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Old 08-22-2014, 11:38 PM   #43
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Sounds like you're pretty defensive. I meant no comment regarding your son in law, and I'm sure Nancy does just fine.

But you misunderstood my post. Of course you check the curb when turning! Who wouldn't? But many, many people try to establish their straight line position in the lane based on the curb, in the bizarre, mistaken belief that if they stay as close to the right curb as possible they're being safer by leaving more room to their left. The safest thing to do in that context is to use the most visible, reliable visual cues available.

I don't live in Montana, BTW, we are fulltimers, and just happen to be here this summer. I'm glad you've lived in 18 states and consider yourself well experienced on narrow, urban streets. I haven't had the chance to live in so many (only 6). It's good experience to have. I can appreciate the value of your acquired skills, having lived most of the first sixty years of my life in Boston, and having spent some of those years driving charter buses (and a few motorhomes) through the downtown areas and city neighborhoods of my home city, much of New England, and Manhattan. How about those Boston drivers, huh!

Stay safe!
John,

I think we're mostly in agreement. Generally, I focus on whatever makes sense at the time. Usually that means staying away from the curbs.

Regarding narrow streets, Boston has some of the worst. And a lot of the backroads in the 'burbs can be interesting too. I lived in Framingham, Ashland, and Nashua, NH for 12 years. And left one month before the big dig started.

I considered Boston drivers very nice and considerate. And laid back too. NOT! Yes, they were a teensy bit aggressive.

Regards,

Dan.
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Old 08-23-2014, 07:16 AM   #44
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Smile Learning to drive a class A easy???

Hi everyone. Thanks for all your great tips !! All great ideas

Nancy and dog Kasie
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Old 08-23-2014, 12:36 PM   #45
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Old 08-24-2014, 10:01 AM   #46
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IMO - if you drive the left side of your coach the right side will remain the same distance from the left all of the time. So if you place the left side of the coach 1' from the center-line there will be one foot from the right side of the lane in a 10' lane.

Same thing for backing up. If you back up so the left side of the MH is 8.5' from the pad the right side will be right beside the pad.

Trying to constantly drive both sides of the MH at the same time will have you wandering all over the lane.

Now someone is going to say but you have to keep an eye on both sides. Absolutely but with a little practice you will see stuff to the right and know where to drive the left side. On right hand turns you will learn how far past the corner to start the turn and how tight to turn. During the turn you will look in the right hand mirror to confirm you have clearance and stop if you don't but IMO the control is on the left where you are sitting.
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Old 08-24-2014, 03:59 PM   #47
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OK, let's see if we can simplify a couple of things. 1) Highway driving, 2 lane, 4 lane, 6 lane. Once you have picked your lane, to stay centered in that lane, you can use a couple of methods. A) using your brain, line up your right (throttle) foot with the center oil strip of the lane. Nearly 100% of lanes have a discoloration in the middle due to a variety of things: oil/grease/antifreeze droppings, lack of wear because tires don't generally travel in the center and in some instances, debris accumulates. So the discoloration could be lighter or darker than the traveled (tire tracks) portion of any lane. Once you have synchronized your brain and your right foot with that "middle" portion of the lane, stretch your vision as far as you can see. Keep your eyes moving, adjust your distance constantly but the farther out you look, the less you will wander trying to fit into that 10' -12' wide space. B) find a place on your dash or windshield that lines up with the lane divider or shoulder. You can easily check your mirrors to see where you are in your lane. Again, not staring, just a quick glance can confirm your position.
2) turning right turns: SLOW, remember, you have dishes on board....when your shoulder (some use hip) is lined up with the curb/roadside (reference point) that you are turning on to, then turn. Adjustments may be needed to allow for parked cars or the distance you are from the curb/road edge you are turning from. If you steer to the left in preparation for the right turn, you may provide space for a vehicle to enter that space......on your blind side. Always check mirrors and cameras if so equipped and signal far enough ahead to give proper notice to other drivers.
Turns: left turn.......same thinking...line up your shoulder/hip with the center (reference point) of the driving lane you are turning on to. Turn. Your back axle does not track with the front axle.
Always allow for the tail swing of your vehicle....as much as 3'.....in the opposite direction you are turning.
Best, Darrell
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Old 08-27-2014, 11:02 PM   #48
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Just bought a 37 KSDP a few weeks ago. No experience with Motorhomes but have pulled boats and utility trailers. Flew to Oregon and drove it back to Houston (2500 miles) down some decent grades and did pretty well. I have had it out a few more times and feel better all the time. Don't let your pride get in the way and go at your own pace. It's a blast
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Old 08-29-2014, 10:01 AM   #49
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CONGRATULATIONS noserider on your new rig. What a thrill it is to hit the road. I like your advise.......don't let peer pressure overcome your common sense.
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Old 08-30-2014, 09:56 PM   #50
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Just bought my first mh it's a 34 ft damon daybreak. Its so easy to drive just get to an open area empty parking lot and practice turning. The left rear swing is incredible to watch. It swings way out.
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Old 08-30-2014, 10:15 PM   #51
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CONGRATULATIONS noserider on your new rig. What a thrill it is to hit the road. I like your advise.......don't let peer pressure overcome your common sense.

