Driver Side Door is it just nice or a safety factor?

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Betty Brewer said:
I think it would be easier to kick out a window than to kick open a door.  I would never ever try to put in a door after market.  Something about the integrity and structure  of the walls.

I got to take my MH to work tomorrow and then to the shop in the morning (about 1/2 mile from work) as just now to kick out the window would take someone with all the strength of about a 1 month old baby.

In short... The windows is falling out on it's own (about a quarter inch gap at the rear where it wraps around on the passanger side)

I'm told this is kind of normal, nothing actually holds it in it seems... Two man (minimum) job to re-seat it and trust me,,, That much glass, if it gets dropped I will hear about it, but I don't want to be dropping it!!!!

Warranty covers it in any case
 
chugman said:
Thanks to everyone for their replies. We finally bit the bullet and bought a 2005 Winnebago Adventurer with a driver side door. We probably will not use it as much as I thought but it makes me feel good that it is there. This particular model has better steps and grab rails to make it easier to access than the others that I have seen. There are two steps on the outside and a long grab rail. The side door wasn't a deal breaker but it did add to the list of positive features that we were looking for and made the decision easier for us.

Congratulations on your new coach! The important thing about the driver's door is it makes you feel better. :) As you know, it's not a matter of right or wrong. Hope you have many happy miles!!



 
Tom said:
I still considered the driver side door a safety feature, until I just read Jim's message.

Rolling over onto the right side isn't the only thing that can happen in an accident, though. 

If you get T-boned right where your one and only door is, for example, the rig may still be standing just fine - and fire and EMS personnel will *have* to pop the windshield out or tear out the rest of the side of the rig just to get *you* out if you are injured - or even if you aren't, for that matter, if there's no other means of egress.  They may have to do so anyways for various reasons, but a driver's side door will make it easier and faster in *any* situation *except* a rollover onto the right side for them to get to the occupants to render aid.

Wendy (former paramedic who's chopped up more than one vehicle to get people out)

 
wendyann said:
Rolling over onto the right side isn't the only thing that can happen in an accident, though. 

If you get T-boned right where your one and only door is, for example, the rig may still be standing just fine - and fire and EMS personnel will *have* to pop the windshield out or tear out the rest of the side of the rig just to get *you* out if you are injured - or even if you aren't, for that matter, if there's no other means of egress.  They may have to do so anyways for various reasons, but a driver's side door will make it easier and faster in *any* situation *except* a rollover onto the right side for them to get to the occupants to render aid.

Wendy (former paramedic who's chopped up more than one vehicle to get people out)

Hi Wendy,

What you say about entering the vehicle after an accident is valid IF the door has not been locked by the owner. :) Once EMS personnel are in the coach I would bet the windshield will be taken out in most cases as that would be the easiest and fastest way to get an injured person out. The steering wheel and driver's seat will hinder removing a person on a stretcher through the driver's door. In all RVs there is an emergency window exit that one can use if not injured. Yes, it's a long first step but a way to get out if needed. I agree uninjured persons will  find it easier to use a driver's door rather than the emergency window exit.

As I said earlier it's whatever makes one feel good. :)
 
Hi Wendyann,

Understand and appreciate your experience of extracting folks from rollovers.

When I wrote that comment (in August, 2005), our prior motorhome was still fresh in my mind. That coach had a center door alongside the stove and a driver's door. In the event of a fire, likely to start at/near the stove, the driver's door sure made a lot of sense. I also appreciated the door every time we pulled up to a dump station, which we used to do a lot in those days.
 
We once had a Southwind with a driver door and I never used it for entry or exit. Simply too difficult to climb in or out. But I'm not a tall guy either, so maybe I just couldn't reach it very well.

And RV always have an alternate exit - federal safety regulations require them. If there is no driver side door, there will be another, marker, emergency exit, typically a window that pushes out easily.
 
Betty Brewer said:
Our first class A motorhome was a Winnebago Vectra.  It had the drivers side door which we thought it was  a wonderful thing that we could not live  without.  When  we bought another motorhome without it,  we never ever missed it.  I, too would have thought the convenience for fuel stops was a plus but you get out on the right side and go around.  No big deal.  Escapee windows are required in all motorhomes and I think it would be easier to kick out a window than to kick open a door.  I would never ever try to put in a door after market.  Something about the integrity and structure  of the walls.

Most toll booths are so narrow you get close enough to pay with only a window on the drivers side.  I think the drivers side door is a bonus if the rest of the RV is what you want, but I would not go looking for one  with that feature over the  benefits of other goodies.  Just my opinion
Betty Brewer
Betty, can you tell me yearand model vectra you had, and your opinions of it. I'm casually looking for a used vectra dp. Its hard to find info on the older models.
 
My new motorhome has a driver door. I wanted it for one reason. If I am able to store my coach on the side of my house, it will make getting in and out easy. It would be a difficult job for me to get the coach lined up to get thru the narrow opening in the gate if I had to back her in. Pulling nose first means that the side door will be 4" from a block wall, but makes a no-damage park job much easier, so i need the driver door for an exit.
Do I like it? Eh..I tried using it to get out and damn near broke my neck( good thing I'm still young..37). Getting in is easy though.
 

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