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Old 11-13-2012, 10:25 AM   #71
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:19 PM   #72
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My examiner in Texas City, and her supervisor, insisted on the parallel parking exercise, said it was mandatory for Class B. You will not win any debate about how stupid that is, so get ready to do it. It is a Pass/Fail exercise, and if you fail you have to reschedule and come back another day.

Use all the space they give you. Get close, but DO NOT HIT OR OVERHANG THE CURB. That is a fail.

Another problem: how do you get to the exam if you have no other Class b or better driver to go with you? They may ask you that question.

Know your air brake system and pressure check procedures. Keep BOTH hands on the wheel at all times. The drive will be easy.
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:39 PM   #73
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You should have shouted at me, I would have driven you down there. I live in Texas City. How come you didn't go for the Class A?

Well, you tell them, "I had a friend with the proper license drive it here with me and drop it off, and if I fail I'll call him and he will come get it for me." Oh! I didn't say that did I.

Seriously, anyone in my surrounding area that needs a help driving their MH to a testing stations, send me a message. Unless I have a doctor's appointment at the VA, I'll give a hand.
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:48 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by Larrikin View Post
My examiner in Texas City, and her supervisor, insisted on the parallel parking exercise, said it was mandatory for Class B. You will not win any debate about how stupid that is, so get ready to do it. It is a Pass/Fail exercise, and if you fail you have to reschedule and come back another day.

Use all the space they give you. Get close, but DO NOT HIT OR OVERHANG THE CURB. That is a fail.

Another problem: how do you get to the exam if you have no other Class b or better driver to go with you? They may ask you that question.

Know your air brake system and pressure check procedures. Keep BOTH hands on the wheel at all times. The drive will be easy.
There are reasons that some places are better than others for taking the test. No parallel parking required in Tyler. Just backing up in a straight line - which is easy for with a backup camera. Also no parallel parking in Livingston. When we did ours, we did the written test and then scheduled the driving test for the next morning. They knew we were driving the coach over - never asked who was driving it and we didn't volunteer. This was in Tyler.

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Old 11-17-2012, 08:04 AM   #75
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There are reasons that some places are better than others for taking the test. No parallel parking required in Tyler. Just backing up in a straight line - which is easy for with a backup camera. Also no parallel parking in Livingston. When we did ours, we did the written test and then scheduled the driving test for the next morning. They knew we were driving the coach over - never asked who was driving it and we didn't volunteer. This was in Tyler.

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I agree with Barb. I did not have to parallel park for my test in Clarksville, Red River County, Texas. All much the same as Barb mentions of her experience at Tyler. b
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:22 AM   #76
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can't beleive this post. why wouldn't you want to learn to drive your rv. that's like saying i don't want to back a trailer.
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:39 AM   #77
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can't beleive this post. why wouldn't you want to learn to drive your rv. that's like saying i don't want to back a trailer.
X2, I got a Class B CDL even though I didn't need to just so I would feel as comfortable as possible driving my MH. We trained on a 36' straight truck with no rear camera and a miserable 6-speed manual transmission. As a result I can back my rig down a 200' lane or parallel park it using only mirrors. My DW doesn't have a CDL, but she got a rigorous day's worth of training from RV Driving School.

Does this make me a better driver than someone who hasn't had this training? Not necessarily, but it does take a lot of the stress out of having to back into RV sites or performing other maneuvers.
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:40 AM   #78
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I had to parallel park, no biggie. Drove around with my instructor for about 45 minutes and passed. I drove it up there and she never asked my how I got there. Also told me I needed to know the parking brakes, but I would not be scored on it.
It was a walk in the park at the end and it really helped me being more comfortable driving the 38 ft coach
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:46 AM   #79
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can't beleive this post. why wouldn't you want to learn to drive your rv. that's like saying i don't want to back a trailer.
At least in my case, it's not about not wanting to learn how to drive my coach but rather having to parallel park it during a test... a maneuver I'll probably never have to pull off in actual practice.

I guess it's a good test of one's ability to handle their rig but it does come off as a bit odd IMO... especially if bumping the curb while doing it can result in failure of the entire test.

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Old 11-17-2012, 10:22 AM   #80
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Consider the fact that you may not always get the same inspector at any DPS facility. In Texas City, some use parallel park, some use backing up 100 feet, and some do neither. Maybe it is linked to the drivers ability during the driving test and the inspector needs a little more confidence in the abilities so they ask for the parallel or backing portion.

One time during an upgrade test the inspector said to me, "You've been driving for a long time, haven't you. I noticed when turning corners you were palming the wheel like very good." I thought I had failed because I just plain let reflex take over and I did not go hand over hand in the turns. I replied, "40+ years sir." I passed.

