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Old 08-10-2009, 12:03 AM   #1
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Big Rig RV Driving Schools

Hello All,

We are new to RV'ing and have ordered a Class A Motorhome. I have driven a friend's Class A, but only in a huge parking lot.

Before we get the call from the dealer to come and pick it up in a month or so, I would like to get a driving class under my belt.

We live in San Antonio, Texas. I have done a little searching for driving schools, but can't find one in our area.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thank you,

Don
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Old 08-10-2009, 12:06 AM   #2
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Driving School for Class A Motorhome

Hello All,

We are new to RV'ing and have ordered a Class A Motorhome. I have driven a friend's Class A, but only in a huge parking lot.

Before we get the call from the dealer to come and pick it up in a month or so, I would like to get a driving class under my belt.

We live in San Antonio, Texas. I have done a little searching for driving schools, but can't find one in our area.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thank you,

Don
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Old 08-10-2009, 04:32 AM   #3
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Lazydays in Seffner, Florida has one. It's called RV Confidence course and costs $75 per person or $99 per family. If you are interested their number is 866-703-3076.
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Old 08-10-2009, 07:15 AM   #4
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Howdy Don. I'm sure one of the mods will move your post to Class A for more response. You should check with Camping World in New Braunfels/San Marcos about driving schools. I understand the one in Katy offers one but I'm not sure about other locations.

It is a good idea to get the experience of a good driving school becuase they also teach you alot about pre check driving.

Good luck and remember, you can't drive too slowly in the beginning.
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Old 08-10-2009, 07:53 AM   #5
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Not sure about the school but do you have the class "B" Texas license ? It's for non-commercial use but allows you to drive vehicles over 26,000 lbs. and pull something up to 10,000 lbs ? If you need the class B, a written and driving test is req'd. (MORE on this if you need it)

Sort of doubt a "school" would have a MH for the driving portion of the program so yours would probably be needed. Possibly one of the auto schools would have an instructor that is familiar with MHs and would agree to a one on one class for you............
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Old 08-10-2009, 08:53 AM   #6
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You are probably going to find the same problem that we had in the Dallas area - there are no options for a driving school. The schools in FL and CA require you to have your own RV and by the time you drive them from San Antonio, you probably won't need the class as much. Don't get me wrong - from the feedback that I've read on the RV driving schools, they are very worthwhile. But there are a lot of miles between you and them. You may have a special problem if your RV is over 26,000lbs because you will need a Class B, non-CDL license to drive it in TX. The process of getting the Class B will add to the complexity of learning.

We tackled your situation by having DW follow me home from picking up the RV. It was a bit nerve wracking. We'd driven Class Cs up to 30 feet for thousands of miles but the Class A is a different feeling. We started taking it to a nearby mall parking lot early on Sunday mornings for several weeks in a row. It gave us a chance to practice a couple of hours, turning, stopping and backing. Using the parking lot lanes, we figured out right and left turns and how to "feel" the air brakes. After that, we drove it through nearby small towns to practice on the roads during lighter traffic. We planned a trip using Interstates and smaller roads with the RV alone. From there, we progressed to hooking up the toad in the mall lot and practicing there, making sure the hookup would allow turns to both directions without kinking or binding cables. After another close by weekend trip with the toad, we were ready - and we headed for the Grand Canyon.

Key skills:
1. Turning - knowing how much room you need, especially on right hand turns. You have to go past the lane and then turn back towards it.
2. running in a lane. Most new class A drivers tend to stay too far right of the inner lane marker. I practiced mile after mile on our trips, watching that lane marker in the driver's mirror. You will need this skill in tight construction.
3. Stopping. If your Class A has air brakes, it is a different feel. I also suggest that you study the air brake system and get a copy of the system checkout. If you have an exhaust brake, you also need to get familiar with it. It is a wonderful tool and one that I use a lot. It is NOT engaged quickly so you learn to plan ahead.
4. Going down hills. You won't have too much of a problem around San Antonio but it is never to early to learn how to gear down and keep your speed off for things like high overpassess. Your service brakes alone will NOT stop you, gas or diesel.
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Old 08-10-2009, 09:05 AM   #7
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Contact your local bus company. If you can drive a bus, you can drive a "bus."
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:04 AM   #8
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We just found a very interesting site: rveducation101.com
With study of these cd's and a little "parking lot practice" it would appear that one would be far ahead of the average "kick the tires" and go driver.
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:45 AM   #9
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My significant other, aka girlfriend took a driving class at a recent rally where they provided a 38' DP for training.

Before we get all carried away...will class be a gasser or a diesel? It does make a big difference in turning, braking, etc.

The cw in Katy furnishes the mh also. Or did.
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Old 08-10-2009, 05:13 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by randco View Post
Lazydays in Seffner, Florida has one. It's called RV Confidence course and costs $75 per person or $99 per family. If you are interested their number is 866-703-3076.

They provide the rig for the school and it is not bad for a day class. They cover tight quarter driving, backing, braking with tips on mirror adjustment and placing lane and turn markers on the windsheild. They have their own course through their Rally Park.

The course comes free with the purchase of a rig there.
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Old 08-10-2009, 09:14 PM   #11
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If you do decide to "do it yourself" with CD's, please pick up a CDL Test Preparation booklet at you local DPS and read it thoroughly. You will be amazed at what you can learn from studying that manual. You can get a copy on-line also.

Actually - my personal (read personal) thoughts is that anyone who drive a recreation vehicle should at least read the manual. And, as stated before, most likely the minimum Texas license you would require is a Class "B" (non-cdl) The manual used to test is the same CDL manual. In taking the test I don't believe there is much difference in the tests, except the Class A allows for a heavier towable.

Good luck.
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Old 08-11-2009, 07:27 AM   #12
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Having just taken the Texas class "B" written and driving test (last week), the CDL manual has some interesting material however chapter 14 is the only section on which you're tested. I STRONGLY recommend using the Marble Falls testing site if within 75-100 miles. No "numbers" to take, no waiting what so ever. Study chapter 14, walk in and take the test, it's graded on the spot and you are gone in a half hour. Call the next monday morning for a driving test appointment. That test takes 1/2 hour including the examiner checking ALL the lights and looking at the insurance and registration papers. We never got more than a 1/4 mile from the building.
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Old 08-12-2009, 12:39 PM   #13
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Follow this link. Very good information:

RV Showcase Magazine: RV Driver Confidence Course – Part 1: Mirrors
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