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Old 08-21-2016, 11:58 AM   #1
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Driving fatigue

I am planning to go full-timing in the next couple of years and have been doing research on Class As in the 30'-35' range. I've been doing some reading of the RV Consumer Group materials about wheelbase to length ratio and how that can contribute to handling that is difficult or fatiguing. I am a small-ish (5'5") woman in my late-50s so the idea of wrestling with a coach could be an issue. I am wondering if there were any other women out there who can comment.
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Old 08-21-2016, 12:21 PM   #2
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Welcome to iRV2.

I don't fit the criteria to answer your question from a woman's point of view; BUT I will ask a question or two.

Do you have any experience, towing an RV ?
Travel trailer or 5er ?

I went from a 30 foot , 5er and truck; 45 feet overall length ; to a 38 foot , class A with toad ; 58 feet overall , and can say there is less fatigue with the class A.
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Old 08-21-2016, 12:22 PM   #3
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I will say this, a good female friend of ours, divorced, had a 45' Monaco DP she loved and drove everywhere but traded it ( electrical issues) for a smaller ( I believe 34' Tiffin gasser) and had a hard time getting used to a smaller, lighter spring ride coach. She did eventually and is happy with it now. Wheelbase and type of suspension make a world of difference between a 600 mile day and a 300 mile day.

All depends on how much driving you will be doing while full timing!!! A smaller (36-38') coach on air ride is less fatiguing and will handle better than most 30-35' spring ride coaches.
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Old 08-21-2016, 12:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OnWisc View Post
I am planning to go full-timing in the next couple of years and have been doing research on Class As in the 30'-35' range. I've been doing some reading of the RV Consumer Group materials about wheelbase to length ratio and how that can contribute to handling that is difficult or fatiguing. I am a small-ish (5'5") woman in my late-50s so the idea of wrestling with a coach could be an issue. I am wondering if there were any other women out there who can comment.
I know of 3 women that were in their late 60's who drove 35 ft Motor homes to Alaska every year. That was in early 2000. one of the women was in her 70's and drove by herself to Alaska. I would think it would depend on the motor home and the Equipment. Most newer ones have good power steering and power brakes. Some Gas units you have to push really hard on the brake pedal. Most diesels have air brakes and are easier to push the pedal. Best thing would be to test drive the one you are interested in. Also there are several women's RV Clubs.
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Old 08-21-2016, 12:40 PM   #5
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My wife and I drive a Tiffin Allegro RED 33aa (35'). We share driving, about 80/20 (she's 20) and she finds it drives very well. We also tow a car on a dolly. Before we purchased this we looked a many different coaches. We drove a Tiffin Breeze 28' and that felt like a lot of work keeping it straight. With a diesel pusher the added length actually makes for better front/rear weight distribution and better handling.
A diesel class A will give you a better ride over a gas powered unit. They have larger tires and air suspension. They are also considerably more expensive. If you are near Tampa FL at all stop by Lazydays. They have hundreds of class A's and will let you drive them and we didn't find them to be at all pushy. They also offer a driving class which we both enjoyed.
Good luck
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Old 08-21-2016, 12:41 PM   #6
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You make no mention of whether you are purchasing new or used.

If you are having issues most will go away if you slow down. In addition there are a number of add on parts meant to improve handing of coaches. Perhaps if you are considering used the one you purchase will have already been upgraded.
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Old 08-21-2016, 01:20 PM   #7
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We first bought a 31' Class C and put 69K miles on it, most of which were my wifes doing as she goes to dog shows. We now have a ~40' Class A DP and have put about 50K on it. My wife has probably put ~20K miles on herself (again dog shows).

We both comment that the Class A is easier to drive then the Class C. The Class C didn't handle as well, with winds being a problem, you had to anticipate passing or being passed by trucks. Class C didn't have as good of visibility The Class A handles great, is heavier and you hardly ever notice big trucks or cross winds. Also sit up higher for visibility. The Class A has an exhaust brake for better braking on grades. The Class A is more comfortable to drive.

Personally I've driven the Class A 800 miles without getting out of the seat and didn't feel fatigued at all.
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Old 08-21-2016, 03:55 PM   #8
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Since you'll be fulltiming, you get to choose how few miles you want drive each day. Keep it short and fatigue won't set in.
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Old 08-21-2016, 04:00 PM   #9
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As a young at heart 70’s single woman who travels alone with her cat, (not full-time) I can say driver fatigue sets in at about 6 hours of freeway driving or 5 hours of mountain or secondary road driving. Depending on the road I usually drive 55-60 mph. I stop about every two hours to stretch and walk around. I have a 28’ gas class A and tow a car. There’s no problem “wrestling” the coach; it has power steering, power brakes, automatic transmission. However, you do have to stay on top of it, especially traveling in the right lane with its rough pavement and ruts from the big rigs.


To improve handling and stability, I added a rear track bar, heavier front and rear anti-sway bars, a steering stabilizer, and better shocks. With all that done I can relax a bit more when driving and don’t get pushed around as much by passing big rigs and side winds. Generally the longer the wheelbase and heavier the coach the better the ride and again, in general, a diesel will ride and handle better than a gas coach of the same length.
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Old 08-21-2016, 04:37 PM   #10
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The more overhang there is behind the rear axle, the less stable the coach will be on the road.
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Old 08-21-2016, 09:11 PM   #11
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Since you'll be fulltiming, you get to choose how few miles you want drive each day. Keep it short and fatigue won't set in.
This is definitely how you handle fatigue. Drive until you feel tired and then quit for the day. Most full-timers don't drive over 300 mi/day - if that. 200 miles was good for us. Sometimes even 50 miles to get to the next place we wanted to explore.
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Old 08-22-2016, 04:08 AM   #12
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I've found that the simplest solution for driving fatigue is to simply pull over when I feel a little sleepy and taking a nap. It's not out of the ordinary that we plan to make a grocery stop somewhere around the 2/3rds point of a day's planned trip. My DW takes her time shopping ... and I get a good 30-60 minute nap. She takes one of our FRS radios to keep in touch.

We've come to discover that we both actually enjoy shopping stops when we're travelling in the coach. Having our own bathroom right there ... being able to check the 'fridge and cupboards ... while we leisurely make our shopping list before walking into the store all make a shopping stop downright pleasant.
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Old 08-22-2016, 10:14 AM   #13
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Personally I've driven the Class A 800 miles without getting out of the seat and didn't feel fatigued at all.
My bladder would never last that long. LOL
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Old 08-22-2016, 10:17 AM   #14
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Ditto...
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