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Old 07-17-2013, 09:37 AM   #1
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Driving a 40ft RV?

I have a 28ft Class C now and am looking to buy a 40 ft coach. It just seems soooo big? I have driven a 36 ft with dealers but the 40 just seems so much bigger? Any words of encouragement to convince me that a 40 ft will be OK for a single woman? I will be traveling with a friend and 2 schnauzers but no one else will be driving. You will not hurt my feelings if you say that is just too big for a "girl" to drive. Thanks!
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Old 07-17-2013, 09:41 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Vette4ba View Post
I have a 28ft Class C now and am looking to buy a 40 ft coach. It just seems soooo big? I have driven a 36 ft with dealers but the 40 just seems so much bigger? Any words of encouragement to convince me that a 40 ft will be OK for a single woman? I will be traveling with a friend and 2 schnauzers but no one else will be driving. You will not hurt my feelings if you say that is just too big for a "girl" to drive. Thanks!
If anyone says it's too big for a girl to drive... they are clueless. Ability has nothing to do with gender.

When we got our 40' DP... I was a bit intimidated at first... 10 miles down the road... I was fine. My wife is intimidated now.. but she is taking it slow and getting more comfortable.

If you are confident and capable w/ a 28' foot class C... you can handle Coach.

Mal
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Old 07-17-2013, 09:45 AM   #3
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Vette4ba - Is it a single rear axle or tandem? Is it a diesel pusher? I'll make a couple of assumptions and say it's both a DP and a single axle. If you're going to have that arraingment you should have no problems. The one piece of advise is to make sure your mirrors are adjusted correctly and allow a little bit of a wider swing. the difference between your C and a DP is that with the DP you sit on top or just a little in front of the front tires, so your perception while turning is going to be different. But 40 foot DP's have a very good wheel cut which allows for very sharp turns for their size.
Let us know how you make out.
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Old 07-17-2013, 09:46 AM   #4
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If a 36 doesn't bother you, you won't notice the extra couple of feet. They're really no harder to drive.
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Old 07-17-2013, 09:54 AM   #5
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I agree. Driving a big coach is not a gender related skill. There will be a few differences you'll have to get used to: In your Class C, the front wheels are forward of the drivers seat. In a Class A they are level with, or even behind the seat. When you approach an intersection to turn right, you will need to pull forward further in the Class A before starting the turn, else you could clip the curb. Backing up can be challenging, but you have a friend with you to act as spotter. It would be great to practice in an empty parking lot so you have a system of hand signals worked out. Something to consider is that while your friend may not be driving on the highway, he/she could get in the drivers seat in the campground and back it up while you give directions. My wife and I do this all the time. We call it the "Ventriloquist and Dummy" routine. You can figure which is which!

Go for it, you'll have a blast!
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Old 07-17-2013, 10:03 AM   #6
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I remember the TV reality show Ice Road Truckers. A petit blond named Lisa Kelly showcased the skills she had not, her gender. She handled the big rigs very well, even on treacherous icy roads. For you to drive a 40' should not be a problem at all. You go for it!!!!
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Old 07-17-2013, 10:15 AM   #7
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One of these folks can get you from your C to A with ease.

There are lots of single women out there wheeling 40 footers very competently.
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Old 07-17-2013, 10:15 AM   #8
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When looking, I test drove a New 35' Gasser and a 2006 43' DP w/tag. Just from a driving perspective, the 43' was better for me. I was not pushed around by wind or passing semis and less tail swing. I did not turn as tight as the gasser but was very easy to adjust to. Not much different in the grand scheme as driving a compact then jumping to large sedan or SUV. Practice and patience and you will become comfortable over time.

A helpful on-line RV driving source: http://betterrving.com/rv-driver-con...course-part-5/
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Old 07-17-2013, 10:18 AM   #9
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How many school bus drivers are female?

You will be just fine.

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Old 07-17-2013, 10:29 AM   #10
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Agree, after a few miles down the road and a few parking experiences, you will be fine. Perhaps the larger question is: why a 40 ft? We own a 40 DP and its fine for us but there are alot of options available these days and depending on your RV travel plans, one type of vehicle might be preferable over another. There is alot of info on this site about experiences and preferences. Generally speaking, 40s give you more flexible floorplans [eg larger master bedroom/bath], more storage underneath, and more power--commensurate with the additional length. Additionally, assume any 40ft will be a diesel and there are lots of opinions/pro and cons about diesels vs gassers. Some campgrounds might be a bit more of a challenge to maneuver in becasue of tighter turns and shorter parking spaces. The aforementioned should all factor into your decision but your ability to "handle" a 40ft should not.....
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Old 07-17-2013, 10:29 AM   #11
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My wife handles the 42' MH just as good if not better than me. I really think when someone throws gender into the mix, they are just egotistical pig heads! I train pilots and I can tell you that female pilots are some of the best.
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Old 07-17-2013, 10:44 AM   #12
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Vette4ba, My impression is you are a passionate driver already. Meaning that you enjoy and like to drive vs. driving as a utility of life. In my opinion passionate drivers can drive anything because they understand the challenges of driving and take an active interest in the process. If you are handling the 28 C and no problems test driving a 36 A with a salesman along for the drive that 40 isn't going give you any more worries. One thing to consider driving a DP is when you do make a turn make sure your hips are past the curb before you start turning. Being a female part of your question doesn't make a difference.

Side note seeing you are from Buffalo, are you dealing with Colton RV or Buffalo RV?
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Old 07-17-2013, 11:56 AM   #13
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I taught emergency veh operation and wondered how the first female FF operators were going to do. I look back and laugh most were farm girls who drove 20,000 lb tractors and thought 38' 40,000 lb fire engines were really easy and had power steering. WOW

Now if people would learn what the red lights and siren were all about it would be a lot easier...

My wifee drives a 42' 40,000 lb and says just leave room for the rest of the living room and there is no problem.....
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:26 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Vette4ba View Post
I have a 28ft Class C now and am looking to buy a 40 ft coach. It just seems soooo big? I have driven a 36 ft with dealers but the 40 just seems so much bigger? Any words of encouragement to convince me that a 40 ft will be OK for a single woman? I will be traveling with a friend and 2 schnauzers but no one else will be driving. You will not hurt my feelings if you say that is just too big for a "girl" to drive. Thanks!
Quote:
Originally Posted by vincee View Post
Vette4ba, My impression is you are a passionate driver already. Meaning that you enjoy and like to drive vs. driving as a utility of life. In my opinion passionate drivers can drive anything because they understand the challenges of driving and take an active interest in the process. If you are handling the 28 C and no problems test driving a 36 A with a salesman along for the drive that 40 isn't going give you any more worries. One thing to consider driving a DP is when you do make a turn make sure your hips are past the curb before you start turning. Being a female part of your question doesn't make a difference.

Side note seeing you are from Buffalo, are you dealing with Colton RV or Buffalo RV?
I'm originally from the Buffalo area and I endorse this message. Now I just need to get it into my wife's head that an RV is fun to drive, not a chore as Vince so eloquantly stated. I love to drive and I think RV's will be a blast.
Good on you Vette for doing what you want to do and loving it. Let us know how things turn out and whatever you decide, have fun with it.
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