Thursday, March 01, 2007

Fear Factor

No, I'm not referring to the TV show where you eat insects or are surrounded by snakes while people at home say, "Ewww!" I'm talking about why more women aren't behind the wheel of their RV sharing the driving and enjoying traveling with their spouse/significant other/partner/friend. Many couples check into the park where I work and not many women are driving. The women will take care of the reservation, the registration when they arrive and may even drive the toad to the site after it's unhitched. Then she disappears inside the RV while he (and it's usually a he) takes care of connecting the power, water, sewer and TV cable, and levels the jacks.

Why aren't more women driving RVs? Most say they are afraid or just don't want to drive it because it's too much to handle. They don't help with setup or breakdown because someone else will take care of it. And when that "someone else" is gone, those women have a very pretty expensive toy they can't play with. They sell it at a loss because they never even tried to learn how to use it.

Well, I know an 89 year-old woman who travels alone in her 27-foot motorhome towing a VW Beetle. She's been traveling for many years and is planning to continue to enjoy her life on the road until she needs to hang up her keys. There are women in the RV Travel Forum who drive and take care of their RVs not because they have to; they want to.

If you haven't seen the world go by your window while driving your RV and listening to music or the sound of your own breathing, you haven't truly appreciated what traveling in an RV can mean. As the ad says, "Just do it."

20 comments:

  1. I try and have my DW drive a bit on each trip. I usually do most of the driving because I'm a Teamster and have more wheel time in a big truck, and I know where we're going and rarely look at a map. My DW is, uh, directionally challenged. Still, when you travel as a couple, as a team, both of you need to be able to drive.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I drive our MH 99.9% of the time - my husband can drive it but doesn't feel comfortable doing so because of it's length and width (and it's only 29' - wait til we get the 40' DP for full-timing!)
    I also do all of the hookups and the regular maintenance. But he cooks breakfast!! I'm very comfortable driving and I find it relaxing. I think more women would drive if they just tried it!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I don't particularly enjoy long distance driving, whether it's our car or our RV. My hubby likes it a lot more. So he does most of the driving. Most, not all. I also have made it my business to learn how the rest of the motor home functions, because, as Joe suggested, when you travel as a couple you both need to be able to do what needs to be done.

    Pamela

    ReplyDelete
  4. My wife has no wish to drive our motorhome. She is scared to death and I appreciate that. She has her duties and I have mine and we are very happy with that set up.

    Scott

    ReplyDelete
  5. I drive almost the same amount of time that Kate mentioned above. I have studied RV'ing websites, forums and have downloaded tons of information about RV's. I actually have purchased a different truck and was able to figure out how to make my old hitch work with the new truck and gave dimensions etc to the welder, he was amazed I knew as much as I did for the trailer to be level to the truck.

    I love towing our travel trailer, my husband is somewhat uncomfortable about the length as well. We work good as a team, he directs me back into our spaces through walkie talkies and we 'get her done' that way! WE both double check the hitch hook up and make sure vents, doors, levelers, blocks etc are secure before we leave a campsite. It is nice to know that more and more women are taking advantage of learning to RV. I know it has opened up a whole new world to me!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sould you see a woman with long, silver hair driving a Coachman Class C, it's me! Smile and wave, please. Granted, you'll have to look quick right now because Rich is a miserable rider. Having him drive obviates fussing and fuming. I do the set-up and breakdown inside because Rich has in-house hot flashes. We do trade off when it comes to double checking each other's work. However, should he have the bad taste to get sick or leave me, you'll see me a lot. I'm making a list of the state and national parks I'm going to check for volunteer situations. Just please keep smiling and waving. Rich says, "Harumph."

    ReplyDelete
  7. I wish my wife would do some of the driving. I can't look at any of the beautiful country. I feel cheated. She is also directionly challenged. I hate having a navigator that can't navigate.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I had to laugh at Joe's comment since that fit this driving team to a "T" except for the Teamster part. I was a pilot, and pilots just hate to have someone else at the controls. However, all co-pilots should have SOME hands on time. My co-pilot has also learned how to handle all departure and arrival tasks so that I feel confident that she will be able to continue traveling after I pass on or , heaven forbid, am no longer able to be at the controls.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I do 100% of the drivingof our 20' Class A, can't talk wife into even trying. She is more comfortable as co-pilot, screaming and white knuckling the arm rests as we go down the road. When I go, the unit will likely go up for sale the next day. For someone whose middle name use to be go, she now doesn't want to go. I drove a 78 passenger school-bus for 25 years and have a 25 yr safety award, but that doesn't count with her.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Noisey & Pacrim, Cowichan Bay BCMar 10, 2007, 1:13:00 PM

    We are blessed - my wife cannot drive for very long due to shoulder replacemenr surgery and the steering on our 1984 28' is not very modern but she is a great navigator and instinctively finds the great spots to visit.

