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Old 03-30-2009, 03:39 AM   #1
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How do you handle stressful situations?

Any of us who RV know that there will always be stressful situations... I wondered how you all handle them. Dear Husband and I have a stress management plan we like to call "The Amazing Race, RV Style"... As an example, when you wake up in the morning ready to move on to your next location, only to find that your living room slide won't retract (and you are in the middle of nowhere, Wyoming), and tech support at your RV manufacturer tells you to find several brawny men to push it in, then find a few pieces of 2X4 cut to the specific length between side wall and inside edge of top of slide to brace said slide while you travel 250 miles to the nearest service center... what do YOU do?

We play Amazing Race, RV Style. Me, in my best announcer voice, say "Contestants must now make their way to the truck stop 1/2 mile down the road, encompassing 3 left turns which will force the slide to "slide out" due to one of Newton's laws. Upon arriving at the truck stop, contestants must locate some 2 X 4's and a tool for cutting them. Then, they must correctly place them within the motorhome to brace the slide, and drive to their next pitstop, 250 miles away."

(BTW, I am not making this challenge up... it happened). DH (my exceptional teammate) drove ever so slowly to the truck stop, me, ever so calmly screaming at the top of my lungs that the slide was going to slide right out, completely, taking the choc. lab on the sofa and all with it... we made it to the truck stop and amazingly, DH DID find some 2 X 4's and a $1.99 tiny hacksaw and was able to make the braces. Note: if you're still trying to keep a sense of humor while dealing with the challenge, this is a good time for one of you to say "Wait! Gotta get a picture!"

Other exciting challenges we have faced on our version of The Amazing Race, RV Style:

Contestants wing mirror will now flip in the wind, and no form of entry to tighten it is apparent. (Duct tape is extremely useful in this scenario).

Contestants must now drive for 50 miles in the driving rain to obtain a fuse for the windshield wiper, which has thrown itself off the windsheild and lodged itself on the driver's side side window.

Contestants must make their way 180 miles across the barren desert, where they will encounter a freak snowstorm, causing the entire underside of their motorhome to become encased in slush, ice and snow. There will be no options for pulling off the road, and this challenge will take place in the dark. Contestants will also be tested with their ability to drive with 20 feet of visibility. As an added challenge, the defrosters on the motorhome have been disabled, so the visibility will also be affected by the icing of the windshield wipers and windshield. (It's time for a picture...)

Contestants will drive through a vortex, which will suddenly disable all electrical systems on board, including the generator. Contestants will be required to spend a weekend boondocking with 5 six-week old puppies and 4 adult dogs with no electricity, heat, or refrigeration. Having completed this task, contestants will drive back to the starting point, again passing through this vortex, and normal electrical operations will resume.

Ahhh, these are but a few of the (real) challenges we have overcome while RV'ing... a sense of humor, and a few miracles (including divine inspiration and guidance), always gets us through.

What do you do to keep on keepin' on?

Brenda, of...
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Old 03-30-2009, 04:26 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsavage View Post
Any of us who RV know that there will always be stressful situations... I wondered how you all handle them.

What do you do to keep on keepin' on?

Brenda
Oh my . . . you've mastered the art of self-control much better than me! About the best I can do for fun (perhaps not for those around me) is to create my own four-letter words after I've exhausted the list of those better-known . . . well, at least those I've learned from my time in the Navy and many years of railroading.

Warren
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Old 03-30-2009, 07:18 AM   #3
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Brenda & Tony: Those kind of experiences sure put a wrinkle in the day don't they? Like so many other RV'rs I suspect, we've also had a couple of those experiences requiring your "Amazing Race..RV Style" technique....and they sure AREN'T fun!!! Never thought about taking pictures though!! So.....does your method for handling these REALLY reduce the stress???? Steve & Lynette
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Old 03-30-2009, 08:17 AM   #4
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Been there and done that with the slideout that won't retract. Try to find a repair service on New Year's Eve! After limping home with the slideout held in with the 2x4s, I vowed that this would never happen again, so I now carry 2 each "comealongs" in the truck toolbox to winch the slideout in. You guessed it - I've never had to use them.

My variant of Murphy's Law - if you're prepared for an RVing disaster, the chances of it ever happening asymptotically approach zero.

