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Old 04-29-2015, 12:20 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by firedoc View Post
When my son and I test drove our 38 ft Fleetwood we were not asked if we knew how. The salesman just jumped in the passenger seat and said lets go! He directed us down a street and we decided we wanted to go the other direction. He directed us to go around the block to get headed in the other direction. But knowing this rig had a 55 degree cut we knew we had room to make a upturn at the intersection. When we started that with opposing traffic we heard the salesman suck it in. 'You can't make that' he said but we did. Then heading back to dealership we had to pass through a narrow overpass with pillars on both sides. We were at speed (45) and he mumbled something about slowing down but we zipped right through it no problem. Had at least 4 inches clearance on both sides��. When we got back to the shop he was the first one out of the coach��. Forgot to tell him that we had been driving code 3 fire trucks for years. ����������.


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Loved it! He had to get out and go change his underwear.
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Old 04-29-2015, 05:02 PM   #16
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Who needs training? If it's got wheels I can drive it. If it's got wings... hey been lucky so far... I'll give it a shot

I mean other than basic "Common Sense". They drive just like cars. A little longer like a limo, taller, wider, and slower and they take a bit longer to stop. Whats the big deal? The peddles are all in the same places....

Were all here because we enjoy but it 'aint like driving the space shuttle. .

I've driven vehicles with mirrors only for 25 years. Always knew exactly what was around me, its direction, relative speed and how long it would take it to hit me. Occasionally you miss something and get a scrape. Shame on me. Training wouldnt have prevented that.
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Old 04-29-2015, 11:18 PM   #17
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Coach was in really good shape when we bought it with 38,000 miles. Only major damage was when I extended driver side slide into a stump on a rough site, forgetting the storage bins extended with the slide. Even that was not enough to affect operation or closure of the door. But I have all sorts of other scraping damage, mostly paint, and small dings to lower edge of coach that I have no idea wow they got there.
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Old 04-30-2015, 09:38 AM   #18
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We just bought our first coach ever ... a 43' DP. Although I've had some limited experience driving bigger vehicles (24' Uhaul type straight trucks, "short bus" passenger van, etc.) - our new coach is easily the largest thing I've ever driven. It's also my first experience with air brakes. I'll admit that I was mildly concerned about my lack of experience.

Prior to my first drive in the coach - I watched all of the YouTube videos on the subject as I could find. They were very helpful in terms of getting me thinking about how to approach making turns and backing up. But watching videos are one thing ... actually doing it is something else.

Our dealer (Veurinks, Grand Rapids, MI) was great in this regard. Sean (our sales guy) took us for an orientation ride. He drove the coach to a large church parking lot that was roughly 5-6 miles away from the dealership. Once we got there - we changed seats. I made a handful of turns, backed it up a couple of times and made a few stops. After 10 minutes or so of tooling around the parking lot, I knew "I got this ..."

The biggest surprise for me was the transition to air brakes. Not having any experience - I was expecting the brakes to be extremely sensitive. I was a little surprised at how much "leg" is required! Now that I've got a little experience with the feel and know what to expect - it's no big deal.
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Old 04-30-2015, 10:18 AM   #19
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Test drove a used 38' DP. Salesman asked if I needed him to drive it out of lot parked between two other Class A's. Nope. As I was turning left, the rear compartment door sprung open and up and wiped out the windshield on the Class A to the left. Salesman had performed a walk around and checked all compartment doors before I started rolling.


On the Interstate, another compartment door came open. I was looking for Duct Tape at that point!
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Old 04-30-2015, 11:19 AM   #20
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I was fortunate that, before we got our 32' Class A, I'd done two years, after retiring from Boeing, driving for our local transit agency. After horsing a 40' bus through evening rush-hour traffic in downtown Everett, a 32' RV wasn't a big problem.

Unfortunately, DW was unable to drive it because of inadequate adjustability of the steering column and seat. Our "get home if I was incapacitated" plan was a one-way airplane ticket for a son-in-law to come and get us.
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Old 04-30-2015, 01:03 PM   #21
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I've ever had formal training but seem to do alright. I find the most common problem is people driving based on the front wheels instead of the rear wheels. My wife drives our combo Class A/toad and I remind her that the rear wheels are what she needs to pay attention to when making turns, etc. while keeping in mind the tail swing. The toad is narrow enough that she doesn't need to worry about it (it never goes inside or outside of our turn radius). She still asks for advice sometimes but is generally fine.
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Old 04-30-2015, 02:35 PM   #22
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"Gun sales are the EXACT same thing. They (only by law) are required to make sure that you can legally own the gun they're selling you, with a back ground check. Once that's done, the gun is yours. They have no intention or, obligation or, for the most part, any desire, to TEACH YOU HOW TO USE IT. That's up to you."

Don't know where you shop, but if the sales people in the gun shop have no interest in showing me the correct operation and function of the firearm, then I have no interest in doing business with them. Likewise, when I bought my GMC Denali, the salesman spent an hour with me making sure everything was set up and that I knew how to operate it. That is part of the service I pay for when I use a local dealer instead of shopping on-line for the lowest price.

