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Old 05-12-2021, 10:05 PM   #1
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Drive it like a PRO...Best techniques and practices

What exactly makes a person a great driver of an RV? Please share your best practices.
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Old 05-13-2021, 01:47 AM   #2
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Situation awareness. Controllable speed.
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Old 05-13-2021, 07:25 AM   #3
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Very broad question.
some thought starters:
A driver that does a "pre flight check" that all RV systems are good to go before driving. Tire pressure and condition, all doors closed and locked, slides are in, leveling legs retracted, hoses and wires disconnected to land connections, etc.

All mirrors / cameras aimed.

Brake pedal check, look at all gauges to ensure air pressure, oil pressure, temps, etc are in normal ranges for driving.

Examination of parking spot and clearances on all sides (including the top).

Knowing the route to leave that gives most navigation to avoid hitting cars / trailers / people.

Leveraging someone qualified to help the driver navigate out of tight spots.

Knowing all systems (air brakes, transmission, Jake brake etc) before driving.

Experience with stopping distances, clearances (sides and top).

Knowing the route ahead of time to avoid low bridges, tight turns, steep roads especially with sharp grade transitions where the rig might bottom out.

Driving miles to learn all of the above and a thousand other points.

Go slow, don't test the rig or your limits, be respectful of others. It's not a race.. Enjoy the ride!
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Old 05-13-2021, 07:50 AM   #4
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Take a deep breath, be calm

Itís not a race - keep speed reasonable (say 65 max), donít try to ďget in front of the other guyĒ, keep PLENTY of following distance - slow down if needed to do so. Be much more inclined to slow down than speed up

Watch 100 yards or more ahead, not just the person in front of you

Plan the route - donít just blindly follow the gps

Be courteous to all other drivers, including the ones not being nice to you

Rest when tired

No fast maneuvers (lane changes, turns, exits, etc)
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Old 05-13-2021, 08:57 AM   #5
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Lots of patients and space between you and the vehicle in front of you. Take your time its suppose to be a pleasure trip not a race.
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Old 05-13-2021, 09:09 AM   #6
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What exactly makes a person a great driver of an RV? Please share your best practices.
The bar is pretty low, honestly. Many RV drivers are terrible.

1. Able to stay in their lane and on the road.
2. Does not make any sudden, unexpected, and/or jerky movements, including with the throttle and brakes.
3. Maintains a safe following distance without driving overly slowly.
4. Is the first on the road to react to changing conditions. For example, the first person to start braking/coasting when there is a traffic slowdown ahead.
5. Consistently uses signals when appropriate.
6. Drives in a predictable manner.

Around parking lots, campgrounds, gas stations, etc., we can add some more:

7. Understands where the RV is and is able to maneuver within tight quarters without getting close to anything.
8. But uses a spotter, because 90%+ of us have a spotter with us and it's foolish not to use all the resources at your disposal.
9. But also Gets Out And Looks, even with a spotter, because a picture is worth a thousand words.

The biggest giveaway of a proficient RV driver with respect to nos. 7, 8, and 9 is the practiced confidence you see. In a difficult situation, sooner or later everyone will have a spotter and GOAL. The difference between a good/experienced RV driver and a bad/inexperienced one is that the former will start out with a spotter and GOAL. The latter will try to do it all on his own at first, and only after he's run over something or jackknifed his rig will he finally relent and do what he should've done from the beginning. And even then, he probably won't be able to see his spotter or understand her signals, and he will probably have to get out multiple times because he doesn't check all the right places the first time.
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Old 05-13-2021, 09:30 AM   #7
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The Smith System of Defensive Driving is taught to all UPS drivers at their tractor trailer training schools. It works no matter what you are driving.
https://www.topdriver.com/education-...-smith-system/
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Old 05-13-2021, 01:08 PM   #8
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All very good stuff.....thanks and keep it coming !

+++++

For us class A newbies, a proper sight picture will keep larger vehicles centered in the lane. 360 degree Situational Awareness and looking further down the road...anticipate and leave plenty of room. I like the good "Pre-Flight" checklist idea.

++++

I wonder if you might get an insurance break if you take the Smith System classes ?
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Old 05-13-2021, 04:57 PM   #9
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When things go sideways (e.g. having to turn around on two lane rd., etc.) not getting flustered. Stop where it's safe. Plan recovery, next steps. Review with spotter and listen to their input. Then execute plan.
(I still need to work on this)
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Old 05-13-2021, 05:26 PM   #10
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When backing / parking using a pre-agreed standard set of hand signals and spotter location clearly visible in side mirrors. No movement unless spotter is visible in agreed location. We use the hand signals I learned on a carrier flight deck - no ambiguity and with 2 flashlights they work at night.
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Old 05-13-2021, 06:36 PM   #11
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Swing wide. Keep your tires off the grass.
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Old 05-13-2021, 06:48 PM   #12
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Quote:
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The Smith System of Defensive Driving is taught to all UPS drivers at their tractor trailer training schools. It works no matter what you are driving.
https://www.topdriver.com/education-...-smith-system/
Pacific Telephone taught it to me as a supervisor and I then taught it to those who worked for me. I still follow the "rules" to this day. I especially practice "Leave yourself an out" every time I drive the RV.
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Old 05-13-2021, 07:43 PM   #13
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Other than drafting a semi across Kansas one night (with permission and talking to him on the CB), I try and keep something I can see over between me and a semi that blocks the view of the road ahead, even on a 4 lane. Don’t fixate on the road ahead, check your mirrors and then back ahead. Every now and then check your gauges instead of the mirrors. If some idiot forces me to change lanes, I know if there’s something beside me without looking.

Limited access highways are safer than roads with cross streets...more relaxing as there are less ways to get attacked. Sorry but I’m not into the blue highways when there’s a Interstate nearby.

In cities I’m looking two traffic lights ahead so I rarely have to stop for them. I use the controlled crosswalk’s signal to help to know when the light will turn red. If the #s are still counting down I don’t need to slow down.
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Old 05-13-2021, 08:14 PM   #14
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I'm not seeing any rules I don't already use when driving my car, but (knock, knock - on wood) I've never had an accident in 40+ years.

What I do differently in the MH:

Turn later. Don't start your turn so fast.

Go slower. (In the car, I tend to go faster than some people, in authority, seem to think I should be going. ) I set the cruise at 65, if I can do so. Else, I'll revert to my normal 10 over.

Watch your tail! Dang that thing swings like a 1980's suburban married couple.

Watch your head! 13' is a lot higher than you think.

In tight spaces, plan it all out before you start.
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