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Old 05-20-2014, 10:51 AM   #1
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Newbie - Big rig Driving School?

Hello Again - we are brand new, and are still in the research mode for learning which motor home we want to buy to go full timing late this August. We are thinking of a diesel coach that's 40 to 44 feet. I know they will have airbrakes, and we will be towing a small SUV. (likely with M&G brakes) it may have a tag axle.
Does anyone know of any good schools/training for driving a coach this big? We live outside of Sacramento in CA at this time.
Many thanks in advance for your advice.

Byron & Cyndy Streitz
2010 Allegro Bus 43 QGP (August 13, 2014), Powerglide chasis
2008 Honda CRV, Even Brake
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Old 05-20-2014, 11:04 AM   #2
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You could ask the RV dealers where you are shopping if they know of any classes anywhere local.

I just did a Google search on "RV driving school" and several came up.

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Old 05-20-2014, 11:17 AM   #3
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Yes! I definitely do and just got back from a trip to the Sacramento area where my dad took lessons.

When my husband and I bought our rig in August in 2013 in Grass Valley we contacted RvSchool.com and arranged driving lessons with a local instructor by the name of Frank Piccilo. The lessons were four hours per day for two days. They consisted of highway, street and mountain driving, learning how to do your left and right turns so you don't take any one/thing out, backing up and into camping spots, how all your hook ups work...shoot prettying everything. The bulk of the time is spent on actual driving however.

Last week we were back at the dealership for warranty work and arranged for Frank to give instructions to my dad. My dad also loved the lessons and found them extremely useful. My folks want to borrow our rig on occasion and we said yes as long as dad took lessons!

If you want further info or details pleas feel free to let me know.
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Old 05-20-2014, 01:24 PM   #4
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Both posts are good advice. I know many RV dealer will either offer RV courses, or they can recommend a place to you. I had a friend get lessons from a dealer. The charge was $100 for the day and he was very satisfied with the instruction he received.
Tony & Ruth........... FMCA#F416727
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Old 05-20-2014, 03:45 PM   #5
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Welcome and glad to meet you!
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Old 05-20-2014, 04:13 PM   #6
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Hi Byron & Cyndy! Welcome to IRV2! It's great to have you join us!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
Joe & Annette

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Old 05-21-2014, 04:24 PM   #7
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Don't sell your home for a few years, you might not like full timing.
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Old 05-21-2014, 06:17 PM   #8
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Here's another angle to consider. Most cities and towns have a public bus service or a school bus service. Call their main office and ask what training classes they recommend for potential drivers. With the exception of pulling a trailer, the operation of a coach and a bus are virtually identical (and the test IS identical ~ you just end up with a Non-commercial class B instead of a Commercial license in CA). You are only required to have this type of license in CA if your coach exceeds 40', but it's required if you do!

I lucked out and the company I used was awesome, they had a great training course, knew exactly what I would be tested on and (equally importantly) accompanied me on the drive to take the test at DMV. (Driving without a licensed driver results in an immediate fail for the behind-the-wheel portion).

Another solid suggestion: There are some great on-line videos that will help you mentally understand a lot, long before you ever get behind the wheel. I watched and studies them all, and only missed a single point on the driving test (the instructor said she never gives a perfect score).

Good luck, relax and enjoy the experience!
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Old 05-22-2014, 11:10 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Bstreitz View Post
We are thinking of a diesel coach that's 40 to 44 feet. I know they will have airbrakes, and we will be towing a small SUV.
Many thanks in advance for your advice.

Be aware that if the rig exceeds 40' you will be required to possess a Class B non-commercial drivers license in California.

The law assumes that if measures more than 40' it is required.

Therefore, just because the manufacturer calls the rig a 40 footer, it may be longer than 40'.

MarkofSJC gives a great solution.

Many folks have struggled with identifying what rig to use and an accompanying driver to arrive with the rig for the Class B driving test. His approach is the most concise that I have heard of.
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Old 05-22-2014, 11:45 AM   #10
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Frank Piccilo

If you want the best instructor, Frank Piccolo is the only way to go. He has over 40 years of driving & instructing drivers of 80,000 lb bombs (gas tankers). Very good & careful. You can go cheap or "know it all" as others may suggest, but it's only your life (and others) you're playing with. He & his co-workers are always at the FMCA rallies including the up coming Redmond OR gathering.

Bill, Sandy & our GSP Lilly
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