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This is an addition to the thread that started as “Winter Camping” in RV Park Discussions but evolved into other subjects, so in order to keep things on the up and up I am posting my newest comments here in the General Chat.

I just wanted to say that mountain driving is not my only scary time. I also get very nervous driving in heavy traffic. Houston, Atlanta, and Phoenix have been the worst so far. I absolutely refuse to go through Houston except early on a Saturday or Sunday morning. Course my husband learned to drive in Houston so he can barrel right through with the best (or worst) of them while I am putting my foot through the floorboard on my side. I would always plan our route around big cities even if it meant driving 50 mi out of our way. But my husband doesn’t see any problem with going straight through, and since he’s holding the wheel . . . Also I do not like road construction when they place those concrete barriers barely far enough apart to accommodate a car, much less a motor home. If there is no traffic behind us (but there always is) my husband will drive very slow to keep my blood pressure down. But he doesn’t like to hold up other traffic either so usually he tries to maintain the speed limit which contributes to my already graying hair. But I still wouldn’t stop traveling. The rewards far outweigh the fright. Just a few thoughts. Thanks for reading.
I'm a white knuckle driver, when it comes to super highways, mountains and water, LOL.

When we get on the beltway to go around DC, I get in the middle lane and don't move, my hands remain at 11 o'clock and 2 o'clock on the steering wheel.

Txrvers, have you ever gone through the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel? That's definitely a white knuckler for me...first you're on a bridge, then you go underwater into a tunnel, then onto a man-made island in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay, then another bridge, another tunnel, etc...for 17 miles....I swear I hold my breath the entire time, LOL!!!

What's really funny though is even though I drive white knuckle on the freeways and mountain roads and across bridges and into tunnels, I've never once had an accident in over 25 years of driving....I just can't figure out what makes me afraid...I love to drive, I love the mountains and I love the water....maybe we should come up with a white knuckle club, LOL!!!
BBear: What makes you a good driver is the fact that you have a little fear, and are probably super cautious. I would far rather be meeting you on the road than some of these "I'm invincible because I am such a good, talented driver who can handle anything" jerks. These people who treat a motorhome like its a sports car scare me to no end.
Cheryl Fuller
I imagine some of you guys have driven highway 550 between Silverton, CO and Ouray. The first time we did it, we were still living in Dallas and were going to Ouray on vacation, I think it was in 1990. We had a full size conversion van at the time (back when the kids were small and thought you had to have a tv, nintendo and vcr to travel). I had never been to the mountains and literally thought I would have a heart attack on that road. Greg finally made me go to the back of the van and pull up the shades because I was crying so hard I was bothering him - it was his first time to drive on anything like that. For those of you who are not familiar with "the million dollar highway", there is no guard rail and no shoulder whatsoever. There is the white stripe on the road and then straight down. Also a lot of curves and switchbacks. We were travelling with our best friends who also lived in Dallas (seperate vehicles). When we finally got to our condo in Ouray, I told Greg and Jud that they would have to find a different way home because I absolutely refused to go on that road again. They were sports about it and did find another route, going thru Pueblo instead of Durango. I have travelled that road many times now and can't say I like it much better. I don't cry anymore but my heart still beats considerably faster when on it. I cannot imagine being on it in an RV.
Jackie & Tony
I hear what you're all saying.
We haven't driven any of the scary roads yet, but totally agree about those awful concrete barriers on the construction sections of the highway. Talk about white knuckle - that's me not Tony who's driving. I think it's very much scarier for the passenger, as it almost looks like you're going to hit the barrier, you're so close!
John Blue
I agree with Cheryl on Hwy 550 from Durango, CO to Montrose, CO takes the cake for a bad day on the road. What Cheryl wrote up is correct with more hard turns than the road to Hana in Hawaii. We were in motorhome with tow and at times you had to take the hold road to make the switchback. I loved the small markers on road to show places that snow plows went over the side. Some drop offs were 2000 to 3000 feet down to rocks below with no guard rails. If we had let the wheels slip off road I would not be here tonight.

We stopped in Silverton and Ouray to let the brakes cool off and let Sue cool off. At times it looked like you were in a airplane. You come around a turn and all you see is tops of homes thousands of feet down. The sites on road and mountains were breathtaking.

Need to run that road again soon. cool.gif
QUOTE(Beastdriver @ Jan 10 2007, 05:05 PM) *

BBear: What makes you a good driver is the fact that you have a little fear, and are probably super cautious. I would far rather be meeting you on the road than some of these "I'm invincible because I am such a good, talented driver who can handle anything" jerks. These people who treat a motorhome like its a sports car scare me to no end.

Thank you, Beastdriver, I never thought of it that way...I hope it doesn't go to my head, LOL!

Is the Million Dollar Highway the one that has Wolfcreek Pass?
Cheryl Fuller
QUOTE(BBear @ Jan 10 2007, 09:35 PM) *

Is the Million Dollar Highway the one that has Wolfcreek Pass?

