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Old 05-25-2009, 02:20 AM   #1
jwedell
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Wife Driving The TV ?

Ran into a good friend who was fulltiming in a fiver. He said he traded it in for a motorhome and toad because the wife couldn't drive the truck (chev 3500 4 door DRW) and he was tired of driving her around everywhere. We're going to the Hershey show in Sept. with thoughts of upgrading out 3500RL. Just wondering if anyone has thoughts or advice. His comments made me and my wife think.
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Old 05-25-2009, 02:58 AM   #2
Lambchop
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We just upgraded to a Chev Dually. We talked about driving it around & know that you are somewhat restricted on where you can go. For instance, you can't drive through ....a bank; restaurant & etc. because of the rear fender width. No big deal, just park in the parking lot & walk in. The walk will do you good.

Driving it on the road isn't any different than driving a big car. We did however, get an extended cab...shorter wheelbase & easier to drive. My wife drives ours around & feels more safe & secure in it. It's night & day pulling our Montana down the road too. We can get into parking places, like at Wally World. You just have to remember that you are wider at the back.

Roy & Kay
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Old 05-25-2009, 03:07 AM   #3
Glenn and Lorraine
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Well this may not go well with the ladies but I feel she should learn to handle the TV and Monty. Lorraine has some training on pulling the rig and could probably get us down the road should the need arise. Other than that I do all the driving while the Monty is attached.
IMHO, there are way to many cons, which I won't get into, to owning a motor home for us to ever get into one. Again IMHO, the pros are far out numbered by the cons.
Now having said that I do know we have a few members that did switch from their Monty to a motor home. They had their reasons for swapping and seeing as how they make the payments their reasons out number mine.

BTW-You said "We're going to the Hershey show in Sept. with thoughts of upgrading out 3500RL." Again IMHO there is no way on God's green Earth that I would ever consider moving from a Montana to ANY other SOB, be it a TT, 5er, Class A or B, an upgrade.
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Old 05-25-2009, 03:24 AM   #4
jwedell
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Glen And Lorraine,
When I said upgrade I ment another Monty (or a big sky).
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Old 05-25-2009, 03:47 AM   #5
Mrs. CountryGuy
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Been said before, how many BUS drivers, school bus drivers, are women??

IF women can handle a school bus, they can handle anything.

Now, us gals are put together different, some of us like to cook, others don't. Some of us are intimidated by the size of a big truck, some aren't. You are not going to talk a lady out of being intimidated, any more than you can convince her that little gray mouse is not going to scare her.

Some can, some cannot, some will, some will not.

All this said, those who know me, know how strongly I feel that the lady needs to know how to drag these units around. Our men do have bad days, whether from the bad hot dog they got from the street vendor or the totally out of wack back from playing competitive frisbee with brother-in-law (both true stories in this household). In both cases, and others, I have managed to get us where we needed to be, safe and sound.

I strongly feel the ladies need to be able to tow.

Good luck on your decision, remember, if mamma is happy, everyone is happy.
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Old 05-25-2009, 04:18 AM   #6
HamRad
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Carol,
Excellent information. Just look at the big rigs being driven down the road now-a-days and you'll see many women drivers. And seems almost as if nothing but women drive the school buses.

Mary Kay knows how to back up a little bit and has towed the rig down the road a couple of times when I could not drive. Definitely something that helps when the need arises.

Travel safely,
Dennis
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Old 05-25-2009, 05:16 AM   #7
Waynem
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There are different mind sets when it involves driving any automobile or truck. Every person evaluates what their capabilities are and makes a decision based on those capabilities. (I hope) My wife had no intention of driving our F350 King Ranch, 4 dr, DRW, when we had our Montana. In my case, I could park it just about anywhere. It might take a 10 point turn to get it into a spot, but it could be done. Many times you would say to yourself that you would park way out in the boondocks so no one would be around you, only to come out and find a vehicle on both sides, so the 10 point turn may be necessary. It's just something you learn to do.

