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fpullanosr
How do you feel about RV drivers being required to be tested and or schooled and issued a special license? Why do you feel that way?
dalsgal
I have mixed feelings about it. It wouldn't hurt anyone to be checked to be certain that they are capable of driving/pulling an RV. Most people I see would pass the test easily. Since we manage a campground it is frightening to watch many of them pull in. We had one man drive through a drainage ditch with his 5th wheel. He damaged our property and I'm certain he did damage to his rig. He thought it was funny and said "that's what insurance is for". We have people come in with conversion vans that cannot even back into a campsite even though there is plenty of room. With those folks I can't help but wonder how they could be allowed to drive any vehicle.
fpullanosr
QUOTE(dalsgal @ May 5 2013, 09:04 AM) *

I have mixed feelings about it. It wouldn't hurt anyone to be checked to be certain that they are capable of driving/pulling an RV. Most people I see would pass the test easily. Since we manage a campground it is frightening to watch many of them pull in. We had one man drive through a drainage ditch with his 5th wheel. He damaged our property and I'm certain he did damage to his rig. He thought it was funny and said "that's what insurance is for". We have people come in with conversion vans that cannot even back into a campsite even though there is plenty of room. With those folks I can't help but wonder how they could be allowed to drive any vehicle.



Dalsgal,

Thank you for your input. I have observed similar occurances which promted me to start this topic.

I agree that most of us are good safe drivers but its the few that arent good drivers that cause harm, damage and injury to others.
Fitzjohnfan
FYI, if you drive a larger motor home, 26000lbs or more, you are required to get a special license in TX. If you don't get this license, your insurance can deny any claims involving an accedent since you are not properly licenced for the vehicle you are driving.

I wish more states would adopt some special rules like this for drivers of large motor homes and 5th wheels.
Ted Morgen
QUOTE(fpullanosr @ May 5 2013, 06:42 AM) *

How do you feel about RV drivers being required to be tested and or schooled and issued a special license? Why do you feel that way?


I don't feel we need any more licensing or testing than we already have. Accident rates among RV drivers are not high as indicated by the insurance rates. We do not need any more laws.
Ted
fpullanosr
QUOTE(Ted Morgen @ May 5 2013, 08:21 PM) *

I don't feel we need any more licensing or testing than we already have. Accident rates among RV drivers are not high as indicated by the insurance rates. We do not need any more laws.
Ted



In your comments regarding rate, are you including all ages or rate per miles driven?
joez
A special license for RV drivers, IMO, would not improve the driving skills of RV drivers. Every auto driver is supposed to have a license, and there are many car drivers without the skill or sense to drive safely or competently. As much as we would like, we cannot wave a magic wand and regulate and license common sense and motor skills or experience.
fpullanosr
QUOTE(joez @ May 5 2013, 09:27 PM) *

A special license for RV drivers, IMO, would not improve the driving skills of RV drivers. Every auto driver is supposed to have a license, and there are many car drivers without the skill or sense to drive safely or competently. As much as we would like, we cannot wave a magic wand and regulate and license common sense and motor skills or experience.



Joez, Do you think that if RV Drivers were tested on ability and knowledge tha it would improve the their skills. After all younger drivers of commercial trucks need to pass a test for a speial license.
RLM
QUOTE(Fitzjohnfan @ May 5 2013, 09:13 AM) *

FYI, if you drive a larger motor home, 26000lbs or more......, I wish more states would adopt some special rules like this for drivers of large motor homes and 5th wheels.


What would those "special rules" be? With all due respect, why is 26K pounds a requirement for a special license? Can a driver run over and kill another driver in a compact 3000 pound car? Why is 26K a magic number? From your comments, I assume that your rig is less than that GVWR and that you are very careful in it's operation. That is commendable. Please do me the same courtesy as I carefully operate my rig which is more than that..regardless of the license I have been issued.

Have you ever parallel parked your rig? My state requires that I parallel park my over 26K RV as part of the driving test. Who, in their right mind, parallel parks a RV??? Please know that none of the testing required me to know anything about the RV. A normal CDL license procedure in all states requires a knowledge of the rig systems. I did not have to demonstrate that knowledge for my "special" license. That gives me the defendable opinion that the law makers have never been inside an RV much less driven one and "special rules" for licensing, at least in my state, are BS.

