First time driving MH

scbunurse

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So - tomorrow we go for a test drive of the van we hope to buy - a Bailey Autograph. H has driven vans in the recent past and drove an RV in the States and so is quite confident but I haven't driven anything larger than a Peugeot 807. I'm a confident driver but have to admit to being a little nervous and I'm sure the van has doubled in size in my head! Can any of you remember your first time and do you have any advice, things I should watch out for - apart from taking out unsuspecting cyclists with the rear overhang!
 
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scbunurse

scbunurse

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I'm thinking a course might be a good idea. I've towed a trailer tent for years and a stock trailer but reversing a motorhome seems more nerve racking somehow!
 
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scbunurse

scbunurse

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I watched one of the wing mirrors get ripped off in '5 go motorhoming'......

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EX51SSS

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welcome animated smiley3.gif

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Oct 6, 2016
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Slower acceleration and really longer braking times.

Know your height and width in meters and feet and inches as some road signs stiill in feet and inches, with no metric.

Get your partner out of the van to guide you when reversing until you can be confident of the camera ( assuming there is one)

Enjoy.
 
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scbunurse

scbunurse

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We are in Inverness - there is a show in Glasgow in Feb - maybe they do it there as well. I was thinking of going anyway - not that I'll have any money left lol! More night duty shifts needed!
 
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Oct 2, 2008
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Look in the mirrors frequently , and see where you are relative to kerb and white line , this will enable your brain to build a spatial awareness model so you will know width etc subconsciously even
when looking out the front :)
 
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jumartoo

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We met a motorhomer travelling alone who had a toaster on the dash. When questioned he said it was his reference point to line up in the correct position on the road. The edge of the toaster put him in the right place!!! Maybe a loose object like that isn't a good idea but a piece of tape stuck on the dash could help you to judge the width at first.

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Emmit

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In the World of 3500Kgs 'vans, if you can judge the width of a Bailey, you can drive anything. They are the widest of all British motorhomes.
 
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May 7, 2016
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I second the rear overhang point made by @RogerThat . If you have a big overhang behind the rear wheels a sharp turn causes it to swing out and you also need to watch out for it grounding on steep slopes, such as ramps.
 
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Dogeared

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As said it' the height you need to remember. Most routes take bin wagons, so if they can get through, so should you. When parking up at a site, remember to consider your overhang and height. After a short while you'l wonder why you worried. As long as you use care and drive for yourself and others you will really find it' quite fun.

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Jun 17, 2012
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We met a motorhomer travelling alone who had a toaster on the dash. When questioned he said it was his reference point to line up in the correct position on the road. The edge of the toaster put him in the right place!!! Maybe a loose object like that isn't a good idea but a piece of tape stuck on the dash could help you to judge the width at first.
As used in the Triumph Herald I learnt to drive in, positioned in the back window to help when reversing around a corner (y)
 
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Nov 10, 2012
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We all started out not as confident as we are now , so time and experience will give you the confidence.
For what it's worth, give yourself time, plenty of space when parking, be mindful of your rear end when turning and pulling out. (Especially when filling up).
I used to hate reversing my 8 Mtr van into its storage space when I first got it and would start worrying about reversing it before we even returned to storage, but now I reverse without worry.
Good luck and happy travels,
 
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scbunurse

scbunurse

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Test drive cancelled due to weather conditions in Perth(n)

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Oct 12, 2009
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Slower acceleration and really longer braking times.

Know your height and width in meters and feet and inches as some road signs stiill in feet and inches, with no metric.

Get your partner out of the van to guide you when reversing until you can be confident of the camera ( assuming there is one)

Enjoy.

When looking at the road ahead look at in box section, especially on country lanes where large trucks do not go so the overhead branches and the 'hard bits' of hedges protrude into the box.

I second the warning about the overhang swinging but do not only look down - also up, for the possibility that the top corner could clip a roof or a tree.

Geoff
 
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Puddleduck

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Take it easy, you have "right of size" and a manic grin helps to freak out other road users :)

Seriously though once you get used to the width and make sure you know the turning circle you will prefer driving it to driving a car - well I do. You are higher up so have a much better view of the road. Please take care when going round corners as you do need to swing wide (like when you have a trailer), don't turn too sharply or too soon.

I have a "vital information" card on the back of the driver's sun visor with width, height and length, weight, tyre pressures, insurance and breakdown cover details - that way you don't have to panic about statistics when you get to a road restriction :)

Oh and as others have said low branches are a menace - when reversing we find wlakie-talkies are really useful but make sure that the person directing you looks up as well as every other direction. People seem to forget about overhead hazards.

Sorry your course was cancelled but there will be another day. Just started snowing again here.
 
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Dare_Devil_Dennis

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When turning left (in UK) at a "T" junction on estate size roads, don't rush. Use the whole junction, ie move further out into the junction than you would in the car before starting your turn. Use the offside lane as you turn to avoid riding up the kerb with your nearside rear wheel. Be courteous, but do not panic about making traffic wait while you make your turn. Take your time, use your mirrors more while you are manoeuvring and you will quickly learn where the edges and ends of the motorhome are.

When exiting a round-about use your nearside mirror to check because often another driver or rider will attempt to get off the round-about before you by cutting up the inside. Also, at the same time, look for the idiots that go round a RAB in the outer lane until they find their exit.

You will get all this from a full one day course (and lots more, including practice). The "show" freebies are tasters. Useful, and if available you should do one, but no substitute for a full day group course.

Good luck and best wishes - enjoy

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