Newbie RV driver

Monello

Awww, jeez
PREMO Member
I found this story online. I can relate to the feeling of being behind the wheel of a huge RV for the first time. I drive a 34 footer and the first time taking it out on the public road, with salespeople yapping in my ear, was quite intimidating. A year later I would take that beast up through the Rocky Mountains and on up to Alaska. After that journey, I didn't consider myself a rookie anymore.

I would encourage anyone that is considering a purchase to rent 1 for a long weekend. I had rented an RV twice before. It was what gave me the bug to go out and purchase my own road yacht.

I WAS IN NO WAY qualified to be in the driver’s seat. As the 27-foot Thor motor home squeezed into rush-hour traffic outside Missoula, Montana, my knuckles whitened around the steering wheel; meanwhile, Caroline, my wife, braced for impact, clinging to the passenger door. I’ve never been a great driver, and, looking back, I’m unsure why I thought I could handle a vehicle equal in size to our New York apartment. As car after car buzzed past, I tried to keep the RV steady, fully expecting to lose control, plunge over the railing, and meet my end in the Blackfoot, one of the rivers we intended to fish that week.

I’d long been fascinated by RVs, for reasons I can’t explain, so the trip was a chance to indulge the curiosity. Over the past decade or so, Airstream trailers have enjoyed a nostalgia-fueled resurgence, in no small part thanks to their Instagram-worthiness. The Thor, I admit, lacked the same sex appeal. But it was pretty nice. Roomy, well-designed, easy enough to operate.
Motor homes represent something of a quandary, I realized. To travel in one is to reject both camping and sleeping indoors. You’re neither roughing it nor resigning yourself to the comforts of a house or hotel. You’re close to nature, but not too close. They’re easy to mock, sure. But it’s hard to hate the convenience, and the fact that most any public pull-off can become your campsite for the night.
on the road again
 

BadGirl

I am so very blessed
We just bought a new 30ft 5th wheel, and just returned from our maiden camping trip in it. I am in love!
 

nutz

Well-Known Member
Is the zip code extra?
nah, but quite a few forget how tall they are and don't use truck routes for travel. ATM's and drive-ins can be fun to watch during camping season. forgetting to swing wide on turns, extra blind spots.....leaving the tail gate in the wrong place, forgetting to unplug everything before leaving. Quite a few interesting things to see, unless it happens to you.
 

black dog

Free America
PREMO Member
After his kids all were gone my father bought his first Airstream trailer after a few Coleman popups and a Holiday trailer. He pulled it with a suburban or a big Pontiac wagon and he and my mother would always get into an argument when he backed it into a tough campsite and backing it in his own driveway with it being tight between his garage and a tree.
One of his friends owned A&W camping in Rockville and as a joke when the Airstream and his tow vehicle were left at his shop they chopped up a receiver and mounted it under the front bumper. As a joke it was funny, but when hooked up it worked very well.
 

Gilligan

#*! boat!
PREMO Member
We had a 24' "toy hauler" camper for a while but didn't use it near as much as we hoped or thought we would. It only held the two ATVs. We always had to use two tow rigs...one for the camper and another for hauling the offroad trucks. Sold that camper and bought a nice little used slide-in pickup camper to mount on front of our 34' gooseneck flatbed trailer. Now we can haul camper and offroad truck and at least one ATV, all with one tow rig. If we can ever find the time to get away.....
 

black dog

Free America
PREMO Member
We had a 24' "toy hauler" camper for a while but didn't use it near as much as we hoped or thought we would. It only held the two ATVs. We always had to use two tow rigs...one for the camper and another for hauling the offroad trucks. Sold that camper and bought a nice little used slide-in pickup camper to mount on front of our 34' gooseneck flatbed trailer. Now we can haul camper and offroad truck and at least one ATV, all with one tow rig. If we can ever find the time to get away.....
When my son and I used to hit the Hatfield & McCoy trails with our 4 wheelers, I saw quite a few fifth wheel flatbeds that had a small trailer or a pop-up one the front of the trailer and the back was used for hauling off road toys and once camping was used as a deck for cooking , eating and relaxing on. It seemed like it worked well.
 

nutz

Well-Known Member
We had a 24' "toy hauler" camper for a while but didn't use it near as much as we hoped or thought we would. It only held the two ATVs. We always had to use two tow rigs...one for the camper and another for hauling the offroad trucks. Sold that camper and bought a nice little used slide-in pickup camper to mount on front of our 34' gooseneck flatbed trailer. Now we can haul camper and offroad truck and at least one ATV, all with one tow rig. If we can ever find the time to get away.....
isn't bigger, better?
With something like this, https://www.granddesignrv.com/showroom/2019/toy-hauler/momentum/floorplans/398m you could take the staff away on weekends...entertainment expense :razz:
 

Gilligan

#*! boat!
PREMO Member
When my son and I used to hit the Hatfield & McCoy trails with our 4 wheelers, I saw quite a few fifth wheel flatbeds that had a small trailer or a pop-up one the front of the trailer and the back was used for hauling off road toys and once camping was used as a deck for cooking , eating and relaxing on. It seemed like it worked well.
And ours being a hydraulic dovetail trailer....makes the camper access nice and easy too. The larger toy hauler was nice, no doubt, with full shower in bathroom etc...but we did fine for many years camping out of tents.

My mother bought a Minnie Winnie 300 Class C last year, a '97 model. That's a nice sized rig and can tow a boat or moderately-sized vehicle behind it. She bought it for any of us "kids" to use but since its kept at our Virginia property, it's out of reach for us up here in MD. My sister and her bf use it...she's used to hauling large stock trailers behind a big dually, so wheeling the Winnie around is second-nature to her.
 
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Monello

Awww, jeez
PREMO Member
This guy was a few spots over from us in Montana. Who says you can't take it all with you?

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This was an Army family doing a PCS move from Florida to Alaska. They had at least 2 kids with them. They stowed their sleeping bags in 1 of their coolers. While driving in the rain, somehow water got in and soaked the sleeping bags. The mom was in the bath house trying to dry them with the hand dryers. I thought they should just get a hotel room and take the bags to a laundromat. But they were super frugal people and not going to spend more money than was necessary.
 

Gilligan

#*! boat!
PREMO Member
Very cool. I moved a ton of stuff on government orders back in 85...only one child along though. Still..pinched every penny..
 

black dog

Free America
PREMO Member
This guy was a few spots over from us in Montana. Who says you can't take it all with you?

View attachment 124411

This was an Army family doing a PCS move from Florida to Alaska. They had at least 2 kids with them. They stowed their sleeping bags in 1 of their coolers. While driving in the rain, somehow water got in and soaked the sleeping bags. The mom was in the bath house trying to dry them with the hand dryers. I thought they should just get a hotel room and take the bags to a laundromat. But they were super frugal people and not going to spend more money than was necessary.
They are missing Granny Clampett on top. That's a long drive.
My sons graduation from infantry school is next wed morning, he's pissed that he has no leave and the Corps will not pay for anything to be shipped to him for his first post in fleet.
Graduation is next wed morning at 8:30 am and I get maybe 30 min with him after.
Shortly after grad, the other 0352 mos boys and my son are on a plane to LA and then bus to 29 Palms. Looks like more school and more mos's for those 18 young men.
I guess his truck will stay in Indiana until I either drive it or ship it to him, or he buys a hooptie for the next 1-2 years. He was hoping for Hawaii or Okinawa, The rest of Delta class are 0311 and 0331 boys and they are staying at Lejune.
I don't miss my life being in two sea bags and a ruck.
 
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