Complete Cherry to Motorhomes and buying one next week and have some questions and concerns.

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Chrisjaye12

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I don’t have any experience driving anything big and questioning buying a Class A Motorhome now. I’m supposed to buy a 2021 Holiday Rambler Vacationer 33C and now wondering if I should have went smaller like a class c. If I do go through with the purchase I want to add some better shocks and maybe a wheel stabilizer for a more comfortable ride. So if you have any recommendations it would be appreciated. Looking for a place in South Louisiana area that does these kind of upgrades. Thanks for any information.
 

darsben

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Hey it is all behind you no matter what rig you buy, be it a class A or C. You just need some practice to get used to driving the thing whatever it is you buy.
You can look at rvservicereviews.com to see if there is someone in your area that does this.
Make sure you know what chassis your motor home is built on. Some are orphans now and might be harder to get things done to
 

Mark_K5LXP

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I had never driven a class A until I was rolling out of the dealer's parking lot with it. After a couple of short trips you figure it out pretty quick, the main thing being you're sitting on top the steer wheels instead of behind them. Other than that, blind spots, backing, rear end swing and such is the same with anything you'd drive. For my purposes a class A checks the boxes and I know I wouldn't be happy with a C so it was sink or swim. Today, I'm just as comfortable driving the RV as my pickup truck. Think of all the old pharts driving large class A's out there, it's not as hard as you're imagining it.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
 

Domo

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Fort Myers, FL
Before you do too much to alter the original - get it fully loaded as if going on a trip with full water and fuel and get the four corners (each tire) weighed, find the correct tire inflation chart (we can help you) and set the tire pressure <<<---- that can make your driving easier and the ride more comfortable without spending a lot of money adding hardware to what will still be a truck when you're done...

Do not ask you dealer what your tire pressure should be or what chemicals you need to put in your holding tanks - peruse this site and others - ask questions here and ask your neighbors when you're camping. Sometimes showing off our knowledge is the best fun for us especially if you're in the next campsite and have started up the barbie!

Mostly - enjoy it - find a nearby campground and stay a week while you figure out how each of the components works...
 

dcrbtt

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I had never driven a class A until I was rolling out of the dealer's parking lot with it. After a couple of short trips you figure it out pretty quick, the main thing being you're sitting on top the steer wheels instead of behind them. Other than that, blind spots, backing, rear end swing and such is the same with anything you'd drive. For my purposes a class A checks the boxes and I know I wouldn't be happy with a C so it was sink or swim. Today, I'm just as comfortable driving the RV as my pickup truck. Think of all the old pharts driving large class A's out there, it's not as hard as you're imagining it.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
I did the same thing as Mark! Take it on a short trip close to home a few time to get the feel of the RV that is what we did before we went to Alaska for our first trip ever.

You will want a startup and shutdown list.
 

Ksouers

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Eastern Missouri
As others have said, take a trip. You don't need a destination 30 minute out, 30 back. No more. You'll be tired after that. Pick a route to take, check it out in your car first if you want. After a couple short trips you'll start getting comfortable. Plan an overnight or weekend trip to a nearby state park, no more than an hour away. The big thing to remember is tail swing. It's real and it can cause damage, just be careful and you'll be fine. You're biggest nemesis will be gassing up. There is never enough room.

Someone may suggest driveway camping, not a bad idea. Try out an overnight stay in the driveway, if possible, that way anything you've forgotten is only a few steps away. You can get adapters for shore power you can run off the house, just remember you'll be limited to 15 amps. So probably no A/C and microwave at the same time.

Kevin
 

darsben

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BY the way.It is important to know the age of the tires. Most if not all here will agree ANY TIRE on that rig with a tire older than 5 -6 years should be replaced. Yes I know the rig is a 2021 but who knows what someone did before selling. Tread depth is not a criteria for a good tire most rv tires age out before tread is gone.
 

baddeck

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Watch Your Tail
Don't ask how I know, Gas stations in Particular.
Aft of the rear wheels, the coach will swing wider than you think.
Charlie
 

JudyJB

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First, another couple of feet longer or shorter are not going to make driving harder or easier. The Class A will give you more space and more cargo carrying capacity, which is important.

