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Old 01-01-2013, 05:51 PM
 
Location: South of Houston
419 posts, read 1,706,964 times
Reputation: 443

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I would like to hear from you seasoned RV owners about tips on driving a motor home. Once upon a time I used to own a commercial license to drive large vehicles (such as 5 ton farm trucks and some smaller trucks that ran on RR tracks), but that was many years ago and have never driver a motor home. In the next few months I am considering renting either a Class A or C type vehicle. This would be for vacation purposes only. Although I do like the Class A motor home they may be a bit over my budget, but not out of the question. I looking at the vehicle length to be around 30 ft and need to accommodate a minimum of 6 people.

My question is really about driving a vehicle this large, as this will be my first. I do have many questions, but my foremost is are they easy to manage and adapt to..? Please offer your tips on getting through a large city with traffic, things to avoid, backing up and turn radius, dumping refuse, refueling, etc.

Thanks and I do appreciate your feedback.
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:30 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
26,844 posts, read 57,851,863 times
Reputation: 29235
Quote:
Originally Posted by BoydS View Post
My question is really about driving a vehicle this large, as this will be my first.
I do have many questions, but my foremost is are they easy to manage and adapt to..?
It's (almost) all in the mirrors. The rest is the rear view camera.
Beyond that? don't buy one that is one too long.

Quote:
Please offer your tips on getting through a large city with traffic, things to avoid,
backing up and turn radius, dumping refuse, refueling, etc.
Practice.
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:25 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
20,785 posts, read 37,451,783 times
Reputation: 20782
OVERHEAD clearances.

Tail-swing

Off Track when turning

Don't get in situations that require BLIND backing. (consider that when you PARK)

You can get a "Smith Driving School Video" (for package delivery / Fed EX), it really is quite helpful, and required by many transportation companies.

Take it slow... I am not a fan of ALL class A's, some are not adequate for braking / towing. I prefer a Class 8 truck as a toter for a 5r. They are actually more economical and MUCH safer.
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:14 AM
 
345 posts, read 290,622 times
Reputation: 442
We traveled full time in a 40' diesel pusher motorhome towing a Honda Civic then a Jeep Liberty for over 9 years. The only problem I had was if I had to turn the rig around in a tight space. You can not back towing, so we always unhooked the toad (nickname for the car) when we we had a tight space. Texas requires a class B drivers license for RV over a certain size. A class B license has the same written test as a Class A CDL and a very comprehensive driving test. This included city, freeway, and state/local roads. The only issue you have, as you probably well know, is that making a right turn can be somewhat of an adventure, especially with oncoming traffic. I can truthfully say that I never felt uncomfortable driving the rig. A 30' will be a piece of cake. The newer motorhomes, at least the diesel pushers, have over a 45 degree will cut and makes turning a breeze. However, you can cut a corner to short so you always have to be mindful of the rear. One comment I would like to include, we ALWAYS used the truck lanes when taking on diesel fuel. I asked a trucker one time if he had a problem with a RV'er using the truck lanes and his response was as long as I followed the common rules I had just as much right there as he did. Actually, I have had numerous truckers walk over and ask questions when I was fueling.
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Under the Redwoods
3,748 posts, read 5,813,444 times
Reputation: 5962
I have a 30'....always know where your back tires are for turns. If you start your turn to early you will jump a curb or hit something.
My 30' sleeps 6, two in the bed, 2 on the sofa when pulled out and 2 at the 'dinette' when dropped. However, those that sleep up front should be 'small' people for the beds are not as wide as a typical double bed.
What is odd is that we sleep six, but have seat belts for 8. I guess so that people can pick where they want to sit when the RV is in motion.

Dumping and filling is easy enough. When dumping, always be sure the hoses are fully connected. Don't want an oops with your sewage. We always ran fresh water with a garden hose down the toilet when dumping as well. With newer RV's, some black water tanks have a hose connection to a sprayer to help clean the inside of the tank, but that does not clean out the plumbing from toilet to tank.

Overall, my 30 footer is pretty easy to drive. I don't suggest it to most RV'ers, but we have taken our RV up into the mountains off the paved roads into some pretty wild territory. Only once did we get 'stuck' and had to use a wench to get up a short steep part of the road.
- we did not go down, er...up this road not knowing what was ahead of us. We scouted it out first. So if you happen to find someplace you want to take the RV and is questionable conditions, check it out first. One cannot turn around or back up on a narrow mountain road.
If you have driven big trucks in the past, it should not take much for you to get comfortable behind the wheel of an RV.
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:08 PM
 
1,477 posts, read 4,737,867 times
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It's not hard, just takes a little practice. I drive a 45 footer.... You will find that height will be more of an issue more times then how long the coach is you drive. Just learn to "drive with your hips" and you won't have issues
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:32 PM
 
180 posts, read 213,519 times
Reputation: 212
Don't go to Las Vegas, you'll only end up losing the nest egg.
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