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Old 11-22-2012, 05:44 AM   #1
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New Driver Advice

We are picking up our motorhome ( Allegro 36 LA) in a few weeks at Lazy Days in Florida. We are taking the driver confidence course, and other courses while there for 5 days. Our original plan was to leave the dogs and toad at home, and drive back to Indiana to get them, set up toad then leave again. We were thinking that having 1000 miles of driving back to Indiana without the toad might be a good idea, rather than learning to drive the motorhome with the toad right off the bat. Now we are questioning why we would drive all the way back, spend the money to do so, just to get that experience.
Do you think it is too much to learn to drive the motorhome with toad right away or do you think it would be best to learn to drive it without the toad first?
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Old 11-22-2012, 05:52 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selah View Post
We are picking up our motorhome ( Allegro 36 LA) in a few weeks at Lazy Days in Florida. We are taking the driver confidence course, and other courses while there for 5 days. Our original plan was to leave the dogs and toad at home, and drive back to Indiana to get them, set up toad then leave again. We were thinking that having 1000 miles of driving back to Indiana without the toad might be a good idea, rather than learning to drive the motorhome with the toad right off the bat. Now we are questioning why we would drive all the way back, spend the money to do so, just to get that experience.
Do you think it is too much to learn to drive the motorhome with toad right away or do you think it would be best to learn to drive it without the toad first?
Congrats on the new MH; If you are comfortable driving the MH after driving course then you should not have any problems with towing toad. The toad follows the MH; so if you make good turns with Mh the toad will follow right behind(No Problem). Just remember almost impossible to back up with toad attached to MH..

Safe Travels!!
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Old 11-22-2012, 05:56 AM   #3
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First of all , congrats. Secondly , I think you'll like the course given by Barney. He's a hoot. Lastly , I'd bring the toad. You'll not know its behind you unless you look in the rear monitor. You just have to be sure that you can get in and out of where you're going as you can't ( some will argue this ) back up with toad attached. Even so , the embarrassment of unhooking only lasts for a minute :-).

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Old 11-22-2012, 06:09 AM   #4
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Be sure to check the Indiana drivers license requirements (if any) to operate this vehicle.
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Old 11-22-2012, 06:28 AM   #5
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Drive the toad separately for a day or two until you feel comfortable driving the MH.
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Old 11-22-2012, 03:19 PM   #6
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Bring the car and have Lazydays hook it up for you. The toad will not be a concern while driving, but if it worries you, you can always practice for a day withut it.
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Old 11-22-2012, 03:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selah View Post
We are picking up our motorhome ( Allegro 36 LA) in a few weeks at Lazy Days in Florida. We are taking the driver confidence course, and other courses while there for 5 days. Our original plan was to leave the dogs and toad at home, and drive back to Indiana to get them, set up toad then leave again. We were thinking that having 1000 miles of driving back to Indiana without the toad might be a good idea, rather than learning to drive the motorhome with the toad right off the bat. Now we are questioning why we would drive all the way back, spend the money to do so, just to get that experience.
Do you think it is too much to learn to drive the motorhome with toad right away or do you think it would be best to learn to drive it without the toad first?
Congrats on your new Motorhome. I also applaud your taking the driver confidence course. Like Gary above said if you take your toad with you they will probably give you some good tips on hooking it up and pulling it. Enjoy your new ride.
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Old 11-22-2012, 03:40 PM   #8
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Congrats.

I too vote for bringing the toad. After taking the driving course, you'll be way ahead of where I was when I hit the road in our new 40DP with toad. Just always have an exit plan when entering someplace and be sure you know what you're doing if you ever think of trying to back it up with the toad attached.

Leave your rear camera on and you'll be able to monitor the toad and learn how to use the rear camera to help you judge the clearance you need when passing, changing lanes, etc.

Best of luck.

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Old 11-22-2012, 03:57 PM   #9
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I vote for no toad. Getting in and out of fuel stations for a newbie might be easier without the toad ie. you will be able to back up in situations where you might have turned to sharp or oversteered etc.. also you can focus all your attention on driving the motorhome. Ok I just re read your post and have changed my vote to >>> bring your toad because of the possibility of winter weather

ps that course is great...... I wonder if they still use the little red dots on the windows..
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Old 11-22-2012, 04:19 PM   #10
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Definitely bring the toad! The key is learning how to hook up and unhook quickly. Despite all best efforts, there will always be a situation where you have to unhook the toad so getting good advice up front on how to do so will give you time to practice while you are still being oriented.

PS - You can actually do very minor backing if your travel partner jumps in the toad to help with the steering. I'm sure they will not cover this in the training, because of course it is not that safe...just sayin'
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Old 11-22-2012, 04:58 PM   #11
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I vote for no toad. Getting in and out of fuel stations for a newbie might be easier without the toad
Take the toad...as most everyone suggests. You've got to get comfortable with it sometime...why wait? Gas stations are by far the most dangerous places for a toad ....so we never take our toad when we need diesel.

Most DP's will go forever on a tank...at least much further than we are prepared to travel in one day. With very few exceptions we always unhook our toad once we are settled (even for overnight stops)... so we take a few minutes to find a gas station near where we've camped...check-out access & exit points...where the diesel pump(s) are located...etc. Prior to hooking-up the next morning we fill-up...hook-up & we're off....no drama!
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Old 11-22-2012, 05:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selah View Post
We are picking up our motorhome ( Allegro 36 LA) in a few weeks at Lazy Days in Florida. We are taking the driver confidence course, and other courses while there for 5 days. Our original plan was to leave the dogs and toad at home, and drive back to Indiana to get them, set up toad then leave again. We were thinking that having 1000 miles of driving back to Indiana without the toad might be a good idea, rather than learning to drive the motorhome with the toad right off the bat. Now we are questioning why we would drive all the way back, spend the money to do so, just to get that experience.
Do you think it is too much to learn to drive the motorhome with toad right away or do you think it would be best to learn to drive it without the toad first?
Just be aware that, in the regular Confidence Course taught by Barney Alexander, each participant only gets about 5 minutes of wheel time, all of it in the campground and no backing up. You might want to look at signing up for a private class with Barney.
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Old 11-22-2012, 07:31 PM   #13
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Re: refueling with toad attached.

Certainly if we're talking about a DP, you'll develop a preference early on when it comes to refueling at auto pumps vs truck stops.

In my experience as a newbie... truck stops were a bit intimidating because you're literally in the middle of all of these professional drivers who are carrying more cargo than you're whole rig weighs... and they've probably been doing it for hundreds of thousands of miles.

BUT, I found the accessibility of them to be worth getting used to it and I far prefer using truck stops when I have a choice. I've only had to unhook and back up for any reason twice in >50,000 miles. The second time was this summer while going through Quebec. I had a clear exit plan until a construction crew parked their truck/trailer at an odd angle while they went to a restaurant across the street for lunch. There's just a lot of unpredictable activity always going on around a lot of auto pumps. Using truck stops I've found to be very predicable once you learn the basics.

Best of luck.

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Old 11-23-2012, 10:35 AM   #14
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The Allegro LA is a gas chassis, so they won't have to worry about mixing with professional truck drivers. They will, however, have to refuel more often than with most diesels.

The toad will be a factor in fuel stations no matter when they begin using it, so I figure it may as well be right up front.
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