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Old 10-18-2020, 03:05 PM   #29
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Rent a few.
Travel different times, different routes, different seasons.

Hang around RecreationVehicles parks, talk to operators of the rig-types you are considering.
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Old 10-18-2020, 03:39 PM   #30
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I found out early in life that the secret to driving any thing is to firmly get it in your mind how long, wide, and tall you are. It helps to make a note and put it on the dash where you see it all the time. As others have said go to a large parking lot, school, church etc. and practice driving between the lines, parking spaces are usually 9í wide. After you get the forward driving down pat then start backing between the lines. Youíll have a long overhang behind you that you have to be aware of and how much that swings out when you make a turn. Left turns are easy, you need to pick a reference point(when the passenger window goes past a reference) before you start a right turn. If you start your turn to early youíll run over the curb or worse.
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Old 10-18-2020, 03:42 PM   #31
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My husband and I have lived in our 24 foot Class C for almost 3 years. Always traveling. I grew up driving pickup trucks and this is not a lot different. Except. Hills. I have to wake him up to direct me using manual settings because Iím scared of destroying the transmission. Diesel is slower, you have no zip.

Also, we had it aligned and they did a perfect job and made it so I couldnít drive it, it was terrifying and exhausting. After re-aligning it, itís better.

We use regular gas stations and convenience stores for fuel. An 18 wheeler zooming by can be a little distressing but only for a second.

Friends of ours have 31 foot class and they both took RV driving classes. They said it was a huge confidence builder.
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Old 10-18-2020, 03:42 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momto4girls View Post
.... it sleeps 4, but I know there are some drawbacks on comfort with those.

I am more interested in a motorhome. The Winnebago View, Navion, Porto, ....
I hope you know to divide the number it "sleeps" by 2 at least. And if you want to get more than 2 people into a V/N or other, you are going to have to be really close to the one you love (member of multi-wife religion perhaps?). If you include the dogs, you'll have to step over them to get to the bathroom so good luck with something that small if you are going to haul around several dogs.

Otherwise I found driving a U-Haul truck and my 24' was pretty much the same. The smaller the MH's are, the less the wind will be an issue and you'll have to drive one for years before you get as comfortable in it as the family car, unless you drive trucks or big rigs for a living. There's trade-offs with any style you choose, e.g. with the motor home you'll find that any campsite dwelling where your normal MO is "spreading out", you know that point you get to after placing the lawn chairs all over the campsite and getting all "set up", this is going to mean that even though you have a 24' or less camper, you are still not going to "pick up and go" like you first thought you would and you are stuck in the same position with a small motor home as you would be a very large one. Then you'll start looking for a toad to "solve" that issue only to discover with a small motor home the problems you will encounter trying to pull another vehicle with one barely equipped to move itself.

So it really depends on what you are looking for. If you are just week-end camping once or twice a year, yes the journey is a major part of the experience but if you start to full time or go on very long journeys, then you'll learn to tolerate an unpleasant day of driving and regardless of the configuration, truck pulling camper, motor home alone or motor home pulling a toad and no matter the setup you will likely always look forward to the destinations and not really focus that much on driving. If being on the road and seeing that vast open highway of pavement and billboards is the main draw, then a motor home will get you higher up with a more panoramic view than that boring pickup truck, so that's also a factor. But then that "making camp mentality" creeps in and if you are in the "motor home only" group (no toad), you are going to be affected by not being able to run to the store or run out on to a trail head or anything like that if you have no additional method of transportation with you. You will eventually get tired of packing the thing up to get road-read every time you need to run an errand. So large or small motor home (with no toad), that is going to be the same situation over time.

If on the other hand you are in it mostly for constantly being on the road and if you plan to focus most on going to specific parks for hikes, or if mostly staying on the road the entire time is appealing and if your idea of parking in some RV resort or setting up a large camp is not your forte, then the small motor home will likely be best for you.

Still whatever you choose you will often wish you selected something else and it ends up that compromises have to be made and lived with while each configuration provides a different style of camping that you must buy-into if you are going to be happy doing this.