QUOTE(joez @ May 5 2013, 08:27 PM) *

A special license for RV drivers, IMO, would not improve the driving skills of RV drivers. Every auto driver is supposed to have a license, and there are many car drivers without the skill or sense to drive safely or competently. As much as we would like, we cannot wave a magic wand and regulate and license common sense and motor skills or experience.


Well said. Until the exams and road tests actually measure competent experience and skill in driving a big rig, with the possibility of failure, then one should be aware that current laws are designed more to get your license fee money than to test your ability to actually be competent to drive a big rig. If that is not a true statement then perhaps readers can point to the many RV owners who have actually failed the "special' license testing procedure.
B. Kidd
Ditto what 'joez' said.
Galli
QUOTE(fpullanosr @ May 5 2013, 05:42 AM) *

How do you feel about RV drivers being required to be tested and or schooled and issued a special license? Why do you feel that way?

Very interesting question and I am bivalent for an answer; basically I am convinced that there is a big difference between driving a car and an RV and at the moment that you start of pulling an RV or driving a Motor home, there should be a preliminary owner’s test to verify its knowledge in what’s doing.
My reasons for opting for this license is that, I noted many person at the driving seat that don’t have a slightest idea in how to backtrack or park the vehicle or make difficult maneuvers, the vehicle’s weight versus the capacity of the truck and/or weight allowance of the RV and not every time there is a guy from the resort to help you in this function.
I don ‘t consider necessary a repeated test but a once time exam that would let you know what is proper and what would be a no, no.
A few years ago, in British Columbia, Canada, the highway patrol were stopping many RVs and Motor Home because carrying more weight than what was allowed and many drivers didn’t have a clue regarding the danger of pooling a weight superior of the unit capacity.
campergal
Hi there

I feel that if you are towing something as long as an 18 wheeler there should be additional training/licensing required re: parking, turning, weight issues, backing up. Commercial truckers are required to take extensive training prior to hauling and I feel it should be ensured that RVers have a basic knowledge about how to handle a rig. Having said that, most people who haul would have no problem getting this implemented but I agree with Dalsgal...we see many people come in to our park and hit things and back over things because they don't have the skills necessary.

I also feel every woman should be able to drive a truck with a trailer on it or their motorhome just in case....I'm guilty of NOT driving mine and a goal for me is to learn. You never know when your partner will be unable to drive and you will have to.

Lindsay Richards
QUOTE
You never know when your partner will be unable to drive and you will have to.


I have been telling my wife that for years. She says that she will learn real quick then. I did get her to drive about 100 yards in a parking lot once, but no more. I think RV dealer foster the idea that there is nothing to it. We rented a 27 foot Class A before we bought our first motor home and I was scared to death. I looked up some short videos on the internet, but back then, it was not as extensive as today. I think if you had to pay and then take a course of some type, a lot of people would be diswayed. It is not only the driving, but all of the interior systems that folks don't have a clue about.
Pat and Jerry
QUOTE(fpullanosr @ May 5 2013, 07:42 AM) *

How do you feel about RV drivers being required to be tested and or schooled and issued a special license? Why do you feel that way?

We agree there should be some additional testing and licensing. We drive a 40' motor coach diesel and pull a travel car. We have seen far too many people who can barely walk and or use walkers, scooters get out of rigs. Then again some very able bodied people who are very poor on the roads and high ways really should be tested and or licensed. Just because folks can afford a rig does not mean they should be driving one..reaction times vary and ther should be some special vehicle license just as there are for big rig trucks. I suppose this might negatively impact the RV industry, but safety on the roads is important.