I really enjoy the camaraderie of this forum, but I am one that "changed" to a MH, and yes, there are many pro's and con's for basically any system. My wife wishes she had the layout of the 3400RL kitchen, but she is the one that suggested I get a MH for my own welfare. I do pull a TOAD, a Saturn Vue, and there are those moments where she says, "I just need to be by myself," and takes off for Walmart or other card playing stores. (Visa, MC, EmEx, etc. - they all play cards)

Carol is so right on. There are many woman that drive "dually's" or busses, and even big MH's. On occasion with the MH my wife has asked if I wanted her to drive. I just tell her no, i'm okay, and besides she needs to upgrade her license.

Speaking of "upgrade," I now try, when talking to people about what I have, or they have, to avoid the word "upgrade." I just personally feel that it seems belittling of what I had, or what they have. When referring to myself, I just say I had a lifestyle change. As you can see from my signature, "It doesn't matter what you camp in, you will have just as much fun."

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Old 05-25-2009, 05:58 AM   #8
stiles watson
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When a couple gets down to one driver, whether by choice or by necessity, they lose options. Dianna drives the truck while not towing, alone, to hair appointments, groceries, etc. Gradually deteriorating peripheral vision has caused a shift from where we shared towing duties to where they have become mine alone. Eventually, I will have to do all the driving whether truck or car. I can't see where it makes a difference whether we have a fiver or a MH.

If it comes to a point where setting up the fiver is an issue, I will have the Big Foot auto leveling system, like Orv has, retrofitted to the unit. They work very similar to the leveling systems of the MH rigs.
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Old 05-25-2009, 06:53 AM   #9
Wayne and Carolyn Mathews
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I drive the TV (Ford F-350 long bed) a lot--to work, to town, wherever I need to go. No special reason for driving it instead of my Explorer except that I love the way the TV rides. It's a little longer than our old truck now that we added a big grill to it, but it's not a problem to drive or park if I remember two things: Don't tick off the folks who hate big cars and trucks, and don't try to get into a space just because it's the closest one to the door of Walmart! Sometimes I may have to do the "back and forth" thing to wiggle into a parallel or diagonal space, but since I usually park as far away as possible from whatever place I'm going into, no problem.

I also pull our rig most the time on interstates and other roads, by choice. Although Wayne is perfectly capable of doing so himself, I think I'm still in shell-shock after a cookout experience at home in 2004, when one minute we were chatting by the grill and the next minute he was on the ground unconscious with a heart attack. He's doing fine now--doing great, in fact--but the picture of that moment is always in the back of my mind. It's not the best reason for doing a lot of the driving, but it works for me. He still gets behind the wheel most of the time (but not always) when we have to back into a space or make some sharp corners somewhere.

Carolyn
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:01 AM   #10
timandsusan
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Susan drives on the long straight roads! She does not like any sharp turns but I do coach her into the diesel spots in service stations. She was best on the Alaska Highway--lots of long straight-aways with gentle turns. I do all the close in stuff at RV Parks, cities, etc. So I think she drives around 35-40% of the time--I don't sleep while she drives!
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:20 AM   #11
BB_TX
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It is all a matter of self confidence, which my wife has never lacked. She barely hesitated the first time. And now she gets started driving and I have trouble getting it back.
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:25 AM   #12
bob n pam
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I agree with Carol's post. I, personally, drive the truck hooked up and unhooked, but then again I grew up around 18 wheelers and pickups. But, gals, if you can and are willing, it makes travel much more enjoyable for everyone. Just MHO

Pam
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Old 05-25-2009, 11:37 AM   #13
BirdingRVer
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We have a 1 ton dually long bed Chevy and we call it the "monster truck" but after 2 years and 40,000 miles we have found that it has shrunk in size. When we first bought it I would have sworn it was "20 feet wide and 40 feet long". When we first hitch the Montana to it the truck looked small next to the "40 foot wide 60 foot long Montana". :-)However with time and practice both the truck and the trailer seem to have shrink in size.

It is a pain to find parking many places that uses parking garages. Generally, if there is going to be an issue with parking it is due to the length and turning radius of a long bed truck.

