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Old 01-29-2015, 09:44 PM   #1
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How long did it take you to get used to driving these big rigs

Ok so if I don't feel safe driving one I shouldn't. That being said, I never said I didn't feel safe driving one.

I went from a small class A like a 25' Winnebago Via to a 2015 38ft DP fleetwood excursion. Wow!
Like going from the back row of a movie theater to the very first row. Little windshield to open skies.

Oh buy the way I was going to test drive in rush hour traffic with massive start and stops. Someone even got rearended while he was going 95mph. The other guy had to really be flying.

Anyway I know there are courses you can take but around the mid-west the main driving course is to sell you a MH and tell you to not let the door hit you on the bottom on your way out. Or so it seems.

Anyway just wandering.

Thanks.
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Old 01-29-2015, 10:11 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by okie143 View Post
Ok so if I don't feel safe driving one I shouldn't. That being said, I never said I didn't feel safe driving one.

I went from a small class A like a 25' Winnebago Via to a 2015 38ft DP fleetwood excursion. Wow!
Like going from the back row of a movie theater to the very first row. Little windshield to open skies.

Oh buy the way I was going to test drive in rush hour traffic with massive start and stops. Someone even got rearended while he was going 95mph. The other guy had to really be flying.

Anyway I know there are courses you can take but around the mid-west the main driving course is to sell you a MH and tell you to not let the door hit you on the bottom on your way out. Or so it seems.

Anyway just wandering.

Thanks.
Honestly, the only issue I have had is sitting in front of the front wheels. It was a strange sensation making turns. Other than that, no problem. Coming away from towing a 43' 5th wheel, it seems pretty easy. Although I have had a trial by fire learning experience. After making 1/2 dozen test drives, I drove this coach away from the dealer through DFW traffic, and got lost going to the RV park, the 1st day. The next day, the way home started through DFW and in 30 mph wind all the way home. So far, I have not been able to drive it anywhere without wind. Looking forward to getting it on i-10 West in April
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Old 01-29-2015, 10:45 PM   #3
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Maj. Okie143,

This may offer what you seek https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...ve+a+motorhome
Believe you will find several How To Drive A Motorhome flicks to watch. Congrats on your new DP.

Soon you will driving with a big grin on the Yellow Brick Road.
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Old 01-29-2015, 11:05 PM   #4
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I'm a retired city bus driver who drove buses for over 30-years in a traffic-congested west coast city and I remember it took at least a year before I felt really comfortable with things such as right-side clearance and making tight turns ...and this was driving 40-foot coaches for over eight hours a day in heavy traffic, going in and out of bus zones and maneuvering buses in a combination of tight and narrow residential and commercial streets along with congested freeway operation going at higher speeds. I was in my mid-twenties and it still took that long to feel really comfortable driving a bus.

I can remember being on the edge of my seat during that first year and always ready to blow the horn. After a year or so had passed, I never used the horn at all and driving a bus was just as easy as driving a car ...and I preferred to drive a bus than a car. It became that I could actually judge right clearance better in a bus than I could in my car, or so it seemed, as we had to maneuver quickly around parked cars and other obstacles sometimes coming within a few inches of them as we really had no choice in some situations.

As with anything else, you get more competent the more you do something. The more you drive the motorhome, the more comfortable you'll get.

I'm sure the videos that osok has posted will help.

There are many good RV instruction classes available too. I see you're in OK and I've heard that Oklahoma State University has a good training session for driving RVs you may want to check out.

OSU-OKC Precision Driving Training

Also, I've run into many first-time diesel pusher owners who have no idea how to check their air brakes as some states do not require a non-commercial Class B license to drive DPs (the states that do usually will require an air brake endorsement). I've given this video to other new DP owners that helps prepare bus drivers at Seattle's King County Metro on how to pass the CDL test and has an excellent section on checking the air system on a bus (exactly the same information one needs when owning a DP):

Click here


Good luck and as I've said, the more you drive your rig, the more comfortable you'll get.
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Old 01-29-2015, 11:42 PM   #5
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When I worked for a furniture store in high school they had a Ford van. That was strange sitting right over the front wheels.
I took our 2000 DSDP to a FL dealer for a recall, cranked the wheel over when I went to start out and scared myself so bad I jammed on the brakes.
I did have a little experience driving different rigs up to a 4 yd dump truck though.
But our first MH was a 17' Okanagan Type B.
Then a 23' Four Winds Type C
Then a 35' Santara Type A
Then a 39' Dutch Star DP
Now a 41' Dutch Star DP
And possibly a 45 CC Magna tomorrow.

Did the same with boats too
12' row boat.
17' IO
18' IO
Then a 23' IO w flybridge at a yacht club and boathouse.
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Old 01-29-2015, 11:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottybdivin View Post
Honestly, the only issue I have had is sitting in front of the front wheels. It was a strange sensation making turns. Other than that, no problem. Coming away from towing a 43' 5th wheel, it seems pretty easy. Although I have had a trial by fire learning experience. After making 1/2 dozen test drives, I drove this coach away from the dealer through DFW traffic, and got lost going to the RV park, the 1st day. The next day, the way home started through DFW and in 30 mph wind all the way home. So far, I have not been able to drive it anywhere without wind. Looking forward to getting it on i-10 West in April
30 mph wind shouldn't affect an MADP at all. I know it doesn't with our present 2002 DSDP and we only have a single rear axle.
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Old 01-30-2015, 05:56 PM   #7
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After driving Tractor Trailers for 20+ years, the first 2-3 times I tried to back-up our 41 footer I had a devil of a time, I was always steering like I was back a trailer not a straight unit.
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Old 01-30-2015, 06:45 PM   #8
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So MR D are you saying 30mph wind does not bother you?
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Old 01-30-2015, 07:07 PM   #9
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if it's a 30mph side wind, then I'm all over the road,i just have to slow way down and take my time.
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Old 01-30-2015, 07:08 PM   #10
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We did the same thing, going from a 25' montara to a 40' Windsor.
It really wasn't long, maybe second or third time, it was just not a big deal anymore.
Its just learning what it does after what I do.
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Old 01-30-2015, 07:09 PM   #11
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30 mph wind shouldn't affect an MADP at all. I know it doesn't with our present 2002 DSDP and we only have a single rear axle.
I would say that I definitely felt it.
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Old 01-30-2015, 07:22 PM   #12
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I drove all kinds of trucks as a kid growing up. Helped out a couple farmers during harvest season. Drove 18 wheelers for several years & the first one I drove over the road was a cab over International. Drove conventional & cab overs. Driving the motor home is actually pretty relaxing for me.
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Old 01-30-2015, 08:33 PM   #13
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bah, dont sweat it. Once you stop backing over the cat and wiping out stop signs when turning a corner, you'll be all set.
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Old 01-30-2015, 08:56 PM   #14
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Never drove anything bigger than a F-650 service truck. When I bought my unit (40 ft. dp) the dealer drove me down one exit on the Interstate, let me drive back, then handed me the keys. Had to drive it three hours home and back it into the driveway. DW fussing the whole way about me placing her too close to the telephone poles and mailboxes. Talk about learning quick!

Biggest challenge was adjusting to being in front of the front wheels, turning radius, running side by side with semis and judging the width of this monster. Two years and 20,000 miles and I am almost comfortable driving it!
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