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> Driving A Bus, Driving tips for Big Motorhomes
Motorhome Madness
post Apr 12 2013, 11:17 PM
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I was searching around on the site, and I don't see where this topic has ever come up, so I thought I would mention a few things I've learned while driving our motorhome, and hopefully other can share their tidbits as well. When we purchased the first coach I was pretty nervous about driving it, and rightfully so it was much bigger than anything I had ever driven.

Here are my short list of tips:

On mine if you're in the drivers seat and aim the mirrors down so you can see the side marker lights, the motorhome will pivot where you see the side marker light when backing up. You should test this as it probably does not apply to all motorhomes. It's about the same if I open the window and look back at the marker light.

Along with that make sure you look up and down when backing up and check all clearances when traveling, these motorhomes can be pretty tall. It's a good idea to print your max height and stick it in view of the driver, so you can always have it to check against when you see a clearance sign.

When your at a red light turning left on a multi-lane road, make sure there are no cars tight on the right of you as your tail can swing wide right and take one out.

Keep your eyes way down the road, and be ready for anything.


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docj
post Apr 13 2013, 12:49 AM
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Although these are all good suggestions, IMHO they are examples of why drivers of large motorhomes should be required to obtain Class B licenses to drive them. I took a 5-day a week 3-week course to obtain a CDL in preparation for getting my MH. I learned to drive my "training" vehicle (a 36' straight truck with a stick shift) so well that I have no trouble backing my MH using only its mirrors for literally hundreds of feet and can parallel park it, if necessary. With a good driving course all these tips and many more become second nature rather than something you read about.

I'm not advocating that everyone should have as much training as I had, but IMHO it made me a better MH driver than I would have been without it. Even though CDLs are not required for MH drivers, understanding the key inspection points in a vehicle pre-trip walk-around could keep you some day from driving an unsafe vehicle. Furthermore, I think it is unconscionable to let MH drivers operate air brake-equipped vehicles with no air brake training even though air brakes are considered an additional endorsement to a CDL. One of the most valuable parts of my course was a section on Defensive Driving for Drivers of Large Vehicles.

IMHO driving a big vehicle isn't difficult, it is a skill that has to be mastered with practice like any other new skill. The problem as I see it is that MH owners are permitted in many states to purchase vehicles without ever having practiced driving them beforehand. I think it is commendable that an increasing number of states are now requiring higher class licenses for owners of large RVs. IMHO it's about time!


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