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Executive

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

I went from a 27' class A to a 40' diesel. Big difference in size. What I did was take my 'lesson', self taught, at 2AM driving around the Houston area. Not much traffic and I learned a lot. My lesson was a little over 2 hrs long. Swing wide at intersections, watch for idiots trying to squeeze between you and the curb at intersections when turning right, be aware of your tail swing, that area behind the back wheels will bang into stuff if you're not careful etc. Find a big lighted parking lot such as a closed Home Depot and practice backing and maneuvering where you won't hit anything if you make a mistake, and you will make a mistake. [emoticon] Enjoy the trip and enjoy the new coach. By the time you get home, you'll have plenty of left seat time to really be able to control the beast.....Dennis


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sch911

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Posted: 01/02/18 01:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

wolfe10 wrote:

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.


Michigan does not require a special drivers license or endorsement for a MH.


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Solo

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

wolfe10 wrote:

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.


Jim:

You didn't mention what state you plan to have your DL from but assuming Michigan, worlfe10 is exactly correct. It does not appear that Michigan will require anything special Michigan DL but, find out for sure. The state that I am licensed in does require at least a Class B non-commercial for our rig and I would expect a 40' as you are considering would too. I asked one of our State DL Examiners if they had ever heard of an RVer being ticketed for not having the correct endorsements. Their comment, "No, but if they were ever involved in a fatality incident, the resultant legal issues would be very unpleasant."

You are receiving great advice from others so far. One more item, if your new Class A has air brakes and you are not familiar with their operation, don't forget to educate yourself there. You apparently have successfully driven a good sized RV in the past so the additional size should be relatively easy for you to acclimate yourself to.

You are doing the responsible thing in giving this ample consideration now. THANK YOU!


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SusanDallas

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Posted: 01/02/18 01:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I know how he feels. I had never towed anything besides a tiny u-haul when I purchased my travel trailer. I wanted to take lessons for towing. The only driving schools in the Dallas area were off major interstate highways. One was in Denton which meant taking I-35 and the other was off I-20. All of them want you to bring your own travel trailer. I decided that if I could drive in that traffic, I didn't need lessons.

A question: Why don't some of these driving schools provide junk trailers so people could learn to back up, hitch & un hitch, etc. I would have gladly paid for these lessons. I believe these companies would get a lot more customers if they didn't make their customers bring their own trailers. It makes no sense to me to have their customers risk their lives and the safety of other drivers by having your schools off major interstate highways.

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Posted: 01/02/18 02:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

SusanDallas wrote:



A question: Why don't some of these driving schools provide junk trailers so people could learn to back up, hitch & un hitch, etc. I would have gladly paid for these lessons. I believe these companies would get a lot more customers if they didn't make their customers bring their own trailers. It makes no sense to me to have their customers risk their lives and the safety of other drivers by having your schools off major interstate highways.


Susan, I suspect this may have been more of a rhetorical question but, I'll add my 2 cents here. I happen to teach CDL training courses for a local school district so I can speak for our situation which would be similar I suspect with many others. We do keep a "junk" trailer that is not for a semi that I have students connect to while they practice on our driving range. After going through the range successfully with our trailer, the student has a much easier time transferring to a semi 5th wheel. My students leave with all types of trailer experiences. I am not familiar with how stringent Texas examination is but, our state certainly puts an emphasis on the candidate being able to safely operate the vehicle they intend to be licensed for. Most schools probably do not see a large enough market for what you are wanting otherwise they would provide the equipment. Most schools produce Class A commercial drivers-that's where the money is. They don't care to mess with us RVers.

With that said, there are some RV specific schools but they are few and far between. Many states have not stepped-up their requirements for licensing their drivers of the larger RVs that are going up and down our roads. That very likely puts a number of very inexperienced drivers on the roads with RVs. Just a few months ago, I was working with a RV owner as he was learning about his new DP with air brakes. He had been driving RVs like this for years but simply had never bothered to learn much about them as his state did not require special licensing. I happened to be driving the rig at the time and the air brake primary and secondary air tank pressures fell suddenly, sending the warning system into operation. He responded rather excidelty, "what is that horrible buzzer for?" Pretty scary to have RVers out there like that but it happens.

You are right Susan, I believe there is a need for more RV specific schools.

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Posted: 01/02/18 03:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Executive wrote:

Swing wide at intersections, watch for idiots trying to squeeze between you and the curb at intersections when turning right, be aware of your tail swing, that area behind the back wheels will bang into stuff if you're not careful etc. Enjoy the trip and enjoy the new coach. By the time you get home, you'll have plenty of left seat time to really be able to control the beast.....Dennis

I'll add, adjust all of your mirrors so you can just see the side of your motorhome in the mirror.
This should eliminate any blind spots on the driver side. Hopefully, eliminate any blind spots on the passenger side.
Just check it out so you know what is going on around your vehicle.
Also, as you complete the right turn look back in the passenger mirror to see how close you came to the curb.
This will help you a lot to get the "feel" for making a turn.
Hope this is helpful!!
Pat


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SusanDallas

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Posted: 01/02/18 03:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The schools I was mentioning are only for RVs and travel trailers. Most states don't require driving tests for even the largest RVs. I just wanted to learn to back up and drive safely before I left on a trip. Since they charge $700 and up to $1200 for classes, buying a few junk trailers and RVs would be well worth it to them. Most of these driving courses have booths at the RV shows. They seem to get a lot of customers but I was not willing to drive my travel trailer all that way in heavy traffic. Solo, your class sounded fantastic and is something most people really need lessons in.

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Posted: 01/02/18 03:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When you watch the videos, pay attention when they talk about tail swing. You dealt with this in your fiver but it's more dramatic on a class A. I disassembled a stone wall while learning about tail swing.


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Posted: 01/02/18 03:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Cocky_Camper wrote:

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!


YEAH That.. it's actually easier.

Know your hight
Make your turns about the same as with your 5 VR

Take your turns slower. the coach will lean more / or seem to.


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et2

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Posted: 01/02/18 04:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

One thing not touched on is having it weighed and adjusting the tire pressures according to the loaded weight. When we first bought it ours new ( never drove a MH before) it was a challenge taming it going down the road. The tire pressures were way high according to the loaded weight charts ( from tire manufacture). After letting air out per axle weights it solved that problem.

If you don't it will wear you out mentally and physically. Don't oversteer, make minor corrections waiting for the MH to adjust. If you try to force quick corrections you'll find yourself soon correcting back the other way.

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