Go Back   iRV2 Forums > MOTORHOME FORUMS > Class A Motorhome Discussions
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 06-24-2016, 07:23 AM   #1
PBG
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 103
Driving School Suggestions

On another thread, there's some discussion regarding training (or the lack thereof) offered to new motorhome buyers, but it seems to have drifted a bit off topic. Here's a link to that thread: Crazy RV Drivers

As we know, the motorhome industry is experiencing a boom cycle and it's a safe bet that many of the new purchases are made by first time operators. I fall in that category and have spent the past year shopping for my first motorhome. I've also been seeking methods to learn how to safely handle a 40- 45-foot motorhome before writing that big check and have pretty much come up empty. There seems to be no shortage of individuals operating as training companies that will come to the new buyer's location after the purchase. It seems this scenario is most likely when he/she had a close call or experienced an uncomfortable situation and understand they are in over their head in handling a large motorhome.

I'm coming up empty on finding locations that will train a new driver BEFORE making a purchase.

It seems the norm in the industry is that, with few exceptions, all that's needed to purchase a large motorhome is a valid driver's license and a check. I'm learning that most dealers offer to have a salesperson and in some cases a designated employee to walk through the basics of operation and a limited behind the wheel driving experience. One of the few exceptions seems to be Lazydays in that they offer various classroom sessions that culminate in the group taking a lap or two around its campus.

I'm one of those who has wanted to get into a Class A motorhome for quite some time, but I've hesitated as I don't want to get in over my head. I've considered starting with a smaller model, but the way these things immediately depreciate, that just seems like a huge waste of money and it doesn't solve the big issue of learning how to drive/operate a MH in a supervised manner prior to purchase.

Also, I find it strange that the motorhome industry's governing body/trade and lobbying organization (I believe that's the RVIA), after all these decades, has yet to come up with a tried and tested method of training potential owners how to safely operate a motorhome and handle it in a variety of real world situations. They seem to focus on promoting the family lifestyle, but fall short on the aspect of training. It seems there's a better way of learning the ins and outs of safe operation than having a salesperson spend a few hours, or possibly a day or so allowing a new buyer to drive around a parking lot or in areas close to a dealership. So, I'm here seeking suggestions.

I've asked a number of dealers about this and the responses are similar: They's easy or it just takes practice. I not disagreeing, but where do you go to get supervised practice?

I've searched online for training schools and it seems the common denominator is that there's a few operations that will send an instructor to assist a new buyer, but that's after the sale, not before. The only other possibility I've found is a professional truck driving school, but that unless you're seeking a Super C, it seems like it's overkill as semi's have different geometry and handling characteristics than motorhomes.

So, here's my question:

Can anyone provide links to legitimate training schools that teach a newbie how to drive a motorhome or even a school bus? While I'm not looking for a job as a school bus driver, I'm simply seeking places that can actually teach a driver how to drive and operate safely. It seems that a bus has much more in common with a large motorhome than a semi truck.

The bottom line: Before I place my family in a motorhome, I would like to undergo the proper training so that I have an understanding of the basics of driving and operation so that I can do my best to keep them and others I share the road with safe.

Comments and suggestions welcomed. I am willing to travel to seek the right level of training.
__________________

__________________
PBG is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 06-24-2016, 07:35 AM   #2
Registered User
 
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Varies Depending on The Weather
Posts: 8,517
Lazy Days at Seffner Florida offers a great RV driving class and it's free to people who are staying at the campground.

Dr4Film ----- Richard
__________________

__________________
Dr4Film is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2016, 07:41 AM   #3
PBG
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr4Film View Post
Lazy Days at Seffner Florida offers a great RV driving class and it's free to people who are staying at the campground.

