warning signs

Since I am married to a man who believes that the bigger the vehicle, the better the ride; and I have a teenager who, notwithstanding all other subjects, agrees with him, we have a 37-foot-long motor home. Tack on a cargo rack on the trailer hitch, and it’s 40 feet—the size of a city bus. I call it “The Monstrosity,” but Ed and Sis won’t let me paint that on the side of the RV. What is painted on the side is “Damon, Intruder.” By the way, whose genius idea was that name? It ranks right up there with “Damon, Protruder,” “Damon, Peeping Tom,” and the just plain “Damon, In The Way.” But I digress.

As with every new vehicle we’ve ever bought, I do most of the driving. Once that becomes passe, Ed gets a turn behind the wheel. In the meantime, I’ve been noticing all sorts of things on the road which I usually ignored before.

The Line of Arrows—When one has a zippy little car, curves on the road are fun and give us something to do besides holding the steering wheel with our knee and drinking coffee. Not so with a motor home. The small curves are a challenge, and when the curves are lined with yellow and black arrows meant to keep even zippy cars from flying into the woods or off the cliff, you'll drive the Monstrosity 10 mph slower than the warning signs. Add darkness or a downgrade and you end up with callouses from your death grip on the steering wheel. Don’t get me started on snow!

driving in snow
Driving in snow at night. The sign on the right is the third snowmobile sign we saw. The first one should have given us a clue.

 

Overpasses and Narrow Bridges—The Monstrosity is 11 feet, 7 inches tall. I don’t care if trucks way taller than me slide under the overpasses with clearance. I still duck my head every time. In spite of the fact that the Monstrosity fits in one driving lane, it doesn’t feel that way. The way I feel driving over a narrow bridge is compounded 10 times on the face of the old lady in the Honda Fit coming toward me in the opposite lane.

The Jumping Deer Sign--It takes 17 car lengths to stop this 11-ton vehicle. That sign should have a flat deer on it, because he's only doing half a jump before he’s a gonner.

Wind Gusts—Wind is useful if you’re surfing or drying clothes. When you’re driving a 400-square-foot wall, it’s particularly un-useful.

The Tipping Truck Sign—Unlike most street signs, this is a sign that needs no words to describe what it’s trying to say. Before now, the only thing I needed to do about it was avoid trucks that might be tipping. Now, I might be at the wheel of the tipping truck, which makes that sign much more relevant and terrifying. If you’ve ever driven a motor home, you already know it almost always feels like it’s about to tip over. That sign is designed to rob the RV driver of sleep. Like Humpty Dumpty, it would take the equivalent of an army to get this thing upright again. Hmmm. The “Damon, Humpty Dumpty.” Now there’s a name I could get behind.