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Old 07-14-2018, 12:40 AM   #1
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Fleetwood Owners Club
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Location: So. Oregon
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First time at the Wheel

I have a nice 38’ 2006 Pace Arrow 37C MH, (gas) with low mileage, 3 slides, looks like new inside and out. My husband did all the driving, hooking up/unhooking the toad (‘14 Honda C-RV), sewer, electricity, cable, propane, etc, and leveling etc.

Sadly, he passed away in Dec ‘17.
Before I decide if I should sell our MH, where we shared such wonderful times and adventures, I want to try to learn how to do all of these things, and then take a couple of short road trips to see if I can enjoy myself enough to keep it.

Yes, I can read the operators manual, but would prefer some one-on-one training to get proficient and confident enough, so I won’t worry about losing/crashing the tow vehicle, cleaning a clog sewer and dumping, hooking up to water/elec/sewer/cable etc.

I live in So Oregon. Should I advertise for an instructor to train me in these areas on Craigslist, contact a local RV dealer/Svc Ctr, or try a local RV Chapter? Any other suggestions?

For the past 12 month or more, I have faithfully started the engine and generator weekly and let them run for about 20-30 minutes. Very soon, I’ll need to unhook from house power, and attempt to drive the MH into town for gas, propane, and an oil change, which is due. I get nervous just thinking about having to do this.

Once trained and hopefully more confident, I also need to replace the tires, before I attempt my first short road trip.. They still look good, but are most likely the original tires (MH has 34780 miles on it).

Suggestions for getting up to speed on all systems, towing, driving etc, greatly appreciated.

Merlin OR

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Old 07-14-2018, 12:51 AM   #2
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Given your location I would suggest calling Henderson's RV in Grants Pass and ask them if they can suggest anyone. They are widely considered to be one of the best gas coach suspension shops in the country.

2002 Safari Trek 2830 on P32 Chassis with 8.1L
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Old 07-14-2018, 08:36 AM   #3
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Sorry to read you lost your husband and I understand the desire to continue to travel. Many Women do just what you are wanting to do and they do very well driving and maintaining their rigs. I suggest you search our Solo RV'ers Forum and check with others on your concerns. I am sure you will get many good answers there.

Good luck with your plans;

Don & Bev Morgan Weyauwega WI, 05 Itasca Horizon 40KD, 400 HP Cummins, Adopted by a great couple, Toad 07 Saturn Vue AWD, Air Force One, TST 510 TPMS, Mayor of Weyauwega 2007 - 2013, Waupaca Co Board Supervisor 2010 - 2014
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Old 07-14-2018, 08:50 AM   #4
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I'm sorry to hear of your loss. We live in the Bay Area of Ca.- otherwise I would gladly help you out personally. The things you mention are not hard to learn and with repetition you can perform all of them very well by yourself...which I encourage you to do. I hope you find a source of help close to you so that you can keep enjoying what you and your husband did. Meanwhile, the Solo RV'ers sounds like a good source and I hope you'll find more. My wife and I are retired and I spend a lot of time both rv'ing and looking at this web site. Don't hesitate to message me if you have any questions or concerns about anything. We have a Winnebago Sightseer motor home that in many ways is like yours. Best of luck to you in the future and I hope you have happiness out there in the rv world.
2008 Winnebago Sightseer 35-J
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Old 07-14-2018, 08:59 AM   #5
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I would advise AGAINST advertising on Craigslist for help. Too easy to get taken by all sorts of people. Try local dealerships, friends from church, local senior clubs, etc. You never know who you're talking to on CR.
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Old 07-14-2018, 09:47 AM   #6
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First off My sincere condolences. I lost my wife in 2012 and did a couple of solo trips myself. The fact that you are talking about it indicates that you're not afraid of attempting going it alone. As previously mentioned, a local dealership that you're familiar with or a senior club or church or chapter from FMCA would all be possible sources for help. I agree with the advice about staying away from Craigs List. I sure that there are tons of folks in your area that would be willing to help. I would myself except that I live in the other state that doesn't allow you to pump your own gas which is clear across country. We are heading out your way on a cross country trip this summer.
Here's a couple of suggestions just for gringe. Sit in the pilot seat for a bit and get used to the view. Check out what you see out of the side mirrors. Then start it up, make sure electric cord is unhooked don't ask how I know about that one and then maybe move it back and forth in the driveway. That's how I first learned how to drive my 1950 plymouth, my first car, going back and forth in the driveway. After you've done that a bit maybe venture around the block or so. Take your time. This will give you some more confidence. Since there are all kinds of sources on here for check off lists make one that works for you. You've probably watched your husband do his routine several times and have a good idea as to what needs to happen. Anytime you get stuck either consult a manual or come back here and ask questions. That's what we're all here for to help.
Dennis & Mary Ann(Directress of Navigation & Planning), 2013 Storm 32BH
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Old 07-14-2018, 10:07 AM   #7
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One other thought, there are some good youtube videos on driving an motorhome here is a good one to start with
2002 Safari Trek 2830 on P32 Chassis with 8.1L
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Old 07-14-2018, 10:51 AM   #8
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Susan, I'm so sorry about the loss of your husband!

