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Old 09-08-2010, 05:28 PM   #1
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Health issues require changes

My husband has developed health issues that do not allow him to drive or do heavy set up activities. We have a 27 ft Aspect MH. We have to either stop using the MH or make changes that would make it easier for me to do the set up such as utilitie hookups, tv (we have mobile antenna), stabilizers, etc. I wonder if others have faced the same situation and what changes they made to accomodate it.
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Old 09-08-2010, 06:12 PM   #2
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My husbands health issues are why we bought a motorhome. I always do all of the driving, but the TT connections were what held me back. Now I am able to do the hook ups (both car to rv and utilities) and the dumping. Only the sat tv is at the whim of his abilities and I would rather read anyway. It is not a BLUE job, go girl you CAN do it all.
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Old 09-08-2010, 07:41 PM   #3
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Thanks

Any encouragement is greatfully accepted, I'm very scared but determined not to give up.
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Old 09-08-2010, 07:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmay View Post
My husband has developed health issues that do not allow him to drive or do heavy set up activities. We have a 27 ft Aspect MH. We have to either stop using the MH or make changes that would make it easier for me to do the set up such as utilitie hookups, tv (we have mobile antenna), stabilizers, etc. I wonder if others have faced the same situation and what changes they made to accomodate it.
dmay,
So very sorry to hear that your "Mr." is having health issues. Best wishes to the both of you and a very BIG "Hats Off!" for being willing to find a way to continue to travel and enjoy your MH. I honestly believe you CAN do it.

Here is what I would do if faced with your situation:

I would decide that the relatively small amout of coach movement experienced without stabalizers (jacks) is an acceptable trade-off for not being able to deploy them. In time, I know that I would not be awakened to the point-of-no-return if the wind gently rocked the coach ...in fact, I would probably be "rocked to sleep" by that.

I would understand that I am going to have to be more meticulous, methodical and maniacal about PLANNING, PREPARING, PRE-TRIP INSPECTING, and being FLEXIBILE than I have ever before been.

I would inquire about relatively level campsites when I made my reservations, understanding that leveling can often be managed with simple, light-weight leveling pads. (You simply drive the wheels on the low side up on them.)

I would look for devices to aid me with any particularly troublesome connections. There are lots of "quick-connect" products which make it easier to attach the various utility services. (like big handles on the 50-amp electric connector)

I would understand I could live without TV in exchange for the sights and sounds of the evening if I could not find a way to manage a "mobile antenna" (satellite dish?). DVD's would entertain me if I really had to watch something on the tube ...there is usually a DVD rental at the camp store. A radio could bring me the daily news... it's usually more than I want to know, anyway.

I would adjust the route, the speed, the length of time I would spend behind the wheel to my level of comfort and ability ...and I would constantly be re-adjusting those parameters based upon the changing dynamics of the situation.

I would understand that I am at extra risk if the weather turns bad. I would have a Weather-Alert radio monitoring that situation. CONSTANTLY.

I would know everything I could find out in advance about my route. There is no shortage of information about narrow roads/bridges/tunnels available from any number of sources, including "real-time" advisories from the State Highway Department in every state.

...And if you simply asked about a given route on this forum ...your computer would start humming with helpful information PDQ! (Pretty Doggone Quickly)

I would make sure that I had a "Road Service" plan to handle break-downs and flats. If available and affordable, I would obtain a "Bumper-to-Bumper" extended warranty on my rig. (Do lots of research and "due dilligence" before buying one of these.)

I would set aside a sum of "Emergency Money", to see my spouse and I safely and comfortably home, by air, rental car or whatever is best if the situation warranted ...and to provide for storing or transporting the RV back home.

I would have a support network of family or friends with whom I check in at regular intervals. (ET phone home.) They would be people who would know my "baseline" level of normal function (just how crazy I am on a normal day) ...and who would recognize the level of stress in my voice and intervene if I slipped into an insiduous delusional state. Seriously.

And the most important thing I am going to suggest to you, my dear, is something that I have come to firmly believe about this wonderful community of RVers:

If you are ever faced with difficulty doing anything related to your RV... chances are very good you will be politely approached by one or more of your camp ground neighbors offering to assist. (If perhaps only so they can get some peace and quiet!!)

