With the exception of my brief love affair with the van-plan, I’ve been set on the class C style motorhome. I’d heard that class As were better for fulltiming, but have insisted that I prefer the smaller version.
After reflecting on it, I realized (with dread) that I didn’t exactly favor driving the class C, but actually feared driving the class A. I knew I couldn’t drive that big bus! With the unfortunate realization that it was fear driving my preference, I decided that I couldn’t rule them out until I had actually driven one – on the interstate.
So, that is what I did today. I went to Roman Holiday Motorhomes (A great new concept – they only sell well maintained used RVs with competitive sticker prices and no salesmen) and received a very patient driving lesson from Ron.
Here I am, getting ready for my first test drive of a 35 foot class A rig.
Ron has now moved to the passenger seat and is waiting for me to drive onto the access road.
Me, “Um, I don’t think I can see out that mirror.”
Ron, “Can you see to the right of the motorhome?
Me, “Um, yes.”
Ron, “All you need to be sure of is that you can see the traffic in that lane.”
Me, “I think I am going to hit that mailbox.”
Ron, “You aren’t going to hit that mailbox. What you have to worry about is that fence post.”
Me, “Oh, okay. How slow can I go? Can I go 20 mph on the access road?”
Ron, “Sure. There’s no hurry.”
Running out of questions, I try to manufacture a few more, like “Is that gauge for the oil pressure? Oh, so this is the hydraulic leveling jack? You only use that when you’re parked, right?”
Ron, sitting patiently, “Whenever you’re ready.”
Realizing I can’t delay any longer, I tentatively depress the brake pedal, shift into drive, and gently push on the accelerator. The big monster lumbers forward.
Ron, “Now start turning.”
I turn the steering wheel and now am on the access road – driving!
Ron, “You are driving on the shoulder.”
I move to the left, off the shoulder, and continue on, accelerating slowly, 20 mph, 30 mph, 40, and then 50 mph. I’m driving a big rig!
Ron, “Are you ready to try the interstate?”
The onramp looms ahead of me.
I answer yes and hit the acceleration. Trying to look back and forward to gauge my entrance, I ease my way in between a giant tractor trailer and a Honda Civic. I’m driving! A big rig! On the interstate!
It was fucking awesome.