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Old 11-12-2016, 06:32 AM   #15
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Having moved from a Class C to a Class A last year, the best advise I can give is to SLOW DOWN. Take your time, and be aware of everything around you. We took a 4000 mile trip this summer that convinced me to buy a Dash Camera. I could not believe the stupid things people did right in front of me! We are 55' end to end, and 12'10" tall and 8'6" wide. People acted like we were invisible sometimes.
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Old 11-12-2016, 02:04 PM   #16
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I moved up from a 36' gas to a 40' diesel this year. I had less than 1000 miles on the gas coach. Only have a few miles on the Phaeton, but I am much more relaxed and confident. The gasser didn't handle badly. The heavy chassis is just s much easier to drive. YMMV.
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Old 11-12-2016, 02:23 PM   #17
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Right On,
May the wind always be at your back and Watch out for those pesky concrete fuel pump islands that just jump out and scrape the basement doors of your coach.
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Old 11-12-2016, 05:48 PM   #18
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Have driven my Class A in winds that would likely soil your shorts.. BUT, I cheated.

In 2006 I made two trips from Detroit to Las Vegas, about 2,000 miles. The first on Jan 2 and the second on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.

The first trip was white knuckle time, and when I got to Vegas it was a PLEASURE to unhook and drive the towed (a 1992 Chevy Lumina APV)

The second trip.. that self same Lumina (Same motor home too) was mighty hard to drive..

What changed???

Well, after I got home from the first trip I had both a Davis Tru-Track and a Blue Ox True-Center installed.
The First is a Track Bar or Pan hard Bar.. A Class A is normally mounted on a truck frame (Chassis) with LEAF springs on all 4 corners, These leaf springs allow the body to move slightly side to side.. Modern cars have Strut suspension and "Radius Arms" that prevent this, Modern pickups Indepent Front Suspension which stops half of it (The front half). But motor homes "Shimmy" twisting left and right as they go down the road.

The Track Bar stops this DEAD. 100%,, (Well if you put on one in front and one in back, I'll do the rear later)

The True Center is a steering stablizer I recommend either it or the Safe-T-Steer with optional remote adjustment These help to keep you going STRAIGHT ahead Both of the ones I recommend allow you to re-center from the driver's seat to compensate for a steady wind or high dome road.

The 3rd mod is a sway bar.. I've not felt the need on this coach.

SWAY is side to side "rocking" like fans at a rock concert swaying with the music.
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Old 11-12-2016, 06:04 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
Have driven my Class A in winds that would likely soil your shorts.. BUT, I cheated.

In 2006 I made two trips from Detroit to Las Vegas, about 2,000 miles. The first on Jan 2 and the second on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.

The first trip was white knuckle time, and when I got to Vegas it was a PLEASURE to unhook and drive the towed (a 1992 Chevy Lumina APV)

The second trip.. that self same Lumina (Same motor home too) was mighty hard to drive..

What changed???

Well, after I got home from the first trip I had both a Davis Tru-Track and a Blue Ox True-Center installed.
The First is a Track Bar or Pan hard Bar.. A Class A is normally mounted on a truck frame (Chassis) with LEAF springs on all 4 corners, These leaf springs allow the body to move slightly side to side.. Modern cars have Strut suspension and "Radius Arms" that prevent this, Modern pickups Indepent Front Suspension which stops half of it (The front half). But motor homes "Shimmy" twisting left and right as they go down the road.

The Track Bar stops this DEAD. 100%,, (Well if you put on one in front and one in back, I'll do the rear later)

The True Center is a steering stablizer I recommend either it or the Safe-T-Steer with optional remote adjustment These help to keep you going STRAIGHT ahead Both of the ones I recommend allow you to re-center from the driver's seat to compensate for a steady wind or high dome road.

The 3rd mod is a sway bar.. I've not felt the need on this coach.

SWAY is side to side "rocking" like fans at a rock concert swaying with the music.

