties. He can then see I’ve done everything, and I can cross-check him on the inside stuff.

Simple solution. And only for what it costs for the lamination. The familiar “DepotMax” store shows their price today as $2.49 to $2.99 per laminated page. Well worth it!

Connie VH (@guest_83372)
3 years ago
Reply to  Connie VH

P.S. I have also a hole punched in each for hanging together on a hook mounted inside a lower cabinet door. But 3-hole punching for a binder might work as well.

John M (@guest_83352)
3 years ago

I always do the outside and the wife does the inside. That way everything gets done and a lot faster than if you try to do it all yourself. Besides I don’t know where half the stuff inside is to setup. Has worked for us for 49 yrs so can’t see changing now.

Rita M. Black (@guest_54517)
4 years ago

I’m a solo camper, so I’m used to doing it all myself. When I get interrupted by someone offering to help or asking me questions, I can make big mistakes. My rear scissor stabilizers are a little loose,I almost wrecked my awning because someone came and said good-by. Also once I got my TT all hooked up and ready to go before I realized I left the hatch on my SUV was still up and could not be closed if I was hooked up, all because some helpful person volunteered to help me. My advice is that if you are ever interrupted during these chores, it is to go over every step.

Bob p (@guest_83350)
3 years ago
Reply to  Rita M. Black

The best way I’ve found is a checklist that I use every step in the process, that way if I’m interrupted I can go back to the place I was at when interrupted. It has saved me more than once.

Jerry X Shea (@guest_54331)
4 years ago

Interesting “timing.” Just took the dog for a early morning walk. Passed a couple just about ready to take off with their 5th wheel and they seemed rushed to get going. I said “have a safe trip” and they thanked me. About 10 minutes later I walk past their empty spot and their power cord was still plugged into the junction box and even coiled up below it. Whoever was in charge of unplugging and stowing the power cord “forgot.” Office was not open to have them call them.
We all forget, however, if it happens all the time, then it is time to see a doctor.

Wayne Caldwell (@guest_54318)
4 years ago

When we bought our travel trailer 3+ years ago, I made two checklists. One inside. One outside. My bride starts with the inside and, after hooking up, I start with the outside. Then we switch checklists. And finally, just before we start engine to drive away, I go around the exterior one more time. This may not be for everyone, but it works for us.

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