How difficult is it to drive....

Discussion in 'American RV's' started by Rolex, Sep 8, 2009.

  1. Rolex

    Rolex Read Only Funster

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    At present I have a Knaus Sun Traveller 718 TI. It is about 22ft long and over 7ft wide. I am strongly considering upgrading to a US motorhome. Is there a huge difference between driving the Knaus compared with say a US motorhome around 35ft long and over 8ft wide excluding mirrors? The length as such does not bother me. Its really the width that causes me concern. Does something of that size limit you very much to where you can go. I spend a lot of time in Europe and in partucular Spain. The Knaus I can get in and out of almost any cramped little village without getting a nervous breakdown...though I've been close a few times. So basically my questions are. Are they very much more difficult to drive? Will they limit me very much as to where I can go? Should I consider truck driving lessons? Any advice would be greatly appreciated
     
  2. 6pm Cowboy

    6pm Cowboy Read Only Funster

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    Isn't that width illegal over here ?
    and I wouldn't fancy left hand drive with that width. I can see why they call the passenger the suicide seat :Rofl1:
     
  3. simsy56

    simsy56 Funster

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    Its something you will get used to. After a week or so you wont even notice the width. It will become second nature, and you will know instinctively if you can gain access to a site or not. Good luck.
     
  4. Sam

    Sam Read Only Funster

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    Sounds like a monster of an RV! More like a bus? I met two very friendly families at a holiday park very recently, both had RVs around 32'. They looked lovely inside and they had the extending sides, so I can see why you would want to get one.

    When we asked them about manouverability they said they would not go far without towing a little car. When they came to narrow bits they would just squeeze to one side and let the other vehicle do the manouvering as there is little you can do with a thing of that size.

    I guess the best thing would be for you to try and get a decent test drive in one to get the feel for it...
     
  5. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    The driver gets used to the width very quickly, and driving in the UK is easy because its easy to get really left because you are there to judge it. They just shrink around you after a few hundred miles. On the continent you will quickly adapt also. As for your passengers, they never get used to it. There is an optical illusion that the passenger sees; when they are on the white line they think they are a meter OVER it (often they are :Blush:) see my video below

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d96Qd2LnE0M"]YouTube - The Suicide Seat[/ame]
     
  6. olley

    olley Funster

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    8' is 96", legal max is 101.4", most modern "A" class RV's are 102" :BigGrin:

    Olley
     
  7. kkclassic

    kkclassic

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    Hi

    I drive our RV every chance I can get and have the biggest stupidest grin on my face you have ever seen. The width and length becomes second nature. I have a C1+E and D1+E license so was used to driving large vehicles. I think your question of truck driving lessons is needed if you have never driven anything that big before. I also think that the weight of the RV will require you to have a full C license so will have to take the test. Do not believe any dealer that tells you that you can drive any RV on a car license.

    Kevin and Tricia
     
  8. johng

    johng Read Only Funster

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    I drove mine for the first time two weeks ago
    :BigGrin:

    the passenger was a very cool girl who didn't flinch and positively loved being in the S seat (when her brother was in same seat earlier, he wasn't so cool :Rofl1:)

    the van is 8'6 but only 23' so not so bad

    I managed smal towns / villages in New forest with ease, the only nerve racker was a single track road with passing places, I had no choice and it was ok in the end

    great fun to drive the old truck, not sure what i was worried about :BigGrin:

    another thing, being an auto makes a big difference.. having to worry about gear changes would alter my view of driving it somewhat...
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2009
  9. Loddy

    Loddy Read Only Funster

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    The only problem I find is the Height, mine is 3.7 metres and petrol station here and abroad seem to be set at 3.5 metres. after touring France recentley the biggest problem was the curious natives.

    Indy
     
  10. Dodgey

    Dodgey Funster

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    RV's, piece of cake to drive really. Different people take different times to get used to 'em, but a few hundred miles seems to do the trick for most I've seen/heard give an opinion. As said over here being on the left is a positive and you just plan ahead, or, err not.
    Summer, we went up the west side of lake Coniston to Coniston, turned right and headed for Hawkshead, that was interesting:Eeek:

    Sufice to say wifey was babling about another holiday, stress, I NEED a beer etc etc, suicide seat:Rofl1:

    Just go steady and assume some idiots coming the other way at all times, as they ofter do, and enjoy.

    My favorite so far was the bus driver who swung blind of a roudabout to come face to face with us, I was expecting this so was already nearly at a standstill, but the expresion on his face was priceless, think cartoon startled, eyes wide about to burst from his head:Rofl1:

    He gave a very sheepish wave as he passed, probaly needing fresh underware.

    You only live once so go for it:thumb:
     
  11. Rolex

    Rolex Read Only Funster

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    Thanks everyone for the replies. They were extremely helpful. Very much appreciated.
     
  12. Bulletguy

    Bulletguy Read Only Funster

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    Personally i'd say the answer to your real question as to 'limitation's' is quite obviously a resounding 'yes'! But everyone is telling you what you want to hear!

    Logical thinking should tell you that there are limits to where you can go with any type of vehicle of this size.....it doesn't have to be an RV.

    However there are campsites which won't allow access to RV's because of the weight and size and there are most certainly roads which you will find impossible, or worse still, driven down to the point of no return and find yourself in an extremely embarassing situation.