I have taken the vehicle rig driving course for women at the FLeetwood and FMCA rallies. Just in case although Jerry is the absolute confirmed driver. But it is foolish for any woman to think she doesn't need to know how to drive. On the other hand Good Sam and others offer insurance to cover a substitute driver for emergencies when smeone cannot drive but in an emergency for even a short time, women should be able to drive their rig.
DXSMac
I think it's a good idea, and there should be a differentiation between Class A and Class C or B. However, I will be upset if it actually happens and I have to go through the fol de rol.
roygbell
QUOTE(fpullanosr @ May 5 2013, 07:42 AM) *

How do you feel about RV drivers being required to be tested and or schooled and issued a special license? Why do you feel that way?


You can't regulate common sense and the lack of common sense is the biggest issue I have with some of my fellow RVers. I am a 72 year old farm/ranch boy. I grew up driving trucks, pulling trailers and maintaining heavy equipment.

I never set out on the road without making sure my tire pressures are all where they need to be. I check my trailer brake system to ensure the brakes are in good order. I replace the tires and brake pads long before they need to be as riding on good tires and brakes are the biggest safety issues out there. I always gear down when driving in mountain ranges and never ride my brakes. I keep everything related to my vehicle and travel trailer in great condition.

Over the years, I have become appalled at the general lack of knowledge of such vehicle safety issues by RVers I run into in the parks etc.

There is nothing a license can do to fix the common sense issues of so many RVers who are on the road today simply lack.

The greatest safety hazards we face while traveling have to do with idiots who simply don't have a clue. We spend lots of time in places like Yellowstone NP. We just got home two days ago from 5 weeks in the park. When we entered YNP in early May, we were past the south entrance going down hill around a corner and here was a car stopped dead in the highway. I had to slam on my brakes to keep from hitting him. We were almost into Mammouth Springs, again going down hill and around a corner here was a man on a bicycle stopped with his bicycle sideways across our lane watching a buffalo on the other side of the road. Again I had to slam on the brakes and got stopped about 10 feet from him. He wouldn't move. I honked at him and he still wouldn't move and there I was parked in the highway hoping no one came up behind me and ran into my trailer. I rolled down the window and screamed at him to get out of the way as he was about to get someone killed. Finally he moved.

No license will cure that kind of stupidity.

On our last days in the park there was a man, his wife and 6 year old son in Mammouth at the visitor center. The couple took their son right up to a cow elk with a calf. The elk charged, the man and woman ran and their son got kicked by the cow elk.

My conclusion is that there is no cure for common sense. So, I would be for licensing people based on common sense, but without that then no it won't solve any problems.
Galli
QUOTE(DXSMac @ May 31 2013, 05:13 PM) *

I think it's a good idea, and there should be a differentiation between Class A and Class C or B. However, I will be upset if it actually happens and I have to go through the fol de rol.

I don't think that it should some thing very complicate or difficult rolleyes.gif , the test, in my opinion , should be on some thing on like class A, to teach you how to back track , how to park , how to evaluate the safer distance to be able to block your unit in case of an emergency and how to be at the right distance between your end versus the vehicle you just passed. ohmy.gif
I noted that most of truck drivers are very understanding persons, when passing, then put the directional light out to go back to the right lane and they will signal you with lights when it would be safer to enter wink.gif .
If you already drive an RV, you should already have this perception, the most dangerous thing, in my point of view, are new drivers (or drunk drivers) ph34r.gif that come from driving a small car and switch into an RV or MH without having an idea of the space and length of the new vehicle they are driving.
EastPAcamper
It is like anything else in this world, if you lack initial common sense, you are gonna have problems. Some people just don't think, they just do as they wish. There are a lot of automobile drivers who create the dangers for RV drivers. And some of those same drivers may have RV's or TT's. Most people are not aware that trailers that aren't really designed to be towed over 70-75 MPH. But you see it every single day, you have to factor the weight if an emergency stop is needed. Sure most 3/4 and 1 ton dualies will pull a camper well over 70, some 1/2 tons will too. But it the overall weight or combined weight that creates problems. Much like tractor trailer drivers complain about automobile drivers, they cut in front, or pull out in front of them. Stopping an 80,000 rig on a dime is impossible, unless you use walls.
I DO feel that some drivers should go through a competence course, and maybe the insurance companies could use that for discounts if you pass. They do that with motorcycles here in PA, go through a safety course get a ID card and discounted rates.
I drive all my vehicles like I am on my bike, ready for anything and everything to happen, I drive well over 40K a year for work, so I get to see more incompetent dopes than the average Joe.
Galli
QUOTE(EastPAcamper @ Jun 20 2013, 03:02 PM) *