I know that is not absolutely "bankable" ...but it is so much the norm that it is dependable enough to consistently see you through routine set-up procedures.

The key to it is to get to your campsite early enough (daylight) so that you will be seen scratching your head in consternation, tapping your foot with impatience, frowning with dissappointment, scowling (careful with that one as you don't want to appear dangerous to approach!) ...or generally struggling with a problem.

Note: The camp ground usually will have someone escorting arrivals and you MAY be able to request assistance from him/her. Don't assume that.

Hypothetical worst case situation: Say, ...you can't get the electric service hooked up one night... Well... you may have to spend a night without AC. Unless that is a critical health and safety issue for your husband or you... you can use a 12-volt fan to get you through the night without killing your "house" batteries.

'Not going to be comfortable... don't like it ...but it would not be a "deal-breaker" for me if was just a matter of "comfort" and not a medical risk. ...It is ultimately your decision, based on the medical situation and your level of tolerance for perspiration and mosquitos.

The whole intent of my epistle here is to tell you that you CAN find a way to keep going... It may not be as good, as easy, as convenient as it was when you were blessed with good health ...but in the absence of a true medical risk if everything is not "perfect"... you can "accomodate, improvise and overcome" just about anything related to RV traveling.

Please DO find a SAFE, PRACTICAL and REASONABLE way to "Keep On Keeping On" as long as you can. I believe the health benefits of staying as active as you can ...doing something you both love, will be significant for the both of you.

Best Wishes and Blessings to you,
Jim
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Old 09-09-2010, 08:25 AM   #5
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Thanks again

Just the suggestions and encouragements I was hoping for. We live in Idaho with many spectular sights within a short distance. I will start with short trips until I become confident in my abilities. I am sure I will have more specific questions as I encounter them. Thank you for taking the time to respond to my concerns.
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Old 09-09-2010, 05:10 PM   #6
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Just the suggestions and encouragements I was hoping for. We live in Idaho with many spectular sights within a short distance. I will start with short trips until I become confident in my abilities. I am sure I will have more specific questions as I encounter them. Thank you for taking the time to respond to my concerns.
dmay,

Great!! ... as another poster said, you GO GIRL!

After I retired last night, I suddenly realized I should have suggested that you keep it close to home on your initial forrays... something that you have instinctively and intuitively determined.

SEE THERE!! You are better equipped to manage this undertaking than you give yourself credit for.

Just as a note: You apparently changed the name of this post to "thanks again" when you made your last response... it just makes it a little difficult to find it again for those of us who wish to go back to it.

Please stay in touch with us and let us know of your successes. As always, we will be here for you. (But we have to be able to find you!!)

Best Wishes to both of you on your journeys. You will do just fine if you continue to use your highly evolved intuitive abilities.

Fran and I are so PROUD of you!!
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Old 09-09-2010, 09:19 PM   #7
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Life is a learning curve. You learned to crawl, you learned to walk, you learned to talk, you learned to drive a car, and on, and on, and on.

You can learn how to do everything in an RV to make your life as comfortable as you wish it to be. Jim and Fran have put it very nicely, and you go for it.
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Old 09-12-2010, 08:16 AM   #8
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Could not have said it any better!! We bought a Cougar 5th wheel in 2007, used it for 18 months, came back home around the end of 2008- had to remodel an inherited home and put our other up for sale (in this economy!!) We are now ready to get back to RVing, but are making some adjustments to the RV as the hook up, break down, set up was getting to be a bit much for both of us. So, now we are going to change from a goose neck to a fifth wheel with slider (we have a short wheel base truck). Going to install "Level Ease" -this item-once programmed- remembers disconnect level and connect level and then level back to front setting. If there is a right or left grade to deal with, we will use the Mega Level Blocks, also by Level Ease, to roll up on. I am purchasing a device called CIPA electronic RV level that is remote- place the base in the RV and carry the indicator around with you that goes green as you reach level or show red at any point that is not level. On the back we are installing- by Ultra Fab- the Powertwin II Electric (not hydrolic) leveling/stabilizer back jacks- and having a universal remote installed that has a brain box connected to these jacks, so we can press the remote button from the front to lower the back jacks. Inside the RV we are going to install a grab bar-similar to the one on the front steps (folds back) on the step up to the bedroom/bath area, as we find those steps steep and awkward. All of these adjustments and installations will run us around $4K to $5K total. This will get us what we need to make RVing less of a headache with an already paid for 5th wheel and truck. We did a lot to the truck already- air bags in back, jake breaks, transmission cooler, K&N air filter system and all synthetic oil throughout. It is too much fun to quit until there is not other alternative.
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Old 09-12-2010, 09:00 AM   #9
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It is easy enough to have electric/hydraulic jacks put on the RV. Next, get on of the automatic satellite antennas that set on the ground.

