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Old 03-01-2010, 07:28 PM   #1
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How did you learn to drive an RV?

The "need driving lessons" thread got me thinking-- it never even dawned on me that you could take driving lessons for these things--

Me, I just started driving. And I'm sure many others never took an RV lesson either.

So, I'm curious-- how did YOU learn to drive an RV?
Private lessons?
A friend or relative take you out?
Just get in and drive and hope for the best?

2000 40' Tiffin Allegro Bus \ 2003 Chaparral 260 SSI
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Old 03-01-2010, 07:38 PM   #2
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Old 03-01-2010, 07:42 PM   #3
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Started with small trailers and worked my way up. On the job training, I guess.

I did take the RV Driving course at Lazydays a couple years ago, with my wife in an attempt to get her psyched up for driving it. Learned a few new tricks too.
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Old 03-01-2010, 07:43 PM   #4
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Learning to Drive

We bought our RV in another state (Grand Rapids, Michigan). After researching and negotiating the price, we flew out from New Mexico in January last year to pick up our new (used) RV. Papers signed, we were giving a walk-through of our new pride and joy. Then they opened the door and we pulled out into a blizzard. Not only was this the first time we had driven one, but thoughts crossed our mind how thing thing handled in the snow and ice. So we just did it. First night on the road at a Walmart pushing buttons and switches to find out what they did. It was great. Looking back now, I wish there was a place that offered some driving instruction. It took us a long time to get comfortable with backing. I think this Summer we are going to take turns at empty parking lots backing the trailer.
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Old 03-01-2010, 07:46 PM   #5
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The first coach that we test drove, many years ago, was a little frightening. The sales rep told me to take the ramp to the interstate. As I went up the ramp, I told him that I had better slow down because the traffic is pretty heavy. He said, "floor it...they will move over!" All lanes were full, but I did manage to ease onto the interstate without getting hit. Now I just take it slow and easy. My top speed is 60 to 65 even though we have 75 here in Arizona.
2008 Itasca Latitude 39W. Cummins ISB 6.7 Turbo 340HP. Allison 6 Speed. Freightliner XCS. Michelin XRV 255/80R 22.5 LRG. SuperSteer MCU. Safe-T-Plus.
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Old 03-01-2010, 07:47 PM   #6
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Like many, started small and worked my way up. The first RV was only a 15' TT, then to an 18' and then 30'. Next was a 35' motor home...

You get the idea. I didn't jump right into a 60' lash up, there was kind of natural progression, building on past experiences. I'll admit though, that first drive in the motor home had me fully alert!
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Can't take it with you - don't plan on leaving any behind
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:26 PM   #7
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My husband drove a fire engine and was used to large struff. I have only driven about 15 miles until we came to road contruction and bailed. I don't like the cement barriers on each side of the lanes. I wish I could take some lessons (not my husband telling me what to do) so I would be more comfortable. I know the first few trips we made I was sitting on the edge of the seat and holding my breath some. I have since relaxed as we have traveled more.
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:36 PM   #8
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Small dings and some larger dents one at a time. That was 5 years ago and I just had them all repaired--like it never happened. And my rig is 36' with a toad. It dawned on me one time in a rest stop when parked next to them that I was as long as many semi trucks!
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:56 PM   #9
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Growing up on a farm, hauling grain commercially, and taking lessons from Lazy Days.
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:34 PM   #10
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We, too, had the "on the job" training & progressed up in size from TT to 5-r to coach w/toad. My DH makes me drive several times a season so I can at least do it, if not be comfortable at it. I also, bail at construction zones & even from in the co-pilot seat, have a tendency to lean to the left hoping that will help keep my side of the coach from getting near those cement dividers.

I have signed up for a driving seminar at the upcoming Fleetwood MH Assoc Rally this summer. I'm hoping to pick up some tips that will make me less of a white-nuckle driver.

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Old 03-01-2010, 09:59 PM   #11
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Question Driving lessons ?

well, long time ago, we rented in El Paso a TT behind a VW Variant to go on a long trip to Yellowstone. The Rental company just hooked the TT to the car and told us to make wider turns....
Along the way, we just had to learn the REST. Later with the Motorhome we just kept it slow for the first few yards and learned on the job. We switched even Drivers on the go (in the 70's). Wouldn't do that anymore. I'm to slow to get out of the seat now!!!
The DW wants somebody else (a Driving school) to teach her how to drive the rig....DH has no more pations, just let's go.

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Old 03-02-2010, 05:04 AM   #12
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I drove a oil home delivery truck years ago. I had two test drives on a 35' and then our new to us 2000 36' Journey. My first trip was getting it home here in PA from LazyDays near Tampa. I was tense most of the way. It will get better after a few more trips.
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Old 03-02-2010, 05:31 AM   #13
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Started preparing for my RV'ing days 35 yrs ago, driving a Mack Fire truck as an 18yr old volunteer fireman for Munhall #5. Then, a 5 ton flat bed w/ a 30' trailer delivering refractories to US Steel in my hometown, Pittsburgh.

A 40 MH w/ a toad feels real nice now, but I do agree on the apprehension at constrution lanes w/ jersey walls on each side!

Slow and easy now. No rush to get anywhere.
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sway & trac bars, Koni FSDs and SafeT+
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Old 03-02-2010, 05:53 AM   #14
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Took 2 test drives. Picked up the motorhome when it arrived and drove it home in Washington DC evening rush hour traffic from Thurmont, MD to Northern VA around the beltway.

Much prayer was involved.

09 Newmar Ventana 3942 (bunkbeds for the munchkins)
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