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12 minutes ago, Chuck B said:

This morning on NBC, the today show had a segment on driving large bus type motor homes.  They used a professional trained driver in the segment.  He recommends that a new owners receive driver training before hitting the road.  Chuck B 2004 Windsor

Always those that have only driven cars and never even serviced a vehicle 🙄

Deciding to buy an rv.

Even a pull type or fith wheel. 

There is a very big driving,  learning  curve.

 

How many come on these forums and are shocked that they need to change the fuel filters often 🤔 or at all.

They are shocked at a $1,250 full service bill or more.

 

So allot of this goes back to the time spent with a committed qualified sales team.

Many on here are CDL holder's 

Or farmed or worked construction. 

Yes,  some form of training needs to be recommended 👌

Not necessarily legislated. 

 

 

 

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When I bought my motorhome, the salesman flipped me the keys and walked away. No one asked me if I even had any experience driving something that big. Thankfully, I had driven a school bus when I was younger. There were a few things I had to learn, which I did by reading the manual and asking questions. So far, it's been okay, the worst thing I've done so far is hit a few tree branches, oh yeah, and a stop sign. 😄 

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I will state that when my wife and I took driving instruction, it was well worth the effort and cost. I was so impressed that I wrote an article about it. Go to my website (link below) and also know there are several more driving-related articles on my site. We both attended the two-day Driving School and have sat in on the driving instruction offered at Lazydays in Tampa at least two or three times. You don't know what you don't know!!!

http://www.aboutrving.com/rv-topics/driving-a-big-rv/

Go to my website (aboutrving.com) and search for "Driving an RV" (or just "Driving"). You should be able to see the list of driving articles.

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I grew up on a farm driving darn near everything imaginable, including machinery 30 feet wide and towing 50 foot long trailers. I worked for Eagle International driving busses on roads and test tracks, sometimes monitoring instruments simultaneously. I consider doing a 180 degree slide on a skid pad in an Eagle bus loaded to capacity with bags of cement to be the high point of my driving experience!

I can safely say my background isn't typical.

Even with all of that I have made my share of screw ups in my own coach, including cutting a corner too close and ripping the sidewall out of a tire, and a number of dings and scrapes from misjudging my position or clearance.  I would definitely recommend getting some help making the transition from a car to a coach. I don't think professional training is necessary, but a friendly experienced ride along while learning would be an immense advantage, as would moving up in stages instead of going from compact car to 40 foot coach.

 

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On our first coach (32 ft) I backed into my garage at an angle, down hill and made contact with a window frame.  We moved.  Builder was stupid to put it there.

I wounded a bollard once on the 40 footer backing into my spot at night with no one around.  Brand new coach, $3600

A year later, let the super-slide out and pushed over a telephone pole (minor damage).

Two years later as described previously ran over a steering knuckle and incurred another repair bill.

Thankfully no one was hurt, just my wallet.  These same lessons can be learned on a large boat just as easily - take your time and look at what you are doing.

 

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5 minutes ago, 6Wheels said:

On our first coach (32 ft) I backed into my garage at an angle, down hill and made contact with a window frame.  We moved.  Builder was stupid to put it there.

I wounded a bollard once on the 40 footer backing into my spot at night with no one around.  Brand new coach, $3600

A year later, let the super-slide out and pushed over a telephone pole (minor damage).

Two years later as described previously ran over a steering knuckle and incurred another repair bill.

Thankfully no one was hurt, just my wallet.  These same lessons can be learned on a large boat just as easily - take your time and look at what you are doing.

 

Overall your doing well I would think.

Large boats?? I have been anchored out twice in the past 20 years when a tornado went through. 

80 plus mph winds right down the lake.

1,000 structures destroyed up the road in Berea Kentucky. 

School roof taken off in Monticello. 

 

Between the two stormes. 

$60,000 of damages,  so yes 😉🤔

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My first time driving an RV I ran onto the shoulder at 50 mph within a mile of the dealership.  It was a state road, albeit a narrow one, with a steep (6 inches?) drop off from the pavement to the shoulder.  Mail boxes were approaching!  Rather than whip it back onto the road I rode it out until the RV stabilized then back onto the highway where the drop off wasn't so much of an edge.  It was all over in 5-10 sec.  No damage but a real eye-opener. 

