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RLM
Recently, I was reading a RV magazine wherein they used the term ďco-pilotĒ for a female spouse. I have heard it used a dozen times before and I realize itís a standard term used for some time. However, I thing it is used more likely by the senior generation of RVers who have been indoctrinated and have accepted the term.

Albeit, I have a few of my own gendered prejudices, I never have liked what is perhaps a male chauvinist tag and my wife dislikes it even more since she is perfectly capable of driving and operating every aspect of the rig. On more than one occasion, she has reminded me that the bus gets much better fuel economy if I first raise the leveling jacks. Itís those types of co-operator functions that make us a team, not pilot and co-pilot.

Does being the pilot mean that the male driver is always in charge and gets to give the orders or does it mean that he gets all the blame for screwing up? In the aviation industry the two up front are the Captain and First Officer. Obviously, the Captain is first on the blame line, but his duty title is earned from many more years of experience than that of the FO. Since we typically purchase a RV as a family and start the learning curve at the same time, aviation hierarchy doesnít necessarily apply.

Now if the ladies who read my post prefer just to hold the map and tune the radios as a co-pilot, thatís ok. However, Iíd like to have another term for my partner and equal team member that reflects her skills and contributions in operating our rig. Anyone have a suggestion?
Oakman
You have taken it for granted that copilot is a term for the wife. Not so. It is the for other person riding up front with the operator of the rig. If the magazine used the term copilot and wife interchanagably then they are wrong.

If your wife is doing the driving then you are the copilot. It is not a male, female thing. You probably got the impression from the fact that many wives don't drive the rig. This is especially true of owners of fifth wheels.

By the way, refering to the other person in the rig as the copilot started with trucking industry.
Joe-n-Doe
RLM,

In the mid-80's I was driving a minimum of 200 miles a day at work and probably averaged closer to 350 per day. Much of it was surveillance driving on the greater LA area and a lot of it was done on weekends (what day off?!?) If any of you have ever witnessed a pack of cars that appear to be racing around, running lights, and driving like plain old AOs, it was very likely a moving surveillance team. All of it was done solo. I got so burned out that when I was home and we had to drive anywhere DW did it.

She still does 90% of the driving and with the RV (5er) almost all the backing. She is the pilot and I am the navigator (this is where I am really able to tell her where to go! laugh.gif Having used all kinds of maps and charts, I am well suited for this. When she gets tired or a backing job frustrates her, I'll take the wheel. It is a team approach that works well for us.
DXSMac
I agree with what Oakman said, and Joe-n-Doe's comments were on the mark. And RLM, may I say thank you for being conscientious of the "gender" thing?

JJ
Cheryl
On our vacation's DH does all of the driving, but I do all of the planning: routes, stops, where we are going, packing up the camper, etc. It works for us. I don't like driving and he does. I have more time to get on the computer at home. He wanted to get a stick shift truck (which I can drive - just not very good at it). Plus heavy traffic makes me very, very nervous. Also, he had been camping all his live, I started after we were married. We have never put labels on ourselves or each other. Just never occurred to us to do so I guess. I say do what works for your family and don't worry about society labeling it a his or her job.
John Blue
The pilot co-pilot thing may be from FMCA. To me person in the left front seat is the driver and rest of people on board are helpers. I do most of the driving due to wife is not happy with road work and very small lanes to drive in. You can mess up in a second. She will drive 25 to 30 miles at time. At that time she is the driver. Then I look at the nice towns and things to see. We also work together on all items that need them. No her job or my job here and no she will not dump the waste tanks. smile.gif
Cheryl
QUOTE
no she will not dump the waste tanks.


Yeah, I don't do that either, but I wash all the dishes. biggrin.gif Works for us.
DXSMac
QUOTE(Cheryl @ Feb 11 2008, 08:28 PM) *

Yeah, I don't do that either, but I wash all the dishes. biggrin.gif Works for us.


What is so hard about dumping waste tanks? Is there something I don't know?

