RV Driving School? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-06-2014, 01:10 AM   #1
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RV Driving School?

Was talking to a friend the other day about my trailer dream, turns out she used to have a Casita years ago. She suggested going to RV driving school (like truck driving school) since I have no experience pulling a trailer.

What do you all think about this idea? Anyone ever done it? Pros? Cons?

From a quick google search, it looks like there are two places in my area (Seattle) I found Shield Driving School, RV Driving School (national company with a Bremerton office).
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Old 06-06-2014, 05:57 AM   #2
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I pulled my my 15 foot egg for the first time last week and it was fine I kept my speed around 48-55 mph and the trip short 150 miles round trip and did just fine on the ride by the ride home I forgot I even was towing. School is always good but I would say its overkill just go get your feet wet and take it slow.
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Old 06-06-2014, 08:38 AM   #3
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Hopefully a driving school would help you be prepared for what to do if things go bad, not just about summer sailing. When things go well you don't learn much about what to do in the bad times..... in fact it can make you somewhat complacent.

And NEVER let yourself forget that your trailer is back there, that's a leading cause of RV'ing accidents
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Old 06-06-2014, 08:45 AM   #4
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Some questions

It couldn't hurt, except maybe your pocketbook…

If you have never pulled a trailer before, it does change the driving experience a lot. You can't go as fast or drive as far in a day, lane changing on the freeway takes more time and space, you have to think about what gear you're in and be more aware of what the car is doing mechanically, you have to consider your exit strategy before you just pull into a driveway or parking lot, there are safety checks to do at each stop… You do give up a certain degree of freedom in the driving experience. Then there's the whole backing-up thing. Since it looks like you haven't purchased a trailer yet, this could be one way to find out whether you are really prepared for the sacrifices you'd be making before you commit.

You'll want to ask some questions, though, before you enroll…
  1. How much of the course is classroom and how much is behind-the-wheel?
  2. Is behind-the-wheel time one-on-one with an instructor?
  3. Most important, what kind of RV will you be training on? Some of these courses are for learning to drive giant Class A motorhomes.
Hope I'm not scaring you off! I just know that there are those (usually selling a trailer) who will tell you, "Oh, these little fiberglass trailers are so light you'll never know they're back there." It ain't so.
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Old 06-06-2014, 08:55 AM   #5
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For most people learning to back your trailer into a tight camping site or turning around on a narrow road has a learning curve and takes practice . Driving straight ahead is the easy part
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Old 06-06-2014, 08:58 AM   #6
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Quote: I just know that there are those (usually selling a trailer) who will tell you, "Oh, these little fiberglass trailers are so light you'll never know they're back there." It ain't so"

A trailer sale peep will tell you that when you are looking at a 26', twin axle sticky, with two slides, that tips the scale at 6000 lbs, but it will have the word "Lite" in it's model name.....

Done right, an RV driving school sounds like a great idea to me, especially the part about backing it up.
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Old 06-06-2014, 10:13 AM   #7
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Can't say I have ever regretted a minute of any education that I have received. So if you have the time and the money of course it sounds like a good idea. Speaking of money did you see a price when you researched them?
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Old 06-06-2014, 04:33 PM   #8
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Thanks for the perspectives.

I am a good driver, but not great at backing up anyway, really nervous to try it with a trailer. Yes, the straight ahead part does sound like the easy part. Towing a trailer is the sticking point with my husband, he also wants me to be sure I'm ready for the changes it will make when we travel.

The courses seemed to cost about $500 for two 4-6 hour days. Not cheap, but worth it to stay safe. I think some of them have you use your own rig, which would make sense for me (if I had one, am working on that!)
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Old 06-06-2014, 04:57 PM   #9
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Hooray for You, an excellent idea.....

At least in CA, you can't drive a motorcycle without taking a m/c test and getting a m/c endorsement on your drivers license. (Or get a special m/c only license) , so why are we all allowed to tow a 6000+ lb trailer without even a how-do-you-do.

FWIW: I think that there should be a written and a road test to tow anything bigger than a 4x8 rental trailer.
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Old 06-06-2014, 04:59 PM   #10
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Hello. I would suggest practicing with a small u-haul. For $20 you can easily tow it around. Take it to a high school or large empty parking lot on a weekend and spend as much time as you need to get comfortable. You don't necessarily need to tow yours around to get your feet wet. I've taught a few to tow that way
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Old 06-06-2014, 06:10 PM   #11
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Here's a school/ "bootcamp".
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