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Old 06-15-2018, 04:47 AM   #1
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Camping Helper or Nosy Nate?

...or, when is it ok to offer help?

A few years back I was trying to back my popup into a tight spot when another camper jumped out of his chair to help me - and confidently taking his confident advice I promptly backed my rig into a tree causing some damage. Over the years Iíve learned to accept such advice with a grain of salt and usually, and politely, decline most help, preferring to learn on my own and do it myself. There is a risk, of course, either way.

Yesterday, I was watching a guy trying to unhitch his camper for nearly an hour, but he never asked for help and I didnít offer any. Nothing he was doing was dangerous so I declined to intervene.

Was I wrong?

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Old 06-15-2018, 05:06 AM   #2
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Camping Helper or Nosy Nate?

Sometime people feel embarrass to ask for held especially when their family is in around. I would treat it like giving first aid: 1. identifying yourself; 2. list your training and years of experiences; 3. then ask if they would like you to help.

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Old 06-15-2018, 05:11 AM   #3
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Is there a right or wrong? On one hand you helped by letting him learn on his own. On the other hand what goes around comes around. You may need help with something one day and not get it.
I justify helping people by 1) do they look like green horns, 2) are they just having a bad day and are just struggling or 3) the manner in which they are handling the situation and or lastly what am I helping them with.
I say there is not a right or wrong but there is having a cautious approach. If someone looks inoccent enough and really looks like they could use the help after a period of time I'll offer to help depending on what it is. Brand new truck and a brand new camper backing prolly would not be one of those instances, too much risk because you can't control what the driver does. The way I see it they should be able to back up or not own the camper. Anything else I'll probably lend a hand or offer direction.
Everybody has a bad day from time to time and a little help always goes a long way. What bothers me is when you do try to help or be nice and the response afterwards is the sound of crickets.
Don't study it, something told you not to help and it may have been one of those times you shouldn't have anyway. Next time you witness something you may jump in and help and feel better for it.
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Old 06-15-2018, 05:19 AM   #4
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I have to admit, I'm the type that doesn't ask nor want help. I like to decipher the problem until I figure it out. Sometimes I know what's wrong but can't seem to fix it, if that makes sense. Besides, my wife is the foreman when we camp!
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Old 06-15-2018, 06:19 AM   #5
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If I see somebody having trouble and I think I have something to offer, I'll usually ask it they need help. If they decline, I'm happy to sit back and watch.
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Old 06-15-2018, 06:19 AM   #6
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We are of the school "neither a borrower nor a lender be", but will help in anyway we can if asked.
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Old 06-15-2018, 06:41 AM   #7
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"Hey, do you need a hand"

If yes, ask what you can do to help. Perhaps suggest that you'll keep an eye on a blind spot, or suggest they turn the wheel the other way.

If no, smile and head back to your campsite.

Its pretty easy without being forceful or obnoxious.
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Old 06-15-2018, 07:02 AM   #8
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The dealerships should help first timers to hook and unhook in the PDI part of the sale. I saw a new camper with a 20ft. tandem axle trailer back in didn't take the side torque out of the wheels and when he finally got it off the hitch it swung sideways 4 inches and almost took off his fingers. He did scrap the shins up good. Hard lesson learned.
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Old 06-15-2018, 07:15 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by 2008Seneca View Post
We are of the school "neither a borrower nor a lender be", but will help in anyway we can if asked.
I stay out of parking situations. I will offer assistance in true crisis moments or if I have a tool and the ability to make a fix, I will do so, but I do not lend out my tools or borrow from others (unless they are or I am stuck). To be honest, I am afraid of touching our TT. Every time I do repair or maintenance work on it, I handle it with kid-gloves. Knowing that they are fragile junk, I really do not attempt to work on other people's trailers, nor do I offer too much advice about what to do.

If it's a consumable supply, I will offer it to help knowing that I am losing my supply of whatever it is. But that does not bother me. In fact, it makes me feel good if it serves or helps someone else in jam. If folks are obviously derelict and irresponsible in any way, I stay away. Most of the time, however, it is a a dad, a couple, or a family that just needs a little help with a fix or a supply of some sort. In those cases, I do not hesitate to offer help. I will also help if someone cannot get something hooked up properly, and they exhibit signs of defeat after trying for themselves for a while. But I do not immediately inquire. Struggle is a good thing in my book. It is how we learn. But being overwhelmed by a matter is different, and it is not the idea of vacation or camping; so if that is the case, and I have the means and/or ability to serve, I will offer.

I must admit, if I can help a mom or a dad who are trying to give their kids a nice camping time, I am more apt to offer. But I always try to gauge their receptivity and if the need for help is real and/or best. The best thing is watching a dad and/or mom working with a child to figure it out for themselves, especially when kids are being led into resourceful thinking and skill building. Another good one is watching a young dad dial things in for himself and his family. I also do tend to keep an eye on older folks in some situations to be sure that they are okay. Lots of times the "help" is just being friendly and sharing common struggles with a neighbor, but that usually comes after they have resolved their situation.
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Old 06-15-2018, 08:20 AM   #10
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I haul a trailer, and I operate a sailboat. I've found that offering and accepting help from strangers when parking or docking is a real minefield.

Experience has taught me to avoid giving or taking help unless absolutely necessary.

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