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Old 06-25-2016, 04:11 PM   #15
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HERE is one that you can sign up for in the spring of 2017. They are taking applications now.
Gotta read the fine print on this one - because the devil IS in the details.

The course prerequisites state that students must already possess a Class A or Class B CDL and have three years of driving experience.

In the FAQ section - the following response is given to the "Will there be any driving in this course?" question:
There will not be any driving in the course. If you have the required 3 years minimum commercial driving experience, we assume that you already know how to handle a big rig.
It doesn't sound like a great fit for somebody looking to learn how to drive their motorhome.

I could be wrong ... but all the talk about placement help "graduates" can get gives me the impression it's essentially a $1,000 job placement fee. Give 'em your $1,000, sit thru the course - and they'll add you to the list of "qualified" drivers they sell to the entertainment industry.
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Old 06-25-2016, 04:31 PM   #16
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HERE is one that you can sign up for in the spring of 2017. They are taking applications now.

Dr4Film ----- Richard
Thank You!

Oddly enough, I knew one of the founders of this school. He passed away last Summer.

I've contacted the school and will report back when they get back to me. But as stated in the previous post, this is not a beginner's school.
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Old 06-25-2016, 05:34 PM   #17
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HERE is one that you can sign up for in the spring of 2017. They are taking applications now.

Dr4Film ----- Richard
See the requirements:

All Applicants must have a valid Class A or Class B Commercial Drivers License (CDL).
Must have 3 years prior experience as a commercial driver of a commercial vehicle weighing in excess of 26,000.00 pounds (must be documented).
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Old 06-25-2016, 07:48 PM   #18
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See the requirements:

All Applicants must have a valid Class A or Class B Commercial Drivers License (CDL).
Must have 3 years prior experience as a commercial driver of a commercial vehicle weighing in excess of 26,000.00 pounds (must be documented).
...AND it's a school with NO actual driving.
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Old 06-25-2016, 08:09 PM   #19
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I contacted them many months ago and you're correct, you have to rent an RV. Basically, they have instructors in various cities and are designed to assist those who have purchased a motorhome and realized they are over their heads.

But, who rents RVs to those who don't have RV driving experience? It's a chicken and egg scenario.
Are you opposed to renting a Class A to take a course?
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Old 06-25-2016, 08:25 PM   #20
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Are you opposed to renting a Class A to take a course?
I have a call in to a local rental company and should know more next week. I will say that I spoke with All Star Coaches in Ft. Lauderdale recently and they wanted $2,400 per day for an Essex rental. That price did not include insurance.

What do you think of that price?
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Old 06-25-2016, 08:25 PM   #21
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With all due respect, and I mean that honestly I do!

if you are anywhere near a competent driver of anything else, the basics transfer over...
I never once felt the need for training to drive our coach, just still need training to operate all the systems/gadgets - well I think I can operate them, now understand fully ? not yet

back to the original topic :
i.e. if you know how to ride a bicycle, then you know how to ride a bicycle...

yes, there are differences, but any modicum of care in the first few days will get you through it...

and imho, you don't have to rent an rv - just rent the largest uhaul box truck like below for $155 per day (no cdl needed) and you are close...
the only difference is length...

good luck !
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Old 06-25-2016, 08:26 PM   #22
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RV Rentals of Orlando

Private Motorhome Rentals

Luxury Diesel RV Rentals in the United States

A quick search shows many rental agencies in FL.

Hopefully this answers your question of, who would rent an RV to someone with no experience, the first link has 4 requirements: you must be 25 or older, have a drivers license, credit card and current car insurance.
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Old 06-25-2016, 08:28 PM   #23
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I have a call in to a local rental company and should know more next week. I will say that I spoke with All Star Coaches in Ft. Lauderdale recently and they wanted $2,400 per day for an Essex rental. That price did not include insurance.