What are your disabilities? Can you help with his instructions? Work as a team and you would be surprised at what you can get done.

Ken
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Old 09-12-2010, 09:27 AM   #10
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It is easy enough to have electric/hydraulic jacks put on the RV. Next, get on of the automatic satellite antennas that set on the ground.

Glad you mentioned satellite- as we now have the Dish Network that sets up outside and you have to find your point. That also gets to be a headache - What can you recommend that is not one arm and one leg in cost - but finds the pre programmed point for your satellite. Not so particular whether it is mounted to RV - or portable.
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Old 09-12-2010, 09:30 AM   #11
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What are your disabilities? Getting to darn old to crawl into bed of truck and figure out all level points and manual crank back jacks etc. The steps are steep and awkward, just throws us off balance somewhat and feel more comfortable with a grab bar. No disabilities - other than just to out of shape for an hour or two set up in the rain on a hill.
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Old 09-12-2010, 10:37 AM   #12
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I would suggest you make a list for setup & a list for tear down, print it off & keep it somewhere you can get to it each time you get to a new campsite or get ready to move on. My wife lives in our MH for her job. We made up a list for her if she ever needs to move the MH without me. She also has a list for when she closes up the MH and comes home for a few days. We keep this list in a storage area just above the entry door. Everytime we break camp we refer back to this list to make sure we didn't forget to disconnect or put something away before we move the MH.

I am sure you can do it. You probably know more than you think just from your husband doing it & you seeing whats going on. And don't be afraid to ask for help. We are a large loving community out here & would like nothing less than to help a couple in need. Great way to make new friends at a new campsite also.
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Old 09-23-2010, 08:34 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Adnama View Post
It is easy enough to have electric/hydraulic jacks put on the RV. Next, get on of the automatic satellite antennas that set on the ground.

Glad you mentioned satellite- as we now have the Dish Network that sets up outside and you have to find your point. That also gets to be a headache - What can you recommend that is not one arm and one leg in cost - but finds the pre programmed point for your satellite. Not so particular whether it is mounted to RV - or portable.
Have you looked at the View Cube made by Kingdome? It seems like the easiest way to set up satellite TV without a dome. It's small and portable and does not require leveling. I don't have one, but I've looked into it.
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Old 09-23-2010, 08:45 PM   #14
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We fulltimed in fifth wheels for 9 years. When we got off the road, we switched to a motorhome and I have to say that set up and tear down were much harder for us in the motorhome. We had hydraulic jacks on the fifth wheels so all we had to do was park the fiver, drop the front jacks, disconnect the truck and then drop the back jacks until everything was level. I pushed buttons and watched the little lights. Not at all hard.

I hated having to do all that stooping and bending to hitch and unhitch the car, especially in the rain. Then there was the Brake Buddy! What a pain in the rear that was! All that crawling in the car to set it up.

It's not hard to plug in electric or turn on a hose. Get a box of disposable gloves and learn how to twist the connection onto the sewer drain. Put the other end in the sewer and pull the valve. None of these jobs require male genitals to perform. I'm 5'2" and 110 pounds and I did all of those things when hubby wasn't feeling well enough to do it.

We just purchased a 23' class C because we haven't had an RV for 3 years and we are just missing it so much. There is nothing about that RV that I can't manage myself. My hubby is doing really well but there are times when he has problems bending over and I am fully capable of doing it all.

When we full timed my "car" was a Freightliner RV Hauler medium duty truck. I would drive it to the grocery store.

I would suggest that you get one of those insurance policies that will bring you home if something happens and you are 100 miles away from home or more. One of the more famous RV clubs offers it for free to their members.
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