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Old 05-16-2012, 06:32 PM   #15
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And don't try to get too many miles in one day. Take your time and ENJOY THE RIDE!
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Old 05-16-2012, 06:51 PM   #16
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We've had our MH for 2 months. I'm more comfortable on the interstate as I don't have to worry about height restrictions going under overpasses or low hanging tree branches. Plus, the rest areas accommodate big rigs so it's easy to get in and out. Same for many of the gas stations at the exits.
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Old 05-16-2012, 07:51 PM   #17
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If you haven't done it already, prior to any long trip like you're describing, I would HIGHLY recommend several of what I call anti freak out lessons. Get out there and drive it to the store and back if you have to - running over familiar territory! Park WAY out in the parking lot. Use it for any errand you can think of - with and without the toad. After several of these short hops/exercises, that may take 5 minutes or an hour - you should be ready for about anything. Best of luck!
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Old 05-17-2012, 12:09 AM   #18
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1) Find a deserted road, stop, check if you're centered in the road, then put two pieces of tape on the window so you'll know when you're centered.
2) Watch how trucks turn at corners, follow their example...because of the overhang of your rig, you don't wanna knock over a pedestrian or whack the rear of your rig.
3) Coming down hill, if you don't have an exhaust brake, downshift and let the engine help slow you down. You don't want to burn up your brakes or boil the fluid from overheating.
4) Recommend the first several hundred miles you stay on the freeway. Practice exiting and making turns at remote exits.
5) Rest stops are a great place to rest and recuperate. Easy off and on the freeway. Parking for big rigs.
6) LOOK down a street before committing to the turn. Even if there is someone behind you. You don't want to get trapped on a narrow street with no exit or turnaround.
7) At gas stations...look UP...is it high enough? See those big yellow metal posts? See the scrapes on them? Guess how that happens.

Good luck.
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Old 05-17-2012, 09:21 AM   #19
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If you haven't done it already, prior to any long trip like you're describing, I would HIGHLY recommend several of what I call anti freak out lessons. Get out there and drive it to the store and back if you have to - running over familiar territory! Park WAY out in the parking lot. Use it for any errand you can think of - with and without the toad. After several of these short hops/exercises, that may take 5 minutes or an hour - you should be ready for about anything. Best of luck!

That's exactly what I did and am doing now, great advice. My renter teases me that I'm always driving the thing around, well, how better to become comfortable with it.
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Old 05-17-2012, 12:52 PM   #20
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Thanks everyone! I think I'm going to stick to I-90 at least outward bound. I may feel more adventurous on the return trip and try 2 coming back.

I did take a 4-hour driving course and I have taken the Beast out for a few short runs - it gets easier each time. I've only driven with the FROG (Four Rolling On Ground) once, for about 1/4 mile. Didn't kill anyone, so that's always a good sign.

My brother has decided to come with me on the maiden voyage! He's very ill and it will be his only chance to go cross-country. He just received clearance today to be able to travel with oxygen so we're good to go. We're going to take our sweet time and really check out all the sights! Looking forward to it
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Old 05-18-2012, 12:44 AM   #21
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I would go to the biggest empty parking lot I can find, with 6 or more orange safety cones and practice turns with and without the tow vehicle.

Check each gas station before entering. If you get hemmed in between pumps and store or curbs, especially towing, you will probably want to sell the RV. Right on the spot.
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Old 05-18-2012, 12:51 AM   #22
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Nui,
I've driven Hwy 2 dozens of times between Everette and Leavenworth. It is indeed a beautiful ride. I wouldn't recommend it on your first big adventure though. It is not the best pavement in spots and it has several very narrow bridges that still give me white knuckles to navigate with oncoming traffic. The truly scary part is how many people overdrive this road. They speed and pass in narrow sections not to mention riding your bumper because you can't go fast enough to suit them. It can make for a pretty stressful trip. The safer and less stressful choice would be I 90. It has some pretty scenery through North Bend and Snoqualmie. You can cruise in the slow lane and folks won't be mad at you.
I second the notion of getting some practice trips in first. Good luck and have fun.
Rocky
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Old 05-18-2012, 08:25 AM   #23
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Everyone should get at least one of these!

As I was reading the posts, I was thinking that all that scenery will be lost on you as you BETTER ignore it while driving. You will need to pay a LOT of attention to your driving to the exclusion of everything else. One thing newbies need to spend a lot of effort on is lane position as it's often not intuitively obvious where the center of the lane is. I usually rely on lining up the center of the split window with the right side of the road. Also, my co-pilot will tell me when I'm getting off-center. Good luck!
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Old 05-18-2012, 10:55 AM   #24
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I am a woman driving alone as well. I bought my first MH, a 38' DP, in Mississippi and drove it home to central Texas several weeks ago. I don't know the highways you're talking about, but in general I preferred the interstates on my trip home. Or at least roads with two lanes each direction. I didn't have to drive any mountains and am also a bit nervous about that. I did make it through some road construction with no problems, but really had to concentrate on lane position. It was at night too! Yikes! But it's easier than you think and I'm hooked! I'm sure you will be fine. The place where I bought mine said if I was ready to test drive it when I bought it, having never driven a MH before, then that's a very good sign. You just have to get out there and do it! It's so much fun. I wish you luck and maybe we will run into each other down the road somewhere!
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Old 07-21-2012, 06:25 PM   #25
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Hi Nui - I have no information to share as I'm in a similar scenario ... widowed and will be setting out for my first travel trailer trip, going coast to coast. I haven't even purchased my trailer yet!! But thank you for posting as I gathered alot of info reading your responders info. Be safe and remember to have fun!! Kristen
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Old 07-21-2012, 06:33 PM   #26
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Hi Cdat

TO CDAT ----"I was just out of high school, grew up in the SF bay area. Went to work for a construction equip company, delivering large equp.
My boss, in his infinite wisdom had me take a load from South San Francisco over to Marin county, across the Golden Gate Bridge. "


I did c-dat ... LOL! Just thought I'd give you a hello from your childhood stomping grounds!! I'm in Sonoma county ... lived in Marin county when I first ventured out here from Indiana in 2001. Kristen
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Old 07-22-2012, 10:46 AM   #27
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My advice.....1) Do not, do not, DO NOT try to "sight see" while driving!! Keep your eyes on the road, watch for potential hazards, scan the road up ahead, as far as you can see, watch for reasons you may have to slow or stop. keep both hands on the wheel, do not tail gate. stay alert, listen for unusual sounds. 2) Drive at a safe speed......58 mph feels safe and is safer than 65-70 mph. 3) Stop often, every two hours, get out and walk around check the rig and Toad. Want to sight see.....stop, unhitch the Toad, go sight-see. I've been across I-90 to Oregon several times, alone, ....you can do it! Rook
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Old 07-23-2012, 07:01 PM   #28
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I do not yet have my first Motorhome - single female looking to buy end of year. Been doing LOTS of looking , learning and reading....

Here are several short training videos from a training course at LazyDays in Tampa Florida - EXCELLENT stuff!!!

RV Driver Confidence Course: Part 1 - Better RVing

Have fun!

Kathryn
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