I am an older woman who is only 5' 1" tall, and I drove my brand-new 32' Class C away from the lot after only a two-mile test drive, although I did view some videos on driving a motorhome first. Scared my adult son to death, however, as he had dropped me off and had to follow me 70 miles back to his home. But I figured that paid him back for the times I had to ride with him when he was 16!!

Your major problem will be turning corners, and one trick I use is to set my mirror adjustment so it is always on the right mirror. When I turn a corner and want to avoid hitting a curb and damaging a tire, I can drop the mirror quickly so it shows me my back tire.

Two other tips:
  • Start out with some short trips in places where there will not be a lot of traffic or people. A big empty parking lot is a good place also.
  • Worry about YOUR vehicle, not the ones behind you who might be pushing you to drive faster or to turn more sharply. In other words, do what YOU need to do to feel comfortable driving, not what the other guy wants you to do.
  • Remember that you will always need more room to turn than the cars following you, so make sure when making a turn that you have at least two lanes free to give you more room. This is especially important in turning right, so ignore the cars behind you and take your time until traffic clears enough for you to make a safe turn.
  • Don't be afraid to get help parking in a campground for the first few times. Neighbors will always be helpful to a new driver.
  • Make sure before you turn into a place, like a gas station, shopping center, or store, that you can get out of it. One of my goals in life is to not get into places I can't get out of, and sometimes it takes driving around a block to check out a place.
Good luck from someone who has driven a LOT of miles without any serious incidents! (Backing into things like telephone poles and trees does not count.)
 
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Larry N.

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Westminster, Colorado
The big thing to remember is tail swing. It's real and it can cause damage, just be careful and you'll be fine. You're biggest nemesis will be gassing up. There is never enough room.
Height and width are almost equally important -- any can lead to damage -- but in a different perspective.
 

DutchmenSport

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Anderson, Indiana
Don't be too quick to make any modifications on your new rig. You really need to use it, drive it, test it out for a while so you'll have a better understanding of what you REALLY need to do, fix, or change.

This goes for not only the suspension and drive train and everything essential for driving on the road, but also for everything inside the coach where you live.

You may find, (as stated above), once you get your gear and all items loaded, including water, propane, and fuel, you may find the rig handles quite different.

And the other suggestion above, use it on small trips first, is absolutely sound and solid advise. Learn your new rig in very small bites. Don't try to swallow the whole thing all at once or you'll choke and suffocate yourself. Take it one small step at a time. The first step is simply driving it around the parking lot at the dealership. Then driving to a parking lot where you can do some initial practice backing up and turning corners, figure out how sharp the rig turns and how much swing the end requires. Do this first, and then some short runs ... like ... use it to run to the grocery store or maybe some other errands. Little baby steps, over very, very short periods of time will do you more good than anything else.
 

UTTransplant

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Cedar Falls, IA
There are driving instructors that can give you a great intro to driving your Class A. Look at RVDrivingSchools.com to find one near you. My husband grew upon a farm driving big equipment, and I had driven a 30’trailer/truck combo for years before we bought the Class A. Still took some getting used to, but instruction helped us get comfortable fast. As for modifications, I agree with the wait a bit. You do need to get a weight, but 4 wheel weights are hard to come by. We just went to a CAT weigh station at a truck stop, looked up the inflation tables on the tire manufacturer’s website, and add 5 pounds for safety in case one side was extra heavy. Our rig came from the factor with max cold pressure, and it skittered across the road terribly until we got a weight and reduced pressure appropriately.
 

Ex-Calif

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I have trained a few people to drive my Class A. It drives like a 26 foot uHaul or a school bus.

1 - You will need to get used to pulling further into an intersection before beginning the turn and when you do you will be using full lock. Observe some semi drivers or school bus drivers for examples.

2 - Everyone I have taught tends to crowd the right side of the lane. This can be a problem on narrower roads. As Judy said adjust your mirrors down far enough to see the road and the traffic beside you. Keep a constant scan between front and side to side.

As long as you can see the roadside stripes you are fine and oncoming traffic will be a non-issue. My kid was dropping the right side off the blacktop for the first couple of miles.

Also consider investing in a rear view camera. It's the best upgrade I made on my rig. I can monitor my trailer and see all the traffic coming up.

