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Old 08-17-2016, 11:36 AM   #15
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Make a route of some secondary roads in your area and head for them. Try some with turns and hills. It won't take long to feel comfortable. Stay out of heavy traffic until you practice on secondary roads. If you see a big open parking lot, pull in so you can judge how much room you really need.

When we first got ours the dealer had us drive up a curvy mountain road so we could experience turns and braking. He soon noticed that we were trying to steer it hard - naturally we were tense. He told us to relax at the wheel and the motorhome will handle more effortlessly. It was amazing. It was like it tracked almost by itself.

We both drove our 40' and actually took turns doing so to keep both of us up on feeling comfortable with it. On our trip to Alaska we took turns daily. This way we could both appreciate the surrounding area and the critters.

If you're more comfortable with a driving school, here is an excellent one:

RV School

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Old 08-17-2016, 02:26 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by C.Martin View Post

Here's a link to the video I mentioned... I found some useful tidbits in it for sure!!

And just to be more prepared...hopefully you'll never need it...

How To Handle An Rv Tire Blowout | Michelin RV Tires
Do yourself a favor and watch the vids at least. I have had 2 class Cs, most recently a 26 footer but the new to us 34' class A is a bit different. The Lazy Days vid discussed how to figure out reference points, setting your mirrors & backup camera correctly, among other things..... and practicing. Jane and I plan to have fun with it. I would agree that formal classes shouldn't be necessary for good experienced drivers.

PS: our fuel stop on the way home after picking it up was interesting but successful

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Old 08-17-2016, 02:35 PM   #17
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Many, many good comments here. One I didn't see that a sales man told me about keeping it centered. If you have a two piece windshield with the middle split, and a post in the center: when your are driving 98% of the time look way down the road. To check where you are positioned in the lane, make sure the windshield post is lined up with the edge of the road.
Sounds crazy but it has worked in three different MH for me. Rig now has solid one piece windshield.
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Old 08-17-2016, 02:37 PM   #18
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Is it difficult to drive a motorhome?? At first, I was intimidated. With time and practice, it got easier.

I did the school route through RV School which was mentioned earlier in this thread. Not only did he help me master the coach, he also gave me hints on as to the other things I needed to know for my Non-CDL Class B Driver Test.
2001 Newmar Dutch Star DSDP3852 - FMCA# F454599, NKK# 21292, Spartan MM-2242 Chassis
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Old 08-17-2016, 09:36 PM   #19
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Is it hard to drive a motorhome

The thing my wife had the most trouble with was understanding that she was sitting forward the of the front tires. I finally told her to imaging that she's sitting on the hood of her car with her feet on front bumper . It then sank in that she had to go a lot deeper in the turns. Lots of good advice above. It'll all come to you sooner than you would think and will become natural.

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Old 08-17-2016, 09:49 PM   #20
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good advice
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Old 08-17-2016, 10:08 PM   #21
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Plan Ahead

Whenever pulling into a parking lot, or parking space, plan ahead for how you are going to get out. This is especially true when refueling.
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Old 08-17-2016, 10:09 PM   #22
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Lots of good advice given. Definitely watch the videos. I would mention that it was hard for me to get used to centering the coach up in the lane too. I found two things that help. One, I can easily monitor my position by watching each of my convex mirrors. You can see the lines in each mirror and adjust accordingly. Another thing I figured out was there is a particular screw on my dash in front of me that I know if it is lined up with the right edge of the centerline, then I am pretty well centered up.

One other thing I would mention has to do with the blind spot on the right side. There is a point where a vehicle passing you on the right disappears where you cannot see it. You see it for a while in the flat mirror, then in the convex mirror, then it disappears for a while until you actually see the front of the vehicle as it passes you. (This issue may be somewhat alleviated if you have a Tiffin or one of the few other coaches that has a small window down low by the passengers feet. You might be able to see the vehicle then). In my case, there was a blind spot. I cured that by putting a Fresnel lens on the passenger window. Now I can see whatever is directly beside me. Even the curb in most cases. I've found it to be extremely helpful as there is NO blind spot now. I bought the lens on Amazon.


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Old 08-18-2016, 07:19 AM   #23
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As others have said, lots of good advice here. I would only reinforce not to use "close in references" (marks on windshield or mirrors) or constantly looking in mirrors when going down road. Doing so takes your attention off the road and forces you to wander. The extra height gives you a much better view of the road ahead (and more reaction time to hazards). I pretty much don't "think about it" when going down the road .. It becomes natural. As others have said, awareness in turns of wheelbase and width (and looking not to get "stuck" with no forward path) is necessary (but again becomes second nature .. Even my 18 year old a couple weeks ago Said "can you get out of here?" (Answer was yes!).
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Old 08-19-2016, 03:36 PM   #24
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As people have said, you take everything slower. Never allow someone behind you to push you faster or take a turn until you have the space to do so. There are classes at the FMCA rallies.
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Old 08-20-2016, 10:44 AM   #25
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Wheel cut angle on your DS?

[QUOTE=twogypsies;3212882]Make a route of some secondary roads in your area and head for them. Try some with turns and hills. It won't take l . . .

I am seriously considering the purchase of a 2004 DS 40' on a Spartan chassis. If yours is also on a Spartan chassis, do you know the wheel cut angle? Thanks.
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Old 08-20-2016, 10:54 AM   #26
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Compared to Rocket Science or Brain Surgery, it's actually pretty easy!
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Old 08-20-2016, 10:56 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by twogypsies View Post
I am seriously considering the purchase of a 2004 DS 40' on a Spartan chassis. If yours is also on a Spartan chassis, do you know the wheel cut angle? Thanks.
What is the front axle brand and model number? Could be 45, 50 or even 55. Just depends on what was installed.
Our '02 DSDP was 50 with the OEM 12,000 front axle and 50 with the 14,600# axle Newmar had Spartan install. The '03 DSDP's came with a 13,200# axle with only 45 of wheel cut.
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Old 08-20-2016, 11:41 AM   #28
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Is it hard to drive a motorhome

While it is no substitute for actual driving school, when we bought our first MH, I found a little book titled, "Drive you Motorhome Like a Pro," written by Lorrin Walsh. It was really helpful, and is still a good for refresher when I haven't traveled for a while. Not sure where I bought it. I did find it on Amazon, and there now seems to be a video by that name.

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