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Women Class A Motorhome Drivers - Does She Drive?

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I'm looking for info and advice from ladies who drive Class A motorhomes.

1) How soon after buying your first Class A, did the female start driving it on trips?
2) Ladies: Who taught you how to drive the Class A - DH, or driving school at a rally or other driving school?
3) How much driving do ladies do, and do you have any "conditions" (no nights, other) in which the ladies are restricted from driving the motorhome?

DW wants to learn how to drive our 36-foot diesel pusher. (We first became diesel owners in 2013.)

The Escapee rally in May will offer a driving class, I think. Is it better for a marriage to have a non-relative as the Class A driving instructor? And, is anyone here familiar with the Escapee driving class? Would you recommend it?

Thanks, in advance, for all tips and advice :-)

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We both have Class 1 commercial Drivers licences, Semi trailers in any combination and any weight. DO NOT teach her, have a non-related driving instructor teach her! Thats the only advice I would give you. You never know....she might teach you something.

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Yes, women drive! My wife only drives while on the Interstates but will drive for hours if necessary (especially if I need a nap). However, she does not have many in town driving skills and I think she should. A professional driving course would be necessary as I do not want to be the one telling her where to go and doing any critique. She doesn't like to drive the car when I am a passenger....she says I am a terrible back seat driver....I don't agree, but you can see why this might be a slight issue while cruising through town in a 45,000 # vehicle that is 60+ feet long. I usually park the vehicle and she gives excellent directions. This part I do recommend that you practice and get very good at with sign language you both clearly understand (no, not THAT kind of sign language!) Move slowly and never try to out guess the person giving directions. If you disagree, stop and discuss it but don't go off on your own. There is likely something you are not aware of. I mention this from experience and it was only my wife flailing her arms wildly that prevented an accident. Now, I watch and follow directions or stop!.

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TXUSGAL drives and does very well. But won't drive in large metropolitan areas (makes het really nervous). Otherwise no restrictions on road or weather and yes we tow a Jeep. Classroom and non-related instructor would be a good idea. I basically told TXUSGAL 4 things. 1) Keep it between the two lines and look out front and see about where you ride in the roadway. (Even where your line on left hits on the windshield. In our case it aligns with the edge ofan inspection sticker.). 2) Stay in your right lane until you are really comfortable. 3) Do the speed you are comfortable with and let others pass you if they don't like it. 4) Taught her how to make left and right turns. It's not as hard as you one makes it to be ...IF you use your head , practice, be proud of your newly acquired ability. After all, God forbid, you may need to know how to drive someday in an emergency. GOOD LUCK to her! and GOOD LUCK to you in learning to keep quiet when she does drive and give lots of encouragement.

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I think a driving class is good for anyone who never drove a large vehicle and most states require some form of endorsement/class on those weighing over 26000 lbs. I can tell you that driving ability is not gender specific. One of the best Fire truck drivers (if not the best) that every drove me in Philadelphia was a woman. She drove that truck like she was a part of it.

You may well be surprised by your DW.

Bottom line is if she wants to learn I think that is great! I got sick on a recent trip and had to stop at every rest area for an hour or two before I got to a safe place to park for the night. If she drove it would have been a lot easier and much shorter drive. My DW does not drive the MH and never did like to drive even the car.

JMHO

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The comment about having the DW learn to drive in case of emergency reminds me that several years back a couple the husband was complaining of shortness of breath 3 hours later was on "the table" having a triple by-pass. They had been parked at an RV rally and at the end of the rally I had to drive their coach to an RV park nearby where she/they would be stuck until he recovered enough to drive. It certainly could have been work (he's fine now) but it sure did limit their options. It would have been a lot better if she could have driven home with him on board.

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Not really related to the post, but Bill's comment reminded me that I have a Goog Sam ER Plan that will send a driver to move the coach home, or to a spot close if needed. I have seen and met many ladies, or "women," who were some of the best drivers, and some of the worst, at driving big rigs. I wish that my Dw would learn, but just can't up the nerve. Good luck on your DW, bet she can make just fine.

Kay

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We are The Cooking Ladies. We drove a 40-foot diesel pusher for years and loved driving it so much we had to make a rule that whoever drove into an RV Park, the other one got to drive out. Ladies, don't let the guys scare you into not driving the class A. The reason is he just doesn't want you to know how much fun he is having. :)

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The RV Driving Safety Program is offered at FMCA conventions, including the Perry, Ga., event this month. The Recreation Vehicle Safety & Education Foundation (RVSEF) presents the course, which is divided into two sessions of three hours each. The program has received rave reviews from FMCA members.

Here's an article about the program, from a few years back: The RV Safe Driving Course.

Various seminars related to diesel engines also are offered at FMCA conventions.

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I learned last summer how to drive our coach, started on freeway, my husband is an excellent teacher, I would love a day with a driving coach, i have mastered a 3 point turn, I can hitch and unhitch our toad, back up into a space. Knowing that if something were to happen and my husband is not able to drive, I am capable. :)

Yes ladies YOU CAN

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I took a Ladies Driving Class where NO MEN WERE ALLOWED!! It was WONDERFUL! Really helped me learn the corners of the coach and feel more comfortable. I had been driving before, but we bumped up from a 36' to a 40' and I wanted some expert advice. It will never be my favorite thing to do, but I have no issue at all driving from Rest Stop to Rest Stop on an Interstate, for instance. BOTH partners should learn to drive and feel fairly comfortable. Even is you are not behind the wheel, you are more in tune with what alerts the driver might need. Part of the course was teaching the Universal Hand Signals for backing into a space. I have passed them on to many other ladies and probably saved a few marriages. My real feeling is that there needs to be, in addition to a Ladies Driving School, a Men's Passenger School …. as most men (not all, but most) tend to be VERY nervous when they have to occupy the passenger seat. Get over it, gentlemen!!

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Hubby had his Class A license so driving the RV was easy for him. But I took lessons from the RV Driving School and he went along. Well worth the $. (this was in 2001). We both drive, altho' he does more city driving than I do, but I can if needed.

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Here are the answers to your questions, in order:

1. Never, refuses to drive it and will not even consider driving it.

2. See #1.

3. See #1.

As for a relative, non relative instructor, it depends on the personalities of those receiving the instruction.

I think it's good for the ladies to drive. My suggestion to my D/W was to try on a nice stretch of interstate with little traffic...see #1. :D

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I grew up driving vehicles towing horse trailers, then graduated to a pop uptrailer and then travel trailer and then on to our first 38 ft. DP. Now we have a 40 ft. DP and with our toad we are long! Just takes practice.I have never had a driving class but did practice maneuvering in large parking lots. But, I admit I am not a fan of narrow bridges or windy days surrounded by 18 wheelers.

Best advice- DO IT! Take a class or get lessons whatever makes you comfortable in the drivers seat.

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We purchased our first Class A in 2004, a 40 ft diesel pusher. Since neither of us had driven a vehicle this large, we practiced on country roads on weekends and occasionally took it out on the interstate. We now own a 43' Class A diesel. My husband enjoys driving it on our trips so he does most of the driving, but I could if necessary. My contribution on trips is backing the bus into spaces. I have a knack for doing this and my husband doesn't, so our skills compliment. I would recommend a driving school if that is an option. It wasn't for us, but if it ever is, I would jump at the chance to enhance my skills.

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