You need to learn the exact space you need for several maneuvers. You are likely driving a rig larger than anything in your past. Even if you drove a truck (semi tractor/trailer), that vehicle was hinged—up near the front—your motorhome is not. Bus driver training is the only help for motorhome driving. Learning to maneuver and manipulate your motorhome is easy and fun to do. You will need four things…
- your co-pilot
- your rv
- a large, empty parking lot (typical church parking lot on Tuesday morning)
- a couple of hours
Do these easy exercises and you will know more about your coach than you thought possible and be a much better, safer driver!
Learn to Get Out of Tight Spots
Consider this scenario…
You pull into that large parking lot to buy some groceries, drive waaaaaay back away from the cars, carefully park across several lined parking spaces, go in, do your shopping, and come out. &#%*@$!!! Someone parked right in front of you! Maybe it was that 16-year-old bag boy who just got his license today and his folks said he could drive the car to work today if he parked waaaaaay back. So he did.
Can you get out? Do you absolutely know you can get out? Taking a chance may cause you put your coach at an extreme angle with your tow car and you cannot back up while towing. Or, you could wait eight hours until he gets off work. Sure, you can unhook the car, back it up, back up the coach, hook up again, check those lights, wash up, and go—finally. However, all this takes time, adds to frustration, and you don’t want to scratch your coach.
Think back to that church parking lot where you did this…
- Drive in to where there are no obstructions close by. Stop your RV and put it in park. Turn your drive wheels to the extreme left. Have the co-pilot go out and stand two-arm’s-length away from and facing the front center of your RV. Note that two arm’s length is close to six feet—we just need relatively close at this point.
- The driver must creep forward (as slowly as possible) keeping the wheels turned to the extreme left. The front of the RV should miss the co-pilot (barely/hopefully). Then stop.
By doing this simple exercise, you will know the real distance you need to clear an object (person/rock/tree/car) in front of you. Most coaches can drive out with about 6-feet (yes, just 6 feet) of clearance! Wow!
To Ensure Your Space
Okay, to protect your front space from bag boys and other vehicles, try parking with the nose of your coach just over the parking line. Standard parking spaces are 9-feet wide. If your nose is over the line about 1-foot, rarely will someone crowd that space to park directly in front of you. They will park in the next space. This gives you 7-8-feet of maneuvering room to creep out. This is so cool!