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Old 04-29-2015, 06:55 AM   #1
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Unbelievable Story..... I feel so bad for this guy with his new Class A

Saturday out looking at Class A's. Sitting in one talking with a sales rep and a guy comes in to talk with Salesman. Seems the salesman just sold him a new Class A this morning. Now this mid afternoon and the guy was taking his brand new unit out of the covered parking space that had yellow corner poles. Making a Right hand turn, he wiped out mid way all the way to the rear of his coach ruining the basement door and paint.

My wife and I were back there Monday and I asked about it, it was in the thousands to repair. I felt so so bad for this guy!! DW says to me that is why I am never going to drive ours!!

I told wife, no we will go out to a place my trainer took me when I got my CDL, set up cones, practice turns, backing & turning in spots, using your mirrors always. My years of driving for school district and with Arrow Stage Lines, the most common accident is always involving TURNS! I think has happened to most of us. I had one although it was very minor my first year driving.

My wife and I talked about what training do dealerships give new MH owners? I do not know the answer to that, just felt horrible for this guy!
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Old 04-29-2015, 07:03 AM   #2
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That's to bad for them. You are correct. We've owned three MH's and three TT's. Nobody ever asked if I could drive or back up any of the units. The sales people are busy from time to time and depending on the season but other times they set around bored. Why couldn't a dealership offer some type of training or a place on their lot to at least practice with a little supervision.

Thanks for your service. We are an AF family: I spent 4 years in. My brother is retired and our Son is a Lt. Col with 19 years.

TeJay
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Old 04-29-2015, 07:20 AM   #3
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I purchased our first Class A in 2011 and had 3 TT prior to that. The dealership Longveiw in Tampa bay area sold me our coach and never ask if I had ever driven a motorhome let alone a 40 footer. The did send me off with the wise words of "Go burn some fuel" and pointed to the gas station across the street as it need fuel first thing. What a dealership although they are not in business in Florida anymore giving that kind of customer service I'm sure. I did go wipe out a cargo door at a fuel station 6 months latter and kicked my own you know what for weeks.
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Old 04-29-2015, 07:48 AM   #4
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We owned a 31' Class C before buying our ~40' Class A. Never hit anything with the Class C but the Class A has suffered several bruises, some from me and some from my wife. The wife takes the prize though, she took out 3 basement doors and scrapped the bottom of the drivers side slide while pulling out from a filling station in 2013. She was sick about it, fortunately I wasn't there and was prepared for the worst when I first saw it.

As far as training, it is hard to believe that you can go into a dealership and buy a 45' Class A EP and drive it off the lot without any training what so ever. Kinda Scary
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Old 04-29-2015, 07:55 AM   #5
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Training....

I drove 5th wheels for years! Big ones, triple Axles, so when I went into training for my CDL, the driving part I figured this will be a cake walk!

We only had 3 guys in my class so we got a lot of driving in and of course several days of it was in a huge parking lot at a baseball field.

Our trainer was A+ guy!! You have to be able to corner and your rear tandums have to come within 12" of the cone and NOT touch any portion of that cone. You had to do this with the state to pass as well.

Our competition began to just see who could get the closest without touching. In my years of driving if there is one thing we heard over and over in our monthly safety meetings was GO SLOW! DON'T GET IN A HURRY AND ALWAYS WATCH THOSE MIRRORS!

Even with my time driving big Motorcoaches with Arrow, I still consider myself in training but one does not need to be afraid of it just keep a watchful eye. If you have a doubt of a height, don't do it! Unsafe situation or roadway don't do it. But I have no doubts in DW ability to drive it but we will get practice time. Lots of it. It would be good for the both of us.

Back to this guy Saturday, our salesman wanted to go see the coach and it was nearby so we went and looked at it. It was a lot of damage and I could not help but think he was not looking at his mirrors or camera at all to do this much damage but none the less, I also asked myself...."Did they not know his skill level? or give him any training?" Just sickening!!!
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Old 04-29-2015, 08:33 AM   #6
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I test drove two 40' MH at two different dealers before I purchased and was not asked by either salesman if I had any experience or previous know how on driving a Class A MH.

I in fact ask one salesman if having to ride with new driver/purchaser was not scary. He replyed most people wanting to spend that kind of money were overly cautious, but he had had some scary rides!

I agree that at very least new drivers be required to watch the driver videos. I often rewatch them in spare time.
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Old 04-29-2015, 08:42 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by markmiiler View Post
I purchased our first Class A in 2011 and had 3 TT prior to that. The dealership Longveiw in Tampa bay area sold me our coach and never ask if I had ever driven a motorhome let alone a 40 footer. The did send me off with the wise words of "Go burn some fuel" and pointed to the gas station across the street as it need fuel first thing. What a dealership although they are not in business in Florida anymore giving that kind of customer service I'm sure. I did go wipe out a cargo door at a fuel station 6 months latter and kicked my own you know what for weeks.
Be care full out there!
If it means anything the Longview dealer in CT...same owners....has the same terrible customer service...bought from them on 97...have bought 4 motorhomes since them...but have never gone back to even look ..the memory is still there
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Old 04-29-2015, 08:53 AM   #8
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Been driving RV's for years but have never been offered any training. When we test drove our current motorhome the sales guy didn't ask me if I'd ever driven one but after a few sharp turns in\out of driveways etc he did make the comment " Oh you driven one before!" Slow speed, mirrors and watch the overhang swing.
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Old 04-29-2015, 08:57 AM   #9
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As a new MH owner, a few thoughts.

We ordered our Tiffin in Dec. and took delivery in early March. The only experience we had driving an RV was the 2 or 3 test drives we did during the buying process over 4 months.

