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Old 10-18-2020, 08:16 PM   #43
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We have a 2018 Winnebago Navion D model. Love it. Driving is a breeze- just take it slow on turns over bumps. We’ve done coast to coast and all around- no problems at all. The class C is just the right size for the two of us and we have used it as a “tiny home” whilst helping our Daughter: parked in her driveway (with power and water and sewer!) for 6 months. Again- no issues.
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Old 10-18-2020, 08:46 PM   #44
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We started out with a pop up when the kids were small, and then got out of camping for awhile. When we got back into RVing we got a 37’ 5Th wheel, We’ve now moved to a 40’ class A DP. I’ve told my DW many times that I find driving the class A easier than when we were pulling the fiver. Maybe it’s just me, but after you get used to driving it my stress level went way down.

Like others have suggested spend some time learning about class a’s. Watch the various YouTube videos on driving (take notes as they really do help). Talk with others on their experiences and the lessons they learned. You get to hear some great stories and putting them in your thought processes for future use.

Depending on where you get the rig, most places will teach you how to drive. One of the salesman we spoke to told us that was part of his job.

I had never driven one until the day ours was delivered. I told the Delivery person it was my first time driving, and he gave me some great pointers. I can tell you that after about 20 minutes I was very comfortable. After purchasing, the DW and I started taking short excursions on the interstate and working in some city driving to help build my skills. One of first times coming back from one of these runs I ended up having to drive through a heavy Florida downpour (one where the traffic on I95 was running 20 mph and you couldn’t see more than 100’ in front of you). It was great learning experience for me and helped build my confidence.

Yes it will take some getting used to, especially when a a semi blows past you or their are some strong cross winds. But the thing to remember is it’s doable.

Have fun.
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Old 10-18-2020, 09:31 PM   #45
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Our first experience RV-ing was renting a 40’ Winnebago diesel pusher with 3 slide-outs and lots of bells and whistles. We fell in love with RV-ing and bought our first coach, a ‘04 Newmar Dutch Star (41’ long) and toured the country for 6 yrs. and loved every minute of it. In 2011, we traded the Dutch Star in for a new 43 1/2’ Tiffin Allegro Bus. It was great for 5 years and then traded that in for a new 2015 45’ Entegra Cornerstone (almost 30 tons) fully loaded with Harley on the back and towing a Jeep Grand Cherokee. All handles well and my bride and I have had great years of RV-ing. In 2019, we traded the ‘15 Cornerstone in for a new ‘19 Cornerstone and it is by far, our favorite coach so far. I’m 76 and wife is 72 and we just love spending all summer in the coach. Bottom line for us, bigger is better. One of the respondents said there’s lots of clattering and noise going down the road. I disagree except for the 41’ Dutch Star that did not have a tag axle. The next three all have tag axles with the current coach having a passive steering tag. So comfortable, so cozy, so nicely appointed, so practical and so beautiful. Going down the highway, we have nice long comfortable conversations, play some trivia regularly and really enjoy each other’s company. So if your budget can handle it, go bigger. Not a big difference between driving a 35’ coach and a 45’ coach except the bigger coach is more comfortable, drives more smoothly, has more power and just all around better for RV-ing.
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Old 10-18-2020, 11:38 PM   #46
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Our first experience RV-ing was renting a 40’ Winnebago diesel pusher with 3 slide-outs and lots of bells and whistles. We fell in love with RV-ing and bought our first coach, a ‘04 Newmar Dutch Star (41’ long) and toured the country for 6 yrs. and loved every minute of it. In 2011, we traded the Dutch Star in for a new 43 1/2’ Tiffin Allegro Bus. It was great for 5 years and then traded that in for a new 2015 45’ Entegra Cornerstone (almost 30 tons) fully loaded with Harley on the back and towing a Jeep Grand Cherokee. All handles well and my bride and I have had great years of RV-ing. In 2019, we traded the ‘15 Cornerstone in for a new ‘19 Cornerstone and it is by far, our favorite coach so far. I’m 76 and wife is 72 and we just love spending all summer in the coach. Bottom line for us, bigger is better. One of the respondents said there’s lots of clattering and noise going down the road. I disagree except for the 41’ Dutch Star that did not have a tag axle. The next three all have tag axles with the current coach having a passive steering tag. So comfortable, so cozy, so nicely appointed, so practical and so beautiful. Going down the highway, we have nice long comfortable conversations, play some trivia regularly and really enjoy each other’s company. So if your budget can handle it, go bigger. Not a big difference between driving a 35’ coach and a 45’ coach except the bigger coach is more comfortable, drives more smoothly, has more power and just all around better for RV-ing.

Agree with bsnids ... DP with tag axle if you can. Easier to drive, less affected by wind and trucks. Quite like a car. Driving classes available to boost confidence if needed. The biggest negative is finding a safe place to stop on some roads without rest areas. We get creative with large parking lots such as churches, businesses that are closed, etc. This problem is mostly in the eastern US. Out west it's less an issue.
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Old 10-19-2020, 05:06 AM   #47
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Our first rig was a used TrailManor too! When it got small (added 2 kids) we moved to a used 32' class C. While large, it was fairly easy to drive (the van front end felt "normal" and rode pretty well). I had had experience with small box trucks, so it wasn't a big shift.

We got tired of having our living room always being a bedroom in the C and switched up to a truck and 32' trailer. Trailer was really nice, but the harsh ride in the truck sorta started getting to everyone. So a year ago we swapped that setup for our current 36' class A.