OTOH, the quality of sales person service at most RV dealerships is deplorable. It is probably a good thing that they don't provide any information, since it would likely be wrong. When I bought my 27,000 lb. Class A, I asked whether it required anything beyond a basic driver's license. I was assured by the sales person that it did not. Of course anything over 26,000 pounds does require a different license.
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Old 04-30-2015, 02:54 PM   #23
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Our first RV was bought from a guy who specializes in repos and he wasn't even there for delivery. (which I wasn't expecting). The one we have now, the dealer knew was a replacement for another 36' class A we were trading. The dealer obviously figured, correctly, that we knew what we were doing. Bottom line though, is that if you're buying a vehicle that costs as much as a house and is a large as a bus it is YOUR responsibility to know how to drive it or get training. The dealer may offer such training, but it probably isn't free (or if it is you might get what you are paying for). I've had several incidents where I did damage to mine, and it's heartbreaking and expensive....but my fault. The one that really wasn't fair was the deer that jumped in front of us and did $21,500 of damage to our home... Even two years later...just OUCH!
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Old 04-30-2015, 03:07 PM   #24
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test drove a 2002 DP sales guy did a walk around ,OK lets go ,4 miles later he says lets turn here and go back ,OK no problem ,big area ,start the turn and hear this popping sound and something like thunder ,awning came out full extension ,hit the only light pole in the area ,tore it right off the bus,no damage to the side wall ,he had a little trouble picking up his jaw was going to ask him if I could drive another , but thought better not
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Old 04-30-2015, 03:07 PM   #25
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Neither my wife or I ever drove anything like our 40 ft. Motorhome. We both drove uhaul straight body moving trucks but I doubt they were over 25 ft, and we only drove them for a few hundred miles moving.
We bought our 40ft DP in Tucson and drove it back to Cleveland. We did have a slight mishap with a concrete divider at a truck stop. Some people should never drive something this size. You need a certain amount of spatial ability to drive one. I am convinced no matter how many courses and training my wife took she would not feel confident driving our motorhome in city traffic or in tight spots. If something happens to me she will sell it and get something really small. I don't feel I need any training. I've read every manual I can get my hands on including one about air brakes. I know anyone can have an accident, but I rode a motorcycle for 21 years from Montreal to Key West, and across country several times in all sorts of weather. Our vacations used to be on this 650lb motorcycle. The years I drove this taught me more about defensive driving and gave me a great education about caution.
I think if someone comes into a dealership wanting to buy a big motorhome, its not the responsibility of the dealership to train you. You have to know your abilities and limitations. If you think you need training, do it. It will pay in the long run.
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Old 04-30-2015, 03:18 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpaceNorman View Post
We just bought our first coach ever ... a 43' DP. Although I've had some limited experience driving bigger vehicles (24' Uhaul type straight trucks, "short bus" passenger van, etc.) - our new coach is easily the largest thing I've ever driven. It's also my first experience with air brakes. I'll admit that I was mildly concerned about my lack of experience.

Prior to my first drive in the coach - I watched all of the YouTube videos on the subject as I could find. They were very helpful in terms of getting me thinking about how to approach making turns and backing up. But watching videos are one thing ... actually doing it is something else.

Our dealer (Veurinks, Grand Rapids, MI) was great in this regard. Sean (our sales guy) took us for an orientation ride. He drove the coach to a large church parking lot that was roughly 5-6 miles away from the dealership. Once we got there - we changed seats. I made a handful of turns, backed it up a couple of times and made a few stops. After 10 minutes or so of tooling around the parking lot, I knew "I got this ..."

The biggest surprise for me was the transition to air brakes. Not having any experience - I was expecting the brakes to be extremely sensitive. I was a little surprised at how much "leg" is required! Now that I've got a little experience with the feel and know what to expect - it's no big deal.
Wow! Sorry, but overconfidence can be the source of big problems. Always be aware that there's something new to learn. You're long, tall and wide and trees and posts and who knows what really like to jump out and spoil your day!

On the other hand, maybe you were just being sarcastic. 😏
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Old 04-30-2015, 03:51 PM   #27
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I've been driving using my side mirrors to turn and backup since before I got my beginner's permit, pulling dad's 26' gooseneck horse trailer in west Texas. Driving, towing, or backing something long has never been a problem for me. However, sitting in front of the front wheels and making turns was a real eye opener, for a while.
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Old 04-30-2015, 04:13 PM   #28
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Wow! Sorry, but overconfidence can be the source of big problems. Always be aware that there's something new to learn. You're long, tall and wide and trees and posts and who knows what really like to jump out and spoil your day!

On the other hand, maybe you were just being sarcastic. ��
There's a fine line between being confident and being overconfident. It's also one of those lines that you can't identify until you actually cross it.
The long, tall and wide thing isn't a surprise ... and we all know that trees, posts and other immoveable objects a) have no likes or dislikes and b) don't jump out at you - ever.

Although driving my new (to me) 43' foot coach was a first in terms of vehicle size as well as braking technology - it certainly wasn't my first time behind the wheel. I prepared for that first drive by driving roughly 1,000,000 miles (40+ years of driving 25K+ miles per year). My "prep" miles includes experience on 3 continents, scores of different vehicles, a fair amount of towing, driving in weather of all types. I've been involved in a total of 2 accidents in the course of my million or so miles driven - both instances where I was stopped at a light and subsequently rear ended by a much younger driver (one was a young lady putting on her makeup on the way to work, the other, a young man who saw the car in the lane next to us move so he applied throttle and simply accelerated into the back of me).

The most important thing my experience gave me to take with me to my first drive in the coach - was the ability to recognize when I'm "in control" and when I'm not. As long as I stay in within that envelope - I'll be just fine.

Do I know everything I'm going to know about driving my new coach? Nope ... not yet. Am I confident that I have the ability to master it? You bet your ass I am! Am I overconfident ... only time will tell!
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