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Old 03-15-2010, 03:02 PM   #57
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In the early 80s, the city government I worked for also ran the bus system at the time. In the face of a threatened strike by bus drivers, the city manager directed his management team to learn how to drive the buses. Went through a training program jockeying an empty bus through tight residential and busy city streets. Then on to driving an actual route under supervision with passengers.

Learned a lot that way but when we eventually got into RVing we decided that we liked fifth wheels better and are now on our third one.
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Old 03-19-2010, 09:09 PM   #58
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Signed the papers, backed the trade up to it, put a board between the RV's and transferred our belongings to the DP. We then hopped in and went to Glacier. There's really nothing to learn that a few hours of seat time won't get you. These aren't tractor-trailers with manual transmissions and 13 forward gears. This was our first motorhome and they are very easy to operate. Two hours into the maiden voyage, we stopped at a rest stop to let the dog out. When I came back to the coach, the wife was in the driver's seat and said she wanted to take a turn. I told her fine but the first thing she should do is maove that seat forward about a foot. She drove practically the whole rest of the way including 2 lane roads at night. She loved it!
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Old 03-20-2010, 10:42 AM   #59
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Started spotting semi trailers as part of my job for about 4-5 years, then got a 26 foot Shasta behind a Chevy BIG 10 pickup 350cid, this was in early 90's. Had that for
about 3 years. April of 2009 went to Elkhart, In. to Michiana RV and bought our new
to us 94 Itasca. We got the usual walk-around, the keys, and just hit the road.
Was a very nice drive home. Our first outing we were going to camp at a state park
south west of Indianapolis, We live up north in Ft.Wayne, so we also had to drive
through Indy. Well we hit the road and was a blustery day and got worse. we had 35 mph gusts and I was experiencing the white knuckle syndrome to the max, I also had
alot of pucker factor (from my pilot days) experiences as well. Driving on I-70
through town was a nightmare, swerving from every gust trying to hold it in
the center of my lane, semis and traffic in general all around plus I had a full water tank. I Don't do that any more. I do ok now, been there done that.
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Old 03-21-2010, 12:42 AM   #60
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I credit whatever skills I have with two types of vehicles, motorcycles and my old hippie van, a 1965 Econoline. The motorcycle taught me to pay attention and to remain calm no matter how bad it gets. The van taught me about mirrors, going slow, high fuel consumption and the pleasures of camping with your own vehicle. Sure beat tenting and was warmer than the motorcycle and you were a hit with the ladies in those days.

Over the years I have pulled motorcycle trailers, horse trailers and eventually moved into 5r's, 26', 36' and 37'.
We moved into our current RV, a 40' Beaver. This is where I really think training and experience are important. The Beaver was 7 years old and had been sitting for almost half of its age. There were design issues along with dried seals in the Bilsteins. I had the rig inspected before we purchased it and I was told the rig was fine. Turns out we had cracked rotors, they did not change the brake fluid and the shocks were flaccid, amongst other things. We were cut loose onto the highways with a dangerous vehicle and a driver who did not know the difference although I figured it out. Our first trip I can laugh at now but it was not fun then. We have since fixed the problems, my driving skills are perhaps enhanced from the experience making me a better driver.
I am thankful for the motorcycle and van experiences! I'd have appreciated a class, still might!
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Old 03-21-2010, 01:33 AM   #61
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Cool

Practice Practice Practice
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Old 03-21-2010, 01:45 PM   #62
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Smile

After retiring from the Navy. I drove over the road tractor trailer. I wanted a 5th wheel, dw wanted a class C, she didn't want to pull anything. Ended up with 2005 35 ft class A pulling 2008 chevy hhr.
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Old 03-21-2010, 01:52 PM   #63
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Driving a cylinder truck for my dad when I was younger. He trained me but we didn't have a lot of time so I kinda learned on the job. It just comes easy to me. I think if it scares you, it's not for you.
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Old 03-24-2010, 08:13 AM   #64
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I learned by picking up and moving my new wife to Texas from Pennsylvania driving a 30' rental truck and towing a trailer with her car on it. No problems!
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Old 03-24-2010, 06:56 PM   #65
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I didn't have the opportunity to drive all sorts of farm equipment when I grew up, but I spent quite a while driving a one-ton pickup hauling an airboat on a wide trailer(probably 102" wide). Also spent quite a while behind the "stick" on the airboat as well as a bunch of other watercraft including a 45' houseboat. Started camping with everything on my back and graduated to a slide-in pickup camper on a one-ton truck. Had several experiences with big rental moving vans before I married my current DW. When we married I inherited a 32' class C with a tag axle. We put a few thousand miles on it and then graduated to a 34' gas class A. Fifty-thousand miles later we traded it on a 40' Beaver DP. We have put 25K miles on it so far.

No lessons other to read every tip I could find on the Internet. We have had a
few close calls. Mostly from idiots in cars that don't understand that a MH doesn't stop on a dime and the one time I let a gate attendant direct me into a campground. That won't happen again. My biggest challenge was learning that you have to drive a class A nearer to the centerline because you sit so much closer to that side. Got it licked now.
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