Atrophy: a gradual decline in effectiveness due to underuse or neglect.
There is a rhythm when traveling frequently in our coach. The whole process of getting up and going seems effortless. The teardown and setup happens quickly. Maneuvering the coach feels natural. The hours behind the wheel do require focus and discipline but everything is under control.
Yes. Practice makes perfect. Hitting the road becomes a true adventure.
Then you decide to plant your coach. For more than a few days.
I’m not sure when atrophy hits exactly. Is it after a week? A month?
But you know it when atrophy hits you. It is in the back of your mind. It reminds you that driving a 60 foot or longer rig, weighing in at 45,000 pounds or more, is DIFFICULT! And HARD!
Do you ever experience atrophy?
Getting back on the road after being planted for a while feels like starting over to me. There are so many things to remember. Checklists help although there are many things that we do for the coach when we travel that are not on a checklist.
A few examples come to mind.
How the heck do we run these lines for the towbar? On top or under?
Why is the braking system clip so difficult to attach to the toad’s braking pedal?
Did I remember to lock the braking system clip?
Did I set the toad’s braking system up properly?
Is the car really in neutral tow mode?
Why is it taking so long to stow all the stuff inside the coach? Did we get more stuff?
It is taking more than ten minutes to inflate one tire a few pounds. I’ve got seven more tires to check and inflate. I should have done this yesterday.
Stowing the satellite dish is taking a long time. Is it stuck again?
Did we just spend two hours getting ready to go?
This crazy Freightliner LCBU system. How the heck do I reset the trip distance? Time to check the Mysteries of the LCBU Explained again.
We did not slam the entry door hard enough — discovered quickly once on a highway. If you drive a Newmar coach, you know what I mean.
Forgot to add water to the fresh water tank.
Forgot to lock the refrigerator doors — usually discovered when making a tight turn at speed.
Forgot to put the retaining bars for the shelves in the fridge — usually discovered when cans, bottles and assorted goods hit the floor whenever the refrigerator doors open. Especially when we forget to lock the refrigerator doors before getting underway.
Fortunately, atrophy does not take long to rectify itself. Within a few days, it all seems effortless again.
Our departure for Canada is in two more days. Looking forward to getting behind the wheel again.
Although a bit apprehensive as well.
Driving a large rig is a responsibility to ensure our safety and the safety of those around us.