Kathy was intimidated by the size of the truck when we first got it but then so was I. :-) However she is long past over that and takes it wherever she needs to go with out any problems. She has also pulled the Montana 1,000 of miles and has pulled into gas stations with the Montana attached. She prefers to drive on the wide open interstate and has yet to back us into a campsite for the night.
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Old 05-25-2009, 12:29 PM   #14
richfaa
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Helen has been driving our Truck and RV combo's for years including this F-350/3400. She can handle it as good as any man on this or any other forum, better than some. Most of the problem with ladies not driving the truck/Rv is the guy as it can be a hit to the ego that the lady can do as good or better than him. Now there are some folks that for one reason or the other, all valid, can not or will not drive the rig. Correct most school drivers are ladies, I am a non lady school bus driver. If they can drive one of those guys there is no reason they can not drive the rig.At the MOC fall rally we have held a ladies driving school for the last two years and many ladies have been through the course. We are now at the Escapee's rally and the RV driving course is full of ladies. Ladies if you feel you need to learn to drive
the rig.....do it.
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Old 05-25-2009, 02:46 PM   #15
johnp4191
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Driving big rigs is always a challenge. DH is not much of a traveler, so if I want to go somewhere, usually I have to do the planning, loading and driving. I usually do all the forward driving and DH does all the backward driving. I hope to start doing more of the backing this summer. Just one of those things I need to practice. I do know I have trouble with switching the hitch, just not enough muscle. Makes me wish we had gone with an auto slider!!

I love driving our truck, even more than my Explorer!

That said, I understand anxieties about things and being intimidated by a big truck and trailer isn't always as easy to get over as just saying "Do it!"

Judi
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Old 05-26-2009, 04:13 AM   #16
akf15e
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I'm certain my wife could if we took the time to do some on-the-job training. She's a pretty capable woman.

Unfortunately, being mostly weekenders, I have always done the towing. What that means is that she's missed out on the years of learning I have accumulated by starting with a pop-up, then a 26' TT, then a 32' 5er, and now a 38' 5er. Not to say that people don't start out big and do just fine, but I think we both feel better with me as driver, her as spotter/support.
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Old 05-26-2009, 08:32 AM   #17
richfaa
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What happens if the primary driver(say the guy) becomes disabled and can not drive. Something as simple as twisting your driving ankle or breaking your glasses and you can not see a thing. Helen is a much better navigator than I as filing flight plans and reading maps is what she did for a living. I on the other hand never know where I am going. Both of us can do everything, that includes hooking, un hooking, doing all the outside set ups, dumping etc. It is comforting to me to know I need not be anywhere near the 3400 to get it set up. Helen knows and can do everything any Rv'er should know how to do and that is how it should be. I do not think I have backed into our Driveway at home 10 times over the last 20 years. We are on the road a great deal and it only makes sense that both can keep us there if needed. Unless there is a physical problem the ladies are just as capable as any guy to do all the RV things. Neither one of use is just along for the ride. I tell the story of us taking the 3400 in to the dealer for repairs. I went inside to do the paperwork and noted that 4 or 5 guys were looking out the window into the lot. It was Helen unhitching the 3400 unaided. One of then said..Is that your wife out there. Yes said I..is she done???
another said ..You let her do that.. No, said I..she just does it.
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Old 05-27-2009, 01:39 AM   #18
dbrill
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My wife loves to drive our long bed crew-cab dually and has towed the Mountaineer on numerous occasions. The only thing she hasn't gotten up the nerve to try is backing up with the Mountaineer. My daughter has also prefered to drive the dually ever since the first time I let her drive it 5 years ago. Now my son on the other hand hates to drive anything that isn't small enough to fit in the bed of the truck.
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Old 05-27-2009, 02:05 AM   #19
NCFischers
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Don,
Take her to a mall parking lot early on a Sunday morning and let her practice backing. Usually, they are empty enough at that time so you have plenty of unobstructed space.
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Old 05-27-2009, 05:21 AM   #20
RKassl
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The wife and I become Long timers this Friday. Nancy and I talked about this issue, she wants to learn how to drive the tv with the Monty for all the reasons cited so far.

Like Glenn said, what happens if something happens to the only driver?

I know she could do as good as a job as I could.

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