The other posters who say the A is an adjustment are correct. Even though it isn't really any wider than our C was, it feels a lot wider, especially because the driver sits further "outboard" than in a C. The ride is a bit harsher too, but not a deal breaker. It is definitely manageable, just a different experience. The only times I have not liked it are on two lane roads with minimal lane width and zero shoulder. The A offers a bigger interior volume which is really luxurious. We have plenty of room for four.

I imagine when the kids are gone we'll probably downsize it a bit...
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Old 10-19-2020, 05:34 AM   #48
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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.

In 2018, our first real BLM boon docking trip, we drove 5 miles down a terrible rough road, parked on a bluff. Looked like a RV commercial. Woke up surrounded by 4 other RVs. We had our solar panel, they had generators. Also dogs, kids, outdoor speakers. You know, RV camping, it’s fun. Only we were looking for peace and quiet, a retreat.

At first we were afraid we parked in the their spot. But no one knew each other.

After other trying times, we kinda gave up the boon docking dream although I read about it here all the time.
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Old 10-19-2020, 08:24 AM   #49
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-- snip -- After other trying times, we kinda gave up the boon docking dream although I read about it here all the time.
Nancy - There was a fellow who made a trip from California to Virginia. He ran a thread titled "Tell Me Where to Go". The thread was a journal of his trip and the suggestions folks gave him on route, overnight locations and what to see and do.

What I thought was most interesting was that he was able to find numerous remote locations by traveling the roads less traveled. He found a nice site by a stream in Colorado when he saw a small sign on the side of the road and ask the owner about it. He found a nice empty park in Western Kansas, He found similar locations as he worked his way East. City parks, once on a city street (recommended by the local police), several forest service locations and many interesting places to shop and eat.

So, don't give up on the adventure - just keep adjusting the focus. Oh, and you can do it again - the next time you may be all alone. It works that way sometimes.
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Old 10-19-2020, 08:33 AM   #50
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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!

I think most people when they first get behind the wheel of that Behemoth are intimidated. But, like the fellow told me that taught me years ago, get 100 miles under your belt and your an expert. I found that to be very true. I have taught friends to drive it and they all say the same thing. This is "Piece of Cake". If you can drive a big truck or a school bus you got this. Enjoy !!!!!!
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Old 10-19-2020, 08:38 AM   #51
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It's Class all all the way for me... JMO.
Just TAKE YOUR TIME.. Don't let anyone rush you.... If it gets real windy... Slow down or STOP!! You will get it!!! No one started out knowing it all and NO one knows it all... We ALL learn everyday!!!
Go have fun and enjoy...
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Old 10-19-2020, 08:49 AM   #52
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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
Not only do you get the rundown (education) from the owner renting, but you also get to discover what features you like and don't like. It's sort of like trying on a pair of shoes.

Just for example, when we first rented a Class C my wife wanted to go with a shorter model, but the only main level bed was a dinette bed, too short for me. We had to sleep above the cab. That was an annoying mistake for a rental, but would have been a horrible mistake for a purchase. Similarly do you prefer the bed running north/south or east/west, or a Murphy bed? Then there are showers. Many of the trailers we rejected were rejected due to their showers, not something you might be able to judge without having first rented. (BTW, that is not only size but also materials--one of the rentals convinced me that a certain material wouldn't stand the test of time.)
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Old 10-19-2020, 08:56 AM   #53
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Last year I purchased my first RV - 40' DP. There was a large parking lot near the dealer that they recommended for practice. Spent about 1 hr practice driving. Got home and went on line to find RV driving videos (Liked the Lazy Days video the best). I have markers on my windshield to mark the RH and LH lane markers and use the side mirrors to watch positioning. I also a TOAD so I went to the local High School parking lot for more practice - used cones to see how to make turns. Long story short - after about 1 hr on the road in light to heavy traffic, I have had minimal driving issues. Backing into a camp site the first time took just a little practice, but was fairly easy. So, best to practice, practice, practice in a parking lot, then head our and have fun. Also, as others have stated, slow down, take it easy as there is no race to the finish line - Enjoy the adventure.
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Old 10-19-2020, 09:35 AM   #54
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Personally I think part of it is how comfortable you are driving a regular car. If you're not comfortable then I'd say you have some challenges ahead of you. But there are other things. When we bought our first truck, a long bed F250 crew cab that was maybe 6 inches wider than our SUV and at least 6 feet longer, I was a bit concerned about clipping the mirror of a parked vehicle. It takes some time, but after a while it's not a big deal. So situational awareness comes into play. Other drivers is a bigger issue. For the most part, they aren't aware of your space needs so you have to keep that in mind and drive accordingly. I always assume the other guy will not realize my turn requirements so I'll keep an eye out when making turns or lane changes. Same with freeway on ramps. When others are approaching the frwy that you're on, assume they aren't watching you. Many don't know you have the right-of-way.
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Old 10-19-2020, 10:05 AM   #55
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Look at all the semi trucks on the road. Those people all had to learn.
When I was driving I preferred the semi to my own vehicle. Found it easier and more comfortable, especially on a long haul.
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Old 10-20-2020, 12:05 AM   #56
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I've been offline for a bit while on vacation, so I'm just now getting caught up on the latest replies. I truly appreciate all the input. I'll be back with questions, but right now I feel very encouraged that this is doable.

I think renting one is a great idea to figure out what works for us before we buy.

Thanks!
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