I have had extensive high performance driving / track experience, which may seem irrelevant, but it is very helpful in understanding vehicle dynamics which does apply to driving the MH. I had also driven a large flatbed truck in a mine 30 years ago, but the most important thing there was not to get run over by the 170 ton haul trucks .

My wife was adamant about finding someone to provide some hands on training, and I was totally supportive. We spent a lot of time reading, watched all the videos from Lazy Days (very helpful, although they make backing up way to complicated), and one of the things that we really was appealing about buying through LD was thier driving training program. While we did not buy from LD, our local dealer did provide us with a resource that does driver training (it was interesting that we had to ask, you think it would be something they would provide proactively to any buyer).

We did our walk through / delivery one day, and left the coach at the dealer. The next morning, the driving coach met us at the dealer, and we spent about 4 hours learning the basics (both of us driving). A lot of time in a parking lot just down he road from the dealer, going around corners, left, right, backing up, even emergency stopping. Then out to the road, and the interstate. A lot of reinforcement of using the mirrors, clearances, etc. Yes it was $500, but a very small investment from our perspective. Also, they provided a training certificate, and our insurance company gave us a discount for having the training (again, why don't the insurance companies provide referrals to trainers?)

Now, after 3 trips, the trick is going to be not getting over confident in our abilities, and continue to take it slow and easy, including if we are backing up, or getting gas we have one of us get out with walkie talkies to provide guidance.
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Old 04-29-2015, 11:23 AM   #10
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While taking in my new motorhome for warranty repair last year I noticed that there were many, (dozens), coaches with cargo door damage in for repair.

The service writer mentioned that it's the most common body damage to motorhomes, and usually occurs to new Class A and Class C owners within the first year, (usually the first six months), of ownership. It's a really BIG income stream for the service departments, and that's probably why lessons are NOT offered by the dealerships.

As we were walking and talking he pointed out that the "new" bright plastic covers that gas stations place over the guard poles mean less repair work for his technicians. They allow the motorhome to actually roll against the damaging poll somewhat as the plastic spins, causing less damage.

He pointed out some coaches with red and yellow plastic, (from gas station guard poles), embedded in the fiberglass. He mentioned that he missed the good old days when the solid poles just tore out chunks and entire sections of the coaches!
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Old 04-29-2015, 11:28 AM   #11
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Nope, sales people never asked at all. In fact when we bought the Magna they seemed surprised when I wanted to drive it. And then the drive was less than 5 miles with no hills.

We have a friend that has backed in to a light pole, and taken out the passenger side bay doors twice on his 45' MH in a little over a year. Told him when he got the rig that we'd be interested in buying it when he wanted to sell but maybe not now. Oh yes, the bay doors had been fixed once before he bought it.
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Old 04-29-2015, 11:38 AM   #12
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Yes BeachDude, that's what I was thinking, that running into things with the coach is a big revenue stream for the selling dealer, so why push for driver safety courses!
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Old 04-29-2015, 11:52 AM   #13
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That's to bad for them. You are correct. We've owned three MH's and three TT's. Nobody ever asked if I could drive or back up any of the units. The sales people are busy from time to time and depending on the season but other times they set around bored. Why couldn't a dealership offer some type of training or a place on their lot to at least practice with a little supervision.

Thanks for your service. We are an AF family: I spent 4 years in. My brother is retired and our Son is a Lt. Col with 19 years.

TeJay
Hey Tejay,
How is ya? Hope all is well. Well, to answer you and many others here on the subject of dealerships offering "training" to drive RVs. They most likely in all "LEGAL" reality, cannot do this. They are not certified trainers. They themselves do not have any specialized training. At least all of the sales persons, techs, and others tied in with the RV selling and repair I've ever been associated with, have never had any specialty driving courses and therefore, are not legal to TEACH any either.

It's kind of the same thing if person, male or female pops into a Chevrolet dealership and wants to take possession of the top of the line, fastest C-6 or, C-7 Vette (or what ever model is the hottest this year). All the dealership is concerned with is, SHOW ME THE MONEY!!! So, they plop down a measly $50-$60K and, out the door and off the lot they zoom. Only, later that afternoon, you see them on the news, wrapped around a telephone pole or, fire hydrant with a few hundred feet of skid marks leading up to it, indicating just a bit of speed.

The Chevrolet dealership was/is not required to make sure that he/she is qualified to handle such a top rated street demon. You pay them, they prep it, like they do all their cars and trucks and, hand you the keys and say, "Thanks for the business".

So goes the same with the RV dealer. The only real difference between the Chevrolet/Vette and the RV/Monster coach scenario is, one is faster/smaller and one is larger/slower. Neither dealership has to provide you with proper handling/driving training. If they did, can you imagine what all that would do to the cost? And, not to mention the liability of said companies.

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.

So, anyway, what I was really, really glad to read, right in the OPs original post was the fact that, he was going to MAKE HIS WIFE LEARN TO DRIVE IT!!!!! He's going to do it in a proper manor and, in an open area to calmly get her adapted to it. OUTSTANDING OP, I APPLAUD YOU IMMENSELY!!

I have been incapacitated twice while we've been RVing and camping. My son, daughter and Wife, had all been trained and had plenty of time behind the wheels of our RVs when this happened to me. Both my daughter and son had been trained by me almost before they had their drivers license. On our trips now with our '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD towing our '11 GMC Sierra 1500 4x4 with a GL 1800 Honda Goldwing in the back of it, the wife does around 50% or so of the driving and, has no qualms about it.

She knows d... good and well that, at any given time, I might have an issue of some type that might prevent me from driving and or, just want a relief. I have way more than enough confidence in her driving that, quite often I slip into the passenger seat and simply doze off while she cruises listening to the radio etc.
Scott
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Old 04-29-2015, 11:59 AM   #14
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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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