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Old 08-08-2020, 05:04 AM   #15
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I am going through the process with my wife at present. Her driving a huge SUV for years definitely helps.

My 4 main points to her (among others) were 1. Turn when your body reaches the stop sign or 90 degree angle to where your going. 2. Watch your road holding in the mirrors. 3. Early on the brakes.4. Watch out for trees.
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Old 08-08-2020, 10:14 AM   #16
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Back again! I wanted to add that when driving a big rig, always plan ahead while driving! If you see something possibly happening, a possible obstruction, a crazy driver, ANYTHING... slow down while whatever possible thing is still way up the road... that way, you're not taken by surprise and you can stop safely if necessary. Remember, when driving a vehicle that weighs 26K pounds or more, plus a toad, stopping distances are greatly increased.
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Old 08-08-2020, 07:06 PM   #17
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Watch out for road signs and utility equipment on the right. Some of the signs are right on the edge and not a lot of room to miss them if you have opposing traffic. Some forget your mirrors are out about a foot on each side.
I had some experience driving construction vehicles but it still took some practice to get used to driving in tight situations. I had a friend and fellow RVer follow me home when I bought mine and we were in radio contact. He gave me a little feedback about road position and turns that helped.
Good luck.
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Old 08-08-2020, 08:37 PM   #18
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Our daughter bought our 04 42’ Dynasty (Instead of a new Class C)... had not planned on selling it. Took two, 2 hour, driving lessons to get her up to speed. First was to local school to position a piece of black tape at bottom of the windshield for were the edge of the road is and do some backing into spots. Next was out on a divided 4 lane to get a feel for how well it handles if you do not oversteer it. Sitting in front of the steering tires requires you to wait longer before starting turns and hugging the center line before starting a right turn.

Next day started with sitting in the seat and learning where controls are without looking and fine tuning the various mirrors. Previous day she was too close to the edge (moved tape a little and adjusted R concave mirror down more so she could see the white line in it. She also was late in getting off the throttle when things were changing in front. Went out on a hilly, narrow, curvy road...about as bad as anything you’ll find...she did great.

A week later we headed West doing the 1500 miles to CO in 2 days. Over the next month she put in so really tight spots by slowly crowding the outside of the turns and watching the inside in the big mirror after adjusting it down so she can see the rear tires. Tail swing in a big rig is not really a problem...doesn’t turn all that sharp.

She admits it’s been easier than she thought and like me , loves driving it better than most vehicles she’s owned.
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Old 08-08-2020, 10:05 PM   #19
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I had no experience driving a large rig on road before buying my 35' M/H. I took a short (5 miles or so) ride with the salesman, with me driving and him watching, and then I was on my own. I white knuckled it for a bit, and by the time I was 100 miles down the road, was like driving my car.
Yep same for me test drove with salesman in the afternoon next morning hooked up a rented tow dolly and my toad and took off for ca from Texas 2400 mi later it was easy to drive.
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Old 08-09-2020, 12:19 AM   #20
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Kcoyne.......
Clearly, the majority of folks in this thread advocate the DIY method of instruction. This can work for a lot of people, but the weak spot is that you never quite know when you might be teaching yourself some bad habit or other.
I’ve heard good things about the course offered by Lazy Days, but have never had any direct experience of it. Also, some of the home made driver training videos online seem pretty good.
One option not mentioned- although widely available- is The RV Driving School. [FULL DISCLOSURE: I have taught for the RV Driving School in the past.]
This school has been around for over 20 years. They have about 75 or so instructors all around the country, (many of them fulltimers themselves). You go to their site (RVSchool .com) and locate an instructor near you. Bookings are handled all online.
Check out the site and see what you think. If you think it may benefit you, contact them.

Good Luck!!
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Old 08-09-2020, 12:40 AM   #21
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Learning to Drive a Class A

Quote:
One option not mentioned- although widely available- is The RV Driving School. [FULL DISCLOSURE: I have taught for the RV Driving School in the past.]
This school has been around for over 20 years. They have about 75 or so instructors all around the country, (many of them fulltimers themselves). You go to their site (RVSchool .com) and locate an instructor near you. Bookings are handled all online.
Check out the site and see what you think. If you think it may benefit you, contact them.

Timing is everything. Even though my wife and I used to be firefighters we decided to pay for a professional driver course after we upgraded to a motorhome. She and I have driven 48’ 60,000 lb ladder trucks, 33’ engines, etc. but this is a different kind of driving.

