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Old 02-16-2013, 05:22 PM   #1
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New Class A Driver Questions

I'm moving from a 24' Winnebago View to a 39' Winnebago Journey in a couple of weeks and am a little nervous about the length! Is there a way to identify highways in advance that I should stay away from? I figure I won't be climbing Mt. Evans in CO, but how about the Blue Ridge Parkway, etc?

I'm sure I'll have many more questions soon - thanks in advance!
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Old 02-16-2013, 06:45 PM   #2
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Invest $15 in the Rand Mcnally Motor Carriers' Road Atlas and follow the yellow brick road.

I'm just kidding about the yellow brick road, but all roads that are considered to be part of the "National Network" are highlighted in yellow. Without going into a lot of technical detail, these are highways that will accommodate trucks that are 102" in width and as much as 70' feet in length. You'll be able to travel other roads too but this is a great place to start if you're not sure.

Another book that you might find helpful is The Next EXIT (2013): Mark Watson: 9780984692118: Amazon.com: Books. This lists all of the exits on the Interstate Highway System and what you will find for services at those exits. Services and businesses that will handle large vehicles are written in red. It's a great resource when you get into unfamiliar territory.

Hope this helps.
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Old 02-16-2013, 06:48 PM   #3
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x2 on the Next Exit.
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Old 02-16-2013, 06:55 PM   #4
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I went from a 26 Win Aspect to a 34 DP and drove all the same mountain roads and think the DP with exhaust brakes is actually easier. There is no highway road I would feel uncomfortable driving on. I even took on San Franciscos steep hills (dumb move maybe). Rule of thumb, go down in same or lower gear then you went up in. With toad I weight out at about 30,000 lbs and have never overheated the engine or the brakes. Just use common sense and get the feel of your exhaust brakes and transmission on easy hills first and move on up. Have fun.
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Old 02-16-2013, 07:02 PM   #5
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You should have no problem at all get a good RV Gps .
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Old 02-16-2013, 09:00 PM   #6
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If I am correct you will have less rear overhang so you should find it easier to go the places you want. Especially fuel stations and other tight places.
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Old 02-16-2013, 09:15 PM   #7
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If I am correct you will have less rear overhang so you should find it easier to go the places you want. Especially fuel stations and other tight places.
Don't know if this is accurate, but you do need to be aware of "swingout" with a longer rig. All depends on the amount of vehicle behind the rear axle.

My swing out is about 2 feet and my rear axle is 14 feet from the rear of the motorhome.

Some have been known to take out a stop sign here and there, or gas pump bollards.

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Old 02-16-2013, 10:04 PM   #8
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:36 AM   #9
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Go to an empty parking lot and practice, practice, practice. Use some plastic construction cones as fender-benders.

You already know how to drive, now it is just a matter of getting used to the width and length.

The new rig will have you sitting over your front wheels. When you are going to turn, move your rig forward until your butt is lined up with where you want to go and then begin your turn. The easy turn is a left turn, and the right turn can get you in trouble with curbs and telephone poles. Always pay attention to your rear end through the mirrors when turning along with what is in your line of path.

Happy trails, and welcome to the forum.
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:11 AM   #10
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Leaving on the drive home after purchase, and maybe into your first extended trip, you'll be a nervous wreck. I think we all are? You will quickly become accustomed though. Once home use it for some errands that have you able to use a big parking lot to get turned around and pointed back towards home a few times? Familiarity will be your friend!

Regarding the Blue Ridge, I wouldn't spend much time on that with your first rig, let alone the new one. That's what toads are all about?
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:07 AM   #11
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Make wide turns and try not to hit tires on curbs. Can cause sidewall damage. We try to use interstates mostly and watch out for roads w/ no turn around ability. We travel all over Colorado and manual shift on grades to keep RPM's up and temp down.
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:39 AM   #12
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Leaving on the drive home after purchase, and maybe into your first extended trip, you'll be a nervous wreck. I think we all are? You will quickly become accustomed though. Once home use it for some errands that have you able to use a big parking lot to get turned around and pointed back towards home a few times? Familiarity will be your friend!

Regarding the Blue Ridge, I wouldn't spend much time on that with your first rig, let alone the new one. That's what toads are all about?
I went from 19' to 41', and it was a bit scary at first (to say the least). Watch out while on narrow roads, especially in CGs. I hit a lot of tree branches with my mirrors before I learned where I was on the road. Like others have said - drive slow if you need to. Get out and look when you back up. Safety trumps pride every time! Drive without fear - but don't be fearless. You never get so good that you can stop paying attention. And - watch your height! But once you get comfortable, it's like driving a luxury SUV while sitting in your favorite chair! You're in for a whole new adventure!
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:34 PM   #13
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I would echo what Craig R said. In Fact if you find you need to purchase a GPS, Rand McNally has several models geared for RV's. I have a 5710, large screen and I really like it. It allows you to input your specific coach data, weight, height, length, gallons of fuel and propane etc and it is suppose to keep you off of roadways where you would not fit or could get in trouble. It has not failed me yet, but Im not going to say it is fool proof. Just another Arrow in the Quiver. And ....it didn't hurt that my wife and I took A Driver Confidence Course offerred by LazyDays RV in Florida moving to a 40 foot coach. It was free ....you can go on line to LZdays site and they have video of alot of the technigues and tools.
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Old 02-23-2013, 06:18 AM   #14
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You've also moved past 26,000 lbs. in total vehicle weight (probably) so many jurisdictions require another drivers license endorsement.
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