It is like anything else in this world, if you lack initial common sense, you are gonna have problems. Some people just don't think, they just do as they wish. There are a lot of automobile drivers who create the dangers for RV drivers. And some of those same drivers may have RV's or TT's. Most people are not aware that trailers that aren't really designed to be towed over 70-75 MPH. But you see it every single day, you have to factor the weight if an emergency stop is needed. Sure most 3/4 and 1 ton dualies will pull a camper well over 70, some 1/2 tons will too. But it the overall weight or combined weight that creates problems. Much like tractor trailer drivers complain about automobile drivers, they cut in front, or pull out in front of them. Stopping an 80,000 rig on a dime is impossible, unless you use walls.
I DO feel that some drivers should go through a competence course, and maybe the insurance companies could use that for discounts if you pass. They do that with motorcycles here in PA, go through a safety course get a ID card and discounted rates.
I drive all my vehicles like I am on my bike, ready for anything and everything to happen, I drive well over 40K a year for work, so I get to see more incompetent dopes than the average Joe.

I agree 100% with your statement and the only thing that I would emphasize is a straight application to demerit point to the license, I realize that there are unreasonable people that even the driving license is not important but the majority would be concerned about it.
spartancaver
If bus drivers need their own license, I do not see why Big Rig drivers should be exempt just because they are private individuals. As has been stated before, I too have seen drivers exit their Big Rig using a walker, taking 10 minutes to walk the length of their RV.
EastPAcamper
QUOTE(spartancaver @ Jun 22 2013, 06:57 AM) *

If bus drivers need their own license, I do not see why Big Rig drivers should be exempt just because they are private individuals. As has been stated before, I too have seen drivers exit their Big Rig using a walker, taking 10 minutes to walk the length of their RV.


Sorry, but just because someone has a walker and walks slow, does not mean they cannot operate an RV in a safe manner. My Pops is 73 and can tow just about anything, not to mention could go through a coned course backing a trailer all the way through.
Remember that a bus driver is an occupation in which the operator is responsible for the passengers on the bus, therefore they need some sort of credentials to show that he/she is able to perform his/her job the safest way he/she can. IMO, it's a big difference from an big rig operator. just sayin...................
susseandchris
I am anticipating purchasing a fifth wheel and truck in the next few months. I do not have experience driving such heavy vehicles and I am very concerned about the people out there who do not possess the skills to drive these rigs safely. I very much want to find a way to train in safe big rig driving. In Ontario I would need to upgrade to an 'A restricted' licence since the vehicles I anticipate buying are well over the 23,500 pound weight which is the upper limit for using your regular licence. My question is: where does one find driver training for big rigs? You can go to tractor-trailer school here, but it costs approximately $9,000 to take the course! I would sure welcome some ideas here!
Galli
QUOTE(susseandchris @ Aug 28 2013, 11:31 AM) *

I am anticipating purchasing a fifth wheel and truck in the next few months. I do not have experience driving such heavy vehicles and I am very concerned about the people out there who do not possess the skills to drive these rigs safely. I very much want to find a way to train in safe big rig driving. In Ontario I would need to upgrade to an 'A restricted' licence since the vehicles I anticipate buying are well over the 23,500 pound weight which is the upper limit for using your regular licence. My question is: where does one find driver training for big rigs? You can go to tractor-trailer school here, but it costs approximately $9,000 to take the course! I would sure welcome some ideas here!