Thanks! I was at a gas pump last weekend. It was not a truck stop so a little tight. As I was leaving turning right away from the pump I was shocked at the tail swing toward the pump . LOL. Thankfully I was paying attention and checking my mirrors. Pulling further ahead was not an option due to a building so I had to stop and back up 2 times to put a little more space between the pumps and my coach. I was alone so no spotter. I learned something that day about tail swing! I plan to measure this when I get a chance but I'm sure it was at least 3'.
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Old 08-30-2014, 10:16 PM   #52
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It's seriously impressive and scary
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Old 08-31-2014, 08:27 PM   #53
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So Nancy, How are you doing? Have you learned to drive your RV? I notice it has been almost a month and the only reply was a thank you in 4 pages. There are so many AWESOME people giving you pointers and advice, Have you used any of them? Remember, we are all pulling for you because we all know you can do it!!!! We have all been there at one point in our lives..
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Old 09-02-2014, 08:25 PM   #54
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Smile Driving a class A

Hi. I've been doing short drives around town when there's not much traffic doing ok
Still a little scary cat
I'll be sure to let you know when I hit the big road

Nancy and dog kasie.
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Old 09-03-2014, 09:15 AM   #55
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Nancy, thanks for the update. Practicing in a parking lot as often as you can will build the confidence you need.
http://dor.mo.gov/forms/Commerical_Driver_License.pdf
This link is to the Missouri DOR website for CDL licenses. All states have similar requirements. Section 12 is Basic Vehicle Control Skills Test and Section 13 is the On-Road Driving test.
You can practice section 12 in a parking lot. Buy 6 2' or 3' orange cones to use as reference points for the 4 maneuvers. Print off the diagrams and take them with you. If you have someone to go with you, that will be a huge plus because you should never back up without a spotter. If you do back without a spotter, stop and get out and look after moving the length of your coach.
I know you are probably not going to obtain a CDL but just think where your confidence will be if you can achieve the qualifications required.
Hang in there, it's not difficult........it's different.
Darrell
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Old 09-03-2014, 07:55 PM   #56
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It looks like I'm stuck with my class A , How hard is it to learn to drive Its a 35 ft and I thought about trading it for a c but I'm upside down sooooo
Can't sell it
Any tips That would be so helpful


Nancy and Kasie dog
Don't sweat it...just go slow and easy until you feel confident. Just remember you need 1 1/2 lanes to turn, and you need more space to stop in. On earlier motorhomes I had a plastic prism on the rear window so I could see the lanes on either side before moving over, but now my back-up camera does the same thing.
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