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  • BEFORE MOVING MY RV:

    1. I WILL DO A PRE-TRIP CHECK

     pre trip 2017

    2. I WILL SET MY MIRRORS

    mirrors pre trip 2017

    3. BEFORE BACKING, I WILL - GET OUT AND LOOK!

     

    4. I WILL WATCH FOR OFF-TRACK & TAIL SWING

    off track 2017tail swing 2017


    5. I WILL NOT DRIVE DISTRACTED

     

    From everyone at RV Basic Training, to RVer’s everywhere,
    “Have a Safe and Fun-Filled 2019!”

  • rv show california 2019

    2019 California RV Show October 4 – 13, 2019

    Location; Auto Club Speedway, Fontana, CA

    Dates & Times: October 4-13, 2019
    10am – 6pm Daily FREE PARKING!

    Visit us at Booth 202 in the Tent at the California RV Show

     

    Thank you to Everyone that visited us at our RV Show Booth!

    rvbasic california rv show 2019

  • california rv show gary booth 2018 2

  • Recently while doing the pre-trip on a mobile clinic with a diesel engine I noticed something I have never seen before, an empty DEF fluid gauge. Unfortunately the drivers I was training had no idea what DEF fluid was or why it’s important, hence this explanation.

    What is diesel exhaust fluid? DEF, def gauge emptyis an elixir that’s necessary to make sure that what exits a diesel vehicle’s tailpipe is as sweet as an Alpine breeze. The DEF fluid gauge is usually beneath the fuel gauge and in this case, shows 0. When full it would show four green bars.

    DEF, is a fluid consisting of urea and deionized water in a 1:2 solution. It’s contained in a reservoir separate from the fuel tank and is metered into the engine’s exhaust stream to control certain emissions. Inside the exhaust pipe, the DEF vaporizes and decomposes into ammonia and carbon dioxide. Those two compounds then react with oxygen and detrimental nitrogen oxides inside the vehicle’s selective catalytic reduction (SCR) catalyst. This produces three benign tailpipe gases: nitrogen, water vapor, and carbon dioxide.

    What happens if you run out of diesel exhaust fluid? Diesel exhaust fluid is used to reduce NOx emissions. You will get a lot of warnings to refill the DEF tank before you run out. If you decide to ignore the warnings or the circumstances do not allow tank refill, the engine is designed to limit its power and fueling dramatically. This is a form of punishment to the driver if you like, but also it is a way of mitigating and controlling the increase of NOx emissions due to the lack of fluid.

    Is it bad if I ingested DEF? Drinking it should be avoided at all costs. If that happens, contact a doctor immediately. Also, refer to any warnings that may be present on the jug or package (if applicable).

    What happens if DEF goes into my eyes? If it gets into your eyes, flush with large amounts of water immediately for at least 15 minutes. Consult a doctor if you have any doubts or symptoms that are concerning.

    What happens if I spill DEF, how do I clean it up? DEF residue can be easily cleaned up by washing the area with warm water.

    Is DEF fluid corrosive?rv def filling
    It is corrosive to most metals used in automotive applications. Carbon steels, iron, zinc, nickel, copper, aluminum and magnesium are some of them. If it comes into contact with any metals, you should clean the area with plenty of warm water to eliminate accelerated corrosion.

    Can DEF go bad?
    The fluid typically has a shelf life of 18 months. It does not expire technically, but it can lose its water content and the ratio of Urea/Water could change. This will affect engine emissions, since all the calculations in the ECU expect urea to be 32.5% of the DEF solution injected.

    How can I check the DEF quality?
    Its quality can be easily checked using a urea refractometer (available at Amazon.com). What happens if DEF freezes? How can you keep DEF from freezing? 67.5% of DEF is water. DEF freezes at -11 C or 12.2 F. When DEF thaws and goes back to liquid form, it maintains it consistency. It is suggested that you store DEF at a temperature between 5°C and 25°C (23°F and 77°F).

    How do I store DEF?
    Store in sealed containers to avoid contamination and avoid direct sunlight to prevent water evaporation. How long can you store DEF? Is there a shelf life? It can be stored for 18 months at a temperature between 5°C and 25°C (23°F and 77°F). For every 5° (9°F) above the recommended temperature, shelf life is reduced by six months.

    Is DEF fluid all the same?
    All DEF fluids that are supposed to be used in automotive applications should meet ISO 222411-1 specifications. Assuming that all Diesel Exhaust Fluids meet the ISO specifications, they should all be the same.

