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summertonic

Traverse City, Michigan

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Posted: 01/02/18 11:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have just purchased a 40 ft motor home and need to drive it from New Mexico to Michigan in April. I have driven a 36 ft 5th wheel for several years but never a motor home. I have watched several video's and have read many blogs on driving. What's your opinion on driving one that far without any special training? I have looked for RV driving schools in the east and midwest but nothing available before then. Your thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks.
Jim

dalenoel

S.E. Michigan

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Posted: 01/02/18 11:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Take your turns wide, give more room to stop, and check heights.

We took our 36' with toad MI to AZ and back without alot of prior driving. As you go you will find that each day is a learning experience. Use the freeways at a slower speed and you will gain confidence quickly.


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wolfe10

Texas

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Posted: 01/02/18 11:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

And, make sure you have the proper MI license for your size/weight vehicle.

Your home state determines what license you need. All other states honor your home state's drivers license.


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Ivylog

Blairsville, GA and WPB, FL.

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Posted: 01/02/18 11:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Not that much difference...can't cut corners and it's big. Park on a line in a parking lot, right side, and put a piece of tape on the bottom of the windshield so you can tell when you are at the edge of the road without looking in the mirror...easy to hang the outside dual tire off the pavement.

Biggest difference is it's easy to oversteer because of the long wheel base...takes longer for steering inputs to take affect. On a Interstate practice seeing how little steering wheel inputs will keep it between the lines. Would help to know which rig.

Welcome to the forums.


This post is my opinion (free advice). It is not intended to influence anyone's judgment nor do I advocate anyone do what I propose.

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10forty2

North Carolina

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Posted: 01/02/18 11:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You should be fine. Just remember that it doesn't bend in the middle like that fiver did....LOL! I've gotten to the point that I don't start turning until my knee is in line with the middle of the lane I'm turning into. Also, be aware that the tendency for Class A Drivers, especially new ones, is to drive too far to the right of the lane. It initially feels right to do so, but the steering wheel is positioned further towards the center of the drive than a car or pickup so you think you are closer to the center line that you really are. Use your mirrors to stay in the center of the lane and don't inadvertently hang the outside dually off the side of the road. As said above, definitely be aware of how tall your rig is and know the clearances along the route. As long as you stick to interstates, the clearances should not be an issue. I suspect that after a hundred miles or so you'll feel like a pro!


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Cocky_Camper

Rock Hill, SC

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Posted: 01/02/18 11:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We went from a 32 Ft TT to a 34 foot Class A. I feel much for comfortable driving the Class A and making turns than I did pulling the TT and making turns!


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summertonic

Traverse City, Michigan

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Posted: 01/02/18 12:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for your quick response. I'll keep on with the training videos...And, I did get a deal on one that bends in the middle :-)

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Gresham, OR, USA

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Posted: 01/02/18 12:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

First 1,000 miles I had yellow vinyl tape on the windshield in front of me so I knew when I was in the middle of the lane. Had driven to a large parking lot to practice backing up and aligning myself using the painted parking slots. Prior to that, I followed Class A's, buses, and semis in towns and watched how they turned corners. Just so I'd know how they took sharp turns to make it around a corner. Learned to go way out into the oncoming lane sometimes on old streets, to take my time, to not worry about the traffic I'm blocking (because think about it, we all wait patiently for large vehicles on the road making turns).

And finally, I learned to stop at a corner, watch and wait if the road seemed a bit tight for my rig. If I didn't see any buses or trucks (or RVs) take that road, I'd take a different route. Sometimes I had minutes to make that eval parked on the roadside, other times right at the turn, I'd have to make it quick. But I'd never blindly turn onto a narrow street without spending some time observing other traffic.

With your 5th wheel experience though, you should be fine.


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MetalGator

Florida

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Posted: 01/02/18 12:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You will be fine. I just came from a 29' TT and bought a 37' motor home. I find the motor home easier to maneuver than the TT.


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DrewE

Vermont

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Posted: 01/02/18 12:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You've gotten plenty of good advice here already. I don't think you'll have any problems if you approach things with due caution and care, which seems to be what you're doing.

Besides the other things mentioned, do keep in mind the tail swing as you'll (probably) have a lot of vehicle behind the back axle. On a sharp turn, the back of the motorhome will swing out a good bit to the other side--possibly a few feet beyond its starting point. This can be problematic in parking lots, gas stations, etc. if you don't pay attention to your mirrors. (Pay attention to both mirrors, of course; paying attention only to the tail swing is a recipe for driving into something on the other side in close quarters.)





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