By Jim Twamley
It is said that a good journalist always has four things with him: Pencil and pad, a camera, and his wits. Fortunately I had at least one of these with me when I happened across an RVer who was experiencing a power drag — a power cord drag, that is. This man was an experienced RVer — so no laughing, lest it happens to you.
I was able to stop him before he got out of the RV park, but it looks like he dragged the cord quite a ways, since he was nearly to the gate. While power cords are pretty tough and withstand quite a bit of abuse, you can’t drag them very far before they get mangled.
Our friend obviously didn’t use a checklist or do a final walk-around. I used to use a checklist when I was flying aircraft in the Air Force. You can’t just pull over to the side of the road while flying — so it is important to make sure everything is in proper working order before takeoff. Fortunately, as RVers we can pull off the road and take care of most problems without much fuss. We know we need to pull over when we see people driving by waving frantically, flashing their lights and honking their horn at us. Hopefully this is not a normal occurrence for you.
If you don’t use a checklist, at least do a walk-around before you leave. A simple walk-around includes (at minimum) looking at all the storage compartments to ensure they are secured, looking at the roof to ensure the vents are closed and the TV antenna is down, a look at the tires, a look at all the connection possibilities (water, sewer, satellite, power, phone), and finally a look around the site to make sure you didn’t leave anything behind. If this RVer (more than likely in a pull-through space since he was towing a vehicle) would have done a good walk-around, he would have discovered that his electric cord was still plugged in before he climbed in the motorhome and taken off.
Bottom line, do a walk-around as a final precaution before climbing into the cab and starting your engine. Be safe out there!