We used RV Driving School a year ago. The instructor came to our house, we had two hours of class in our living room, and then four hours of driving each day. This was a two-day “couples” class and cost about $700 (or roughly the price of one deductible for an accident).

Most of the driving was backing and maneuvering because those are the things that will get you in trouble. We did learn things we didn’t know and we had watched a lot of videos. The videos definitely helped get us up to speed before the class, especially the ones on off-tracking.

Our instructor, Randy, actually lives in Florida and we’re in Ohio. But he visits this area of the country during the summer for family so we timed the class for his visit. He stayed in a local state park for the two nights. So even if they do not show a local instructor, they may have someone who is willing to travel.

Was it worth the price? Yes.

Ray
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Old 08-09-2020, 07:42 AM   #22
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I have driven large trucks in the past prior to the 43' DP but backing into some of the camp sites can be an experience. Left and right turns take a little to get used.

I found this YouTube video https://youtu.be/4CeThR_A4VI to be very helpful.

We took delivery of the coach and immediately headed to an empty parking lot and practiced. Well worth the time spent.
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Old 08-09-2020, 08:29 AM   #23
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Welcome to a wonderful lifestlye!! You'll meet the greatest people ever in campgrounds. If you want to meet the neighborhood - just open the hood on your rig!
Regarding driving a CLass A - think high wide and long. Practice at a large empty parking lot with someone watching form outside.
Always have someone outside watching while you're backing up. And make sure they can see you in the mirror, or you can't see them.
If you can get to a class it well worth the time and effort. You always learn something. Sat in a class at a rally after 41 years and 250,000 miles of motorhoming and still learned something new!

Hope to see you down the road,
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Old 08-09-2020, 07:01 PM   #24
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My wife and I used the RV Driving School as well and found it to be a good way to go. The instructor met us at the point of sale (private party down in Texas) and off we went. The first day both took turns driving, navigating gas stations, back roads, freeways, city traffic, etc. receiving plenty of tips along the way.
The second day was a bit more driving, then a few hours in a large empty stadium parking lot on parking maneuvers learning to communicate with hand signals as we took turns parallel parking and backing into a space.
When we finished I felt I had a good deal of confidence for the drive back to California. It definitely shortened the initial learning curve.
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Old 08-10-2020, 06:54 AM   #25
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Your best bet is to enroll in "Camp Freightliner" if you have their chassis. It is offered in Gaffnry SC and you will learn all about your coach. There is much more about a DP that you need to learn - not just how to drive it - that you will learn there. They do not though, teach you how to actually drive it.
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Old 08-10-2020, 07:54 AM   #26
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Just got mine Jan this yr. Never driven one before. We started out looking for class C and drove one for a feel. Never woulda new it was anything more than a van. But l really liked the floor plan and size of a C. Looked at one by a private and voiced my worries about driving one. Owner said let’s take it out. Was a little intimidating, but was a game changer, so we bought it. Had him drive it to our house, at which point I YT’d all that I could find, then went to a school parking lot. And asked questions here. As of today, I drive it like a car.
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Old 08-10-2020, 08:48 AM   #27
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Old 08-11-2020, 05:24 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JFXG View Post
Kcoyne.......
Clearly, the majority of folks in this thread advocate the DIY method of instruction. This can work for a lot of people, but the weak spot is that you never quite know when you might be teaching yourself some bad habit or other.
I’ve heard good things about the course offered by Lazy Days, but have never had any direct experience of it. Also, some of the home made driver training videos online seem pretty good.
One option not mentioned- although widely available- is The RV Driving School. [FULL DISCLOSURE: I have taught for the RV Driving School in the past.]
This school has been around for over 20 years. They have about 75 or so instructors all around the country, (many of them fulltimers themselves). You go to their site (RVSchool .com) and locate an instructor near you. Bookings are handled all online.
Check out the site and see what you think. If you think it may benefit you, contact them.

Good Luck!!
The wife and I went thru the RV School for two days several years ago together. Money well spent. We now have a common language and use the same signals when guiding each other parking or backing. Also can help each other when driving without it turning into a shouting match since we both have the same training it is easy to say “remember the instructor saying .........” many of us guys think we can teach the wife how to drive. Believe me, that job is best left to a pro.

During our class the wife had to drive thru a narrow small town street. Later she said “ I Will never have to drive in a place like that again. two days after we finished the course she did have to drive in such a place again. When I offered help she confidently told me “I got this”. I shut up since she was right.

Spend the money, take you and your new RV to a proper school and get trained together (even if you plan to do most of the driving)
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