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Old 05-31-2012, 07:47 PM   #1
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Afraid to ride

We got our 35' mh last year. My dad was the one to drive it home. I rode with him for the 120 miles home. He ran off the road into the gravel, all over the road on the interstate, and about took out a car that was in his blind spot because he decided to switch lanes with out asking me if it was clear. I am afraid to ride in it now. All I keep seeing is us rolling over. We have been on a few trips but they have been close to home and I drive the car so I won't have to be in the mh. I speed up and make sure I get far enough ahead to not be able to even see it in my rear view mirror. We are going on a long trip to St. Louis in about a week and am not sure if i can make it without medication. How do I get over my fear of even riding in our mh? How do you get use to the view from being on top and in front of the tires instead of inside and behind them. I am not one to give into my fears but this one has got a grip on me. I laid my motorcycle down running 55mph and still ride. Any help or ideas would be great.
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Old 05-31-2012, 08:34 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wombat70
We got our 35' mh last year. My dad was the one to drive it home. I rode with him for the 120 miles home. He ran off the road into the gravel, all over the road on the interstate, and about took out a car that was in his blind spot because he decided to switch lanes with out asking me if it was clear. I am afraid to ride in it now. All I keep seeing is us rolling over. We have been on a few trips but they have been close to home and I drive the car so I won't have to be in the mh. I speed up and make sure I get far enough ahead to not be able to even see it in my rear view mirror. We are going on a long trip to St. Louis in about a week and am not sure if i can make it without medication. How do I get over my fear of even riding in our mh? How do you get use to the view from being on top and in front of the tires instead of inside and behind them. I am not one to give into my fears but this one has got a grip on me. I laid my motorcycle down running 55mph and still ride. Any help or ideas would be great.
Is it your Dads driving that is scaring you or the view from the big window in front?
If its Dads driving then you need to be very honest and provide examples like you have in your post. Driving a MH is way different from driving his car and he must adjust to remain safe.

If its the big view and being so far off the road then slow down and think about how much more of the road you can see! You can see obstacles in the road sooner and since you'll be driving slower you have more time to react.

Take it easy and enjoy the ride- its the journey and the destination!
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Old 05-31-2012, 08:45 PM   #3
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If I'm afraid to ride with someone (including one of my parents when they were still alive) I do the driving.

Since your father has been driving it for a while maybe he has improved now that he is more familiar with it.

Good Luck,
Jon
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Old 05-31-2012, 08:46 PM   #4
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Learn to drive it yourself

I think you should learn to drive the motorhome yourself and take over the driving duty.

We have great visibility using our side mirrors and two cameras for the rear view. One is aimed down for backing up. The other is straight back to function as a rear view mirror. I don't believe we have a blind spot.

Practice in a parking lot and then on some empty roads.

Another alternative is for you and your dad to sign up for an RV driving course.
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Old 06-01-2012, 11:39 AM   #5
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I'd strongly suggest both of you enrolling in an RV driving class. Positive you'll both learn something, and it will be from "an expert" which eliminates the uncomfortable issue of you commenting or correcting his driving style!

Mark
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Old 06-01-2012, 12:10 PM   #6
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When we first got our first, a 36' gasser, riding shotgun scared my wife to death....
I tended to "lean" to the right, away from oncoming traffic, and had some trouble maintaining a straight course.

4 years later, in the new DP, i am totally comfortable behind the wheel, and can thread a needle in it, one handed.
Wifey is pretty comfortable, except passing trucks on her side.

the driving course sounds like a good idea.
And if pops don't get any better, u take over?
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Old 06-01-2012, 12:46 PM   #7
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Here are some driving tips that may help you and your dad, its better to be safe than sorry.
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Old 06-01-2012, 02:19 PM   #8
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Riding shotgun in my rig it appears the right side white road line is passing directly the chair.

But, the tires are inside the white line in reality.
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Old 06-01-2012, 05:14 PM   #9
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Sitting ahead of the steer axle needs a different driving technique than a car. In a Class C it's not much different, but even a front-engine class A needs some training, as you're on top of the steer axle.

I was lucky in that between having a 26' Class C and then getting our current rig, I got a job as a transit coach driver and was trained to CDL-B standard with passenger and air brake endorsements.

I would stronlgy advise you get both you and your Dad some professional guidance. Once you know the tricks, it's relatively straight-forward. If middle-aged ladies can horse 45' school buses, with 70 school-kids on board, round neighborhood streets twice a day 5 days a week, you can learn to handle your rig.

Two things you can start doing immediately are to look further ahead down the road and take street corners more squarely. There's no hood out front of a Class A, so you lose that cue for distance you get in a car. On the street corners, you look over your shoulder until the curb (RH turn) or the centerline (LH turn) of the street you're turning into is in line with your shoulder (that calibration is for a 35' coach - 30' a bit earlier, 40' a bit later) then you crank the wheel over as quickly as you can. Going deep before you turn avoids clipping the curb (or the guy waiting to turn from the other street) with the back of your rig.

Quite honestly, I picked it up on the transit coaches in about 2 hours of practice with an instructor. You could try the local school district bus manager for suggestions for someone who could teach you both. School shutdown for summer is very close.
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Old 06-01-2012, 06:22 PM   #10
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I'll just add to what already been said, drive the rig yourself to get accustomed to the size and perspective of no front end. If possible the suggestions of driver training are excellent, though with practice in a parking lot you should be able to get it down. The training video site 007 linked to is an very good starting point for some basics on knowing your RV and around it. Good Luck to you because it is a life changing lifestyle.
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