  • rv mirrors trainingDo you know how to set Your Mirrors?

    We see so many RV mirrors that are totally out of adjustment that I want to review the purpose of the two-part mirror system. Remember, if your mirrors are not set correctly, YOU ARE DRIVING BLIND!

    The purpose of the FLAT MIRROR, on top is to see alongside and behind your vehicle up to 200 feet. This is also the mirror you use when you’re backing, looking to the furthest point, watching to see if you’re moving in or away from your backing line.

    The purpose of the CONVEX MIRROR, on the bottom is to see alongside your vehicle and all the way to the back and twelve feet out on both sides . If the convex mirrors are not set so you see all the way to the back of the vehicle and alongside, you will be hitting something because it will be in your Blind Spot!

    The purpose of your camera is to open-up the Blind Spot that is directly behind your RV and should be set so you can see what is directly behind you and back to a spot without hitting it.

                                   Convex Mirrors                                                                Flat Mirrors

     convex mirrors graphicflat mirrors graphic

     

     Setting your mirrors is just ONE of many skills you will learn at RV Boot Camp.

    Book your training today!

  • When we train new drivers, the first thing we teach you are the four basic driving skills. In this video we have a new driver doing the #2 drive skill, Off-set backing.

    This is a skill that tests a drivers ability to use his/her mirrors and understand where their Pivot Point is when backing. Joe did a GREAT job!

  • non commercial class b 2020

    If the calls we’re receiving so far this year are any indication of what’s happening in the RV Industry, 2020 is going to be the year of the Big RV and Trailer!

    Who needs a non-commercial license?

    In California if you’ve purchased a motor home that is over 40 feet
    in length, you DO require a non-com Class B license.

    If you have a 5th wheel trailer that weights more than 15,000 lbs or a bumper tow trailer that weights more than 10,000 lbs, you DO require a non-com Class A license. The good news is that for the majority of RVers, you do NOT require a special license!

    In the other states requiring a non-commercial license for a recreational vehicle the criteria is the weight of the vehicle, over 26,000 lbs. These states include Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Nevada, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas and Wyoming.

    If you live in Arkansas, Connecticut, Hawaii, Kansas, New Mexico, Washington D.C or Wisconsin, check with your local DMV because if your vehicle is over 26,000 lbs you require a Commercial Driver’s License! For the rest of the country and if you’re traveling to Canada, you are good to go!

    How you’ll be tested:

    In California the testing procedure is as follows; the examiner will inspect your registration papers, your insurance papers and your interim license, all must be current. He/she will then make sure all of the lights and turn signals are working on the RV and if applicable, they will explain the Air Brakes to you and check to make sure there are no air leaks. (In California you do NOT require an Air Brake Endorsement). Then the examiner will have you do three of the four basic driving skills, straight-line backing, off-set backing and 90 degree dockside backing, no parallel parking. To pass the skills test, you must have no more than 12 errors overall. You are allowed to have two “Looks” and three pull-ups for the dockside backing.

    Once you have passed the drive skills test it is out on the road to do your road test. The road test is no different than what every commercial driver experiences. To pass the road portion, you must have no more than 30 errors and no marks in the automatic failure section. You will then have your noncommercial Class A or Class B license.

    Remember the non-commercial license is just that, NON COMMERCIAL so do NOT try to get one if you’re being paid to drive! If you receive compensation to drive, you MUST have a full CDL.

    This in a nutshell is what the non-commercial is all about. Please contact us if you have any questions.

    Thank you! Gary

  • rv there yet t shirt

     During January, when you book RV Boot Camp, you will receive free of charge your very own RV Basic Training T-shirt! 

    We want you comfortable behind the wheel, working on our goal for you, ZERO DAMAGE!

    Happy New Year and safe travels to all RVers in 2020,

    Gary

  • “BEHIND THE WHEEL RV TRAINING”
    May 4 - 9th 2018

    Elkhart County 4-H Fairgrounds in Goshen, Indiana.