Finally a note on freeway driving - The semis blow a big bow wave and they are usually going to be passing you. As the semi reaches your rear the front of your coach is gonna want to go left - apply gentle correction.

As the semi reaches your front the coach is gonna want to blow right, again add gentle correction. After 50 miles or so it will become second nature.

You'll be fine...
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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The only difference in an A vs C is the driver seating position in an A is different than your car or the C. It changes your perspective and throws off the decades of driving muscle-memory you have stored away, Just be cautious until you learn the adjustments for the A; it should only take a short trip or two.

The main thing is to keep your eyes focused ahead, down the road. If you get too hung up on watching the mirrors and the near-in road surface, you will zig-zag a lot as you continually over-correct the steering. If you look further ahead, your vision parallax will keep you going straight. The other thing is to remember that the rear end swings outward in a turn, so allow yourself some extra room.
 

ferfer

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LOOK UP for low hanging things, especially when pulling into a area or parking. If you have a spotter to help park, try to reduce the learning curve aggravation by agreeing on a signal purpose and that the spotter will directing the RV rear location. Driver is responsible for movement.
 

JudyJB

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Watch Your Tail
Don't ask how I know, Gas stations in Particular.
Aft of the rear wheels, the coach will swing wider than you think.
Charlie
I also have a tail swing problem, and people probably wonder why I look at my right mirror when I make a left turn, and look in my left mirror when I make a right turn!

Most of the time at intersections, I just have to pull forward a bit with a tiny bit of a turn and then make the turn sharper after I have cleared any obstructions. Have never hit anything, not even in a gas station!

It is just something I have become aware to watch out for. And you are right that gas stations are tricky, so when I am out getting gas, I always look for which exit I want to take and which way I will need to turn to get out of there.

Part of my consideration is also the incline of the exits so my long "tail" does not drag and make that horrible scraping noise. If I am stuck and have no other way to exit, I take the incline at an angle, which seems to help. (This often means I have to wait longer for traffic to clear.) This seems to be a worse problem in desert towns because they have deeper places along curbs for water to drain.

Lots of things to look out for all at the same time, but it is something you just get used to. Makes driving a regular car a "piece of cake"!

One of the nice things is having another driver, especially one coming towards you, predict your problem and give you space to enter or exit someplace. You can tell that they probably pull a trailer or drive a big vehicle because they are aware that you just can't pull your rig into narrow and tricky places!!
 

JudyJB

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LOOK UP for low hanging things, especially when pulling into a area or parking. If you have a spotter to help park, try to reduce the learning curve aggravation by agreeing on a signal purpose and that the spotter will directing the RV rear location. Driver is responsible for movement.
I almost made the BIG mistake of driving through the pay booth at an airport recently. Then I noticed the sign saying the height was 11' 0" and my rig is at least 12' tall, so I backed up and exited on the end lane, where there was no roof that would have torn off my AC and vent covers!!

I have not found any low-clearance roofs over gas stations west of the Mississippi, but they are very common in the eastern states like NY, PA, etc. so you have to be careful to look up when you pull into gas stations there. They are marked, but you have to remember to look. (FYI - Mackinaw City in Michigan has a couple of low clearance roads that go under the Big Mac bridge to the Upper Peninsula. They are marked with flashing lights and lots of signs, but I almost ignored those once.)
 

JudyJB

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Finally a note on freeway driving - The semis blow a big bow wave and they are usually going to be passing you. As the semi reaches your rear the front of your coach is gonna want to go left - apply gentle correction.

As the semi reaches your front the coach is gonna want to blow right, again add gentle correction. After 50 miles or so it will become second nature.

You'll be fine...

Also, be aware that wind can cause you to swerve. I once crested a hill on I-20 in New Mexico and got blown halfway into the next lane. Luckily, there was no traffic around me. Head winds and tail winds are not too bad, but side winds can really be tiring to handle, so if it gets windy and your rig is wandering, get off the freeway and find a place to spend the night.

It is also a good idea when going over one of those huge bridges that go over water to move to the left lane, if possible, and to certainly slow down. Some places will put up a sign that tells trucks to move to left lane over a particular bridge, so do it when told to.

As I tell people, driving an RV in the wind is like driving a billboard down the road!!

All this will sound very complicated, but you will get used to all these things quickly, as we all have done.
 

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