What do you think of that price?
Way too high, several class A motor homes in FL for $250.00 to $300.00 per day. Day minimum
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Old 06-25-2016, 09:30 PM   #24
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With all due respect, and I mean that honestly I do!

if you are anywhere near a competent driver of anything else, the basics transfer over...
I never once felt the need for training to drive our coach, just still need training to operate all the systems/gadgets - well I think I can operate them, now understand fully ? not yet

back to the original topic :
i.e. if you know how to ride a bicycle, then you know how to ride a bicycle...

yes, there are differences, but any modicum of care in the first few days will get you through it...

and imho, you don't have to rent an rv - just rent the largest uhaul box truck like below for $155 per day (no cdl needed) and you are close...
the only difference is length...

good luck !
You're on the money JohnBoyToo!

Couple your suggestions with a little time studying the written material associated with a CDL license for some of the "large vehicle" unique stuff (especially the material on driving law differences and on air brakes!).

Add watching all the training videos you can find (there are lots of 'em available on YouTube!) to raise your awareness on a few things you might not have thought of ...

Then put in a little time in a large parking lot to practice backing a coach.

Do that and you'll be at the same point that virtually every new driver starts out at ... after that it's simply a case of driving and gaining experience.
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Old 06-25-2016, 10:07 PM   #25
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Way too high, several class A motor homes in FL for $250.00 to $300.00 per day. Day minimum
Should have read 4 day minimum
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Old 06-26-2016, 08:24 AM   #26
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With all due respect, and I mean that honestly I do!

if you are anywhere near a competent driver of anything else, the basics transfer over...
I never once felt the need for training to drive our coach, just still need training to operate all the systems/gadgets - well I think I can operate them, now understand fully ? not yet

back to the original topic :
i.e. if you know how to ride a bicycle, then you know how to ride a bicycle...

yes, there are differences, but any modicum of care in the first few days will get you through it...

and imho, you don't have to rent an rv - just rent the largest uhaul box truck like below for $155 per day (no cdl needed) and you are close...
the only difference is length...

good luck !
Respect noted.

I'll apologize for the long post that follows, but hopefully it will assist you in knowing I'm serious about this and truly want to purchase a top tier Class A motorhome.

Indulge me for a moment and I'll attempt to be clear where I'm coming from and what I'm attempting to accomplish.

For a moment, turn the clock back to the era when you were a newbie and try to remember the time when you (not you specifically, but all of the kind folks who are taking the time to read this thread) were new to the world of motorhomes. I'll guess you'll remember there's an overwhelming amount of information that uses unfamiliar terms hitting you in the face at highway speeds during the shopping and purchasing process. Then add the fact that not all of us have the benefit of a trucking or highly skilled mechanical background nor did we grow up in a household where motorhomes and camping were a part of our lives. Maybe we've dreamed of it, but for whatever reason, life got in the way. Quite possibly you're now understanding where I'm coming from and why I'm seeking training on the various aspects of motorhome ownership BEFORE I jump in with both feet.

Trust me that the price of admission and the selection of floor plans are not my prime concern. It's making as few mistakes as possible and being somewhat prepared for what happens later that will lay the foundation of having a positive and safe long term experience.

I honestly don't think I'm the only one facing this dilemma and quite possibly there's more than just a few of us who have wanted to take this leap for a long time and finally have the time and resources to do it right and want to do so in a responsible manner. I'm sure the Admins have a grasp of the number of lurkers that visit this well populated forum and may come and go in batches. That type of data, when interpreted properly, probably speaks volumes there's other folks like me out there who want to buy, but for whatever reason, keep stepping back. A savvy manufacturer or even the RVIA could view this as a great opportunity.

If my "assumptions" are correct, the motorhome manufacturers have an opportunity sitting right in front of them to boost business by tapping into this currently unserved market and developing methods to make newbies such as myself feel comfortable buying and operating a motorhome. I've read with interest the many threads of seasoned motorhome owners trading for a new model and are overwhelmed at all the information thrown at them during the factory or dealer delivery process. If it's overwhelming for them, just imagine what it's like for a newbie.

As stated previously in this thread, when the motorcycle manufacturers were seeking methods of attracting new buyers into showrooms, its trade group (The MIC) developed the MSF and created classes that taught basic operation and safe handling in a controlled environment. Yes, that program brought many new buyers into that industry.

Not only is there an endless array of decisions that need to be made prior to exiting the showroom, but after the ink dries, the paperwork is completed and the check clears, then the questions become:

What's next? How does the new buyer attempt to make as few mistakes as possible? Let's face it, when it comes to RVs and motorhomes, mistakes can be time consuming and costly and in extreme cases, dangerous to those riding inside the coach and those sharing our highway space.