    To schedule your training:

    Contact Gary Lewis, 951-852-4785
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    Space is Limited so Register ASAP

    #1 LEARN THE BASIC DRIVING SKILLS
    $95 per person

    This two hour course will show a new RV driver how to:2016 02 04 11 41 58
    1. Do a Pre-Trip and Set the Mirrors
    2. Back a straight line
    3. Identify the Pivot Point
    4. Do a tight turn around an object
    5. Back into an RV parking space

    #2 TAKES YOUR DRIVING SKILLS TO THE NEXT LEVEL
    $295 per person

    This 4 hour course is for the driver who can perform the four basic driving skills.
    This class is held in your RV and you will go on the road. The goal is to fine tune your motor
    home driving skills. Subjects covered include:

    gary left2

    • Review of the Pre-trip Inspection
    • Review of Mirror use & settings
    • Review of Driver/Spotter Communications
    • Using Reference Points
    • Understanding Off Track & Tail Sw
    • Lane Use and Lane Positioning
    • Stopping and Following Distance
    • The Three Driving Challenges
    • Defensive Driving Techniques

     

    Both courses include a Certificate of Completion

  • good parking job

    "Hi, Gary

    I just wanted to show you a picture of how great your student is, he parks our rig dead in the center of our parking space at the storage unit on the first try, every time.

    Roger finally got his license, a long trip filled with a comedy of errors!

     

    On his first drive test he flunked because he signaled too early when making a turn in a congested area and stopping too far back from the intersection.

    He was scheduled to take the re-test the following Monday and received a call on Friday to say the DMV had shut down the program for up to a month to resurface and mark the testing area! Of course when they did reopen then it was another two weeks before he could sign up to take the test again. We ended up going back east without the license.

    We returned 2 months later and had to start this whole thing all over again. This time he passed with flying colors and we headed north to Canada and just got back.

    I can’t tell you the number of times Roger expressed how glad he was that he had taken your class on these two long trips. His skill level and confidence in driving the rig since taking your class is very evident. Last week when we were in Fresno at the dealership and he was in a tight area with cars coming at him right and left and he backed that rig up and turned it around in a space I didn’t think was big enough to turn a car around in! I was very impressed."

    Thanks for the great service!  

    Shirley"

  •  
    Where is RV Boot Camp 2

    The cost for RV BOOT CAMP is $450.00 
    for a full day of training.

    Because our Trainers travel to you, There can be a Travel Fee*
    *Travel Fee is negotiated by your Trainer to cover direct travel expenses

    Driving an RV is Easy...Let Us show you how!

    Contact: Gary Lewis - Director of Sales and Marketing
    Office - 1-951-852-4785 or use our Registration Form, Thank you!

  • overpass damage rv tip

    Imagine traveling down a country road in your RV and coming upon this Advisory sign, 10 feet, 4 inches overpass ahead! 

     This is the reason your GPS should be one that is made for RVs! When you consider that all “C” class RV’s are 11 feet, without the Air Conditioners and most “A” class RV’s are at least 12 feet, 6 inches, you can do a lot of damage if you decide to enter the overpass.

    Always pay attention to Advisory Signs – a yellow triangle that warns you about a low obstacle, a dangerous curve or a steep downgrade and speed limits for your large vehicle.

    If the Advisory Sign says 25 mph and you’re driving a large motor home or towing a trailer around a tight turn, chances are you should NOT be going more than 25 mph!

    Keep safe, always pay attention and enjoy your RVing journey.

  • Before you buy, VERIFIFY!

    Our Tip of the Month is aimed at the First-time Diesel Pusher buyer who is purchasing a used vehicle. There are three major expense areas you might encounter when purchasing a used diesel motor home and they are:

    1. ENGINE – A diesel engine has a much longer life than a gas engine but you want to make sure the previous owner has been properly maintaining the engine to achieve that longer life. When you purchase a used RV, make sure the engine has had a recent oil change and that the filters, belts and hoses are new, or in good shape. You DO NOT want to inherit someone else’s misuse? Remember, a diesel engine has 25 quarts of oil, not 5 and the cost of an oil change that includes belts and hoses can be as high as $750.00! You should not have to begin your relationship with your New-2-You RV spending a pot-load of money!

    2. TIRES – The tires on a Bus-type vehicle are MUCH MORE expensive than car tires and while they might look good with some tire paint, the BIG question you need to know is, HOW OLD ARE

    tip of month verify oct 2016

      THEY? It’s easy to know the age of a tire as every tire is manufactured with a little box on the side of the tire, just above the rim with a four digit code. The first two digits tell you the week the tire was manufactured and the last two digits tell you the year. The tire in this picture was manufactured the 24th week of 2013. Why is this important? Tires after six years are at the end of their life cycle and need to be replaced. You don’t want to start your relationship with your new RV buying new rubber that could cost you as much as $680 per tire, installed. Do the math, 6 times $680 equals $4,080.00!

