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Old 10-07-2015, 12:51 PM   #1
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How to get your DW to learn to drive the MH

I love driving our coach and don't mind the long days or many miles, but on certain occasions, we have to drive straight through on Sunday to get our daughter back in time for school on Mondays. On these occasions, it would be great if my DW would drive for just an hour or two to give me a mental and physical break.

He seems to be terrified and very adamant about not learning to drive our 40-footer. I told her that I am just asking for her to drive it on the interstate where the driving is relatively easy compared to city streets or country highways.

I will say that my DW has a propensity for not being completely attentive to all that needs to be considered while driving. I have several body work and insurance claims on our automobiles to prove it. I would never ask her to back it in or take it off the highway. Pulling out of or into a rest area would be the most non-interstate driving she would do.

Any ideas on how I can show her that it isn't as scary as it looks? I am not planning on sleeping while she drives, simply sit in the passenger seat and try not to get agitated or scared.
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Old 10-07-2015, 01:02 PM   #2
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Sometimes interstate driving is easier.... Sometimes your driving with a semi on each side of you, and your grip gets a little tighter on the wheel !!
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Old 10-07-2015, 01:08 PM   #3
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I have pretty much the same problem, we have a 37ft Winnie Adventurer and a Subaru Forester toad, so the rig is about 55 feet O/A. DW will do some slow driving without the toad, but her fear factor area is passing or being passed by 18 wheelers, and driving with the extra length of the toad attached. Close maneuvers, gas pumps and generally smaller parking lots are a gray area.
So that being said, my suggestion is just ask what scares her the most, don't make even the slightest fun of her fear, offer to let her drive in the most non-threatening situations (Big parking lot at a shopping center?) and let her build her confidence. There are also professional driving schools that will use your RV to teach in. Sometimes the idea of the husband being critical doesn't go well.
And if she says no, then just man up, get a thermos of coffee, and try to plan your trips so you can take a half hour or so every couple of hours off the freeway at a rest stop.
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Old 10-07-2015, 01:30 PM   #4
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I've driven (at least some of the time) all our RV's - TT/SUV, 5-r/truck & now MH/toad. I was apprehensive at first, but driving on interstates got me started. I took a women's motorhome driving course at an FMCA rally & that gave me courage to drive more. I used to just drive on open interstates, bailing to DH if we were coming close to a city or headed into construction. During last week's trip, I drove, at night/in a construction zone. At each hurdle (construction, city driving, 2-lane w/narrow berms, rain, high winds...etc), when DH asks if I wanted him to take over, I now say "I need to do this" & face my fear. As it turns out, the unknown was way worse than the actual driving through what I feared. Each time it gets easier.

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Old 10-07-2015, 02:14 PM   #5
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I hope you are successful. Your wife will do fine but it requires confidence. Nt knowing what she is scared of is an issue. Is she scared of driving, embarasement, failure, disappointing herself or you?

If the long drives become onerous it may be better to leave an hour or two earlier and part way through your return home pull of into a parking area and relax or nap before continuing the trip.

I am somewhat reluctant to meet you or folks who are running on the edge while I am on the roadway.
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Old 10-07-2015, 02:15 PM   #6
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In spite of the load it places on you, my advice is to leave it alone and continue to do all the driving yourself. When my DW and I were full time in our 40DP with toad there was nothing we agreed upon more than her not driving it.

She's not a very secure driver even in the car so I never wanted to push her into doing something which could put her in a potential panic situation. The downside is much greater than the upside IMHO.