Good advice, but, the OP is running a DP with a Spartan chassis. Much different animal. While wind is still a chore, it's not really a White Knuckle episode like some of the Workhorse rigs are.
I have driven south from Gillette, WY with a STIFF west wind. Granted I was down to about 45-50 MPH but still felt in control. DW, not so much. We don't do that anymore.
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Old 11-12-2016, 06:23 PM   #20
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As mentioned, with time comes confidence and comfort. I had always driven big heavy vehicles since 1962. Tractors with 42' wide implements folded up to 15' wide to run down the road. I learned to judge distances to the mail boxes on rural roads. I missed most of them. When we got our first 34' motorhome, it seemed small by comparison. Now with our trailer, we are 75' long and feel comfortable driving in any weather condition or on any road. I still have a great deal of respect for the things that can happen. A tire failure, people pulling in front of you in heavy traffic, road construction, etc. One can never let their guard down. I think the key to safe travel is to expect anything and everything. Then think through how you would respond to each potential occurrence. That way, there is no such thing as the "unexpected". I enjoy traveling in the motorhome on twisty roads, mountain passes, wide open spaces and even bumper to bumper city traffic. Each one has it challenges and rewards. Travel Safe.
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Old 11-12-2016, 06:26 PM   #21
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Congrats on your accomplishments. I'm just beginning with a Class A. So, I'm behind the curve.
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Old 11-12-2016, 10:46 PM   #22
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Congrats on getting better acquainted with your MH and Toad. Now all you need is time in bumper to bumper traffic at speed and doing the Great Smokey Mountains or any tall mountain, then you will really feel at home behind the wheel.
As others have stated, drive in front of you as far as you can see and behind you as far as you can see. Also keep a close eye on the cars next to you and remember what you are driving doesn't stop in very short distances.
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Old 11-12-2016, 11:42 PM   #23
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The final test is passing or being passed by an 18 wheeler when there are concrete barriers on both sides of the lane. And the barriers are sitting on the white lines.

Great fun.
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Old 11-13-2016, 07:36 AM   #24
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The final test is passing or being passed by an 18 wheeler when there are concrete barriers on both sides of the lane. And the barriers are sitting on the white lines.

Great fun.
Another thrill is starting down to enter an underpass that has a sign telling you the clearance is 4" below the height of your motorhome and it's too late to stop. Fortunately, I was able to dump the air suspension and we cleared it. I had two drinks that night.
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Old 11-13-2016, 09:03 AM   #25
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As a heads up, many states require a "class B" endorsement drivers license if your rig is more than 26,001 lbs, which your Dutch Star probably is. Also, if you are towing a toad or trailer less than 10,001 lbs. Additionally, an air brake test if you have them.

Some states don't require the class B (called a non-cdl class b endorsed license), and others do. I believe South Dakota, your state, does require the endorsement. Written and driving test.

The dealers won't tell you this, and most DMV offices are ignorant as well. The risk you run is in the event of an accident, you could be cited of "driving without a license" resulting in a fine, litigation if you hit someone, and lack of insurance coverage depending on your carrier.

I mention this only because many newcomers to class A's are unaware of the requirements in their state for bigger rigs, as dealers play dumb when asked, not wanting to nix a sale.

Also for the newcomers, when towing your toad, make sure you have a brake system and a break away switch/cable attached to the MH. This requirement is by the state in which you are traveling in, and most states require it. Without it, and in the event of an accident, you will be held liable for negligence and operating without proper equipment.
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Old 11-13-2016, 02:57 PM   #26
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As a heads up, many states require a "class B" endorsement drivers license if your rig is more than 26,001 lbs, which your Dutch Star probably is. Also, if you are towing a toad or trailer less than 10,001 lbs. Additionally, an air brake test if you have them.

Some states don't require the class B (called a non-cdl class b endorsed license), and others do. I believe South Dakota, your state, does require the endorsement. Written and driving test.

The dealers won't tell you this, and most DMV offices are ignorant as well. The risk you run is in the event of an accident, you could be cited of "driving without a license" resulting in a fine, litigation if you hit someone, and lack of insurance coverage depending on your carrier.

I mention this only because many newcomers to class A's are unaware of the requirements in their state for bigger rigs, as dealers play dumb when asked, not wanting to nix a sale.

Also for the newcomers, when towing your toad, make sure you have a brake system and a break away switch/cable attached to the MH. This requirement is by the state in which you are traveling in, and most states require it. Without it, and in the event of an accident, you will be held liable for negligence and operating without proper equipment.
Nope, not required in South Dakota.
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Old 11-13-2016, 03:14 PM   #27
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According to SD dot dmv guide, page 6, a class B license IS required for any vehicle weighing over 26,001 lbs. A regular class D license is only sufficient for vehicles weighing less than 26,001 lbs.

Most people are unaware that their state requires an upgraded license, so you'd better check.
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Old 11-13-2016, 06:52 PM   #28
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It's confusing when you check the regulations for South Dakota. Basically there's a rule, when defining a qualified commercial vehicle, RV's are excluded. And you can find that wording on page 1-7 of the CDL Manual.

"2) Is used in combination, when the weight of such combination exceeds 26,000 pounds or 11,797 kilograms gross vehicle or registered gross vehicle weight. Qualified Motor Vehicle does not include recreational vehicles."

Personally tho I think all states should require special licensing for driving these big Class As. Even tho I haven't taken any test, I am in the process of reading the CDL manual for South Dakota.
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