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Parallel parking a motor home?


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When we took our real CDL test we had to do parallel park . I did mine in a 38 foot bluebird school bus. It is not that hard as in a transit style bus the front wheels are behind you and you have a very good turn ratio. MH's are the same.

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When I took the test in 2008 I had to parallel park. There weren't any barriers for me to back between. I just had to park close to the curb in an open area. The idea was to just move my 40' motorhome over about 8 feet to the curb. I used the passenger side rear view mirror and drove it like I would a car.
The tester made me turn off the backup camera. However I sure don't know how the camera would have helped me unless there was a barrier or another vehicle to back toward. It did help that I had been driving the MH for over a year and about 8000-9000 miles, so I felt comfortable driving it.

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When you do this parallel parking thing, are you allowed to use someone to marshal or watch out for stuff. That's certainly the only way I will back up my motorhome in tight quarters.

No, the only people allowed in your vehicle during a driving test are you and the tester. They are watching you so, you better be able to drive your rig all by yourself. As everyone else has said, there are no barricades or anything, you just must be capable of parallel parking...ie, backing it up and parking it against the curb.

 

Anyone ever have to parallel-park in real life?

Yes, twice in 12 years. Once in a truck stop parking lot in Huntsville, Texas. The only space available was along the edge of the parking space. The other one was in the parking lot of (I think) Marengo Caves in Marengo, Indiana. Similar situation, once again, the only space available that was big enough was along the of the parking lot. Indiana was easy. It was a 28ft trailer with a 20 ft truck. Huntsville was a bit harder with a 25ft long truck and a 40 ft trailer

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The CDL test I took in Maryland included backing the vehicle 200' while staying between the lines, doing an "offset maneuver" equivalent to backing the vehicle into a loading dock and, lastly, parallel parking. I took the test in a 36' straight truck with a 6-speed manual transmission on the floor.

 

Are these skills relevant to RVers? I sure think they are. They give me far more confidence when I need to back into a site. Sure, I have my DW spot for obstacles, since trees were not part of the CDL test ;) , but, once I can see the edge of my site I can swing the MH into position on my own.

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Real life parking? Sure, I've had to parallel park my rig a number of times. At the time (last time) it was a 30' truck pulling a 42' trailer. It is not really that hard as long as you have a large enough space. Getting into a "tight" space is probably not something I would willingly attempt.

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It is more difficult to park most RV fivers than commercial semi-trailers due to the wheel positions, an RV has a lot more swing of the rear to watch out for. If you end up in a situation where there is a curbside obstruction like a sign or light pole you might want to discuss that with your tester before you head into the spot.

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Anyone ever have to parallel-park in real life?

We lucked out when we wanted to park on the street in downtown Chicago. We found two empty, metered spots front to back between an alley and a bus stop. Pull-through big city parking!!! I suspect Dave could have parked our rig in two metered spots elsewhere but we never had to learn if that was true.

 

Linda Sand

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Didn't have to do it when I got my CDL-B but have had to do several times driving the "yellow dog". I did have to back up 200 ft. between two lines. The parallel parking is easier than I thought it would be, just trust your mirrors.

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When we took our Class A test this past April in Livingston we did not have to PP but we did have to show proficiency in making a somewhat tight right hand turn in city traffic and 3 consecutive left turns to get back to the DPS station. When I took the test the DPS agent took a look at our rig and truck and asked the other DPS agent if we need to PP and she said no they are not a Class B RV bus, so one would presume that PP is required on the Class B test if you have a bus.

 

If we had to PP with our rig for the test it would not have been an issue as we have done it plenty of times before when necessary.

 

IMHO if you cannot back up your rig properly regardless if it is a 5th wheel or bus you should not be driving it, period, as you shows your skill set for driving is lacking and you do not take your responsibilities as a driver serious.

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IMHO if you cannot back up your rig properly regardless if it is a 5th wheel or bus you should not be driving it, period, as you shows your skill set for driving is lacking and you do not take your responsibilities as a driver serious.

 

I totally agree with you, but judging by all the threads relating to the TX Class B test, your opinion is clearly not shared by many. Unfortunately, quite a few RVers appear to barely be able to deal with not getting a pull-through site at a campground.

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Thanks for the responses. I was picturing parallel parking a car on a city street in the only vacant spot, then imagining doing that with a street-full of cl A MH's with appropriately spaced parking lines.

Sounds like no-one has backed into such a spot on a busy street. Of course when towing parallel parking is not an option.

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  • 5 weeks later...

OK! Lets get down to what one has been asked to do by the DPS Officer:

 

1. Pull your rig up along side of a curb where there are no other vehicles, OR

 

2. Pull your rig and park it between cars (vehicles) that are actually in front and behind where you will be parking your rig?

 

Which of THESE have you ACTUALLY been asked to do?

 

Please and Thank You!

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