Dr4Film ----- Richard
As stated, yes LazyDays does offer group classes, but those are in classrooms. Unless I've obtained inaccurate information, LazyDays behind the wheel classes are in a group and limited to a lap or two (15 minutes or so per person) around its campus.
__________________
PBG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2016, 07:50 AM   #4
Registered User
 
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Varies Depending on The Weather
Posts: 8,517
If you want personalize one-on-one training then I would suggest finding a company who trains their drivers for driving the large 45 foot tour buses all over the country.

Dr4Film ----- Richard
__________________
Dr4Film is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2016, 08:44 AM   #5
PBG
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr4Film View Post
If you want personalize one-on-one training then I would suggest finding a company who trains their drivers for driving the large 45 foot tour buses all over the country.

Dr4Film ----- Richard
So far, I've yet to find this type of operation. As stated in the original post, links to these types of operations are appreciated.
__________________
PBG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2016, 10:08 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Nine Mile Falls WA / Arizona City AZ
Posts: 524
The trouble with a driving class, especially if your one of the coach builders... is that when you started to fail 25% of your student base you'd loose sales... there needs to be a nationally funded training program like the Motorcycle Safety Foundation that does 2 things.... pre qualifies you in most states for the driving portion of the Motorcycle Endorsement... and gets you a 10% discount on insurance.... most of it is funded my the motorcycle manufactures.. however they just give money... and of course the states control it....
__________________
jelag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2016, 11:50 AM   #7
PBG
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by jelag View Post
.. there needs to be a nationally funded training program like the Motorcycle Safety Foundation that does 2 things.... pre qualifies you in most states for the driving portion of the Motorcycle Endorsement... and gets you a 10% discount on insurance.... most of it is funded my the motorcycle manufactures..
As stated in my original post, I'm a bit miffed that after all these years a manufacturer funded organization such as the RVIA has not developed a formatted training program for potential buyers. After all, isn't it their mission to get new users into the RV world?

As you stated, the motorcycle industry seems to have gotten it right. They have the MIC (Motorcycle Industry Council) that is comprised of and funded by of the motorcycle manufacturers to support the MSF (Motorcycle Safety Foundation). They oversee and organize training classes for new riders and holds classes for experienced riders as well. In the world of motorcycles, a newbie can attend a class and learn to ride in a supervised environment on small bikes that are in essence, funded by the manufacturers. Experienced riders can take classes to practice skills.

So, not to get off topic, why doesn't the motorhome manufacturer funded RVIA offer a "new to motorhome" series of classes and new driver training programs?

Since they don't currently offer any sort of training to those of us who want to buy a motorhome, if anyone has links to reputable companies that train school bus or tour bus drivers, I'll be happy to check them out.
__________________
PBG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2016, 11:51 AM   #8
PBG
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by jelag View Post
The trouble with a driving class, especially if your one of the coach builders... is that when you started to fail 25% of your student base you'd loose sales...
That surely seems better than having those folks behind the wheel of a 45' motorhome and sharing the road with others.
__________________
PBG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2016, 11:53 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
sdennislee's Avatar


 
Monaco Owners Club
Winnebago Owners Club
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 6,404
These guys have several locations but do not provide the RV you would need to rent the RV for the 2 day class

RV School
__________________
US Navy Vet, Liberty Tree Member of Oath Keepers, NRA & VFW Life Member, Alaska EMT.
2009 Safari Cheetah 40 SKQ
2009 Winnebago Chalet 231CR
sdennislee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2016, 12:22 PM   #10
PBG
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdennislee View Post
These guys have several locations but do not provide the RV you would need to rent the RV for the 2 day class

RV School
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.
__________________
PBG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2016, 12:36 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
sdennislee's Avatar


 
Monaco Owners Club
Winnebago Owners Club
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 6,404
Quote:
Originally Posted by PBG View Post
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.
Not sure who rents in your area or what requirements they impose but when I lived in Alaska they rented RVs to anyone with a credit card and drivers license. Florida where you are may be different.
__________________
US Navy Vet, Liberty Tree Member of Oath Keepers, NRA & VFW Life Member, Alaska EMT.
2009 Safari Cheetah 40 SKQ
2009 Winnebago Chalet 231CR
sdennislee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2016, 01:33 PM   #12
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 2,319
So;

1. You can find instructors and capital to set up your own course.

2. Rent an RV and take the course.

3. Find/buy your RV and try and schedule a course around that time. If you aren't comfortable driving your RV home someone could drive it for you.

at least there are possible solutions.


