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Old 10-09-2006, 03:16 PM   #15
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So much of doing this is mental. I was terrified (of the diesel, not our first gas rig), the diesel is heavier, wider, longer and much more expensive!!!!!!
My very first attempt was going round and round and stop and go in a large rest area on the Alligator alley in Fla. Then I ventured onto the Hwy, drove to the first exit and into a gas station and up to the truck pumps.

That was a big achievement.
We then went to lazyDays in Snefner and took their driving course. That was Terrific.
Lesson one: Adjust your mirrors and seat. Each driver has to see in the mirrors properly.

After that Class, I was always comfortable slow driving, in town etc. It was the high speed open highway that would white knuckle me. And That just took practice and repeating RELAX!
Sense we live in the mountains and the ride up an down is harrowing, I have not driven this. If I had to I would, but no one would want to be behind me
Don't know if this helps but I gritted and said over and over, you can do this. Anyone can do this. RELAX
Also when ever driving anything else I would try to relate where I was looking and how I was feeling, to compare to driving the coach. That helped.
I still would not attempt to back into a space without help. I am not affaid to ask. Don't want to damage the rig.

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Old 10-09-2006, 03:19 PM   #16
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My wife has driven every rig we have had staring with a pop up, then a couple of travel trailer, two class A's, a class C and the current 5er. The 5er is the largest rig we have and she does well with it, but does not like to get into a lot traffic.

The way we have approached each rig was to head to a large parking lot with little or no traffic and both of us spend time turning, backing and driving to get a feel for just how much room the rig really takes. After some time behind the wheel at the lot, she is ready to venture onto the highway in a light trafficc area.

She also can do a complet hitch up or unhitch and set up if the need arises.


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Old 10-09-2006, 06:00 PM   #17
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Someone mentioned the drivers course at Lazy Days....On John Canfields web site HERE he has a write up of the PRIVATE course he and Jane took. It was actually a two day course and cost a little more,but according to John,the money was well spent.

Ken, my wife actually LOVES to hook up the toad....I guess she figures that's something she can do that helps out, but she JUMPS at the chance to get the tow bar and hook up the cables and locks...

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Old 10-09-2006, 07:08 PM   #18
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Patty does drive every now and then. Her biggest problem is that driving puts her to sleep.....not real good for us and those that share the road.

But Patty started driving on a interstate in Texas. Wide open road. I marked the spot on the dash on the drivers side for a guide of the white line. That really helped her get the spatial thing down. Now she will drive two lane roads, but defers to me when the road gets twisty.

We had a short course at an Alpine rally. Backing, turning corners, pulling up into a lane defined by cones, ect.. That really built her confidence.
Tom, Patty, Hannah "The Big Dog" and Abby Kat, Indianapolis, Indiana 2000 36' FDS 72232 Our Photos
We live out in our old van. Travel all across this land. Drive until the city lights dissolve into a country sky, me and you - hand in hand.
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Old 10-10-2006, 02:51 AM   #19
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">So much of doing this is mental. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Amen to that.

My wife has driven our past class As and this present one, albeit she doesn't really like to. As for the original poster looking for help/tips, I'd say that pulling off at a rest area on the interstate and letting her taking over at that point is a good starter course. Take the time to adjust mirrors, seat, discuss how to activate cruise, etcetera. When she first started off driving, I was there in the navigator's seat for the first 10 minutes or so, telling her to hug the left lane marker more (keep the right side off the line). Shortly thereafter, I purposely got up, went back to the kitchen and made a sandwich, sitting in the dinette watching the world go by. This kept me from being a "backseat driver" barking cautions, and let her control the coach all by herself.
Successive camping trips always found me driving from the house to the campground. But I'd persuade the DW to try driving a bit of the return trip home. I'd find the good training opportunities on the way out to the campground, so she kinda knew in advance what it would be like driving the coach back home. Out-of-the-way country roads with sparse traffic and not a lot of turns were an ideal way to let her get used to narrower pavement, deep ditches, and high crowns on the road. After 25 or 30 miles of that driving, she "graduated" to taking the coach through the city & suburbs, negotiating much more traffic, and doing tight right hand turns.
Believe me, she still prefers not to drive the coach, but I usually ask her to do it at least 3 or 4 times each year on the return trips home.
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Old 10-10-2006, 09:47 AM   #20
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Great imput from all.

