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Old 08-07-2014, 10:14 PM   #1
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Question Learning to drive a class A. Easy???

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

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Old 08-07-2014, 10:23 PM   #2
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Kind of depends on what you're used to driving.
Any experience towing trailers? I switched for a P/U with 5er that measured 46' and went to a motorhome with toad the measured 58' took about 3 hrs. on the road to be comfortable.
Any RV dealers close by that offer lessons?

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Old 08-07-2014, 10:35 PM   #3
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A Class A is not any harder to drive than A Class C. It is a mater of perception, for the most part, they are not any wider (if they are it is a mater of a couple of inches), you do sit up a little higher and a little further to the left, (an advantage in my mind) Are there any abandoned businesses around with large parking lots? that would be a good place to "get the feel of it"
Then some low traffic roads, and work your way up, watch your clearances, etc. it is mostly just getting comfortable with it.
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Old 08-07-2014, 10:36 PM   #4
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Welcome to the forum.

Learning to drive a Class A isn't rocket science. It's just a matter of giving it all of your attention and gaining a real understanding of just how big you are and how to take that into account when you move it around.

I had never driven anything larger than a pickup truck towing a ski boat when I bought a new 40' Diesel. I hooked a Ford Explorer to the back end and managed to explore 44 states and 5 provinces (53,000 miles) with only a single "oops" that took a bit of paint off of one side.

Go to a parking lot. Put some cones or water bottles out and practice maneuvering around them. Set them up to simulate a camp ground back in spot and practice backing into them. On the road, always make sure you leave yourself room to STOP. You're not driving a Toyota around in and out of traffic so, for many people, it requires an entirely new mindset when driving the coach. Travel at a speed which you feel allows you to maintain complete control... including the ability to stop. Keep your eyes focused well ahead of you on the highway. It's very easy to over control when learning to drive a bigger rig. With eyes focused down the road, you'll make far fewer "corrections" with the steering wheel.

I'm sure many others will be along with advice but learning to drive a Class A shouldn't be something you fear. You've got this.

Rick, Nancy, Peanut & Lola our Westie Dogs & Bailey the Sheltie.

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Old 08-07-2014, 10:44 PM   #5
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Hi Nancy, and welcome!

Hard" is a relative term. Brain surgery strikes me as probably pretty hard, but there are a number of people who do it. They're properly trained. I used to fly very large airplanes across very wide oceans. If someone could teach me to do that, I don't think you should have any trouble with a 35 ft RV!! You just need training!

I'm betting you've learned to do a lot of things in life that started out as totally alien! If you want to learn to drive it, you will, with the proper guidance. There's an outfit called The RV Driving School that I've read very good things about. They supposedly have experienced instructors they can call on all over the place, probably someplace convenient to you.

Check at www.rvschool.com

There are also several videos on youtube that cover some training topics, but beware-- some are pretty well done, but some are totally amateur and may do more harm than good.

Good Luck, and keep us posted!
John & Diane, Fulltimers. RVM103 NHSO
On the road since June '12 with Lincoln, the guard cat.
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Old 08-07-2014, 10:47 PM   #6
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At 15 y/o my dad turned my loose in a 36' motorhome. No scuffs no wrecks. I paid attention to him driving motorhomes for the 15 years leading up to that, I helped a lot.

Been driving professionally since 21, 30 now and can say one thing that can help. Take a RV driving course, or get and read a CDL training book from your local DMV.
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Old 08-08-2014, 05:39 AM   #7
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I had a similar size rig. Biggest thing to remember is that there is a lot of motorhome sitting behind you use your camera if equipped and your mirrors, especially when turning. Google any "RV 101" videos by Mark Polk, and youtube for how to suggestive videos as I found them helpful. Take it for a ride early in the am and in the evening when traffic is light and get used to stopping at gas stations, getting on the highway,making turns etc. you adjust quicker than you expect. My 6th trip was massachusetts to florida. Good luck
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Old 08-08-2014, 09:33 AM   #8
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As I've suggested before. talk to somone at your local transit agency or your local school district to see if any of their drivers would be willing to spend a couple of hours helping you to learn.