I'm sure we've all been there with similar close calls. 

- bob

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First time driving anything that big was bringing the beast home. With my wife as my tell gunner we said a prayer an started the engine.  Nice slow trip home on badly rotten tires. Some how we ended up in a construction zone with barriers 9 feet apart. When I  got to a stop light my wife called in a panic. She told me I'm missing the barriers on my right side by about 2 in. Its a lot harder to keep these big rigs in the center of the lane than you would think. I still have a tendency to hug the right side of the lane. 10 mile trip to home.  It was time for a good stiff drink. 

The only advice I got was don't start your turn till the shoulder of the road is even with your shoulder.  A couple of weeks later was told to find something for a visual to keep centered in the road. When look through a plat glass window,  easier said than done. A black marker sure helped. Took a chunk out of a rear tire getting out of the MVD. Thats when i learned about tail swing. Was hoping those 6 rotten tires would keep holding air till I got the beast in my name.  They did. Then I found a mobile tire guy who was cheaper than anyone else in town.  What a blessing don't think I would have made the 40 mile drive to the tire store. 

Mandatory drivers training,  No way. 

Something that would help is tow different list for people to reference.  

1. For trailer towing.

2. For Motorhomes. 

Does not have to be a long list, just the basics. 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I grew up towing things.  Boats, utility trailers, bush hogs and discs on tractors.  Largest thing I ever towed was a Contender 31 fisharound --probably about 40 feet counting trailers/motors behind my F250.  I always thought I'd have a travel trailer but my wife's small bladder always slowed us on trips so I saw the advantage of a MH.  Rented a 32' class C and put just over 1k miles on it in a week w/no issues (other than how loud it was and the sway/wander).  Bought our 40' Diplomat 2 weeks later and learned it by watching YouTube videos and as much online as I could.  After 3 years, I've only gotten a couple of curbs w/the rear tires but no damage.  Oh, and one PVC pipe and a few flowers in a turn one night.   Our maiden voyage was 9 hours to Disney w/no cameras, only half the gauges worked and I had only driven about 75 miles in it so far.  We left about dusk and of course it was raining.  Got blown off onto the shoulder by a semi in a curve and then had a motorcycle and a Honda challenging each other close to me.  Made it to our first stop and had a cold beer.  The next AM, I turned R instead of L bc I didn't think I could make the median turn.  Downtown Tallahassee was getting closer and closer when I found a church parking lot I could turn around in.  Next someone cut me off for their exit and that was close and next I saw lots of braking and swerving outside of Orlando in 4? lanes of traffic.  As I got closer I was able to avoid the Chevy truck's driveshaft laying in the middle of the interstate.  Got parked at Disney and another cold beer.  That maiden voyage got me learning to use the mirrors and rely on them and gave me the confidence I needed.  One time, I almost pulled over and stopped to reconsider this, but didn't and kept going and relaxed.  Now all my gauges work, most cameras work most of the time (lol) and I enjoy driving it.  I love learning and knew I could learn to drive "Larry" and have no regrets.  Still working FT so I don't get to use it as much as I hope to one day.  

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  • 1 month later...

I pulled my families 16’ speed boat dozens of times in my teens. 25 years later my wife and I bought our first camper. It was a 30’ Airstream bought brand new.
 

On the way home from the dealer we camped at a campground in Tennessee. It had a guard rail next to the exit driveway and on the way out I cut too short and put a huge dent down the side of the trailer.
 

The very next time we used the trailer we were approaching the turn-off to FDR State Park in Georgia.  It was a just at dusk. There was a buck and a doe beside the road and just as I passed them I heard a loud blam. When we reached the state park I got out and the curbside front corner was completely crushed.  I assume the silver trailer blended in with sky.  On the way home we saw a headless buck in the ditch.  Thanks to me, someone came along and was able to get a nice trophy without firing a shot!

Two weeks later I dropped the trailer off at the factory for repairs I returned to factory to pick it up.  When I hooked up and started to leave I forgot to raise the tongue jack and bent the jack shaft. I had to spend an additional 4 hours to get it replaced.

Cost of first three weeks of ownership and first two times camping in the Airstream: $9,700 plus campground fees.

Found this you tube channel extremely helpful. On the way home from purchasing our Monaco Diplomat I told my wife I wanted to get some pinstripe tape. She agreed.

 

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