We’ve all been there. That moment when our inner idiot shines so brightly that a friend has to gently pull us aside and say “Aw no, buddy. That’s not how it works. That’s not how any of this works.” All while trying to keep a straight face as they swear up and down that NO, of course they won’t be uploading the video to Facebook. And yes, they promise, but…
With that shared human experience of utter humiliation in mind, here are the top 10 embarrassing moments while hauling (or dumping) a load.
1. The Guard Rail Pit Stop
Ah, the sweet sensation that is I-80 traffic while road crews leisurely make it rain tax dollars, the air conditioning has officially given up, the kids won’t stop asking “But how much furrrrther?” and SWEET MOTHER OF GOD WHERE IS THAT REST STOP?! The gas tank is dwindling, you’re hauling a 1,500-4,000 lb. pop-up camper, and what was supposed to be “quality family time” has turned into you stress-eating an entire box of your wife’s Fiber One bars. Nature is calling, and she demands an answer NOW. What else to do but make a beeline for the guard rail and pray to the gods above that everyone else in traffic is too busy cursing their own families to notice your bathroom exhibitionism? Right about now is when you start thinking about upgrading to the camper model with a commode. Or at the very least, buying everyone in traffic a copy of the bestseller “Everybody Poops.”
2. The Roof Rack Mishap
“Eh, I think I can make it.” Wrong. That low overhang, bridge, Taco Bell drive-through, or poor unsuspecting garage door only has so much clearance. And it just ripped your Yakima setup straight off the car and destroyed your mountain bike in the process. Maybe next time you’ll consider a rear rack, roof scope, or handy post-it on the dash that says “YO. BIKES ON ROOF.”
(This phenomenon is also sometimes referred to as the “Drive-Off Disaster” or “Honey, I think I just left the camper’s AC unit on the highway…”)
3. The RV Dump/Disconnect Fail
Have you ever left the campground—sun shining, open road happy to see you—only to hear a violent thwack thwack thwack following you along the highway? Ah, you forgot to disconnect that sewer hose again before you tore outta there, Smokey. But while that might cause some pointed fingers and laughing faces from your fellow motorists, perhaps the bigger sin is showing up to the RV dump and not knowing how to connect the hose. There’s nothing quite like a line of angry people growing impatient with the rate at which you’re dumping, err, stuff. Living in the future is grand, ain’t it?
4. The Sloppy Walkaround
You know the whole ‘Measure Twice, Cut Once’ adage? Yea. ‘Walkaround Thrice, Don’t Cut Off Your Slideouts, Jacks, Roof Vents and Leveling Blocks.’ You’re welcome.
5. The Tight Squeeze
We get it, no one likes to hear they’re too big for a space. But here’s a situation where you should absolutely take the widest berth available to you. Otherwise you’ll be frantically switching between drive and reverse while your husband says “Babe, people are starting to stare. Just let me do it.” And all the public shamers hear is “I CAN DO IT, BOB. JUST SIT THERE AND LOOK OUT THE WINDOW.”
6. The Sneaky Parking Brake
You upgraded campers—opted for the one with the on-board toilet and packed saltines instead of Fiber One this time. You’re prepared! You’re livin’ large! You’re driving a beautiful unit while you’re hauling the truck; the kids are quiet, the wife’s happy, and… Oh God, are those sparks in the rear view mirror?! Next time add “Make sure car is in neutral” to that checklist. Oh well, you wanted to upgrade those wheels anyway, right?
7. The Peeping Tom
Unless your only neighbors are the flora and fauna of the great wild— close your curtains, ya little perv. No one wants to see that.
8. The Fridge Fail
Did you forget to change the power settings when you unplugged from the campground? Or worse, did you forget about that package of hamburger meat because you were in such a rush to get home? Unless you’re trying to shoot your own version of Jeff Goldblum’s skin-melting scene in The Fly, clean out the mini-fridge and leave science experiments in the lab.
9. The Three-Alarm Fire
Oh you just wanted some popcorn for your 3AM snack? Well now you set off the smoke alarm and woke up the whole campsite. Remember, ventilating the camper is a lot easier than profusely apologizing to the bear of a man next door whose slumber you just disrupted.
10. The Free Car Wash
Good news! You remembered to open the vents since you anticipated all that campfire smoke would blow right into the coach. Bad news? You just realized you forgot to close them, and you’re three miles down the river kayaking through a steady summer rain. They supply Shop-Vacs at campsites, right?