Tia’s Tips for Driving a Class A Motorhome
When I began this crusade to convince my husband, Keith, to purchase our first motorhome I had no intention on driving. In fact, when I fantasized about our cross-country family trips the thought of driving that behemoth apartment-on-wheels never crossed my mind. So once we were half-way up the east coast and my husband said that he needed a break and suggested that I take the wheel, I must have looked like a deer caught in the headlights of a tractor-trailer. Yes, I test drove the RV prior to purchase (all of 10 minutes) but apparently my hubby thought that it meant I was cool behind the wheel. Not so much….
Well here we are three years later and I can’t wait to get behind the wheel of our 43’ Class A motorhome. It is amazing to me that I still get those bewildered stares from men and women alike when I pull into the campground and my husband jumps out to guide us into our spot. Truth be told, I love those stares! So listen up ladies, here are some tips and hopefully encouragement to kick your man out of the drivers seat and enjoy piloting your motorhome to your next destination.
Tips to get you started:
- Test drive your RV. Don’t just let your husband test-drive, you get behind the wheel too! Your salesman wants to make you happy so that he can make the sale. Be sure to ask your dealer to offer you a few driving classes in handling the motorhome. This is sure to ease to first time jitters.
- Learn how to use those mirrors! Your mirrors are your friends, not only do they tell you where other vehicles are on the road, but they tell you exactly where you are positioned on the road too. It can be challenging to stay within the lines when you first start out. Always check the mirrors as you go into a turn and be sure that you can see your rear wheels. This will eliminate running over those curbs and taking out a stop sign. Keep in mind your front wheels are either directly under you or just behind you so you must exaggerate your turn by over shooting it a bit.
- Relax and take your time. Go as slow as you need to go until you get comfortable with this size of a vehicle. Those impatient drivers will go around you, so ignore them and concentrate on you!
- Practice, Practice, Practice. The more you practice the better you will get at judging your distances. I always suggest going out into an empty parking lot to practice turns. We even brought cones so I could practice backing into a simulated parking space.
My best advice is to stay calm, relax and take it slow at first. Don’t feel compelled to go the speed limit when first starting out. This is your vacation home, so take it easy and enjoy yourself. Oh and moms…it feels real good to have your husband take care of the kiddos in the back while you enjoy the scenery and listen to your favorite road tunes. Safe travels!