Sunday, December 30, 2007

Learn from Others...

...and from others' mistakes. The cheapest lesson we can learn is from someone else's mistake, right? Because usually a mistake has a price. We've witnessed several mistakes RVers (or truckers) have made this year alone. Here are just a few:

Mistake: taking the exit ramps too fast. We've seen two tractor trailers flipped on their side this year when they apparently hit the exit ramps too fast. One had spewed his load of Washington fruit all over the roadside. The driver of the second truck was taken away in an ambulance.
Lesson Learned: It's imperative to listen to the speed limit signs. I even try to go 5 mph slower when in curvy, hilly conditions. Our RV when towing weighs 18,000 pounds - it takes a little longer to slow her down than the car. Clover-leaf exit ramps are that much harder when coming off the highway doing 65 mph.

Mistake: leaving the TV antennae up when departing. Many RVers have seen this one! But all it takes is one tree branch to ruin your day...and your antennae.
Lesson Learned: we bought a tacky orange diamond shape sign that we clip on the cab visor as a reminder when the antennae is up. When the antennae is down, we clip it onto the handle. Those are the only two places it is clipped so each of us can tell at a glance if the antennae is up or down.

Mistake: driving away with the electric cord still plugged in. Outside of the movies, we've only seen this happen once. We know it cracked the park's electrical box, and I'm sure it damaged the RVer's electric cord and plug.
Lesson Learned: the Last Walk-Around. One of us does a final walk-around one last time before getting in the driver's seat. Even after we're sure we unplugged everything and stowed everything.

Mistake: backing into a tree. We heard the crunch when a neighbor backed his Airstream trailer into a tree in his blindspot.
Lesson Learned: always have someone backing you in. They should be your eyes for the things you can't see in your mirror.

Mistake: driving away with your Toad in park or the brakes on. This was one of the most awful sounds we've heard, as the car was dragged on tires not rolling. We weren't able to catch this RVer before they left the park. Later we biked down the road and saw the tread marks lead from our campground and go for 2 1/2 miles before they obviously realized what was happening and pulled over. I would suspect that cost them four new tires.
Lesson Learned: we act as pilot and co-pilot with a verbal checklist to ensure we've followed all of the steps, including the Toad's departure checklist..."car in neutral, emergency brake off". It never hurts to double-check eachother's work.

By remembering these moments, we hope not to repeat them and since we'll be home for awhile, I wanted to make sure we remember them when we get back into our RV.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You write very well.