- Published: Sunday, 01 May 2016 19:01
- Written by Gary Lewis
Tip of the Month
For New RV Owners
We have had so many calls this year that start off with, “My husband/wife/driving partner just hit a (you name it) and I think we need some training”. When you analyze what the problem is, it is SO simple I can't believe it, people try to driver their RV’s the same way they drive their cars!
When you take RV Boot Camp training, the first thing you will learn about is the difference between your car and your RV, the RV is MUCH bigger! Most Class A RV’s are 8 ½ feet wide, at least 12 ½ feet tall, have 18 to 24 feet between the front wheels and the back wheels and have a distance of 12 to 15 feet behind the back wheels, which can create lots of problems for the RV driver when leaving a curb or maneuvering in traffic. Think of your RV’s Foot Print.
Next we will show you how to do a Pre-Trip inspection, checking the Engine, the Lights and doing a Safety Check. Speaking of the Pre-trip, this past week I had a new driver check the oil on the RV and the dip stick was dry! He had a quart of oil in his car so we added it to the engine and still no reading on the dip stick. It required two more quarts of oil before we had a reading! Other deficiencies on this vehicle included no License plate light, an out of date Tag and clearance lights out, just to name but a few of the items. (You can download a FREE Pre-Trip check list from our website. This is a PDF File, you may have to right click save link as to download to your computer.)
To drive a large vehicle safely, the driver MUST have the mirrors set properly and just as important, they need to know how to use them. One in five large vehicle accidents are Mirror Related. We show you what you need to be looking for and how to set the mirrors just for you. There is no “looking over your shoulder” when driving an RV.
When the above are mastered, we teach you how to do the four basic driving skills that every commercial driver in North America MUST be able to do to obtain a CDL. These include straight-line backing, tight turns, RV park backing and parallel parking. When you know how to do the four basic driving skills your comfort level will sky rocket and you will know where your back wheels are and how to make turns safely and with confidence. No more striking objects alongside your RV!
As the result of working with thousands of first-time RVers we have seen that there are five reasons new drivers have problems.
- The Driver did NOT do a Pre-Trip inspection before moving their RV
- The Driver did NOT check or set their Mirrors before moving their RV
- The Driver did NOT understand Tail/Swing or Off/Track
- The Driver, when backing did not GOAL (Get Out And Look)
- The Driver was Distracted, cell phone use, music too loud etc.
When someone tells you that driving an RV is just like driving your car, DON’T BELIEVE THEM, it’s just like driving a BUS! The good news, it’s easy!!
The damage to the vehicles pictured below is why these drivers needed Boot Camp driver training before they got behind the wheel!
Gary Lewis - The RV Guy