Wear Gloves
Pull Black Tank handle out
While draining, go in and flush toilet, just to make sure
Push handle back in when empty

Pull Grey Handle out

Ok, that part is easy. The really yucky part is if you are packing up and you have to handle those things. I have a special container I keep them in.

I'm a solo traveller, I have to do EVERYTHING.

JJ
Butch
Having been in the auto/truck/bus business as a mechanic and later as a parts dept. person, we always refered to the right side as the passenger side. The term "co-pilot" to us refers to the right side of the motor home, and not to the person in the seat. The wife has not objected when the term is used to refer to her. I'm very sure that if she objected, she would have voiced her opinion loud and clear. We have taken safe driving courses, and she has taken a driving class, and road test for the operation of motor homes. She has driven ours', with toad, and does a good job. Upon arrival at the Rv site, we both work together to off load the vehicle from the tow dolly, then normally she handles the interior, while I take care of the outside duties. We both can do all the duties, in and out if the need does arise.
Cheryl
QUOTE
What is so hard about dumping waste tanks? Is there something I don't know?


The smell!
DXSMac
QUOTE(Cheryl @ Feb 12 2008, 11:36 AM) *

The smell!



OK! I gotcha!

I usually wash my dishes in a Rubbermaid dishpan (that sits on one side of the sink), then I throw that water down the toilet. I rinse the dishes in the other side of the sink. Using the Rubbermaid basin to WASH the dishes serves two purposes for me:

1. Since I dump that down the toilet, and only use rinse water in the sink, this makes my black and grey fill up at about the same rate (so I'm not dumping grey three times before I dump black....)

2. Dilutes the black tank enough so there isn't much of a "smell." I very rarely use "chemical" in my toilet..... Usually only in very hot weather.

JJ (the only bad thing about solo travelling is that I have to do EVERYTHING!!!!!)
John Blue
I need to add that wife has been to Lazy Days driving school here in Seffner, FL. Driving, parking, safety and other items were on the list and she did pass. Tank draining was also on the list but she did not like that part of RV life. As Cheryl said it can have some odor. This tell me tank needs more work to keep it down. Like Butch we both work together to off load the Honda from the tow bar and move MH on into site. We each can do all items if we have the need. We used time at home to hook and un-hook up everything before we started on the open roads. Now we need about ten mins to get Honda off and hook up power and water at site. MH takes care of the rest. We also dump water like DX items 1 and 2, to saves tank space.
FosterImposters
RLM: like you guys, the pilot/copilot labels never really fit us. It is a generational thing.

Both enjoy driving. (Ladies...if you haven't tried it, believe me, it's a total kick to drive these rigs). However: he likes the driving better than the computer stuff. So I get to play with weather, road conditions...even latest primary results, while rumbling down the road.

Road Warrior and Computer Jockey... rolleyes.gif




Cheryl
It's not just the holding tank smell, the whole area of where you have to dump is bad. Maybe I just have a highly sensitive nose, but it makes me feel sick.
Butch


Must agree that there are times when the dump station leaves a lot to be desired as to the cleanliness of the area, which contributes to the offensive odor. We all have observed individual(s) who fail to protect not only their own, and or their families' health, but put yours' and ours' at risk when dumping their tanks. We are most observant as to conditions that exist at or about the dump station, and or at the sewer drop.
DXSMac
QUOTE(Cheryl @ Feb 13 2008, 06:42 AM) *

It's not just the holding tank smell, the whole area of where you have to dump is bad. Maybe I just have a highly sensitive nose, but it makes me feel sick.


The "ick" part for me is having to touch the darn hose when I have to pack up. YUCK! Can't blame you for feeling sick.

Also, one time I was assigned a site at an RV park only to find yucky maggots (or something!) inside when I took the lid off the sewer valve! I DEMANDED to be reassigned!

Also, another time I had a snake wrapped around my sewer hose.......

