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Old 06-24-2014, 01:28 PM   #1
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Advice on learning to drive an RV/classes?

Hello again! Last time, I had asked for input regarding buying a 43 foot RV. If I didn't send a proper thank you before, it's because I am still learning how to use this site...but thank you for all your encouragement and advice! Greatly appreciated!
Since then, we did buy a used 2006 HR Navigator, 43 foot diesel (it's wonderful!). We pick it up this coming Saturday. We are so excited but a bit nervous as well. We have been told we will get a 4 hour demo when we pick up, but wonder whether we should look into taking a driving course. We had a 35 foot gas RV prior so we have some experience, but Jacob brakes and mountainous driving which we hope to do when we are retired has us befuddled. Don't know if the demo will cover all that. Does anyone know if there is anywhere in or near Michigan that teaches how to drive a diesel? As with everyone on this forum, safety is our main concern, fun comes next. Want to know what we need to know before we get into a situation we can't handle. Thanks so much!
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Old 06-24-2014, 01:58 PM   #2
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I know LazyDays has one but they are not close to you. There are some very helpful videos on YouTube about driving you RV. The one about tire blow out is very useful.
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Old 06-24-2014, 02:03 PM   #3
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Here's a link to some previous threads which may be helpful as well as you tube that was mentioned above.
https://www.google.com/search?q=Lear...com&gws_rd=ssl
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Old 06-24-2014, 02:20 PM   #4
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Really no big deal. Just leave a little more room. Cut a little wider. You'll get the hang of it in no time
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Old 06-24-2014, 02:56 PM   #5
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Looks to me you have the driving part covered with your previous motorhome , just a bit of getting used to the extra 8 foot of length. You should be able to learn the diesel related specifics on this forum.


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Old 06-24-2014, 03:02 PM   #6
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Silly question... but have you checked to see if your current driver's license covers the motorhome? I know some states like Oregon and Colorado don't require anything special, but others such as California do require a different license for motorhomes over 40'.

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Old 06-24-2014, 03:20 PM   #7
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As I tell my Wife, just take your time. You are the biggest Elephant in the room. All those little peanuts will wait for you. As soon as you think you know what your doing is when you will take out a lite post or stop sign.....
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Old 06-24-2014, 03:43 PM   #8
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See if your local transit agency can recommend someone locally. It might be a bit difficult to get help in time for driving your new rig home. You may find an off-duty bus driver who'd be willing to go with you.
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Old 06-24-2014, 04:40 PM   #9
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Here's an idea ------- take a video camera with you for when they do that 4 hour demo. Make sure you film all the demoing stuff. You will be glad you did when later you start trying to remember how to do something that they showed you or where switches and stuff is at.
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Old 06-24-2014, 04:49 PM   #10
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4 hour demo as well as previous experience plus questions during the demo should get you home and on the road.

Be cautious but not timid when you drive it.

Courses are always good. Transport driving schools likely will be able to teach how to drive tandems so you could try them.

You will have to turn wider because your wheel base is substantially longer than the old motor home. If there is a parking lot you can get into take a few cones or plastic pails and see how tight it turns. You may find it turns very well. I am not sure what cut you have but if it is 55 or 60 you will find it will turn quite quickly.

Good luck and enjoy the new coach.
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Old 06-24-2014, 05:00 PM   #11
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This website has some pretty good videos, tips and other information about Safe Driving

RV Driver Confidence Course 1: Adjusting Your RV Mirrors - betterRVing! Experience better RVing.

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Old 06-24-2014, 06:49 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the advice. To SteveLevin, we did check and MI does not have any special licensing requirements. In our research about CA., what we saw was that if you are not from CA, you don't need a special license as they accept what your home state rules are but there are some road restrictions if your rig is over 40 feet. Looks like we will need to do the research before we go there. We have a Magellan GPS specially programmed for RV's, perhaps it would keep us on the right roads. We'll cross that bridge later. But again, we appreciate members insight and sharing of expertise.
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Old 06-25-2014, 02:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bardani54 View Post
Thanks for all the advice. To SteveLevin, we did check and MI does not have any special licensing requirements. In our research about CA., what we saw was that if you are not from CA, you don't need a special license as they accept what your home state rules are but there are some road restrictions if your rig is over 40 feet. Looks like we will need to do the research before we go there. We have a Magellan GPS specially programmed for RV's, perhaps it would keep us on the right roads. We'll cross that bridge later. But again, we appreciate members insight and sharing of expertise.
DO NOT - I REPEAT - DO NOT DEPEND ON GPS FOR ROUTING, NO MATTER WHAT ANYONE SAYS. There is plenty of info here on that problem. Best to check with a local on a route to your next destination.

When you need an oil change, shop around as prices vary greatly. Speedco is a great place.

You don't need a course with your experience. Watch a video and ask others. When in the mountains, I keep my exhaust brake on.
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Old 06-26-2014, 08:46 PM   #14
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Thanks everyone!
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