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Old 10-15-2014, 12:26 PM   #15
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Location: Anacortes, WA (Stick & Brick)
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If you do buy the 40-footer, I'd recommend a chat with your local transit agency to see if you could hire an off-duty driver to give you a couple of hours basic training. I'm very thankful that I got tired of being retired and signed up with our local agency when they had a driver vacancy. I did just over 2 years as a substitute driver and did every route the agency had.

The training on "how to drive this behemoth" was one day with an instructor before getting my CDL. I then did one week taking over coaches from the assigned driver for a round trip on the route with monitoring and advice from that driver. Five days with 30 different drivers really got me qualified.

We only have a 32-footer, but what I learned as a bus driver has been invaluable. Just a couple of hours with a well-experienced transit driver will be a big help.

Frank Damp -Anacortes, WA,(DW- Eileen)
ex-pat Brits (1968) and now ex-RVers, as of 08 Dec 14.
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Old 10-15-2014, 12:28 PM   #16
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Phoenixville, PA
Posts: 11
We traded in our 45' Tiffin for a new 40' Forest River Berkshire and I think the 40' size feels perfect. I feel it rides as well as the tag and seems more maneuverable, mind you ... my husband, not me, is actually driving.

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Old 10-15-2014, 01:20 PM   #17
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Location: Camas, WA
Posts: 814
My forty footer was definitely too big the first few times I drove it. Now it's really a breeze. Better ride and quieter than most cars.

I will tell you, though, between driving narrow roads, learning when to downshift and/or use the Jake Brake on long steep downhills, etc. it's a much more "hands on" experience than you may be used to. But experience is a great teacher.

And like you'll read here, never worry that you haven't got it all figured out. Except for a few unmentionables, none of us know it all.
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Old 10-15-2014, 02:26 PM   #18
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Location: northesat ct
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Thanks everyone. I so appretiate all your input.
I grew up driving big equipment, trucks, tractors, and an old Mack tractor trailer. I do feel comfortable in big stuff. Actually when writing this I realize that I have in fact driven such a long wheelbase truck with our flatbed. I spaced that out, .. funny, was a long while ago.

Thanks again.
Greg V
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Old 10-15-2014, 06:27 PM   #19
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Location: North America somewhere
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Your past experience will return to guide you. I've learned enough about driving our MH that now when driving anything else, I find myself automatically making wide right turns, looking 1-2 blocks ahead for overhead obstacles, staying/getting in the lane from which I must turn ASAP, etc.
2000 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom USQ40JD, ISC 8.3 Cummins 350, Spartan MM Chassis. USA 1SG, retired;PPA,Good Sam Life member."We the people are the rightful masters of both the Congress and the Courts - not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow men who pervert theConstitution. "Abraham Lincoln"
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Old 10-15-2014, 06:43 PM   #20
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Woodstock, Georgia
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It's the Bride and I in our 38 foot rig.

We both think ours is too big for us. We have 3 slides on the 38N but need something just a bit smaller for us and the canine crew.

We stay away from the KOA's and the commercial full hook up CG's. I fuss and fret about the low hanging trees and narrow roads and morons {apologies if this offends} out there in 2, 3, 4, 6 or 8 wheelers saying that I cannot drive.

We have an Class A DP because it's quieter than a gasser and it gives us a place to sleep off the ground at proper humidity levels. Back surgery and a very ornery lack-of-sleep makes monsters of people.

Yeah, 33-35 foot for us.

Your mileage may vary. Opinions are like belly buttons, everyone has one no two are the same.
2008 Fleetwood Bounder 38N
2014 Ford F150 4X4 (hers)-L
1985 Ford F150 (his)-J
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Old 10-15-2014, 06:51 PM   #21
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Bigger is better,,,especially for full time. Never a problem for us, smaller would be a problem. Drive the coach on the main roads to your site and use the toad to sightsee on the back roads, use common sense.

07 Itasca Ellipse 40fd, 2014 Honda CRV, greyhound lab mix, pit pointer mix(RIP bessie) , shar pei mix, stupid cat, wife
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