DEAR ABBY: "Travel Terror" asked if she should agree to her husband buying an RV, in spite of the fact that he has a lead foot and ignores her when she asks to use a restroom or buy refreshments. You told her not to go along with it. Abby, you have probably set the wheels in motion for a divorce.
If they bought an RV, especially if it were a motor home, her bladder problems would be solved. I don't know of one that doesn't have a bathroom in it. If they bought a fifth wheel or other kind of towed RV, then stops would have to be made for potty breaks -- but for gosh sakes, I don't know an RVer who doesn't enjoy making those stops to stretch and take in the scenery, or to have an enjoyable lunch along the road.
Her worries about his speeding would also more than likely not be a problem in an RV. An RV, which is three to four times the size of a car, is also three to four times harder to stop in an emergency. Most RV drivers become very cautious and tend to judge their following distances much more carefully than if they were driving a car. As for driving until the tank is empty, my motor home carries 100 gallons of fuel and I cannot drive 600 miles without stopping.
I'd say to "Travel Terror," "Go for it, honey. Enjoy vacations like you have never known before." An RV with a happy couple in it becomes vacation transportation, just as a cruise ship, airplane, train or bus -- and the feeling of getting away from it all and having fun overwhelms any other problems. -- JOHN W. STROBEL III, VENTURA, CALIF.
DEAR JOHN: And an RV with an unhappy couple in it is like putting two wildcats in a hatbox! From your description of yourself, you appear to be a reasonable person and a considerate traveling companion -- the polar opposite of "Travel Terror's" husband. I seriously doubt that buying a larger vehicle would magically turn him into someone who gives a darn about the feelings of his passenger. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: A friend of mine confided to me how she resolved the problem of convincing her husband to make rest stops on long car trips. She put a water pill (diuretic) in his coffee just before they left home. On the way to their destination, without a word, he calmly pulled into a rest stop -- and from then on, he never again complained about his wife wanting to stop. -- "K" IN TEXAS
DEAR "K": Now that's a novel idea, but I wouldn't recommend it for everyone. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: You missed the boat with your advice to the lady who was uncertain about buying a recreational vehicle because of her husband's conduct. Saying "no" only makes the husband resentful. A better idea would be to rent an RV, agree to the "trip rules" ahead of time, and write them down to be posted in the RV. Then take a trip or two and see how it goes. Perhaps he will change and they will have many years of new adventures. -- JUDY TWENTYMAN, ENCINO, CALIF.
DEAR JUDY: I like the way you think -- you are a born diplomat! I'm not sure the outcome would be different, but your solution is less confrontational than mine. I'm sorry I didn't think of it.