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Old 03-27-2014, 09:24 PM   #1
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Red face Driving me crazy

I have been looking at RV's for almost 2 years, we have decided that we will be buying one this coming summer. After talking to a lot of people, visiting dealers, RV shows and reading this forum, we have decided that a class A diesel is our best choice. When we start to put together all our wants we end up with a 39'10" coach (the Winne Forza 38R, checks most of the boxes).
Here is my worry: I have never driven anything that big, yes, a few U-Haul panel trucks, and vans, but no 40' rig. I had dreams (nightmares) about making a right turn at a small intersection. And going down a narrow street to find a dead end. I have been looking at a dealer (LazyDays in Tampa) because they offer a driving class. And I am wondering if I really need it or just making a 40' thought bigger than what it is?? Is there an 'RV driving for Dummies' book?
Any guidance would be appreciated

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Old 03-27-2014, 09:42 PM   #2
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If you do a search on YouTube, you'll find a number of videos on 'Driving an RV'

I docked cabin cruisers at 14, a school bus at 19, and have never looked back. It's not that difficult, yes, you might occasionally get in a tight spot, but just ignore all the honking and cursing, take a deep breath, and do what you need to do to get yourself out of it. Get accustomed to handling the RV in a big empty parking lot with a bunch of cones until you get comfortable, then take it out in the neighborhood. Folks will expect a large RV to move slow, so you don't have to disappoint them. Just enjoy yourself and you'll get comfortable!


Bob & Donna
'98 Gulf Stream Sun Voyager DP being pushed by a '00 Beetle TDI
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Old 03-28-2014, 05:31 AM   #3
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Welcome.....Take it slow and easy and you'll do fine...
Terry & Brenda - From the Iowa Banks of the Mighty Mississippi
2011 Winnie Journey 34y, Freightliner / Cummins , 2012 Chevy Colorado Toad

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Old 03-28-2014, 05:37 AM   #4
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Take the actual driving instruction. Reading a book and driving a big rig are two different things. You should also get some lessons on air breaks. Good Luck. Cheers Gerald
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Old 03-28-2014, 06:20 AM   #5
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Welcome and glad to meet you!

Take the class. You need to learn about offset (rear wheels turn in tighter radius than front wheels) and how to make those turns, how to back up using mirrors, not turning your head around. Then practice a lot in a bib parking lot.
FMCA #F431170, GS #822128658, Escapees SKP #112655
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Old 03-28-2014, 06:26 AM   #6
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Ditto on what the others have said... fear is only in the unknown. Get some education. You'll have a little anxiety up to the moment you get behind the wheel then you'll never look back as you head down the road with a giant grin. Enjoy the ride
Glenn & Mary
2000 Monaco Dynasty 34 York
Three Toads - 1997 Jeep TJ :: built for dirt
/ 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Diesel :: built for comfort in the dirt / 1990 Miata :: built for fun
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Old 03-28-2014, 06:35 AM   #7
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Old 03-28-2014, 06:45 AM   #8
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A good place to start is purchasing an instruction book used by truckers to brush up before taking their test for a CDL. Most books offer both a text and pictorial instructions on things like how to make turns in narrow intersections, how to use the mirrors, techniques for backing up, and just about any other situation you might find yourself in.

While they don't offer the hands on experience they can make you aware of what to expect, and how to handle the situation when it does arrive.
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Old 03-28-2014, 07:35 AM   #9
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If driving a 40' rig is intimidating to you, then by all means take the driving course. It will give you tips that otherwise might take a lot of time. I did not try to teach the DW how to drive our MH. I had her take a driving course and it has worked out better for both of us. The cost of the course is nothing compared to the peace of mind you will get.
Tony & Ruth........... FMCA#F416727
Newmar Dutch Star 4320, Spartan MM Chassis, Cat C9, Jeep Grand Cherokee,with Hemi, hooked up with a Blue Ox Aventa LX, and Brake Buddy.
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Old 03-28-2014, 07:51 AM   #10
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Hi folks! Welcome to IRV2! It's great to have you join the gang!

I think the driving class would be helpful, but not absolutely necessary. I too had never driven anything even close to that big before getting our Windsor. I became comfortable with it much quicker that I would have thought. You just have to be extra careful and always be conscious of how huge it it!

Hope you find the right rig for your needs! Enjoy the forum!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
Joe & Annette

2002 Monaco Windsor 40PBT, 2013 Honda CRV AWD
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Old 03-28-2014, 09:39 PM   #11
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Thanks, I watched a few of the UTube videos they were entertaining and informative. I feel a little more comfortable, but I think I will take the Dealers course.
I appreciate your guidance, be careful out there...
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Old 03-28-2014, 10:03 PM   #12
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Welcome to irv2. All the advice above has been right on and your decision will put your mind at ease. Enjoy!
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Old 03-28-2014, 10:57 PM   #13
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I would suggest going to your local transit agency or school district to see if any of their drivers would be willing to give instruction. After all, school districts have 60+ year old ladies driving 40' school buses full of 70 screaming kids through narrow residential streets!

We started out with a 26' Class C, which turned out to be a real turkey. Before we got our current rig, I spent a couple of years as a transit coach driver. It only took about 4 hours driving with an instructor before I was ready to take my CDL test. I passed first time.

My second solo turn was taking a 40-footer through the morning rush hour in Everett. I didn't bend anything on that trip, and our 32' RV is no sweat.
Frank Damp -Anacortes, WA,(DW- Eileen)
ex-pat Brits (1968) and now ex-RVers, as of 08 Dec 14.
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Old 03-29-2014, 04:28 AM   #14
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The Rv traing course found on YouTube is very helpful. There are also homemade videos that are there and funny so look for the ones that actually have instruction to them.

As said on one of the videos, if you get yourself in a bind, stay cool, take up what ever part of the road you need, even if you block traffic, and get yourself out of the situation. YOU MOST LIKLY WILL NEVER SEE ANY OF THESE FOLKS AGAIN!

Tim & Mary Discovery 40X. Chevy Tahoe. RVM32
"I've been lost now, days uncounted..."GFR"
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