Rusty
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Old 03-30-2009, 08:51 AM   #5
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I keep my stress level low by following RV's whose slide out might be coming out, always keeping a camera ready for pictures.

This method works wonders.

p.s., If it is my RV that needs attention, it's always someone else's fault. My wife even says I can't do anything wrong, but I think that is with tongue in cheek!
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Old 03-30-2009, 08:55 AM   #6
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Wow, I'm not sure how I would keep my sanity through your stories, Brenda. We've had a couple of our own, like RR Crossings.

I tried to find the description of the first one, which happened in our second RV rental, but it apparently succumbed to the recent software conversion. We were on a nearly 3 week trip and into the 3rd day, going east on I-80 near Grand Island,Nebraska at 8am when the cruise control kicked out, the transmission dropped down a gear and started to make the engine scream. 4 hours later, we were towed (at 75mph) by a truck bigger than our 30ft RV rental to a transmission shop, who tested for an hour and a half and pronounced our problem "a fluke". We started off for SD but the transmission didn't last 18 miles, now with a very apparently blown torque converter. Since it was 5pm on Friday, the rental company wanted us to wait with the unit until it was repaired - potentially the following Wednesday or Thursday. I finally convinced them to get us a replacement but it was in Rapid City - a good 10 hour drive away and had to be picked up by noon on Saturday. We conned the 2nd transmission shop owner's wife into driving us to the regional airport where we picked up the last available vehicle - a minivan. On the way back, we bought a couple of styrofoam ice chests, dry ice and then dumped all of the contents of the rental RV into the now "packed to the gills" minivan in less than 1 hour. With fast food in hand, we drove until the wee hours of the morning, stopped for a few hours rest in a motel and arrived in Rapid City by 10:30am the next morning. We drove both vehicles to the Rapid City airport to return the minivan. On our way out, we discovered that the propane alarm was sounding and wouldn't turn off unless we had A/C power. We parked the RV at a local campground and took a bus tour to allow us to see Mount Rushmore, Custer State Park and the surrounding sights. On Monday, we revisited the RV rental place and had the house battery replaced. The rest of the trip was fairly uneventful - which was very fortunate for us. We drove to Devil's Town and then back into SD, up into western ND and all the way across to Moorehead, MN. There were hundreds of miles where there didn't appear to be another living soul in the first part of that leg of the trip.

One would think that such an experience was scar us for life but we went on to buy our own RV a couple of years later. We have not yet duplicated those levels of problems. We still look back on that vacation as an enjoyable experience and only now recognize how much worse it could have been. I figure that you have to be a little wild and crazy to be in the RV game in the first place.

Charlie
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Old 03-30-2009, 12:56 PM   #7
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When I run into these problems i just yell and scream and cuss up a storm; doesn't do any good, but I always feel better afterwords.
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Old 03-30-2009, 08:04 PM   #8
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You all are making me laugh! And yes, the "Amazing Race' technique does work, most of the time...

Charlie... we are gluttons for "adventure", us RV'rs!

Brenda, of...
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Old 03-31-2009, 07:55 AM   #9
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I don't let stress handle me.
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Old 03-31-2009, 10:37 AM   #10
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When I run into these problems i just yell and scream and cuss up a storm; doesn't do any good, but I always feel better afterwords.
When in trouble
or in doubt,
run and holler
scream and shout!

Beat your head against the wall
Cuss 'em out
and blame 'em all.
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Old 03-31-2009, 09:39 PM   #11
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Yelling at the wife is always a great stress reducer. Works even better when she is our of earshot.
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Old 04-02-2009, 02:44 AM   #12
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I have many options; Pop open a cold one, walk the dog with a cold one, or pop open the back of my toy hauler and ride my Harley.
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Old 04-03-2009, 04:13 AM   #13
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Get out my church warden's pipe, fill the bowl with Velvet Pipe Tobacco, get out a cold beverage (usually pepsi, I tend to drink more hard alcohol vs beer), and sit down and lean back and puff on my pipe and sip my soda.

By the time I've finished the bowl, I'm usually relaxed enough to step back from the problem to take another look.

If its a longer lasting stress, like work has been in the past, nothing beats a trip to the gun club to anihillate something with a 50 caliber gun .
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Old 04-03-2009, 11:48 PM   #14
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Chasfm... just got a chance to read the story in your link... so glad you got through that safely!

Brenda, of...
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