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Old 01-08-2016, 02:49 AM   #1
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Learning How to Drive an RV

We bought our RV last month and I did drive it about 5 miles on country roads before the sale. However, I need lots of practice and was looking for tips.

I believe my DH will be the main driver and we just took it to storage yesterday. I was thinking about practicing how to turn and back up in this storage lot with some orange cones, since the storage lot is big with wide paved lanes and lots of turning around room.

Any ideas how to get proficient? Thanks for your comments.

Robert, Lisa and Piccolo (Yorkie), Vivi (Min Pin), Dixie (Yorkie)
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Old 01-08-2016, 03:05 AM   #2
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You have the right idea about using the storage facility if it has the room. Another option is a big parking lot. Using the cones for reference are a great idea but hopefully the DH can be there as well to help. Your two biggest friends on your rig are your mirrors. Learn how to adjust them to your liking and rely on them. If you have a backup camera it's also a great help. There is plenty of info on the net to help. Try this one rv-roadtrips.thefuntimesguide.com it appears to have some great info and you can also take a look at some videos as well. Good Luck and enjoy your travels. Be Safe. Practice, practice, practice.

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Old 01-08-2016, 03:07 AM   #3
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Did you buy from a dealer? If so, did you ask them if they offer driving classes? If not, you could Google search for classes in your area.
Mike, RVIA & RVSA Certified Master RV Technician
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Old 01-08-2016, 04:12 AM   #4
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Watch this and lots of practice!


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Old 01-08-2016, 05:14 AM   #5
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Check out the Lazy Daze videos. I have driven rv's for nearly 40 years and they gave me additional confidence and some new tricks.
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Old 01-08-2016, 10:09 AM   #6
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A big part of driving RV is knowing where you are in the lane. Run a hose, rope or whatever along street side wheels and straight out in front. Adjust chair and yourself to a normal driving position and look thru windshield at the line. Put a small piece of tape on windshield that lines up with the rope. Think gun sight. Now you have a reference that will tell you quickly just where you are in the lane. 50,000 plus miles in class A driving and I still use my dot on the windshield.
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Old 01-08-2016, 10:34 AM   #7
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Driving an RV is a piece of cake...my 13 year old Grandson can drive the motorhome.

The real issue is to have the situational awareness necessary to navigate it down the road.... you know, knowing where all the other vehicles around you are and what they're doing....vehicles merging from the right or left....obstructions in the road, etc.... My wife is a good driver and can drive the motorhome with difficulty, but she will run over anything in the road....doesn't matter what it is....old tire, animal, tree limb...you name!

It's all about the situation
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Old 01-08-2016, 10:42 AM   #8
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Maybe this guy gives lessons
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Old 01-08-2016, 11:09 AM   #9
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according to your avatar, you are just driving a van (on steroids) so think of it as that with the only caveat is that you need to be aware of the width and height.

Just practice - go slow and be in no rush until your comfort level comes up !!! if you get concerned, just STOP !

The largest thing the wife had driven before was a large Ford Excursion SUV... but on our way back after new years trip she jumped in the drivers seat on the nice wide Interstate I-49 through Losing-Annie and did fine... even in the 44 foot coach towing the jeep !

At first I had to warn her a couple of times that she was slowing down to 45 on a 75 mph interstate, but after a short while she realized it was almost like driving anything, just watch the height and make the front end fit she even got up to 65 mph a couple of times !!!

Now, she only did the interstate and we swapped at the exit... but just go for it !
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Old 01-08-2016, 11:46 AM   #10
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There are RV Driving schools out there. One I have used in the past is RV School.com. I used them to learn how to properly operate my travel trailer on the highway as well as my 38 ft Dutch Star.

RV School has instructors located all over the country and are pretty reasonably priced (I think).
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Old 01-08-2016, 01:45 PM   #11
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If you can you should find another woman that likes to drives a motorhome. You are right to learn how but that is too often to do it "in case". Look to learn and then do it, enjoy it.
Don't let hubby have all the fun. You might be surprised to find how many women really enjoy it. (and are extremely good at it)
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Old 01-08-2016, 01:49 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by BigBadDad View Post
If you can you should find another woman that likes to drives a motorhome. You are right to learn how but that is too often to do it "in case". Look to learn and then do it, enjoy it.
Don't let hubby have all the fun. You might be surprised to find how many women really enjoy it. (and are extremely good at it)
My wife can drive it fine. She'd rather be in the passenger seat with her feet up watching the insides of her eyelids.
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Old 01-08-2016, 02:15 PM   #13
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I'm not familiar with your hometown, but it's probably bigger than ours (pop. 18,000 or so). What several friends have done is to ask either one of the local transit agency's drivers or, more often, a school-bus driver to give her some lessons in the RV. After all, most school-bus drivers are women and they can horse a 40-foot bus with 70 screaming grade-schoolers aboard through residential neighborhoods and take them on field trips too.

Unfortunately my wife couldn't fit the very limited adjustability of our F-53 rig. The Flexsteel seat was too high for her feet to reach the floor and had no vertical adjustment. It also didn't adjust far enough forward for her to reach the pedals. More trouble came from the steering column, which had very limited angular adjustment and no telescoping adjustment.

As a result, I was the only driver. At 5'9" and with fairly long arms, I could reach everything. Since I got back cramps after about 150 miles, our trip segments were fairly short. After 4 seasons of diminishing enjoyment, we gave up and sold the rig.

If we were to restart, it would have to be a proper bus chassis DP. I drove transit for a couple of years after retiring, and the buses (Gilligs) had Recaro seats with more adjustment options I'd ever seen, along with a double-jointed steering column with a telescopic upper section. We had drivers ranging in size from 5'3" to 6'9" and everyone could get a comfortable position. I could handle a 9-hour day with only a couple of 20-minute breaks to stretch and snack.
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Old 01-08-2016, 06:06 PM   #14
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Lisa, I agree you need to know how to drive your rig. What happens if you are out on a trip and something happens to incapacitate your husband?

As my husband mentioned (he's cbramsey above), there are driving schools out there. The guy who taught us is local to our area, thank goodness. And he actually said I was better at driving the 38 ft DP than my husband.

MY issue is finding a comfortable position...I have to be almost in the steering wheel to reach the gas and brake pedal.

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Me, Husband, Desi & Lucy [Jack Russell Terrier/Chihuahua mix]
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