Best of luck

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Old 10-07-2015, 02:21 PM   #7
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My DW absolutely refuses to drive any of the MH's we've had in the last 29 years. But, right now she's prohibited from driving anything due to health issues (liver cancer). I enjoy driving the MH but it would be nice to watch the scenery sometimes.
Friends of ours have a 40' DP and she does all the driving.
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Old 10-07-2015, 02:34 PM   #8
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I have taken the approach that if I slow down I can have more time to see the scenery. When the roadway is not busy I will slow to just under 60 from 62 or 63. While not optimal for viewing scenery it does give me some extra moments to look around.
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Old 10-07-2015, 02:41 PM   #9
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When we first started RVing, I shared the driving with my husband, no real issues, drove Vale in March...but in Illinois I was in a three lane and a blind hill...on the other side of the hill was a DOT parked on the white line, I could not get over because of the 18 wheelers, I hit the truck's mirror and cracked it but I also took off out passenger side mirror...pulled over and the police said I was not at at fault...but I haven't driven since...
I would rather be the naviguesser...and take the pain of not stating which lane to be in...
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Old 10-07-2015, 02:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lenkerb View Post
When we first started RVing, I shared the driving with my husband, no real issues, drove Vale in March...but in Illinois I was in a three lane and a blind hill...on the other side of the hill was a DOT parked on the white line, I could not get over because of the 18 wheelers, I hit the truck's mirror and cracked it but I also took off out passenger side mirror...pulled over and the police said I was not at at fault...but I haven't driven since...
I would rather be the naviguesser...and take the pain of not stating which lane to be in...
You will not be the first or last person to have something like this happen. Does not matter who you are or how much experience you have these situations will occur.

It appears your incident was quite economical. Not driving will not mean it won't happen to your unit again, just that you will not be driving. Could be more expensive if DH is driving should it happen again. Just sayin . . . . . .
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Old 10-07-2015, 02:57 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon Dewald View Post
I am somewhat reluctant to meet you or folks who are running on the edge while I am on the roadway.

I don't get tired or sleepy. The driving for long periods of time become monotonous more than anything.
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Old 10-07-2015, 03:07 PM   #12
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Similar issues here. We have a 30 ft class C. DW will not drive it at all. Wants us to downsize so something around 26' and said she would drive that. I think thats silly 4 feet doesn't mean that much especially when we will be pulling the CRV most of the time. So we are looking for a 24 to 26' MH with everything our 30' MH has. I know that is probably an impossibility and have been looking at Class A's because you get a bit more living space in a shorter vehicle. Looking at 26' and 28', but now she thinks they just look way too big and says she will not drive that either.

At one point I had her convinced to drive a half hour on some flat highways in northern WI she said yes but then changed her mind. I am confident that once she gave it a try she would be fine, but haven't been able to jump that hurdle yet.

I have even suggested that we both take drivers training from a guy in Columbus that way we would both be doing the same thing. Haven't had much luck with that one yet either.
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Old 10-07-2015, 03:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NLOVNIT View Post
I've driven (at least some of the time) all our RV's - TT/SUV, 5-r/truck & now MH/toad. I was apprehensive at first, but driving on interstates got me started. I took a women's motorhome driving course at an FMCA rally & that gave me courage to drive more. I used to just drive on open interstates, bailing to DH if we were coming close to a city or headed into construction. During last week's trip, I drove, at night/in a construction zone. At each hurdle (construction, city driving, 2-lane w/narrow berms, rain, high winds...etc), when DH asks if I wanted him to take over, I now say "I need to do this" & face my fear. As it turns out, the unknown was way worse than the actual driving through what I feared. Each time it gets easier.

Lori-
Lori, Where in Central Ohio? We are near Dayton. She might like to hear how you concurred your fears. Although I am not sure how that would take place.
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Old 10-07-2015, 04:11 PM   #14
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I also would love to get DW driving the mh, she is a very good driver and I think she would catch on quickly...just need to convince her of that. We normally don't drive far enough in a day to need another driver; however health reasons make it a smart option. I am coming up on 10 years since a quintuple bypass at which time apparently I will be uninsurable. If we still continue to travel in the U.S. a medical emergency will make it super important to get back to Canada asap. I have told DW if something happens to me, prop me up in the passenger seat, put a hat on me and get me back across the border ala weekend at Bernie's...she is not amused .
Bernie
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