    3. AIR SYSTEM - All diesel pushers with Air Brakes have an Air System that must be kept in proper working order. Your RV has a low air warning system that MUST include a visual warning and an audible warning to let you know when your air pressure drops to between 75 lbs and 55 lbs, usually right at 65 lbs. The other part of your Air System you must be aware of is the fact that your Air Pump fills the Air Bags on your RV. If you Air System is NOT working properly and your Air Bags are not filling correctly, you are compromising your safety and could be looking at a LARGE $$$$ repair bill.

    Recently we have worked with two RV owners who were unaware of the condition of the engine on their used RV; they had assumed everything was taken care of. Assume nothing, VERIFY! Both RV’s had tires at or close to the end of the useful life and none of the new RV owners had any idea what they should be looking at with their Air Systems. All of these items can significantly increase the cost of your RV and compromise your safety and for that reason, they are important.

    If you’re contemplating the purchase of a used RV, ensuring that the Engine has been serviced, your Tires have lots of time left and your Air System is in good shape will make for trouble-free RVing. You’re going Thank us for all the money you save.

    Gary, the RV Guy

  • If you’re an RVer, what's wrong with this picture?

    rv passing lane rules

    All RV’s when towing, should be traveling in the
    TRAVEL LANE, not the PASSING LANE!

    The Left Lane is for Passing Only

    rv travel lane rules

     

    rv left lane for passing only

     

    PASSING LANE on the left - TRAVEL LANE on the right.

  • testimonial michael carol

    My wife and I took delivery of our new ‘19 RED 37BA in December; we previously owned a ‘14 Tiffin Open Road CA32 gas RV and we were comfortable driving the gas rig, but this was our first time with a diesel pusher... So, we scheduled a one day “RV Boot Camp” driver’s training course with RV Basic Training, LLC... And, we’re very glad we did!

    We arranged to begin our training at 8:00am with Trainer Gary Lewis at our Bonelli Bluffs RV Park site (our trainer came to us)... Gary immediately made us feel comfortable and gave us an overview of basic RV driving techniques and spent the day preparing us for the same driving skills used for a California Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) driving test... This included a thorough RV pre-check routine, proper mirror adjustments, safe driving techniques and practicing basic CDL driving skills...

    Days before our scheduled training my wife made it clear to me that she had decided against driving our 40’ RV; she felt too frightened... But, Gary made her feel so comfortable that she not only practiced the basic driving skills (backing, weaving backward and forward, 90 degree parking, parallel parking), she actually drove our RV on surface streets around town, making right and left hand turns (maybe even better than my turns)!

    Admittedly, even though I thought my RV driving skills were pretty sharp before the training, Gary’s instruction and techniques improved my driving knowledge and skills, especially making right and left turns...

    If you’re new to driving an RV or even if you’ve driven a Class A RV for years (as I had), I’d recommend taking an RV driver’s training course... I know the training helped my wife and me, immensely!

  • There is SO much misinformation about who needs a Non-commercial Class B License and what is involved that we thought it’s time to clarify the process. What follows is ONLY for California.

    WHO NEEDS A NON-COMMERCIAL LICENSE?

    Anyone driving a 45' Motorhome (Greater than 40' up to 45')

    By definition, a 45’ Motorhome refers to a single-unit motorhome that is longer than 40 feet but no more than 45 feet. (Note: A vehicle combination, e.g. a motorhome towing a vehicle or trailer, may be up to 65 feet in length. If the single-unit motorhome is 40 feet or less in length, the combination is NOT subject to the route restriction for the 45’ motorhome and the driver DOES NOT require a special license)

    class b license truck 1Motorhome: A motorhome is a noncommercial passenger vehicle defined in the California Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 465 as a “house car” and commonly referred to as a recreation vehicle, “a motor vehicle originally designed, or permanently altered, and equipped for human habitation, or to which a camper has been permanently attached.” A motorhome should not be confused with a bus or a tour bus, also called “motorcoach” which is used for commercial passenger transportation and requires a commercial Class B driver’s license to operate.

    class b license mobile 1

    HOW DO I OBTAIN A NON-COM CLASS B LICENSE?

    Note: For the noncommercial Class B license you are NOT required to present your Passport, Birth Certificate and Proof of Residency, this is only required for the full Class B license.

