While we continue to wait on our motorhome to arrive at the dealer, we decided to go and take a motorhome driving class. I had only driven a motorhome briefly during a test drive. My wife had never driven one at all – and I never convinced her to drive the truck (while pulling the 5th wheel) when we owned our first RV.
Going into the test drive a few months ago, I was pretty confident in my abilities. After all, I had driven grain trucks, tractors, moving trucks and truck/5th wheel with little issue. I was not as comfortable as I thought I would be during the test drive. Motorhomes are wide, long vehicles. Plus, you sit on top of the wheels – requiring you to turn much later than you would with a car or other vehicle with the wheels forward. They also have a much great tail swing than a car.
One of the Mega RV Dealers down here teaches a “Driver Confidence Course” several times a week. The dealer is Lazydays of Tampa. This class was even recommended by our dealer. Several couples in our RV Community have taken this class and recommended it.
It is a free class if you buy your motorhome from Lazydays or $100 for a single (pilot) / $150 for a couple (pilot/co-pilot). We took it as a couple – and we were one of four couples taking the class on this particular day.
This class consists of 1.5 to 2 hours of classroom instructions followed by 1.5-2 hours of hands-on driving. Each participant get 10-15 minutes behind the wheel driving a specified course around the Lazydays onsite campground. You do not practise any backing – which was unfortunate.
Lazydays has been teaching this class for decades – I think they said they had over 60,000 people complete the training. Lazydays recommends you use a dot system to give you driving indicators to help with lane centering, turning, parking, etc. I have included my class note in the resource area. You receive a course booklet with the training.
The motorhome that we did our hands-on practice in was a Winnebago Forza. It is a diesel pusher, so it had air brakes and air ride ride like what we will have in our new rig. It was only a couple of feet shorter than our’s will be.
After our lunch break from the morning classroom instruction, the instructor first went around the course himself. Then as each student took their turn behind the wheel, he kneeled in the middle giving personal instruction. It went very well. This was an active campground, during check-in time, so we did have to dodge and wait on other rigs moving about the campground and folks walking dogs, etc. It was a real-life test. The only thing that would make it better would be backing practise and some time on the interstate. But, this would take longer and be more expensive. There are other schools that provide this type of training – in your own motorhome – but the cost is 3-5+ times more money.
Overall, I really enjoyed the class. My wife and I both passed, and we did not cause any damage, LOL. Using the dot system, I was 10X more confident than during my test drive. The only thing I would like to have seen is more classroom time and driving time spent on backing.
Thanks for stopping by and safe travels!!