It's not the manufacturers/dealers responsibility to train us just like I didn't go to Kawasaki to take my motorcycle course.
__________________
1998 Tioga Class C
400 amp/hrs solar, Trimetric
Retire 2020 GLW
okcnewbie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2016, 09:13 AM   #13
PBG
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by okcnewbie View Post

It's not the manufacturers/dealers responsibility to train us just like I didn't go to Kawasaki to take my motorcycle course.
Well, this was not being helpful. But since you used Kawasaki as an example, so will I. While you may not have realized it, if you took the MSF riding class, you may have indirectly gone to Kawasaki to take your motorcycle class. I'll explain...

In the motorcycle industry, Kawasaki, along with the other motorcycle manufacturers fund a trade organization named the MIC (Motorcycle Industry Council). Like the RVIA (Recreational Vehicle Industry Association), it's job is to handle political affairs, get involved in various forms of legislation and to support the motorcycle industry in a variety of ways.

Sometime around 20 years ago, the motorcycle industry funded MIC formed the MSF (Motorcycle Safety Foundation) with one of its goals developing methods of training potential buyers and those who wanted to buy their first bike. Working together, they developed and orchestrated an entry level program that taught the basics of riding in both a classroom and supervised riding situation. They later expanded its course offerings to create an Experienced Rider Class that was designed to be a refresher class for even the most seasoned of riders.

So, if you're interested in a motorcycle, you simply sign up for a class (info available at most dealerships or online at Motorcycle Safety Foundation Home Page) and it gives you a method of learning how to ride safely in a supervised environment. Some States have made this class mandatory to obtain a valid motorcycle license. It also offers a discount on insurance.

Considering the MIC and RVIA are similar organizations, in that both are funded by the manufactures with the goal of getting more people to buy its products, I'm surprised that after all these years the RVIA has yet to establish some sort of training program that would allow newbies a method of learning safe and responsible driving techniques.

With that said and since the RVIA does not offer this program, I'll go back to my original question and that is...

Does anyone know of a company that trains school bus or tour bus drivers? Or, does anyone have any suggestions on where to go to obtain proper training for potential buyers BEFORE making the decision to purchase?

Personally, I don't think it's a good idea to buy a 45' motorhome and learn to drive it while sharing the streets with others. I'll guess that other motorhome owners would prefer knowing that when they see that brand spanking new 45' motorhome pull into a campground adjacent to the one where they are located, that the driver has had at least some basic training so that it doesn't overshoot the pad and slide into their motorhome.

So, does anyone have any suggestions on these types of schools?

I don't mean to come off harsh, I'm just attempting to look at motorhome ownership in a responsible manner.
__________________
PBG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2016, 12:17 PM   #14
Registered User
 
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Varies Depending on The Weather
Posts: 8,517
Quote:
Originally Posted by PBG View Post

As stated in the original post, links to these types of operations are appreciated.
HERE is one that you can sign up for in the spring of 2017. They are taking applications now.

Dr4Film ----- Richard
__________________

__________________
Dr4Film is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Question new school vs old school G-Man562 Tiffin Motorhomes Owners Forum 32 01-02-2016 02:38 PM
RV Driving School Garth iRV2.com General Discussion 10 09-06-2011 06:06 AM
RV Driving School RuthE Excel Owner's Forum 5 01-29-2008 09:23 AM
Just finished two day RV Driving School - long report John_Canfield Winnebago Industries Owner's Forum 8 01-15-2006 03:16 PM
RV Driving School LouRobin Southeast Region 8 01-16-2005 08:16 AM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:47 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.