Otherwise if you are thinking it is a great idea at this time to be on the road because you won't have to interface with potential infected other humans, you might take a second look after a bit of research. Everyone (and literally their dog LOL) is buying a motor home or some type of camper today and I'll give it just another couple of years before it starts to get violent out there as more and more people are suckered into the marketing scheme for this "lifestyle" that actually doesn't exist any longer. As people invest their life savings into these things and as they start to contend for available space, something has got to happen soon - I'm just not sure what. True, many people will claim they'll find a place to park hidden away in some lost BLM land out west but even people I know who used to do that and recently have returned to their "private spots" this year often find 12 people parked in a circle that used to be both empty as well as considered an individual camping space. National forests locations haven even broken out in fist fights and if the human contention was not enough to turn our stomachs, the mere trash alone that people leave on public lands will cause them all to eventually close due to health hazards. For these reasons I'd say to make sure you do your homework before you invest your retirement income in one of these vehicles, only to discover that anywhere you want to go is already full of people who got exactly the same idea you did and have beat you to your own version of paradise.
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Old 10-18-2020, 03:49 PM   #33
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I found out early in life that the secret to driving any thing is to firmly get it in your mind how long, wide, and tall you are. It helps to make a note and put it on the dash where you see it all the time. As others have said go to a large parking lot, school, church etc. and practice driving between the lines, parking spaces are usually 9í wide. After you get the forward driving down pat then start backing between the lines. Youíll have a long overhang behind you that you have to be aware of and how much that swings out when you make a turn. Left turns are easy, you need to pick a reference point(when the passenger window goes past a reference) before you start a right turn. If you start your turn to early youíll run over the curb or worse.
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Old 10-18-2020, 03:57 PM   #34
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Class A owner

We purchased a Class A gas motorhome for our first motorhome. This was our second season with it and we love it so much. We did have some issues on high wind travel days and we did a few modifications (SafeT Plus steering stabilizer and Sumo Springs) and it is a game changer. I would recommend that you test drive one that is the brand and length that you are considering (even if it is a different model) and triple check that everything you need while traveling is accessible with all the slides in (bathroom, pantry, bed, etc). We were down to 2 inferential floorplans with 2 different brands and that is how the final decision was made because our unit has a great aisle with access to everything while slides are in and the other had an 11 inch path with limited access to things we wanted available.

We ended up with a 32í Newmar Bay Star and we have loved it so much.
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Old 10-18-2020, 04:20 PM   #35
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Cool

I drive a 34 Pace Arrow Class A and it is simple. I have driven box trucks too (along with tractor trailers, double trailers, Ambulances, limo buses and currently driving a 72 passenger school bus on some VERY small roads. Still, I would be saying that a motorhome is easy to drive even if I had not had all those driving experience, I believe. Now my only experience with pulling trailers (other that the tractor trailer(s) is when I pull my own rock band's trailer and when I pull a massive school band trailer for the school. I will say that I think pulling trailers is more involved than driving the motorhome. I have also had a van front Class C years ago too.


Go for it! Both motorhomes and trailers have their benefits, but I always lean to the motorhome. No matter where you go, you are home!









Quote:
Originally Posted by momto4girls View Post
I'm not new to camping. For a few years we owned a Trailmanor hard sided pop up type camper. We now have a Kodiak Canvas Flex Bow tent that is wonderful. I love the tent, but the rest of my family doesn't.

We sold the camper while we had 3 kids in college at once and needed the money more than the camper--along with cost to maintain, insure, store, etc. Another reason we sold is I hated the towing experience. We were towing with a Tacoma. As much as I love Tacomas, they are kinda underpowered for towing. Trailmanors are supposed to be easy to tow, but I always found it to be stressful.

I'm back to considering our options for a more comfortable camping experience 1) because we'd like to start seeing more of the country--we would like to make a cross country trip in May with 2 of our kids. (Our other 2 kids have launched) and 2) due to pandemic camping is safer than hotels and 3)We want to always have our dogs with us.