I would seek the help of someone local that will take the time to help with all your questions.

I would NOT post anything on Craigslist! That would be an open invitation for people to try and take advantage of your situation!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
Joe & Annette

2002 Monaco Windsor 40PBT, 2013 Honda CRV AWD
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Old 07-14-2018, 11:22 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by MSHappyCampers View Post
Susan, I'm so sorry about the loss of your husband!

I would seek the help of someone local that will take the time to help with all your questions.

I would NOT post anything on Craigslist! That would be an open invitation for people to try and take advantage of your situation!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
I agree 100% with this. ^^

I wish you were just a little bit closer. I would be happy to help.
There are still a lot of good people in this world. Maybe ask a local dealer/salesperson for help. If you decide single travel is for you, they may land a sale on a smaller unit. Perhaps a Sprinter type diesel mini class C.

Unfortunately, my experiences with Craigslist is about 50/50 good people/scammers.
So sorry for your loss.
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2016 Jeep Wrangler Sport - flat towed
2004 Jeep Wrangler - trailered
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Old 07-14-2018, 11:40 AM   #10
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I lost my wife in Aug 2016 and am trying to decide if I want to sell my house and go full time or keep it and part time it. Property tax alone is $400 a month.
Anyway, I joined the solo group here and will be checking out the Winnebago solo group next week when they meet near me.
Glad to see that you're at least thinking of using you MH, my late wife would never even sit in the drivers seat let alone try and drive it. Just didn't like RV'ing that much I guess.
If the tires are original they should be replaced, there are date codes on the tires. But the tire manufacturers say tires should be checked starting at 5 years old and absolutely replaced at 10.
You're a little too far for me to drop by and help though, but I know there are others out there that can help you.
2009 45' Magna 630 w/Cummins ISX 650 HP/1950 Lbs Ft
Charter Good Sam Lifetime Member, FMCA, SKP
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Old 07-14-2018, 12:04 PM   #11
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This one is pretty good too. https://youtu.be/4CeThR_A4VI
2004 Winnebago Adventurer 38R
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Old 07-14-2018, 12:16 PM   #12
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I am on my first solo trip. You all ready know the hard part. Keeping it together without your companion.

My wife died in her sleep when we were in Washington State. My son flew across country to ride with me back. Since then I have been surrounded by friends and family.

First off your husband was not born with the knowledge of driving a MH. I learned by test driving MHs.

Take one step at a time. Find a local CG and drive over in your car. Walk around and ask quotations. You may even be able to a couple who will help you get the your MH to the CG and set it up.
Kit & Rita
37 foot ‘98 HolidayRambler Endeavor diesel pusher
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Old 07-14-2018, 01:17 PM   #13
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I'm sorry for the loss of your husband.

Are you an FMCA member? If so they could have a chapter near you where someone might be willing to help you.

Happy Trails!!!
Tony & Ruth........... FMCA#F416727
Newmar Dutch Star 4320, Spartan MM Chassis, Cat C9, 2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, Blue Ox Aventa LX, and AF1. TST 507 TPMS
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Old 07-14-2018, 01:31 PM   #14
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So pleased to hear you are thinking about going solo. Wish we were there to help/advise. Having been there/done that it is a fairly intimidating adventure but you will be fine. I think Henderson's is a good idea. Maybe one of them would "moonlight" for a few hours getting you familiar with your rig. A couple of nights at 7 Feathers or Valley of the Rogue might be a good starter. I think your driveway might be the scariest part. So excited for you!!!
Winter in Yuma is great! Would love to see you.❤️
As always you are in our hearts and prayers.

2008 National Pacifica 40D DP, 4 slides, 1 1/2 baths; 2007 Honda Odyssey
FMCA #F415856 & Thousand Trails Elite
Right, left, straight, or stay....decision of the day
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