I’m not a subtle kind of guy. If you want to give me a message, sometimes you have to hit me between the eyes with a 2×4 to get my attention first. So if you want to tell me where to go, don’t give me the finger, go all the way and give me the whole arm!
After 16 years of fulltime RVing, Miss Terry and I pretty much have this down to a science. One thing that we always get comments on is how easy we make it look when we back into an RV site. Most of the time we can get the job done on the first attempt, even in tight spaces. More than once our campground neighbors have complimented Terry on the good job she did directing me into our site.
It all comes down to clear hand signals that we both understand. How many times have you been in a campground and watched your neighbors attempt to park and get frustrated and end up in a screaming match? Or, try over and over, before they finally get the job done? If the driver and the ground guide agree on hand signals ahead of time and use them, it makes life a lot easier.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen the ground guide using signals like this to indicate which direction the RV should be going.
Now, put yourself in the RV driver’s seat and imagine seeing that from 40 or 50 feet away in a mirror! It looks something like this, at best.
Ground guides, stop giving your drivers the finger! Arms are a lot bigger than fingers and a lot easier to see. If you’re backing up an RV and your ground guide wants you to go left, which is easier to see? This?
How about when you’re backing up and need to stop? Which is easier to see in your rearview mirror? This?
These are the signals that Terry and I use for go left, go right, come straight back, and stop.
And ground guides, you must be in a position where the driver can see you at all times. Likewise, drivers, if the ground guide moves out of your line of vision, stop immediately and wait until you can see them again. If you are the ground guide and see an obstruction, or there is something you need to investigate, give the driver the signal to stop and go do it, and then return to where he or she can see you.
Where’s the best place for the ground guide to be? If you position yourself where you want the left rear (driver-side) corner of the RV to be when parked, you make life easier for both yourself and the driver.
One final word of advice for ground guides; you must be looking in all directions when guiding an RV into a campsite. Are there tree limbs that the RV is getting too close to? Is there an obstruction in the ground? Did somebody’s kid or dog wander too close? When in doubt, give the stop signal and make sure it is safe to proceed.
And drivers; as they drilled into us over and over during Army basic training, obey the last command first! If your ground guide gave you the stop signal, do not take your foot off the brake and move one inch until they have returned to your line of vision and given you the signal to continue.
There’s a lot more that goes into parking, including knowing the pivot point of your RV, being aware of the RV’s height, and proper mirror alignment. But just knowing and using good, clear, easy to see hand signals will make your life a lot easier, and parking your RV a lot safer.
So far, over 245 readers have entered our latest Free Drawing for an autographed copy of Miss Terry’s Kitchen. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.
If you’re looking for an excellent World War II historical memoir in novel form, Army of Worn Soles by Scott Bury is on sale for the Labor Day weekend for just 99 cents. It’s the story of a Canadian drafted into the Soviet Red Army in 1941, just in time to be thrown against Nazi Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union.
And if you have kids or grandkids who enjoy story time, read them Nan Sweet’s Fierce Winds and Fiery Dragons, the first book in her Dusky Hollows children’s series. It’s currently free on Amazon.
Thought For The Day – Every path to a new understanding begins with confusion.