Motorhome Manoeuvering Course?

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by norfolkenchants, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. norfolkenchants

    norfolkenchants Read Only Funster

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    I am brand new to motorhoming and pick up my new Vantage Neo van conversion (6.4 meters long) in April. I have been driving for more than 40 years but never driven anything this size. The Caravan Club runs one day courses for newbies (at £145!) and I was wondering if folk think these are worth doing with van conversion of this size? Any views much appreciated!
     
  2. Dawn B

    Dawn B Funster

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    £145 seems a lot, but what cost a prang. I'm also a bit apprehensive about driving ours on anything smaller than an 'A' road - ours is 7.33 mtrs long.
     
  3. lorger

    lorger Funster

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    Hi there
    I think it totally depends on how you feel, personally I would just drive to an empty industrial estate and play around with it. It's just like driving a big car.
     
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  4. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    I doubt you will need to go on their course. It will feel different, but you'll discover that most of what is different makes for easier driving. First of all you be much higher than you are in a car giving you plenty of visibility. Secondly the mirrors on your van will be much better than you are used to in a car so you'll be well aware of what's going on behind you too.:thumb:

    You just need to get used to the length and the height. You will find after driving just a few miles that the vehicle will sort of shrink around you and you will feel very comfortable in it. So my advice would be to save your money and do a few hundred miles in her first.:Smile:
     
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  5. acting_strange

    acting_strange

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    I get a new Motorhome Manoeuvring Course every time I get in the RH seat and SWMBO gets in the LH seat.....:Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1:
     
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  6. g8ysn

    g8ysn Funster

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    g8ysn

    as suggested take it out and play with it [ i mean the camper],spend what you save on a good reversing camera:thumb:
     
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  7. Wildbill

    Wildbill Funster

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    get out and drive it you will soon get used to it :thumb:
     
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  8. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    I think you might find the course very useful. I too have been driving over 40 years but I am well aware I don't know everything. I also ride a bike and it wasn't until I read the HMSO's CycleCraft a couple of years ago that I learned all about the concepts of Primary and Secondary and when to use them to stay alive on today's roads. If you only learned how to ride a bike by simply getting on it and pedalling (as I did) you are unlikely to ever know the finer points. It's the same with driving. How many people know the correct road positioning for blind bends? Do they know there is even such a thing as road positioning - because they are unlikely to have been taught much about it for their driving test.

    The point I am making is if the instructor is any good they should be able to teach you things you might only find out yourself after the event of an accident or may never find out. For example, taking primary on a bike is so counter-intuitive few would ever discover it by accident and yet at the right time it is the the safest thing to do on a bike if you want to avoid being squashed by a truck or badly driven MH.

    The sort of thing they should be able to teach you is how to keep the correct distance from the kerb without having to look in your wing mirror to see how far away you are. Also how to go round sharp bends without the rear wheels hitting the kerb. But most importantly I think they should be able to give you some confidence. They may even point out a few bad habits you have picked up over the past 40 years!
     
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  9. maz

    maz Funster

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    I can do that for considerably less than £145. :BigGrin:
     
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  10. beachcaster

    beachcaster Read Only Funster

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    I think you will adjust to driving it very easily.......forward is easy
    backwards can be a problem...eased with a camera.or even better with someone standing there telling you whats happening..( as long as you can see them in your mirror )

    I have a simple rule, If Im in reverse.........I want someone seeing me back.

    barry
     
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  11. Linda and Steph

    Linda and Steph Funster

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  12. slverdreamers

    slverdreamers Read Only Funster

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    Driving courses.

    Hi, my husband used to teach HGV and said learning to use the mirrors was the most important. maybe an hour with a HGV Instructor, I think driving a motorhome is different to towing and reversing a caravan.
     
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  13. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    I am willing to give you the benefit of my decades of motor home living/driving for a few pies rather than £145.

    Mind you, you'll have to get down here to Portugal or fly me over to the UK (and back).

    If you should decide on the latter please could you make it when Man City are playing at home and we can arrange the first "lesson" to take place on a very large car park. :Wink:


    JJ :Cool:
     
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  14. Frentchy

    Frentchy

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    If you have only driven cars this will be a very different, but good experience. A couple of tips to make it easier.
    1,If you can find a "normal sized road to stop on" stop in a normal driving distance from the kerb, sit in a comfortable driving position and place a bit of tape on the dash board where the kerb and the center road line are.
    2,If you have a over hanging rear (im not being personal) be careful when maneuvering in tight places and allow for the extra "swing" ie Don't take the Diesel pumps with you when leaving the service stations.
    3, you and yours will find the views much more interesting up there, BUT when someone says "Oh look over there"!!! Don't!! at least until you are a bit more at ease. I wish you BONNE VOYAGE and hope to see you somewhere on your travels.:clap:
     
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  15. Biged

    Biged Read Only Funster

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    I agree with the reversing camera.

    I drove a van for years with no rear window so was a dab hand reversing with side mirrors only, you will need to get this skill no matter whether you have windows or not. The reversing camera on mine is a godsend, its the length you miss judge. :thumb:
     
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  16. Wyaye wires

    Wyaye wires

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    I now have one 8.9 metres long (I wish, and stop giggling in the back) I actually find it easier to manoeuvre in reverse than the previous shorter one and after ending up driving down a single/passing point country lane due to a diversion last year, I feel quite comfortable driving it . Take it as slowly as you need to and don't allow anyone to get you flustered, most of all yourself. :thumb:
     
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  17. Geordies

    Geordies Funster

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    I say the very same thing to my wife quite often !!!
     
  18. Yorick

    Yorick Funster

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    Just find a crappy council estate to practice on.

    If you hit any of the chav cars, no bugger will care and you may make some look better :Smile:
     
  19. dave newell lvs

    dave newell lvs Trader-Vehicle Services

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    FWIW I think you will get a lot out of the course (even though I haven't done one). The course is about more than just driving it forwards in traffic but there is a lot to learn about driving a larger vehicle anyway. I meet lots of people with motorhomes who have been driving for several decades and believe they are good drivers, truth is experience doesn't necessarily make anyone a good driver, it just makes them very experienced at using the bad habits they've picked up. And £145 is not that expensive when you think about it, The car club I belong to do a "driver's school" at the hillclimb venue and that is £175 for the day. Have a look at what the course covers and then decide if £145 is worth it to perhaps prevent you reversing into a bollard or looking a prat on site because you can't reverse onto your pitch squarely.

    D.
     
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  20. simsy56

    simsy56 Funster

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    You need to use your door mirrors. When you move off, when you pass anything, or anyone, and when reversing. Mirrors, mirrors, mirrors. You should know what is behind you at all times.
    There is no such thing as 'through vision'. To me that is a load of rubbish. What's the point of looking through a rear window 6 metres away, and 1.5 metres off the ground? Nonsense!
    A rear view camera is a good investment.
    As others have said, when you have been out and about a few times, it will 'shrink'.

    Enjoy

    Craig
     
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