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Old 03-02-2010, 06:33 PM   #29
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This brought back memories. I was pulling cotton wagons the 5 miles to the gin when I was 13. Moved up from there to pulling larger wagons with a truck. It was just natural that I drove instead of standing guard mount in basic training. Small TT and pulled other trailers lots of miles. Longest trip was this past December pulling a 16 foot trailer behind a 34 foot MH. DW was nervous but stayed in the back so she didn't have to look.

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Old 03-02-2010, 06:41 PM   #30
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Trial and Error
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Old 03-02-2010, 06:45 PM   #31
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This is an entertaining thread, i have driven a few small Trailers over the years, but in a few weeks we are flying to IN to pick up our new 45ft RIG. We will drive to a Rally, then back home. I am a bit nervous, but nice and easy will be the way to go, G
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Old 03-02-2010, 07:28 PM   #32
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Motorhome is a relaxing, leisurely drive in the park. I love it so much I do all the driving. Small step down from a semi with a 52 ft reefer. Now the slide in truck camper was WORK. Fight the wind and the idiots.
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Old 03-03-2010, 08:39 AM   #33
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My first "big" outfit was a 5 ton (that is what they are called, and they are bigger than a deuce & a Half). We had to take "lessons" before we could drive one. The lesson consisted of someone with a license for that type military vehicle being the "instructor."

Back in the days of only two lanes going into Key West, I would slap outside mirrors on the oncoming 18 wheeler mirrors. First time that happened I thought I was going to have to change underwear.

In the '80's I went to work for a company that had a 1 ton hauler, and eventually two trailers. A 30 foot goose neck pull, and a 36 foot TT. Both weighing in at 14k pounds each. Lessons again were by the other worker who had towed before. I pulled both trailers cross country in all directions, and eventually we moved up to a 2-1/2 ton Mercedes Benz Tractor with air brakes. That requred me to get a Commercial driver's license.

My first big RV was a 38 foot Montana, and then I moved over to the 39 foot MH. I find that the only time that I have a problem is WHEN I'M NOT PAYING ATTENTION. And if you don't believe me, ask my wife.
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:39 AM   #34
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Well, I grew up on a farm so I learned how to drive many vehicles. From riding lawn mowers to some very large ag-machines. And when it comes to backing up.... Well.... Some of the places I had to back trailers on the farm would scare most RVers into becoming "FOD's (forward Only Drivers)

That said.... My first few trips in a Class A were genuine eye openers.. I mean, I've driven, as I said,Riding mowers, Garden tractors, Farm tractors, (Both bob tail and pulling wagons, trailers and other implements) and even Semi Trucks.

But that class A took some getting used to.
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Old 03-03-2010, 11:44 AM   #35
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Like otheres, I'd sum up my learning as "seat of the pants".

Growing up, I drove everything that anyone would let me. Nothing big. My Dad has a 16ft Shasta trailer towed by an Olds and I drove that a few times. When we got to CGs, my Dad would have my brother and I park and set up so we got pretty good at it.

I drove rental moving trucks a number of times, up to 30 feet. We had to back them into some pretty tight places. DW and I rented Class Cs and drove 7,000 miles without problems (other than breakdowns). When we got the Class A, the trip from the dealer was almost terrifying. We decided to use an empty mall lot several Sunday morning's in a row to practice. We used the lanes and stalls for turns and backing up. By the end of the 3rd Sunday (we spent a couple of hours each time), the Class A was feeling OK. We did a trip with no toad and the another short trip with the toad. After that, it was lots of practice - Dallas to the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas, Dallas to Harlingen and Dallas to Harrisburg, PA all that first year.

I'm still learning, even after nearly 40K miles. Construction (rough pavement with cement barriers on both sides, heavy cross winds (in Texas, they are alway gusty) and precipitation still can give me fits.

Our closest calls? Idiot cars cutting us off. and a tractor trailer running us off the road in rural NC (2 lane road). The only damage that I've ever done was crossing a high berm backroad and scraping the bottom of two compartment doors.
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Old 03-03-2010, 12:33 PM   #36
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Our current coach is our first ever RV and after a 20 min test drive I drove it off the lot with my Grand Cherokee in tow. Slow and easy and (knock on wood) not a ding yet. I do like the driving school idea and even though I've got 25K miles under my belt now I might still take a course some day.
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Old 03-03-2010, 01:18 PM   #37
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I learned the same way I learned to drive a motorcycle. I just got in and drove it.
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Old 03-03-2010, 02:31 PM   #38
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Well, I once stayed in a Holiday Inn Express.. Really, I never drove one before we flew to Florida and bought our Tradewinds. It sat in a large parking area, so I got in and drove around in circles, backed up a few times and finally decided I'd have to start out, so I drove it 2500 miles home.
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Old 03-03-2010, 02:53 PM   #39
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Like so many others, I learned how to drive our coach through past experience be it farm equipment, military equipment and/or road construction dump trucks. I learned early on the value of the out side mirrows and how to use them especially with a trailer be it a boat trailer or a (then called) trailer house. How ever, in terms of white knuckle driving, try driving a 1966 volkswagon bus through the side winds of Texas, OK, WY, NB, NM or any other state with special concern for flying 18 wheelers. For some reason, that VW Bus gave me the confidence to handle the 3rd coach we now have.

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Old 03-03-2010, 04:30 PM   #40
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Check out this site . Theres some very good info here. www.rveducation101.com
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Old 03-03-2010, 04:38 PM   #41
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Should have finished thread before clicking. If you look on the left colume click on the free video tips . has some excellent info on driving , turning and backing. Your never to old to learn!
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Old 03-03-2010, 04:55 PM   #42
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Just got in and started driving. John H....
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