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Old 05-20-2013, 06:38 AM   #1
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Who does the driving?

If you have a big (39'+) motorhome, who does the driving? Do you and/or the spouse? I have done all the short trips in our longer MH but we ar about to take a much longer 2 week trip and the DW has not driven anything this big/long before. I plan to take her out to do some test driving for main highway travel. I don't even trust myself completely and have to keep very alert to all that is going on around me. You don't have as many options when driving anything this big. Plan ahead is my motto, but it is harder to do. Also we will take it slow and easy but try to stay with traffic. Don't plan on going much faster than 65 mph however. Diesel fill ups and grocery shopping etc. will be some of the harder tasks not to mention campground roads and site parking. Even simple turns become a big deal especially on 2 lane roads.

She does not need a Class B license (or me) as we are exactly at 26K lbs Gross for Texas. In a car, we switch out after about an hour or so but I end up doing more of the driving.

How do you handle the sharing of driving for long distances and other issues that might come up with 2 driving most of the day? Where to pull over safely to switch, etc.?

I know that if we were full timers or made longer trips that we would probably feel more comfortable about it, but it really gets my attention when I crank up the diesel and put it in gear.

BTW, she has not had a concern about this, I have. But she is also clueless when it comes to backing directions and spacial relations and she knows it. I've had a couple of mistakes driving forward of all things that she could foresee being outside the MH but did not even "see" them. It was all my fault of course since I made the mistake, but she was "watching" and did not say anything.

I think I can trust her driving forward.....



John & Deanie, Corky and Benji (best buddies)
2001 National Marlin 390 DP
"Try to live up to your dog's opinion of you."
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Old 05-20-2013, 06:49 AM   #2
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My spouse refuses to drive the motor home. Said she would only if something happened to me where I wouldn't be able to. She said she would get it home and that would be it.
When we had a dually and 5th wheel, she only drove the dually once for about a quarter of a mile and never tried it with the 5th wheel hooked up.
Says her driving something that big is out, way out, of her comfort zone. I tried to get her to take the driving course but she just would not do it.
So I do the driving.

R & E
No RV at the moment
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Old 05-20-2013, 06:55 AM   #3
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Wife tried driving once but could not keep it in the lane. Scary enough on interstate but terrifying on 2-lane with no shoulder.
I have since fitted a TruCenter and had it aligned. Drives MUCH better now, so she may give it a go on our next trip.
We've not done any mega-trips yet so I have been happy to do all the driving.
Chris, Jo & Dell (Siberian Husky - 110lb of fur and muscle)
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Old 05-20-2013, 07:03 AM   #4
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My DW drives our Horizon on longer trips. I started her out on our first 34' and she grew in her driving abilities as the coaches grew. She grew up on a farm and had prior experience driving farm equipment so that was helpful for her. On the shorter trips I usually drive and she is the navigator. On our trips lasting more than a days driving she will ask to drive for a couple of hours each day. She says she enjoys driving our Horizon. I remember a few years ago I got sick in southern Missouri and she drove the rig home to Wisconsin. That saved a 1 day layover for us. I believe that teaching and encouraging a DW to drive yields many benefits.

Don & Bev Morgan Weyauwega WI, 05 Itasca Horizon 40KD, 400 HP Cummins, Delorme GPS LT 40, Toad 07 Saturn Vue AWD, Air Force One, TST 510 TPMS, Mayor of Weyauwega 2007 - 2013, Waupaca Co Board Supervisor 2010 - 2014
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Old 05-20-2013, 07:04 AM   #5
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My DW refuses to drive our 40' vectra. She would need to get her airbrake endorsement and she refuses to do that. She said...and I quote "if something happened to you, I would leaveit where it is and get you and I home by bus or plane and send someone back to get it"

If I am not driving it, it is sitting where it is

Thats ok by me since I love to drive anyway.