Good question and concern, when I bought my truck and 5th W. I contracted with the dealer that he/she should give me some practical lessons in driving with all equipment. other suggestion would be to befriend a person with a similar equipment and ask him/her to help you.
According to my own experience and if you are a reasonable person , it is not difficult, the main concern is, keep low speed until you feel familiar with the system, also remember, the truck and trailer DO NOT break at the same SPEED as a car, YOU NEED more space and when you are passing an other vehicle, keep on the left as long as you can and then keep the directional light working on the right that will show that you are planning to go back to the right side, most likely, if you pass a truck, they will flash their lights to let you know that the time for you to go back on the right.
Furthermore, remember to monitor the maximum weight that you are allow to carry versus what you put into the unit; most likely you will find the specification closed to the door of the camper/RV/M.H…etc. you will find the unit weight and the maximum wait you will be allowed to have.
I apology if you felt that I was explaining obvious things to you, it was not my intent. GOOD LUCK
EastPAcamper
QUOTE(susseandchris @ Aug 28 2013, 02:31 PM) *

I am anticipating purchasing a fifth wheel and truck in the next few months. I do not have experience driving such heavy vehicles and I am very concerned about the people out there who do not possess the skills to drive these rigs safely. I very much want to find a way to train in safe big rig driving. In Ontario I would need to upgrade to an 'A restricted' licence since the vehicles I anticipate buying are well over the 23,500 pound weight which is the upper limit for using your regular licence. My question is: where does one find driver training for big rigs? You can go to tractor-trailer school here, but it costs approximately $9,000 to take the course! I would sure welcome some ideas here!



There is some information in the form of video and text on the web, there are even some books out that give a general run down on how to operate a large travel trailer. Like the last person said, the RV dealer should offer you a quick course, and it will be quick. Large empty parking lots are a good place to practice backing up, using the stalls to back into. When I was 13, and old timer taught me this trick for backing up with a trailer. Place your hand at 6 o'clock on the steering wheel, which ever way you want the trailer to go, more your hand(and the wheel) to that direction. Eventually it becomes second nature. Again, like the other person said, keep a safe following distance, you have two to three times the weight behind you, not to mention the momentum. Paying attention to the mirrors at all times is also key, some people will be trying to weave around you on the road, always and frequently watch the outside mirrors. I drive 60-65 on the interstate with my MH, don't care if the speed limit is 75, I stay right and signal all lane changes. On long trips , I do a walk around and inspection of lights, tires, etc, usually during fuel stops sometimes a little more frequent. Most of my trips are usually less than 4 hours of driving. I do on occasion get some trips that are longer, but not near as many as I'd like.......
Galli
QUOTE(EastPAcamper @ Sep 2 2013, 07:45 AM) *

There is some information in the form of video and text on the web, there are even some books out that give a general run down on how to operate a large travel trailer. Like the last person said, the RV dealer should offer you a quick course, and it will be quick. Large empty parking lots are a good place to practice backing up, using the stalls to back into. When I was 13, and old timer taught me this trick for backing up with a trailer. Place your hand at 6 o'clock on the steering wheel, which ever way you want the trailer to go, more your hand(and the wheel) to that direction. Eventually it becomes second nature. Again, like the other person said, keep a safe following distance, you have two to three times the weight behind you, not to mention the momentum. Paying attention to the mirrors at all times is also key, some people will be trying to weave around you on the road, always and frequently watch the outside mirrors. I drive 60-65 on the interstate with my MH, don't care if the speed limit is 75, I stay right and signal all lane changes. On long trips , I do a walk around and inspection of lights, tires, etc, usually during fuel stops sometimes a little more frequent. Most of my trips are usually less than 4 hours of driving. I do on occasion get some trips that are longer, but not near as many as I'd like.......

[b]EastPAcamper', you are talking like a printed book, I could not explain the issue better. and as safety feature, every time you stop for gas, make a tour around the unit and see if anything looks awkward
EastPAcamper
QUOTE(Galli @ Sep 2 2013, 11:39 AM) *

[b]EastPAcamper', you are talking like a printed book, I could not explain the issue better. and as safety feature, every time you stop for gas, make a tour around the unit and see if anything looks awkward


Sorry if I sound like a book, a printed one at that........ laugh.gif
Just trying to help where I can, recently, I've seen two too many RV people with flipped rigs on the interstate. I can only guess it was due to negligence or operator error, since they were both single vehicle incidents.
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