    To obtain an original noncommercial Class B license – you must:

    1. Pass the Driver's Examination for 45' Housecars law test. You must pass the law test based on the information contained in the Non-Commercial Handbook. The test may be taken at any DMV field office. You may make an appointment online at www.dmv.ca.gov, or by calling 1-800-777-0133.
    2. Vehicle safety check. Before the skills test, you must demonstrate that the turn signals, brake lights, horn, emergency flashers, and brake system are working. This is not part of your pre-trip test. However, if any of these items are not working properly or are missing; your driving test will be postponed.
    3. Skills tests. Skills tests are designed to demonstrate your skill in stopping, backing in a straight line, completing a right turn around a cone or marker, and backing into a camping space.
    4. Driving test. The driving test includes entering and exiting a freeway, freeway driving with lane changes, right and left turns into one-way and two-way traffic, railroad crossings, driving on a grade or steep hill, etc. You may make an appointment by calling 1-800-777-0133. Online appointments are not available for this type of driving test.
    5. Physician's Health Report. A Physician's Health Report (DL 546A) (PDF) form signed by your physician is required and must be given to DMV for review and approval before your license is issued and then every two years after that. The Health Report expires two years from the examination date. Failure to maintain a valid Health Report form with DMV will mean that your license is valid only for Class C and, if endorsed, for Class M1 or M2 vehicles. Health Report forms are available online at www.dmv.ca.gov.

    45' Housecar with Air Brakes

    You are not required to pass an air brake law test or to perform an air brake system check if your housecar is equipped with air brakes. You will be asked to perform a Vehicle Safety Check by the DMV examiner.

    Be aware that you may get a blank stare when you go to your neighborhood DMV office asking to apply for the noncommercial license as this is NOT something most offices process every day. For this reason you will find it less frustrating to go to one of the DMV’s Commercial Testing Centers to begin the process.

    RV Basic Training can help and will be happy to provide you with the forms you require to get started. Once you have your permit, your Housecar Boot Camp will get you ready for your California Housecar License.

    Gary the RV Guy

  • lego grandsonYou know how Great Grandparents are; you do the gift giving thing at Christmas time and usually never hear back if the gift even arrived. Well this is a story with a different ending.

    Our great grandson Daniel received his fifty dollar bill last year and was carrying it in his coat pocket. Climbing a steep staircase to his friend’s house the fifty dollar bill slipped out of his pocket. Fortunately for him, Mom was behind him and caught the bill and when they returned home, she showed it to him and asked how he would like to spend it.

    Weeks went by and when Daniel asked his Mom if he could go to Toys R Us she agreed but didn't ask why. On arrival, Daniel bolted to the Lego section of the toy store, sought out a satisfactory kit, 3 in 1 Vacation Getaways set and purchased it with a little help from Mom.

    You see Daniel here with his completed RV and now not only is Great Grandpa in the RV business, so is Daniel. Good job Daniel!

    lego grandson rvlego grandson rv 2

  • Hi There Gary and Randall,

    thyra david testimonial aug 2016Just wanted to drop you guys a line to tell you exactly how much we got out of taking the RV training course!!!! I don't know if we would have been able to manage had it not been for Randall’s class.

    David (who really doesn't appreciate a lot of teachers or instruction) can't say enough about Randall and his instruction. The difference between this and our trailer towing experience is night and day, and having the fabulous and thorough lesson made all of the difference!!

    We will HIGHLY recommend this program to any future people considering buying an RV.

    Cheers,

    Thyra and David

  • Of the many skills we teach new RV drivers, two of the most important are 'Mirror Use' and 'Pivot Point'. For the non-commercial Class A & B license in California one of the skills you must demonstrate to the examiner is the '90 degree Off-set Alley Dock Backing'. The DMV gives you a 12 foot by 40 foot box that they want you to back your RV or Trailer into from a position that is parallel to a line 50 feet from the opening of the box.

    pivot point tip nov 2017Imagine trying to do this if your mirrors are NOT set correctly or if you do NOT understand the Pivot Point of your RV, IMPOSSIBLE! 

    We have posted a video of a recent student showing how this backing up skill should be completed.

     

Driver Training for Everyone!

rvboot camp price

Various Types of Boot Camp for Everyone!

  • Individual One on One Driver Training
  • Corporate Driver Training - Safety Training
  • Mobile Medical Driver Training
  • Fifth Wheel Driver Training
  • Trailer Towing Training
  • Housecar License Training 40+ Feet
  • Group Driver Training and Special Events
  • Non-Commercial Class A & Class B Recreation Vehicle License

If you don't see the type of driver training you need in the list above please call us;
1-951-852-4785