Dear RV Shrink:
We have had years of trouble-free travel around North America, meeting many wonderful people. However, we recently had a scare that has my wife very nervous.
We were headed for Florida on a four-lane road when I noticed a car pull up beside me and look over my rig, then drop back behind my toad. It seemed odd, but I didn’t mention it to my wife. I kept observing the vehicle in my rear camera, wondering why he didn’t pass me.
After several miles, my wife noticed a man on the overpass we were approaching. Suddenly she yelled, “He’s going to drop something on us!” I slowed but it was too late. The guy actually ran to the other side of the overpass and tossed a balloon or bucket of red slime, trying to hit our windshield. He missed and we kept driving. Shortly, the car tailing me zoomed past.
After the initial shock wore off, we put two and two together and figured they were partners in crime trying to force us to pull over and possibly rob us. We stopped later in the day and found that the red slime that splattered on the front of the motorhome washed right off. I carry a gun, but if this mixture would have hit my windshield, I would have pulled over immediately and most likely jumped out to see what happened. My gun would have been locked away in the motorhome and I would have been had.
I am trying to convince my wife that this was a rare event, that we will be more on guard, but not to let it ruin our travel pleasure. She continues to dwell on what could have happened. We would appreciate any advice on how to get over this potential dramatic event. —Shaken but not taken in Tennessee
It happens. Not just while RVing, but anywhere. You can run but you cannot hide.
It is wise to stay vigilant while traveling. Rest areas are some of the most important places to be on your toes, but not the only place. Even many of our beautiful National Parks and their parking lots require you to be aware of your surroundings.
Moving from a tow vehicle to an RV is another time to stay alert. I wouldn’t be in a hurry to forget this episode. In fact, you should tell your story to as many people as you can. I hope you reported it to state or local police. If you are right, and these people were trying to stop you, they are likely to try again.
You will never be prepared for every scenario that some low-life can think up to take advantage of trusting people. Paying attention to what is going on around you while stopped or driving can nip a lot of trouble in the bud. Seeing that car slide in behind you caught your attention. Awareness is your first line of defense.
I’m sure in time your wife will reconcile her feelings about this scare, remembering all the wonderful moments, events and people that greatly outweigh this one apparent close-call. —Keep Smilin’, Richard Mallery a.k.a. Dr. R.V. Shrink
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