    What most people in this country seem to overlook is the origin of the RV being US. Their roads are very different from those in the UK. Here we have narrow roads with lots of bends, turns, humps and dips. The US have roads the width of runways and often built in straight lines as yanks have never been too good at corners....not only the people but the vehicles they build too.
     
  13. simsy56

    simsy56 Funster

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    Having driven HGV class one vehicles for more years than l care to remember, l can honestly say that l have never got into an embarrassing situation. l have been in tight situations, if l had any doubts l would walk first, check it out, then decide. But, anyone who carries on regardless, and becomes "stuck", isn't much of a driver in my mind. l have always maintained that if you have got there, you can get out. And l am talking of 52 feet of articulated vehicle, 8 feet wide, and 13 feet 6 inches high! Not a converted FIAT. So, all it takes is, know your vehicle, feel your vehicle, and drive within your capabilities. Enjoy your travels. Craig.
     
  14. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    Often quoted but very wrong - Off the highway, roads in the US are VERY much like our own. Lots of very narrow country roads and town roads which can make navigating a large vehicle a bit of a challenge. That's all it is though, a little bit of a challenge. You do have to plan your trips and spontaneous touring can get you in a bit of trouble, but that can happen in any motorhome, and either way its not the end of the world. So you might have to do a bit of reversing now and again, and the odd 27 point turn:Smile: But to hear some people speak you would think that every narrow lane and cul de sac has an RV stuck in it:RollEyes:

    Yes there are some sites that you cannot get on, but so what, there are more than enough sites, especially outside of the school hols.

    You have asked how difficult it was to drive, people WHO DO DRIVE THEM have answered, I do not think posters have just told you what you want to hear because I recognise what they are saying fits with my experience also. So they are telling you like it IS not what they might imagine it to be. :thumb:
     
  15. Bulletguy

    Bulletguy Read Only Funster

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    Your first line says it all Craig, but with one major difference. HGV's spend most of their time trekking up and down the motorway network and main roads. Yes when arriving at their destination the drivers real skills will surely be put to the test. But not only are they tested and qualified drivers, they don't need to go on campsites or visit the 'scenic routes'!

    My son is a fully qualified HGV driver and being in the armed forces has driven everything from huge artics to Challenger tanks (tracked vehicle licence for that), and the transporters.

    The original posters question was, "does something of that size limit you very much to where you can go?" As a professional HGV driver i'm sure you will agree that it does.
     
  16. dazzer

    dazzer Read Only Funster

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    An RV is (usually!!) smaller and therefor more manoverable than a coach. How many roads do you see coaches driving down that seem to be impossible??

    Ive never found a road yet that i couldnt get our various RVs down and that included a road with 6`6" width restriction due to low walls on each side of the road when the RV was just short of 8 feet wide!! (It was a bit tight though :Rofl1: :Eeek:)

    You must remember that buses, coaches and bin lorries can go places you wouldnt think possible. Its just having the knowledge and confidence to give it a go :thumb:
     
  17. simsy56

    simsy56 Funster

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    Mostly trekkin up and down motorways? Can you tell me which motorway goes through the heart of Lincolnshire? or the backwaters of Wales?, Derbyshire?, Scotland?, Cornwall?, Devon? Norfolk? Suffolk?, Etc; l don't remember any autobahns in the center of Vienna, Munich, Stuttgart, Amsterdam, The Hague, or Delft. Nor Have l had much pleasure of being employed at the side of a motorway, and had deliveries at the side of the motorway. l have travelled 1000s of miles on so called scenic routes, both here and europe, and mostly have enjoyed every mile, enjoying the scenery. And l have even been to campsites in Cornwall, the Lakes, AND Switzerland, delivering, can you believe, log cabins! Also, America does have similar roads to us off the interstates, l have friends in New Hampshire, and NY State, and where they live isn't dissimilar to the A roads in Derbyshire. Very rural. Yet the RVs run through with little problem.
     
  18. olley

    olley Funster

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    The answer will depend on where you want to go, all normal RV's or Eurovans are limited in where they want to go, after all they are hardly crosscountry vehicles. If you intend to stick to the normal roads, you will have few problems, if you want to go up dirt tracks be prepared for problems.

    Most people who envisage problems, have never driven one, as is often proved at the CC sites, when the wardens say nothing bigger than a 30' could possibly get on here, only to be told that for the past umpteen years 38' have been getting in without trouble.

    The only area I would agree that you will experience problems related to size are campsites, so far in our 30' we have been unable to get on 1 site in 4 years, (we have been to about 55) however if we had been in a 38' I guess it would have been more like 6 or 7

    Olley
     
  19. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    i drive my 5er most places .on the way back from malvern this year we came back through wales visited abergavenny then took a4077,b4558 to talybont on usk then took a small road to talybont reservoir pen-twyn res. and on to merther tydfil .bit narrow but easy. i normally visit most countries by saying the sea is on my left/right if there isnt a road between me and the sea i,m on the right road. sometimes i have to reverse ,or decide i cant make it. sometimes get a mate following to pull me out if on soft sand etc. its part of the adventure. in my avatar i had just been pulled out of a river crossing in maroc. just after a storm the river bed had changed never mind try again next time.all you can do is try . at home i drove sewage trucks around cornwall they have to go to very way out places as is the nature of the job. if a bus or truck gets there a big m,home should. have a word with an hgv driving school i,m sure for a small fee they will let you have a day in a 7.5tonner just to get thehang of it. worth every penny. cheers alan.
     
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