JJ
Cheryl
I like bugs and reptiles (might as well throw in rodents while I'm at it) about as much as I like the sewage smell.
Florida Native
My wife isn't the co-pilot, she is the boss of the whole show. I drive and she tells me where. I think every couple settles into a routine and we just kind get things done. Have new coach now and having to settle in on the processes.
Silvana
biggrin.gif My husband does the driving, I do the backing in. He does outside, I do inside. We help each other if one finishes first. I can do his stuff, He can do my stuff if needed. I do not mind being the co pilot, waitress, navigator, and intertainment.
Silvana tongue.gif
Cheryl
QUOTE
My wife isn't the co-pilot, she is the boss of the whole show. I drive and she tells me where.

You sound like us. smile.gif Hubby has been to every state in the continental US so he doesn't care where we go just that we go.
Joe-n-Doe
QUOTE(Lindsay Richards @ Feb 14 2008, 07:34 PM) *

My wife isn't the co-pilot, she is the boss of the whole show. I drive and she tells me where.


Thats why I enjoy being the navigator so much....I get to tell her where to go and get away with it! laugh.gif
RLM
Somehow this issue went from what I thought might be a mislabeling of status to dumping and dishwashing issues. Now thatís really stretching the issue of pilot/co-pilot.

Here is what I have gathered from the responses:

∑ Most of the ladies donít like driving and the men do. I guess we are the cavemen type. ARGGGGG!!
∑ The women donít dump because itís too ďsmelly.Ē Albeit, I would bet that theyíve changed a bunch of diapers in their time.
∑ One or two have to do ďeverything.Ē Which really would sucks unless you look at the silver lining. You get to do it your way.... without advise.
∑ The right seater is not necessarily the co-pilot, but could be called the navigator, passenger, computer jockey, or helper. I accept that, but you guys might want to refer to my wife as a pilot if you are interested in every reproducing again.

Everyone seems comfortable with his or her position on the team. Thatís a real positive.

And finally, DXSMac> Thank you for the gender compliment, but donít pat me on the back too much. I still think my wife is looking a gift horse in the mouth when she complains about the messes I make when I cook. smile.gif
FosterImposters
So RLM...does your pilot/wife have a handle on this site? wink.gif
dog bone
pilot/copilot is an aviation term. who is in the left seat. the aircraft commander, pilot. it has nothing what so ever with gender, as there are female aircraft commanders. the co-pilot is simple there to assist the pilot.
there was a movie years ago, god is my co-pilot. glad he didn't get mad about the term. as it turned out he was the best asset.
i like my best asset sitting next to me when i'm the commander, as i'm sure she feels the same way when she is the commander.
RLM
dog bone> I have 13000 hours logged in both helicopters and airplanes as a military pilot. So I ask this question- if there were two equally qualified aircraft commanders on board, then the one in the right seat would have to relegate him/herself to "assisting" and be called the co-pilot?

I respectfully suggest that no professional pilot would ever use the co-pilot term regardless of who is in the right seat.

fosterImposters> She doesn't much care for computers. Thank you God .. is My Co-Pilot!!! biggrin.gif

I give up and am cashing in my chips on this one. I don't regret bringing up the topic, but it appears that it isn't a big deal with most folks. The prevelance of team runs thru out the thread. I suspect that is all that is important.

PS: Silvana> I really have to ask. What kind of "entertainment?" dry.gif
Silvana
PS: Silvana> I really have to ask. What kind of "entertainment?" dry.gif
[/quote]

wink.gif What do you think??

Actually, some really bad singing. tongue.gif
Texasrvers
We were on a trip when this topic started so I have just now seen it. Even though it sort of ended a while back I still wanted to make a comment. "Co" is not gender specific. Webster defines it as "with, together, joint; partner in an activity; to the same extent or degree." Think of the terms co-chairman, co-worker, co-author. Co indicates these people are equal to each other; one does not rank higher than the other, and it makes no difference if they are male or female. Additionally "pilot" means the person who flies an aircraft. It does not necessarily mean this person is in charge although he/she may be. It is possible there is another person who makes the decisions and gives the orders. I have heard this person referred to as the commander, but there are probably other names. So to me when these terms are applied to RVing it means the pilot is the person driving the RV and the co-pilot is a second person on board capable of doing all the same duties as the pilot. Now deciding just who the commander is-- well that's another matter!
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