One never knows what the inspector will ask or have you do during a test. It is just prudent to "Be Prepared."
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Old 11-18-2012, 06:43 PM   #81
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We were told what would be on our driving test the day before. Backing up 100 feet was the first thing we did, then on to the driving portion. How many times does anyone parallel park a MH? How many would know to practice that? Backing up is something we all do, but usually with someone directing you, or the opportunity to get out and walk the site, etc. Does anyone every parallel park their rig on a city street? So why would it be on a test?

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Old 11-18-2012, 06:51 PM   #82
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We were told what would be on our driving test the day before. Backing up 100 feet was the first thing we did, then on to the driving portion. How many times does anyone parallel park a MH? How many would know to practice that? Backing up is something we all do, but usually with someone directing you, or the opportunity to get out and walk the site, etc. Does anyone every parallel park their rig on a city street? So why would it be on a test?

Barb


And backing in a straight line (as I also had to do in Livingston) isn't really very hard at all. On one hand, it might make sense to maybe have one back into a "CG type slot"... but even that is something I NEVER do without having a spotter, or doing the "GOAL" routine several times. I ain't proud.

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Old 11-18-2012, 08:00 PM   #83
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Always a ground guide or you can find yourself in a situation real quick.

Having driven commercially and having to get a trailer into some tight spots, it is good idea to know how to do it. Most of us tow a car behind us and backing is not an option, but for that situation where you find yourself at a dead end with no turn space, you would unhook and then back out of the situation.

No, you may never have to parallel park on a street, but twice I did have to parallel park in a campground, both at a military CG, and once I observed a CG where the only way someone could get into a circle-around spot would be to maneuver and part of that would be parallel. So you really never know when you would need it and it is best to know how to do it.

It's really easy. (for experienced, and practice makes experience.)
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:13 PM   #84
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Today I took the written test in Hillsboro, TX. I took Wayne's advice above, and opted for the Class A.

I was told that since I want the Class A, I need to arrive with something attached to the RV, to demonstrate driving while towing. I asked if it had to weigh more than 10k lbs, and was told no, just has to be towing.

The obvious thing for me to tow is my toad, a Chevy 2500HD Crew Cab. I told the person that if I have my toad, it uses a tow bar that prevents backing. They are not sure what to do with that, and at the moment they are guessing that it will mean that i will not have to do any reversing.

In Hillsboro, the portion of the road they have you do the parallel parking on is a breeze. It is a two way road. They have you 'scoot' in your lane, staying on the pavement and never crossing the center line. I would really call this backing up, and not parallel parking, but I am happy with it.

Unknown road to County Rd 4230 - Google Maps

They are going to do research on the toad issue, and get back to me before my driving test, which is 3 weeks out.

As far as the written test, you can make a 70% and pass. I missed some really stupid questions, and still passed.

All of the questions were based on Chapter 14, and no requirement for air brake endorsement.

I am not sure if the driving test will cover any of the air brake safety checks, and will post back once I have done that portion.


There were no questions about the marker lights positions on the vehicle and/or trailer.

Some of the questions that I remembered are below. These are not the exact question, nor is it all of the questions, but is the best I could do from memory.

* What minimum size of chemical type-fire extinguisher must be carried on all school buses, buses, taxis, and other vehicles hauling passengers? (ans: 1 qt - I missed this and said 2 qt)

* Mud Flaps - must be within 8 inches of road surface.
* Mud Flaps - all trucks and trailers with four or more tires on the rear axle must have mud flaps behind the rear wheels
* Lighting for Tractors built after 1972 - must have 2 head lamps

* Slow-moving vehicle emblem required for all vehicles designed to operate at a max speed of 25mph or less.

* No Passenger vehicle with an unloaded weight of less than 2500 lbs may be coupled with more than 1 trailer.
* No more than 3 vehicles can be operated in any combination. --- This one got me. I remembered the 3 as being 3 trailers, and the manual actually shows that. The correct answer is 2 trailers max - never any more. I missed this one too

* Max height is 14Ft. I missed this one, because for some reason I thought 13-6 was the max. This question is there with both answers..14ft is the right one.

* towing - when using a draw bar, rope, or chain a "white" flag must be used.

* any load longer than 4 feet beyond the rear requires a "RED" flag

* maximum length of any one vehicle is 45 Ft. max length.

* maximum length of any combinations is 65 Ft.

* The length requirements for vehicles and combinations of vehicles do not apply if they are operated only within the city limits

* Railroad Grade Crossing - outside a business district or residence district any school bus carrying a school child and all other buses carrying passengers for hire must stop at all railroad grade crossing

* Max Speed on a highway during day - 70 night 65
* Max Speed for a Taxi during day - 70

* Maximum trailers behind a passenger vehicle - 1 - -- This one got me too. I was thinking RV, and that should allow 2, but this is really referring to a bus.
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