School bus drivers are often grandmothers and they're horsing 40-foot buses with 70 screaming kids aborad round residential streets on dark mornings!

When I went to work as a transit driver, after retiring from Boeing, the actual "how to drive these beasts" took maybe 4 hours. The rest of the 4 weeks training was learning the company procedures and routes.
Frank Damp -Anacortes, WA,(DW- Eileen)
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Old 08-08-2014, 11:44 AM   #9
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I recently went through the same decision process. I wanted a class C because its similar to a typical car/truck cab set up. The wife and I then looked at class A and liked the added room but I was still apprehensive.

Then I found a nice used class A that both my wife and I fell in love with. I decided to go all out and get the class A and Im so glad I did. After a couple days of driving I felt very comfortable driving. The main advantage for me (the driver) is the awesome view while driving! Its like a movie theater experience. Plus I have tons of room to stretch my legs and dont feel closed in from side to side.

The basement storage is another huge advantage. I have never have had a storage issue and I even carry a spare generator.

If you go with a class A and get comfortable, I doubt you would ever consider a class C.

Good luck and safe camping.
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Old 08-08-2014, 01:23 PM   #10
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One of the best sites to learn from is here: rv driver confidence | Search Results | betterRVing!

I drive a 38 footer towing a car on a dolly and have no problems being older, female and by myself. I did watch these video's over and over.

Good luck, you CAN do it!
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Old 08-08-2014, 01:35 PM   #11
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Lots of good advice! If you steer it, everything will just follow. I used to really watch the lane markers on each side so I could tell I was centered in the lane. Someone said to imagine your right foot to be in the center of the lane, and that works pretty good. Making right turns around obstacles requires some practice, since the rear axle is further back than in a car, but after a while, it will seem like second nature. As suggested, an open, deserted parking lot may be a good place to start.
Good luck, and hope you get to enjoy it!
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Old 08-08-2014, 09:37 PM   #12
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I too watched the better rving videos from lazy day and they were a big help. I am driving 39'9" and I have had a few scary moments but overall I am doing it. At times I want to downsize to something smaller but I like the room and storage I have. I have done several solo trips and also trips with my husband. My next step is to learn how to tow a car, I rent a car at my destinations but I would like to be on the road longer and have transportation to get around. Also I just joined RVing woman and I hope to go to their convention in which they have maintenance seminars to learn more. Just take your time and you can do it.
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Old 08-09-2014, 06:40 AM   #13
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Watch the videos and check on youtube, there are a lot of instructional information there. Also, with a Class A, you tend to keep the passenger side wheels to close to the edge of the road. You have to train yourself to look farther down the road than with a car and follow a line near the road middle line (hope that makes sense). At first you will feel you are out of your lane, but if you look in the lower convex mirrors you will see you are actually not. Be mindful of the turning pivot point and tail swing (all explained in the videos) and take it to a quiet area for you initial driving.

This is my first Class A as well and I have been taking it slow. We took a couple of "learn to drive" local trips and this past week took another one towing our car. We have taken it camping once to learn the systems and plan to strike out on our first long trip right after Labor Day.

Take it slow and you will be fine. Also, not sure where you are located but I am sure someone local on this forum would be willing to go with you on your initial drive for some pointers. I know I would if you were nearby.
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Old 08-09-2014, 07:50 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by dbt803 View Post
I too watched the better rving videos from lazy day and they were a big help. I am driving 39'9" and I have had a few scary moments but overall I am doing it. At times I want to downsize to something smaller but I like the room and storage I have. I have done several solo trips and also trips with my husband. My next step is to learn how to tow a car, I rent a car at my destinations but I would like to be on the road longer and have transportation to get around. Also I just joined RVing woman and I hope to go to their convention in which they have maintenance seminars to learn more. Just take your time and you can do it.

X2. I'm in exactly the same boat! The videos are wonderful and I watched them many, many times! We are going to get our jeep set up to tow eventually. What is RVing woman?

Lynn & Dan Hochradel, & fur kids Carl & Alvin
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