Wednesday, November 30, 2022


Wife is a pack rat; husband is at wit’s end



Dear RV Shrink:rvshrink
My wife has a terrible weight problem. I am trying to change her lifestyle in an effort to reduce her weight. It has started to affect our motorhome mileage. We travel several months of the year and she feels she has to bring half of our worldly possessions along on every trip.

I have debated with her endlessly about the seemingly needless paraphernalia she totes along and never uses. It all falls on deaf ears. When I start in on a discussion of reduction she takes her hearing aid out and refuses to participate. We haul bikes we never ride, a sewing machine never plugged in, extra pots, pans and iron skillets that never boil or fry anything. The list goes on.

I am at my wit’s end. How can I persuade her to leave some of this anchor accumulation in port when we sail off down the road? It takes me several miles to get up to speed and I avoid mountain passes like the plague. —Lead Bottom in Leavenworth

Dear Lead Bottom:
With a heavy heart I read of your dilemma. Some individuals are born pack rats. I think you may have married one. It is my guess that you realized this trait in your wife long before you had a motorhome.

Carrying too much weight can be not only an expensive mistake, but a safety issue. I would do a few things immediately. First approach the subject from a safety viewpoint and not from that of a minimalist. Then slip her a copy of “Walden” by Thoreau. Watch the old “I Love Lucy” trailer episode with Lucy sneaking her rock collection into the trailer when Desi isn’t looking. All of these subtle tactics should have a cumulative impact. You may see your wife begin to streamline her packing to a more frugal level of organization.

In the meantime you might want to make sure your holding tanks are as empty as you can keep them. Liquid is heavy and emptying your tanks will help you balance out your wife’s perceived necessities and save on gas. Also, be sure your brakes are up to snuff. 

After exhausting all good faith efforts you will eventually have to say “Enough is enough” and start throwing out ballast if you expect to rise from this dilemma. Motorhome obesity is the number one killer on steep, curvy, mountain roads. Your wife needs to understand the gravity of this situation. You may have to put your wife on a Weight Watcher program. Stop at every truck weigh station you come across and point out to her your above-average scale ticket. It really comes down to health and safety issues. You need to balance this issue out before your next departure. —Keep Smilin’, Richard Mallery a.k.a. Dr. R.V. Shrink

Can’t get enough of the Shrink? Read his new e-book: 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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5 years ago

Maybe – before you leave on a trip, go weigh your rig fully loaded. If you are over weight, you have no choice,but to leave stuff behind.

If you are within capacity, but it’s still too heavy, try doing some gas calculations to show what it would cost with the excess weight and without.

And, if all else fails, If your spouse refuses to unload, refuse to go until she does.

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