After a bad experience or two, I'm really looking for a gentle, skilled coach who can help me to improve my driving skills and confidence. I don't like not being able to help with the driving, or taking over in an emergency. I would prefer a female, but referrals to an especially patient male also welcomed. While suggestions about nearby classes are good, and I'll happily look into them, I'd really value one-on-one coaching.
It's a beautiful Class A, and I'd love to look forward to driving it!
Get out of the freeway and start driving. Back in 77 we picked up a brand new Overland at the factory on Memorial day weekend. DW was having a terrible time driving it until I explained to her how to keep it pointed straight down the road. DO NOT look at the road. Instead look in the mirrors and get the body approx equal distances from the lines. Once she got the hang of it, it was easy for her to settle into driving it.
Let me get this straight. By the sound of it, I'm assuming your the wife correct? If so, doesn't the husband wish to teach you? Or, are you not comfortable with him teaching you? I'm certainly not trying to pry into your private lives here. Just wondering about some things. I taught my wife, and kids to drive our motor homes way back when. You never know when it might be needed that they, she, whoever take over due to an illness, sore back, pain, tired, what ever.
Handling a coach is not all that hard. If you've been in a Volkswagen your whole life, well, that's going to take some getting used to. They're big, slow, brake differently, accelerate differently, corner differently and more. What's needed is for you to get into a parking lot, learn the basics. Starting, stopping, parking, BACKING etc.
Any humanoid can drive in straight line. But, knowing how to react for given turn, braking situation, backing up, and much more in a large Kleenex Box on wheels takes some practice and, it's much better if done from the beginning. I'm not talking about hours and hours in a class room, just some time in a large parking lot with some detailed encouragement and practice.
Many women (and some guys) are intimidated by the use of MIRRORS, other than looking directly into them to put makeup on. Mirrors on a motor home are the life blood of what's around you, minute by minute. Driving and handling is one thing but, running over those volkswagens 'cause you didn't realize they were right next to you is a whole nother animal.
I used to teach Fire Truck driving and skills improvment and you'd be amazed at how little folks know about proper use of mirrors. If I were in your area, I'd be glad to show you some easy ways to improve and be more confident. Just take your time, try and get to a parking lot on an uncrowded day and get the basics down then, migrate to some back country roads and the freeways.
Scott and Karla SDFD RETIRED
2004 Itasca Horizon, 36GD Slate Blue 330 CAT
2011 GMC Sierra 1500 Ext Cab 4x4 Toad 2008 Caliente Red LVL II GL 1800 Goldwing KI60ND
I would suggest that you start in a large parking lot and have someone put a mark on the windshield to show you where the left side of the coach is in relation to the lines painted on the road.
Then you should try maneuvering around a set of cones to get you used to the size and handling of the coach. Then I would drive the coach around several of the roads in a residential neighborhood, where the traffic is minimal and there are no trees to worry about clearing. As you build your confidence, keep going to more busy roads until you are ready for the big time interstate through a large city at rush hour.
Perhaps you can find a flight instructor that also owns an RV. They are used to teaching novices at something that is totally foreign to their students.
All suggestions are good, but if you don't get it done before next April, RVing Women has a weekend course for women and taught by women who were truck drivers and now are instructors in a driving school teaching 18 wheelers including the men!! I went through it this year, even though I have been driving for several years. Always can learn something and did! I can now parallel park my 36 ft! It is very encouraging and involves a huge range that you drive and backup on. There was a women there with her husband and he willingly went about other business and was not there during class and range work. You do not have to be a member of RVW to attend, but it is in Drumright, OK every April.
A good place to get good information on driving a motor home is at www.betterrving.com/barney it is from a driving course offered through Lazy Days RV center and the videos are very informative and helpful. My wife and I took the course at Lazy Days Tucson. However, my wife first learned to drive the motor home through a truck driver instructor that we hired. He gave her a four hour lesson and it was great and she has driven the motor home ever since. We take turns driving which is a great relaxing way to travel. She started out driving our 1st 34' Journey and now we have a 40' Horizon and she does an awesome job driving the rig. Good Luck and Happy RVing!
Jack & Peg
USN Ret AGC
Sioux Falls, SD
06 Itasca Horizon 40KD