Since day one, Teresa and I have committed to both be involved in our RV set up and breakdown. A part of this comes from our former careers where we backed up others in our processes. So, when we bought our first motorhome to today’s tag axle motor coach, we both know the processes. One of those is still foreign to many women we meet on the road – driving the RV.
My wife is 5’5 and a half” tall and petite. When she drives our 44’ motorhome into the RV resorts, we still get compliments from many men and women on well she drives. Why not? She is an excellent driver in her car. She has a professional NHRA drag racing license after blowing the twelve men off the track at Roy Hill’s Drag Racing School years ago. The woman can flat out drive! Yet, when she is behind the wheel of the large motorhome, people still are surprised, some even shocked. But anyone in the RV should be able to drive the vehicle. Why? Convenience, cost saving and more importantly, safety and possibly, life saving.
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I love the convenience of driving 100 miles and then switching drivers. We usually travel 300-400 miles a day and with two drivers, neither is worn out, both are rested. As my wife has motion sickness and not able to read the computer screens while I am driving, I plan our trips so she is driving in cities so I can navigate in the event of construction or traffic delays. But from day one in our 1999 Hurricane to our 2015 Itasca Ellipse Ultra, we both drive and it makes the trips much more fun and relaxing.
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How is it cost saving, you ask? We saw it first hand with good friends last summer. The husband had a painful back episode. He went to the local Emergency Room (Side Note: You should not go to a hospital Emergency Room if you are alert, are being driven by a family member and this incident is not life threatening. Go to an Urgent Care or Walk In Clinic! If life threatening, call 9-1-1!). Not once, but three times for pain. His wife did not drive their 38’ motorhome. They needed to get home which was 500 miles away. In the end, they used their membership in a national organization to have someone drive their motorhome back to home but there were out of pocket costs plus all those ER trips they would not have made if she had driven them home after the first episode.
In 2011, I fell and broke the radial bone in my right arm. My wife would drive the entire 700 miles home over two days. I could not drive for a couple weeks and at that time, we had our jobs to get back to in Tennessee. Fortunately, she was able to drive and we were home for work and to see our ortho physician. Everyone needs to drive.
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Safety and life saving are obvious. If you are out on the interstate and the driver becomes sick, just a flu or bug, with just one driver, the RV is not able to move forward. With two drivers, in the event of a medical episode, you can move the RV to meet first responders or get to the Urgent Care. Another side note, if you are in your RV and a life-threatening episode like a heart attack occurs, call 9-1-1 and let the First Responder handle the transportation. You might be able to leave with your loved one quickly, but the First Responder begins medical care when they arrive. When you drive, there is no care until you arrive at the hospital. Call 9-1-1 for life threatening.
Finally, to my fellow male drivers out there who believe guys must do all the driving. Yes, we love to drive these RVs, especially those in the large motor coach units but guys; we need to let the women drive with us. We need to share that duty and opportunity. It is fun to drive our RVs so let’s share with our loved ones who are on this ride with us. And guys, if we are all truthful, we have seen some horrific male drivers out there! There is no room for male chauvinism here. We all need to drive! If your wife is not an amazing driver like mine, let her learn. These machines today are engineering marvels. Many of these behemoths can turn 60 degrees. These machines offer power steering, essentially power everything today. It is time to have all of us drive for everyone’s convenience, cost savings and safety!
So when you and your loved one hit the road, make sure everyone drives on the trip. If they don’t drive, help them learn. Let them drive on the interstate when there is little traffic. But in the end, let’s all learn drive our RVs. Doing that will make your trips better; bring you closer together, and like us, you will be lovin’the Lifestyle!
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