BBear, no, WolfCreek Pass is on Highway 160. It is very tame compared to Highway 550.
Talking about white knuckle rides, We have a few. My wife Kathy, has a problem with high suspension bridges. On the way to Acadia National Park-Maine, there is an old bridge at Bucksport-Verona Island. She would close her eyes, go in the bedroom and lay on the bed, and or go into the bathroom. But must admit that of late she has gotten better, especially after more than eighteen yearly trips to Maine. She will not have to cross that bridge again as they have replaced that bridge, and the new one opened December 2006 to traffic. While we were vacationing in the Thousand Island area of upstate New York, we were moving from Wellesley Island to another campground and had to cross another very high suspension bridge. Not thinking of her problem, I asked her to drive our car, as we were not going that far, she agreed to drive but she put herself between our motor home and the motor home of our Florida friends who were traveling with us and she said, after the fact, she was okay with that arrangement.

After much discussion between my wife and myself, about the possibility of myself becoming ill on the road, she enrolled into a motor home driving course at a Holiday Rambler Maine State Rally in 2005. The course was taught by a knowledgeable and experienced driver of motor homes, he works for a motor home dealer, and teaches new owners of the purchased motor homes the driving skills required for it's safe operation. The object of her taking the course was to obtain knowledge and skill, so in case of an emergency, she could get me either to help or get us off the road into a safe area or a campground. On our way from the Skowhegan rally to Acadia NP, she wanted to drive, after all she went to the driving course, so on interstate 395, ( not much traffic that day), she took the wheel. She did very well, BUT this was my first time in the co-pilot seat going down the road with someone else driving, boy everything sure does look not only different, but close from this side !
Talk about "white knuckles", It does take some getting use to. She has driven the motor home and toad on all kinds of roads now and is becoming a informed and educated driver, but has not driven on a high suspension bridge as of yet. Personally I think everyone should have the knowledge and skill to drive their RV, whatever the circumstance, no matter what model or size it is. Safe travels, and thanks for the opportunity to add our two cents.
As driving in Colorado is still on my to do list I'm quite interested to read about the great mountain roads. The closest I got so far was the Powder River Pass in Wyoming at 9666 feet. There was some snow on the ground there in early August when I was there with a travel trailer in the late 80's.
For Texasrvers, I worked for the Canadian Forces in Europe for a while and had a lot of chances for driving around with a travel trailer in tow.
A few examples:
the St Gotthard Tunnel, at the time the longest road tunnel in the world at 17 km;
driving through Paris, Rome, Naples and Barcelona, actually a lot easier with a trailer than without (I was wild enough to drive around the Arc De Triomphe in Paris like this, there are 12 streets coming together in one round-about);
the Autostrada from Genoa to Pisa where you have about 60 tunnels on 50 miles, and when when you are not in a tunnel you are on a bridge (very hard on the eyes on a sunny day);
the San Bernadino and Grand St Bernard in Switzerland and the Mokra Gora in Yugoslavia as it was called at the time.
I am really looking forward to add a few Colorado mountain roads to my list.
QUOTE(Cheryl Fuller @ Jan 11 2007, 12:12 AM) *

BBear, no, WolfCreek Pass is on Highway 160. It is very tame compared to Highway 550.

Thanks, Cheryl, I wasn't sure.

It is a good thing that your wife learned to drive your motor home. You never know when she might need to take over. I could drive our previous RV's pretty easily. The first was a small Class C which was like driving a big pickup. The next was a 35 ft. class A with toad. That took a little practice, but I did ok. Now we have a 37 ft class A with the same toad. You would think 2 feet would not make a big difference, but for some reason I cannot control this one as easily. I could get us home in an emergency, but I do not care to drive it unless it is necessary. Fortunately my husband loves to drive it, (He should have been a long haul trucker.), and I would rather look at the scenery (which I cannot do if I'm driving), so that aggangement works out for us. At least I feel like I could get us home if I had, too--as long as I don't have to drive on that infamous Colorado Hwy 550!
Florida Native
My wife also gets very nervous in the RV. She thinks I am mowing down the mailboxes. I keep telling her we have never had an accident, but it’s those 1,000’s of near misses that scare her. We did have a near collision several weeks ago on he expressway when a dump truck pulled out in front of me at 30 mph and I had to make a near panic stop. The truck behind us almost hit us. We could not change lanes. Definitely his fault, but nothing you can do about it.
Big Ben
Many years ago in one of the defensive driving classes that I took, the instructor gave us this use full piece of information. The way to rate yourself is by the number of times you have to brakes hard. A truly good defensive driver should never have to brake hard. I know alot will disagree with that . I did when I first heard it but I never forgot it and I sure do believe it to day. Just thought I would throw that out to give you all some thing to think about. rolleyes.gif
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