Originally Posted by CJducks80
Thanks. We are very excited. Wasn't planning on going that big, but got a deal we couldn't pass. Taking it for our first overnight tonight, only about 20 minutes from the house. Ha. Hoping to learn a lot.
Welcome to the forum. Here's some basic driving safety tips for newbies that have never driven a 35' RV before.
1. Make wide turns to the right, and also left. It's easy to forget you're 35' long, and with such a long wheelbase you can mistakenly run over a curb, or worst brush a pole, or hit a big decorative rock with your motorized steps in a campground.
2. You are almost 12' high, this will not fit under some gas station covers, especially the older ones out in the country. Also, even if the pump island cover is high enough, the office roof overhangs can be too low when negotiating around the corner of the building, even with new stations.
3. When parking along the curb, tree limbs will OFTEN stick out past the curb lower than 12' high that will damage the top right corner of your RV. Be careful in small towns that often have these.
4. As additional insurance to mitigate risk, have the DW be outside the RV instructing you to negotiate tight quarters when entering or leaving a campground, or any other areas that are tight. Just use your cellphones and put yours on speakerphone and have her constantly talk to you about clearances. When the phone is silent, assume she's not looking at the RV, so STOP the RV until she talks. Constant input is helpful to know you have the DWs full visual focus for guidance to safety, and not distracted with a cute little dog running around.
5. If you are the type to schedule things, give yourself enough time so you're never in a hurry. Driving an RV in a hurry is a recipe for accidents.
6. Make sure your side view mirrors are optimal, and your backup camera is working. Vision is everything! While stationary, test your vision capabilities to know and know your blind spots, if any. Have your DW walk around the RV to see if she can "not be seen" in areas around the RV. This will help you develop your SOP for leaning forward or backward while looking at the side view mirrors.
7. The rear overhang on a 35' RV is long. When you turn left, the rear can swing to the right 3 or 4' depending how sharp you're turning. Avoid sharp turns unless you're absolutely sure you have adequate clearance on the opposite side of the direction you're turning.
I've had many friends make mistakes as newbies driving RVs. Most accidents happen when going slow, less than 5mph. Even my dad experienced #3 above when I was 10yrs old. I experienced #2 and bent my rear roof ladder at a gas station.