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1st time mh buyers


Klc

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We did it ? Today we became the proud and very overwhelmed new owners of a 2011 Winnebago Itasca suncruiser 35p. I can't wait to go camping for the very 1st time. I'm going to enjoy packing it and decorating.

 

I was wondering how long it will take before we feel comfortable with all the workings. There is so much to learn and remember. I'm afraid of doing something wrong and damaging it. Riding in it is even scary.

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We did 3 different trips in our first season, 1 was for a six week stretch at the same campground. We were pretty comfortable with the basics of the systems after that. I think the key is to take it slow and concentrate on what you are doing during set up and while packing up. We haven't developed a checklist yet but are planning on doing so this year.

 

As far as driving, we took a driving class to get more comfortable with our rig. I have to admit sitting in the passengers seat while my wife was driving was scarier than driving myself- I think the view is deceiving out of that huge windshield, the side of the road seems much closer than it really is when you're in that right hand seat. It just takes some getting used to.

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We did it Today we became the proud and very overwhelmed new owners of a 2011 Winnebago Itasca suncruiser 35p.

 

Congratulations!!! And welcome to the forum. Don't hesitate to ask any questions as they arise. Plenty of kind and knowledgeable folks here that would be more than happy to help.

 

There is always an adjustment period with any new rig. I might suggest spending a few days "driveway" camping... camping as you would at a park, but at home. It would help you to become familiar with your rigs systems but also allows you a place to "retreat", run in the house for a forgotten utensil/tool, change out an item that you thought would work, but doesn't (and don't want to repurchase on the road), have ready internet access to research and ask questions, etc.

 

Try to limit your trips into the house. Plan day activities around your city as you might while traveling.

 

Being in your own "backyard" while doing a 2 or 3 day "camp" can help relieve some of the stress of adjusting to your new rig.

 

Just an idea. ^_^

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Kic, probably around 5th camping trip.

by then you would know what you forgot to pack on first few trips. (things like can opener,ect..).

as for gauges, buttons, switch's. after few times you get it. depending on what type of leveler's you have, (i'm still learning mine). But the fun begins, myself i just wished i did this yrs ago.

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As a first time class A MH driver, be sure to look in your rear view mirrors from time to time while driving. Look for the white lines trailing behind you and center the MH between the lines. Your tendency as a driver is to feel that you are driving over the center line of the highway, when in actuality your passenger side tires are on the white line or over the white line on the right hand side. It takes a while to get comfortable knowing just where the rig is on the highway.

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Thanks all for the great input. As previous pop-up and tent campers, the actual supply type packing will not be a problem. It's all the gadgets! Is there a check list some where for setting up and packing up? Being senior citizens we wanted/needed a unit easy physically. We have auto leveling, etc. We just don't want to mistakenly do step 3 before steps 1 & 2. If you know what I mean.

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Utube has a huge number of MH driving videos to help newcomers to driving a MH. This is from Lazy-Days:

You will also find videos showing how to park in a back-in space, make tight corners, etc.

Accidents happen. I know a man who's been driving a class A MH for over 20 years. One day he mads a right turn from one city street onto another. He failed to recognize the big light pole on his right and did about $12,000 in damage to his MH because he turned too short.

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Thank you. That's a great idea to watch videos. We picked up our motorhome yesterday and we were give a driving lesson, if that's what you want to call it. We we asked the guy about backing up, his response was just go forward. You won't need to go backwards. All sites for a rig your size are pull through. Needless to say we were very disappointed. We have to back down our driveway. Anyway, she's home now,safe and sound. Now we have to figure out how to change a brake light. I noticed on our ride home that when he braked one was not working. Just one more issue.

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To practice backing, go to a large empty mall parking lot and use the painted lines to practice. If you can find some cones or markers to give you something to back around that would be helpful. Even a flat piece of wood that will contrast with the pavement would work. One gallon milk or window washer fluid will make good markers as well.

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The key to comfort is to practice. I'd start by using everything while at home. You may want to spend a few days living in the RV while parked in your own driveway. There are many sources of help and those are good but they are not a substitute for actually using things.

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We we asked the guy about backing up, his response was just go forward. You won't need to go backwards. All sites for a rig your size are pull through.

Said by someone who has apparently never RV'd!

 

While it's true that you will find pull thrus in most RV parks, not all of them will have them...or they'll be full and you'll have to take a back-in. Then there are the city, county, state, and national parks that don't often have pull thrus. And you'll always run into a situation where you will have to back up, so learning how to do so is to your advantage.

 

If you can find a large empty parking lot, set up some cones and practice maneuvering your rig, making right- and left-hand turns, and backing up into a space as you would in an RV park or campground.

 

If you can find an RV driving school near you, it would be great to take their classes. Here's one that offers classes around the country:

 

http://www.rvschool.com/

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Stuff happens. You really need some practice before it does. On a rural road in Tx I topped a hill around a curve and found a bridge out. By myself, I had no choice but to back at least 1/4 to 1/2 mile to get turned around. No spotter in case someone topped the hill behind me as I backed. I got into the other lane and back in the direction I should have been driving forward in until I top the hill and could be seen by anyone coming. Almost no traffic thank goodness.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Backing up is all about practice and knowing your rig. Get some cones as suggested....you will need them if you ever break down so they should be in your MH anyways. The trick is to watch not only the rear of the motorhome but the placement of the rear tires. If you can target where the rear wheels should go and watch the rear for obstacles you will have a good start. Get very familiar with your mirrors you will be using them a lot. My MH has 3 mirrors built into each of the mirror housings. Each of these mirrors is set for specific things. The top one is a convex for lane changes the big center one shows me what is along side me and the bottom convex shows me the ground and my rear wheels...this one I glance into when making tight turns.

Also get used to the idea of getting out and looking at where the MH is going as the mirrors don't always give you the complete picture. If you have a back up camera that helps as well.

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We sometimes saw guys backing up on their own with the wife or whoever just sitting there doing nothing. If you have two people in the RV, one should always be outside as a spotter and helper in backing up. You should both agree on what hand signals to be used. The spotter should be looking for overhead branches, large boulders lining the sides and rear of the parking spot and especially at the front corner as you first turn into the spot. Public parks are notorious for placing boulder or RR ties in strange places. The spotter should give you the STOP signal as she goes from side to side doing the checking.

 

We have also seen the wife taking the wheel when ready to back in and the husband getting out to do the checking. Either way, it's a two-person job.

 

Some pull-throughs are o.k. but we have found that back-ins give you more room and privacy. We had no issues using back-ins. Keep practicing.

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