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 HUMOR ON THE ROAD

Sure you're a safe driver when piloting the rig down America's big highways. You have a good head on your shoulders, right, and rarely are taken in by chance or mishap. But even the best of us make an occasional mistake or two. And all of us (except in Roswell) are human.

Rack it up to the pre-trip jitters, or the pure excitement of getting back on the road again. But for whatever the reason, it's true that sometimes we show up for the game without our pants on. We forget things. We get anxious to roll. We overlook the obvious while on the road. We succumb to Murphy's infernal law.

Next time you're getting ready to hit the road or are heading down that long highway on another grand RV adventure, avoid making these "no brain" mistakes and pitfalls that can slow you down if not completely take you out of the game!

TAKE THE COVER OFF!
There was once an RVer, let's call him Bob, that was so anxious to hit the road that he failed to remove the RV cover before driving away. Well, Bob had two things working against him. First, he was legally blind. Not that he couldn't see. He just couldn't see well enough to see out the windshield. He wasn't allowed to drive, but it didn't stop old Bob from climbing behind the wheel of the parked RV and "pretending".

Ah, such are the dreams of dedicated RVers. Poor Bob.

Secondly, and just as bad, Bob was legally drunk. Perhaps that's why Bob started the engine of the parked RV - just to rev it up to make a little noise - like he was really driving down the big highway.  Maybe that's why Bob turned on and turned up the RV stereo, so emancipated by the experience as he was, and pulled the tranny into drive - with the cover still on!

Now, there's a moral to the story: Don't drive while blind and/or blind drunk, and don't forget to put your brain into gear before the RV.

WATCH THE ROAD!
All this may seem a little obvious to you, but don't start thinking it couldn't happen!

For instance, remain very suspicious of a highway tunnel that resembles a tent.

With all the weirdness in the world these days, you never know what might be a skillful trap designed to take advantage of your vulnerability on the road.

Highway tunnels are rarely made of canvas and aluminum poles, and are generally more than one lane wide. So fake tunnels should be easy to spot. The exception to this may be RVers headed down Nevada's "Alien Highway", where there have been ample reports of strange tents flying through the night sky. In fact, Bob (from above) reported just such an incident on his last adventure out West.


GETTING FREE DIRECTIONS
Did you hear about the RVer (perhaps Bob) who once asked for directions at a convenience store and soon found himself in downtown Bangladesh?

Not that there is anything wrong with being in Bangladesh, but the RVer was trying to get to Yellowstone. Like Bugs Bunny, he probably should have hooked a left at Albuquerque.

The point is, be careful when asking directions. Don't ask a homeless guy on foot the best way to navigate the Washburn tunnel. He's never been through it!


SHADY CHARACTERS
And while we're on the subject of shady characters - be warned! The guy hanging out at the diesel pump with the backpack isn't a gas station attendant. There isn't any such thing anymore!

Chances are good he's either looking for a free ride or is trying to sell you some RV insurance of one kind or another. Or perhaps he's an unemployed artist waiting to tag your RV as soon as you step into the cafe across the street. Who knows?

But you get the picture. There's an old rule that goes something like "there's nothing free in this world". When a stranger tells you he's "got a deal" for you, the hair on the back of your neck has good reason to stand at abrupt attention. Don't offer money. Don't offer or accept advise. Just get back in the buggy and head on down the RV highway - and don't forget to take the cover off!


WAITING FOR THE FERRY
While it may be true there are places across America where you occasionally have to wait for a water taxi or ferry to navigate you across a river or lake. And it's true that waiting in line can be a real bore when you're anxious to get to your destination on time.

But keep in mind that most RVs won't double as a houseboat (the one pictured is actually an exception). And cleaning up after a dip in the pond is also a real pain. So break out the coffee pot, play a round of cards and wait for that ferry to come back to carry you to the other side. It may not be as fun as driving across the lake but you'll get there faster in the long run.


DID YOU SAY FLYING RV?
Well, modern technology is certainly making the RV a real comfort zone - and more versatile than ever before. But be careful when a used RV salesman tells you your new coach can fly!

There's nothing wrong with parking the rig in a hangar, But don't go racing down the runway thinking you'll get airborne before you run out of pavement. Not yet!



WHILE ON THE SUBJECT...
If you really want to fly an RV, talk to the shady guy standing on the side the road of Nevada's "Alien Highway" who will sell you anything for the right price. The SR71 spy plane, often associated with the nonexistent Area 51, would make a fast motorcoach if you can afford the fuel.

And since Area 51 and its black budget projects don't really exist, who says you can't  legally buy this baby?


Chances are good that your next RV adventure will be smooth sailing all the way. But if you're a first timer (or as dumb as poor old Bob), we wanted to make you are aware of the unusual and unlikely pitfalls that await the unprepared. A pound of common sense is worth every bit as much as a brand new SR71 spy plane, even if it's not as much fun.
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