My question now is....
How many of the ladies take the coach on the road by themselves. Leaving the hubby (bubba,to 2Sam) at home.

Any takers.......
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Old 10-11-2006, 09:27 PM   #21
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Some ladies just seem to have more testosterone than the average female.
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Old 10-14-2006, 04:22 PM   #22
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If you want a good road to practice driving, try hw 27/19 out of Tallahassee Florida, when going south rather than I-10 to I-75. When you leave Tallahassee, Perry is the only congestion and it is not bad. Hw 27/19 has split highway, nice surface and you can either go to Ocala and get on I-75 or go down to Crystal River and etc. Hardly any traffic any day of the week. s/Toby
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Old 10-20-2006, 05:26 AM   #23
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Freddy:
Some ladies just seem to have more testosterone than the average female. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That is so much BS.

A lot of women don't want to drive because of the signals they are getting from their male partners that they can't do it.

If you really want your wife to drive, sit down and discuss what would happen if you fractured your leg and it was in a cast for 6 weeks. Would she be happy just sitting where you are, or would she want to be doing things. Or you suffered chest pains and needed to get to a hospital and she is the only source of transportation for the next 2 hours.

Then go to a large parking lot - schools on Sunday often have open areas - and practice. And then be patient and help her - don't criticize or make comments like "any 15 year old boy could do that". Face it guys - your life could depend upon her learning how to handle the unit.
Barbara & David O'Keeffe
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Old 10-23-2006, 10:17 AM   #24
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My wife has driven everything from our cab over camper to our current class A. She prefers the motorhomes. When we got our first class A her best girlfriend was comming in about three weeks so we spent a week teaching her everything about it then took off on a short trip from Durango to Silverton Colorado, I drove up we spent the weekend and she drove back. Made a few runs in and around town with DW driving. When her friend got here they took off and spent 10 days driving around the four corners area, I only got one call and that was a temp gage question. When we bought our current coach last year she did all the test driving and does most of the driving now. She just loves the upgrade to a Workhorse with a 8.1. It is just a matter of motivation to learn and a patient teacher. If the DH has any tendency to get upset then a driving course is a great idea. See you out on the road I will be the Nav.

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Old 10-24-2006, 06:20 AM   #25
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I drive our 36 ft. coach all the time, with and without my DH along. I have also driven every motorhome we have owned, from a 24 ft. class C to this 36 ft. class A. A few years ago we took an rv driving class that is offered in Des Moines, IA. It taught us both a lot.

My DH works nights. This means I often drive while he sleeps or the dog and I take the rig and get it set up with him arriving later.

The most important thing for anyone, male or female, is PRACTICE. The more you drive, the more comfortable you get driving the rig. I know several people who use the mark on the windshield to center. I prefer to use the mirrors to keep centered. For me that method works better.

I am sure you can give her more encouragement enforcing your belief that she can do it. That will help along with her then convincing herself she can do it. You can offer classes for her to take, driving with people other than you or anything she feels may help. Then give her lots of opportunities to practice. She can DO IT! I love to drive our coach. Unfortunately I now have physical problems that allow me to only drive 1 to 1 1/2 hours at a time.

I am sure that if she really wants to learn, with your help, she will.

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Old 10-30-2006, 02:20 AM   #26
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Barbaraok:

That is so much BS.

I never wrote that my wife didn't drive. But, thanks for making my point!
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Old 11-21-2006, 07:55 AM   #27
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A great way to learn to drive is when the streets (or harbors) are nearly empty.

We have used our local business park on Sunday Morning to improve our piloting confidence of our 38' DP. With improved confidence we moved to the highway on Sunday AM when traffic was light.

Years ago, we used the approach lanes of our Marina on weekedays to learn to pilot and dock our 40' cruiser.

Both of us drive as needed

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