I really don't want another travel trailer--unless it's ultra lightweight and low profile. But teardrop is not an option because I need it to sleep 4 comfortably. The Aliner Family is on my list because it is all hard sides and it sleeps 4, but I know there are some drawbacks on comfort with those.

I am more interested in a motorhome. The Winnebago View, Navion, Porto, etc. I'm also kind of intrigued by the short class As.

How hard is it to drive these? I've driven a 10 foot box truck before, and that was a piece of cake. I know there's a difference, which is why I'd love to hear from some of you that have experience driving multiple types of RVs. I've been lurking on the forums and see complaints about handling, being a giant sail, etc. I'm just trying to find out if the stress level is going to be any better than towing a camper. Thank you in advance!
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Old 10-18-2020, 05:18 PM   #36
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I agree with Kirk about class B and C. For class A the thing most people have trouble with is hugging the right side of the road. One must get used to hugging the center line instead. This places the MH in the center of your lane.
A good practice is to glance in the rear mirrors and compare the distance on each side of coach from the lines, then place in a vacant parking lot lines and a small stick-in dot on the windshield where your vision and lines meet.
Once you get your mind trained you have no need for the stick-on dots.
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Old 10-18-2020, 06:17 PM   #37
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Colored Dots - lane marks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Winemaker2 View Post
I'm a fan of Cl A. I don't knock other RVs as they suit others needs and I'm ok with that.
I would think with 4 people traveling a Cl C is going to be more separated - front & rear than with a ClA.
I do think set up is the easiest of all types.
If you've driven a truck I think the learning curve would be small and short. You need to rely on mirrors and consider your rear over hang on both. Only difference is driver seatingvs front wheel location so you need to learn / practice when to initiate your turns but that is EZ.
I place 2 colored dots / page flags on my windshield as a target for L & R lane marks. I feel its a good guide for checking lane position w/o looking in mirrors or camera. Be able to judge lane limits while looking forward is especially helpful in construction zones with narrow lane shifts.
Where do you place the 2 colored dots? At eye level on the front windshield? Are you the only one driving?
Agree, in tight construction lanes, there is no time to check side mirrors.
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Old 10-18-2020, 06:20 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momto4girls View Post
I'm not new to camping. For a few years we owned a Trailmanor hard sided pop up type camper. We now have a Kodiak Canvas Flex Bow tent that is wonderful. I love the tent, but the rest of my family doesn't.

We sold the camper while we had 3 kids in college at once and needed the money more than the camper--along with cost to maintain, insure, store, etc. Another reason we sold is I hated the towing experience. We were towing with a Tacoma. As much as I love Tacomas, they are kinda underpowered for towing. Trailmanors are supposed to be easy to tow, but I always found it to be stressful.

I'm back to considering our options for a more comfortable camping experience 1) because we'd like to start seeing more of the country--we would like to make a cross country trip in May with 2 of our kids. (Our other 2 kids have launched) and 2) due to pandemic camping is safer than hotels and 3)We want to always have our dogs with us.

I really don't want another travel trailer--unless it's ultra lightweight and low profile. But teardrop is not an option because I need it to sleep 4 comfortably. The Aliner Family is on my list because it is all hard sides and it sleeps 4, but I know there are some drawbacks on comfort with those.

I am more interested in a motorhome. The Winnebago View, Navion, Porto, etc. I'm also kind of intrigued by the short class As.

How hard is it to drive these? I've driven a 10 foot box truck before, and that was a piece of cake. I know there's a difference, which is why I'd love to hear from some of you that have experience driving multiple types of RVs. I've been lurking on the forums and see complaints about handling, being a giant sail, etc. I'm just trying to find out if the stress level is going to be any better than towing a camper. Thank you in advance!
If you can drive a car a Short MH is easier as you have a better view around you camera in the rear and on each mirror. Test drive before you buy
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Old 10-18-2020, 06:31 PM   #39
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Iím surprised everyone says driving a class A is easy. Iím new to this, had someone drive it to my house, and plan to start driving it next year...