    ReplyDelete
  11. My dh won't let me drive...says he is having too much fun...this from a retired over the road driver for FedEx. Verrrrrry frustrating. Hopefully he will let me drive some of the way back home when we leave the RGV next month!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm a single woman, doing my own driving. Once I let a guy drive briefly and have dents on both tow vehicle and trailer as a result. I'd love to have someone share the driving and navigation--preferably another woman!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I have trouble judging distance on the passenger side on my 33 ft motorhome. My husband did most of the driving for his own peace of mind. (Hey, I never actually hit anything!)But after five months of full-timing he died and here I am with a city-bus-sized RV that I am very uncomfortable driving. So ladies, get behind that wheel while you have a partner to help you sharpen your driving skills.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I (the wife) do my share of the driving on each trip. My husband is an ex-Teamster also and has been great about teaching me to drive our truck and 5th wheel combo. I have driven as long as 3 hours at a time with no stops! We always switch off driving every 2 or 3 hours. We find we can cover more miles in a day than if only one of us was driving. We each can have our turn at looking at the scenery too! Next I hope to learn how to back in a campsite. This should be fun! We both agree it's better to share the load whatever that might be.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I would love to drive more but when I do it makes my hubby crazy. The only time I seem to get to drive is at night if we are trying to get somewhere and he is tired. However, I think that will change when we retire soon and spend more time on the road in "our rolling house". We can hardly wait.

    Oklahoma

    ReplyDelete
  16. Ladies, come on! There's nothing to be afraid of! I used to be afraid too, until I tried it. Now, I'm a single parent, about to retire from the military - and will be taking my teenage daughter (and our dog) on a cross country trip with our TT. I'm expecting it to be quite an adventure. Heck, I may even get brave enough to let her drive! She's already an expert at hooking up and setting up camp.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I am 100% disabled so I guess that means I am retired. Sounds better. I now have a F150 truck and a 15' Aliner TT. I have had it for a year now and just finished my 8th trip. Ilet my hubby go on three of them. I like what I have because I can handle it by myself. I have weight dist bars, sway bar, electric brakes on my TT and a Prodigy brake controller. With what I have I feel very safe going down the road. I love to drive and when we go places I drive 99% percent of the time anyway. I have 4 more trips planned in the next couple of months. Sure am looking forward to the fun. I believe you have to try things, but important is the feeling of saftey. This is my first truck and the first time ever towing anything. I am 59 and will be 60 soon. So anything is possible IF YOU WANT TO. I let my hubby hook up or unhook if he wants to but I can and do all by myself. I am in a learning mode and already have some hilarious stories to tell. No harm to anyone yet just a little to my pride. Oh well, that's life. So onward I go, me and my little dollhouse.

    ReplyDelete
  18. We have a 40' with a 25' trailer with the toys. I (the woman part) will drive on straight, lonely highways with no construction! However, to negotiate that rig anywhere else would sent me into an early stroke. My hubby loves to drive, and I love to read, look at the scenery, and navigate with the computer. He would be a nightmare working on the gps and negotiating his way on the computer. We are a perfect match. However, if he goes, I vowed I would take it to a rally with a big sign: DRIVER NEEDED. TOYS PROVIDED. What do you think?

    ReplyDelete
  19. you go barbara! I am 54 yo widowed nurse, first RV, had almost a year. 1995 "B plus" B touring cruiser. I love it! So far mostly camping in state parks and bluegrass festivals with friends and family, but a few longer trips, eighteen hour or so destinations, with just me and my little dog, Gunny. Have learned A LOT about it, a few mishaps, (about tore my electric step off, got into a parking lot at an airport that I couldn't get out of,etc, etc...) and learn something new or a better way to do it each time I go out. Dream of traveling up Calif /Oregon coast to Washington,(my husband and I dreamed of doing it together...he died 364 days after he retired from 30 years in the USMC.) Probably need to wait b/c I need to go back to work, for now. I joined Women RVing club, and although I kinda think it is a primarily gay organization and I'm not gay, It has a nice magazine, pretty good tips, resources, etc. My advice to any woman alone or with your partner, is do it. Have fun. You can be a little scared, but do it anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'm a single woman who bought a small motorhome last year to get out and see some country. I travel with my two yellow labs and love it. People are surprised to see a woman alone, but no one could ever sneak up on us! I wish there were more singles out and about, but it seems to be more of a couples and family sport. We will continue on our merry way seeking out the quiet back country. Dont be scared ladies, it's really easy to drive once you learn to use your mirrors. And...once you learn to use your mirrors, you'll wish you had bigger ones on your car! See ya out there!

    ReplyDelete