John and Judy
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Old 05-20-2013, 07:13 AM   #6
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My wife loves to drive the motor home, although in Florida the traffic is more challenging than the roads we travel. We usually go one or two rest areas then switch. Right lane, 5-10 mph under the speed limit ... no hurry, retired life is easy.

I do all the parking, backing (after the toad is unhitched), and most of the non-interstate/turnpike driving.
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Old 05-20-2013, 07:21 AM   #7
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I do all the driving and I limit our distance each day to 250 miles, plus or minus a little depending on where the CG is that we would like to stop at.

DW is a pretty good light and compartment door checker before departure, and a good ground guide.

Oh! And good cook. Darn, I know I forgot something.
Wayne MSGT USMC (Ret) & Earlene (CinCHouse)
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Old 05-20-2013, 07:41 AM   #8
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DW has stated clearly that she has no interest, and honestly, I think ours is beyond her.

You HAVE to be comfortable on the road, under any conditions you're likely to run into, prior to considering trying something this size. She can be a nervous driver in her car, so I've never pushed her to consider the MH.

Because there is more to driving one of these for any length of time, I'm pretty much spent after 450 miles or so. That number is the max we use for planning purposes.
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Old 05-20-2013, 07:51 AM   #9
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Who drives

I do all the driving on short trips and about 90% on long ones, like from East Texas to Colorado. ( I was tempted to say she does the driving and I hold the wheel) but thought better of it. She does a better job than she thinks but is not comfortable with it. It seems as when we swap and she starts driving it will start raining after a few miles or we will run into road construction. I guess I shouldn't tell the kids that when the workers along the road see it's Mom driving they throw their shovels and RUN.. But she is real good at directing me on parking and man can she cook !!
Chuck and Dot
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Old 05-20-2013, 08:02 AM   #10
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We haven't had our coach that long, (Just a month or so.....) so I, myself am still a novice, but I know DW is interested in learning how to drive our coach, mostly for the unforeseeable accident that might render me incapable of driving the coach back home.

We have some plans for longer trips on the interstate this summer, so I think we may try to have her get some time at the wheel later this year. Of course in good weather, with light winds and hardly any traffic.... Yeah, like those conditions will ever happen all at once.
The Macklin's - 1998 Georgie Boy 'Pursuit'
Pete: Pilot/Mechanic - Jen: Navigator/Travel Planner
Taylor & Patrick - Along for the ride....
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Old 05-20-2013, 08:29 AM   #11
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We've made 5 trips so far in our 39 Discovery. 4 of them were at least 12 to 15 hour per day trips, and I've driven every mile so far... Honestly, after about 10 or so hours, especially if we hit stop and go traffic or construction... it gets a little tiring.

As much as I would like her to help with the driving, I would probably be a nervous nelly the entire time and ultimately piss her off... and then there goes the trip! Truth is she doesn't want to drive... she prefers to be on her phone texting or on her Ipad.

At some point I want to take her to do some practice driving to see if she likes it and can handle it. She's not good at backing up, so that will always be my job.
Steve & Beth - Milton, New York
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Old 05-20-2013, 08:46 AM   #12
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There is nothing in this entire world upon which DW and I agree more.... than me doing ALL of the driving.

My wife is a wonderful person, a great cook, and even a pretty good dancer. However, we have identified her strengths... and driving a DP isn't among them.

Rick, Nancy, Peanut & Lola our Westie Dogs & Bailey the Sheltie.

2007 Itasca Ellipse 40FD
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Old 05-20-2013, 09:19 AM   #13
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Okay, I'll be the odd man out here. My wife does the majority of the driving. We have a 39' DP. She's comfortable doing so, and we are both very aware that she is a better driver than a passenger. For me, sitting in the passenger seat, I can see neither side view mirror and during the day I cannot see the rear view camera screen.

I just sit back fat and happy :-)
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Old 05-20-2013, 09:25 AM   #14
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My wife drives the coach; I just hold the steering wheel.


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