Yes, learning to drive and maneuver a large motorhome in a responsible manner is only part of the equation, and memorizing the proper sequence of operating the various features and functions can confuse even the most skilled new owner.

While it's common for those who enjoy motorhomes to say, "you don't know what you don't know," and while I'll agree with that statement, I'm simply attempting to learn as much as possible to make this the enjoyable experience it's promoted to be. I can only guess that seasoned users don't take issue with a new buyer attempting to take the responsible route and hoping to learn as much as possible regarding slow speed maneuvering and the associated maintenance tasks in a responsible manner.

Like others, while I've never driven a 45' vehicle across the country, I'm no rookie in handling various vehicles. I've driven a sports car at 169MPH on the test tracks at the Michigan Proving Grounds, have attended quite a few Skip Barber classes and have logged countless miles doing iron butt runs while riding the many motorcycles that graced my garage over the decades. But those wheeled activities came with a higher level of training than what's typical in the motorhome industry where a salesperson provides in an hour or two of behind the wheel in a parking lot saying things such as, "they're easy to handle," or "you'll figure it out." When reality sets in and it's time to dump the tanks or deploy the slides, you're following the instructions in the manual or attempting to remember the steps the salesperson seemed to gloss over during the walk-through while your brain was attempting to soak in all the info delivered over the previous few hours while creating punch lists of things that need repair before you exit the lot. Quite possibly you'll understand my disappointment that the RV industry seems to have dropped the ball when it comes to establishing tried and tested methods of training newbies and converting them into new owners who have a level of confidence to do something that's been on the wish list for many decades.

Just imagine for a moment what that's like for a newbie who wants to buy and participate in this "recreation," but wants to do so making as few mistakes as possible.

When you add to the equation the seemingly endless array of posts on this site highlighting the laundry list of initial defects found on many new motorhomes, possibly you can see why I'm thinking the best way to have a positive experience is to seek a level of training that will make me comfortable walking into a showroom and buying my dream motorhome.

Hence, my quest to find a location that has a tried and tested method of teaching the newbies just enough to feel comfortable writing a check with a lot of zeros continues.

One more thing: I've scoured the rental sites and none of them are thrilled with renting a large Class A to a rookie. I've reached out to the RV training companies and they are simply not setup to work with people who are not current owners. I've even looked into attending a Spartan class to learn more about chassis operations and guess what? You need to be an owner to participate.

If there's a dealer, manufacturer or a qualified and certified instructor who has a solution, feel free to post here or to send me a PM. After a year of seeking a jumping in point, I'm ready to go!

Again, sorry for the long post. I welcome comments and suggestions. Thank You!
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Old 06-26-2016, 09:11 AM   #27
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I think this discussion is a mood point. What you are looking for does not exist, period. Should there be a training class for people who are first time buyers of a class A? Maybe!
You can argue all you want and you might even be right, but it still does not exist.
Rent aUHaul, AS someone suggested and drive the thing around town, back it up etc. Buy the complete insurance package when you rent and go at it.

Interestingly, there don't seem to be a lot of accidents involving Class A RVs, at least I'm not aware of any statistics that would show that Class As have a higher rate of accidents than any other vehicle on the road.
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Old 06-26-2016, 09:43 AM   #28
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Interestingly, there don't seem to be a lot of accidents involving Class A RVs, at least I'm not aware of any statistics that would show that Class As have a higher rate of accidents than any other vehicle on the road.
I'm sure you're correct. However, after speaking with my insurance agent, I was led to believe the majority of claims occur at speeds lower than 10 mph. She also stated that it's a good guess that many of the accidents go unreported to the insurance companies due to high deductibles or the risk of having a blemish that would increase the policy upon renewal. I'm sure you've visited more dealerships/body shops than I have, but from what I've seen there's a fair share of body panels being replaced.

I'm one of those old fashioned folks who spent my life creating solutions for problems that others didn't know existed. Hopefully there's a solution to this problem that I'm simply not aware of and that's the reason for the detailed post. Yeah, the squeaky hinge thing!
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