Iím worried about the tail swinging out and hitting something at an intersection, or cutting a curb too close on a right hand turn. Iíve seen lots of YouTube videos. Iím not worried about highway driving... but making turns on city streets is worrisome...

Is it really not an issue?
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Old 10-18-2020, 06:41 PM   #40
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Class A

Quote:
Originally Posted by Indy Glenn View Post
Ummm - Not to be a Debbie Downer but a little bit of a realist......

Driving a motor home, be it Class, A, B, or C, is not quite like a 10' box truck or a station wagon.

With that said - they are also not difficult if you understand what you are driving.

May I suggest you watch some You Tube videos about learning to drive a motor home.

Then as suggested, go "Test Drive" a rig type and size of your choosing.

There is more then just parking a motor home. There is traffic to consider, going up and down hills, stopping - sometimes short, weight, and others on the road. If you drive your car and think people are........well crazy and driving like a fool - wait till you are behnd the wheel of a motor home. One of my favorite experiences is driving the speed limit, 65 to 70 mph in the right lane of an Interstate, as you should. Come up on an exit ramp that you will not be getting off and continue your speed. Someone sling shots you, comes over in your lane, then is going to exit but needs to slam on the brakes in order to slow down because they speeded up to get in front of you.... This happens more than you want to think, which is what many motor homes drive in the middle lane of a 3 lane Interstate.

So - little things like this comes with experience - I would just hate for you to get behind of the wheel and think it was your Dad's Crown Vic. Yes - there is wind and trucks, rough roads, etc. Always remember to drive defensively.....and you'll be fine!

You seem to have the want and desire......good luck.

Happy camping,



Well said,
It’s a learning experience for sure. I have driven everything from a semi to a class A ,c ,fifth wheel. Biggest things to remember is ,

Turns: your back end will swing wider than the front.

Braking distance: Give yourself enough space to stop. Remember the extra weight is a major factor as well as weather conditions that determine your stopping distance.

The effects of cross winds: not too bad to deal with but be aware if you get a sudden burst of wind or a big rig passes you don’t get cough unaware.

Plan your route: Most likely you will be North of 12 feet tall. And every bit of 8 feet wide. A truckers GPS comes in handy.Also plan where you will fill up. Most ordinary gas stations are on the challenging side when it comes time to fuel up. Add a toad to the equation and you will multiply the challenge. Truck stops are more big rig friendly. Just remember to pull up after filling so that the truck behind you can fuel up while you are paying.

Good luck!
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Old 10-18-2020, 07:13 PM   #41
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Class A Cautions

I, like most newbies, did a lot of research on my Class A before I made my purchase. What I didn't research was the handling of a gas powered vs.diesel rig on the open road. Most diesels have more sophisticated suspension, therefore better handling characteristics. You'll get lots of opinions on what to be aware of, but here is my two cents.

A gas powered class "A", fresh out of the factory, is a tall sailing vessel and is affected by various forces like wind, other vehicles (especially big rigs), road conditions, etc. Driving a passenger car is a piece of cake in comparison.

If you are new to gas powered Class A's there are 3 pieces of equipment to add day one . . . Most class A's are built on Ford F53 chassis, so this may apply to others but I only have experience with that chassis.

In my opinion, in order of importance, you should add (1) an Auxiliary Rear stabilizer bar, (2) a steering stabilizer and (3) a replacement heavier duty front stabilizer. There are more do-dads beyond this that will beef up your suspension, but these three are the basic necessities as I see it.

Keeping your rig on the road (and in your lane) is one of the most important things you want to prepare for. Driver fatigue comes with the territory of driving a gas powered Class A without that equipment.

Believe me, this additional equipment can be the difference between arriving at your destination in safely vs.the alternative. You should definitely budget for it.

Happy Motoring!
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Old 10-18-2020, 08:10 PM   #42
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Driving a Class A

I would suggest renting one, and having the Renter give you a quick rundown on the basics. Then be REALLY careful and try to make a educated decision. Four people camping in a van is alot. I will seem like more each day. My 1 cent worth. MOMCAT
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