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Land Yachters

Philadelphia

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Posted: 10/13/19 02:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OK, I consider myself a good and experienced driver. Being a salesman and driving 35-40K miles a year (only in a car), but having driven Class b and some good sized trucks, (box trucks and 10 wheel dumps over the years), I knew driving a DP would be "weird" but doable. I drove a Tiffin 33aa and WOW it was very difficult. I understand the physics of front/rear wheel tracking etc. but it was much tougher than I thought it would be. Stopping a 34,000 lb vehicle even with air brakes was not easy even allowing a lot or room.

I see myself spending many hours in parking lots, but can you folks tell me best way to get acclimated?

Appreciate it. And yes, I bought the coach. 2018 Tiffen 33aa.


Land Yachters
Philadelphia, PA
2018 Tiffin 33aa

DrewE

Vermont

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Posted: 10/13/19 03:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Practice is the best way I know of.

Needless to say, it's essential to give yourself more room to accelerate, to turn, and to slow down. A DP simply will not stop as quickly as a car, no matter what you do; that's just plain physics.

One thing that may be helpful, particularly if you're having trouble with keeping lane position, is to look further down the road. There's a tendency to want to look more or less immediately in front of you, and that that often leads to overcorrections. Keeping the point farther down the lane helps to even that out; likewise, making smaller corrections and waiting a bit longer for them to take effect helps.





Second Chance

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Posted: 10/13/19 03:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Land Yachters wrote:

... Stopping a 34,000 lb vehicle even with air brakes was not easy even allowing a lot or room.


You are aware that PA requires a class A or B non-commercial license for anything over 26,000 lbs., right?

Rob


U.S. Army retired
2020 Solitude 310GK-R
MORryde IS, disc brakes, solar, DP windows
(Previously in a Reflection 337RLS)
2012 F350 CC DRW Lariat 6.7
Full-time since 8/2015


Land Yachters

Philadelphia

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Posted: 10/13/19 04:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Actually the idea of a Class A or B license in PA was news to me, but as it turns out, there is a very clear exception for RVs where it is used exclusively for personal use. I may take the test just to make myself a better driver though.

DrewE

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Posted: 10/13/19 07:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Land Yachters wrote:

Actually the idea of a Class A or B license in PA was news to me, but as it turns out, there is a very clear exception for RVs where it is used exclusively for personal use. I may take the test just to make myself a better driver though.


The requirements for a commercial driver's license (of any class) do not include RVs. In Pennsylvania, however, a non-commercial class B license is required for a motorhome over 26,000 pounds. See this page from PennDOT:

"CLASS B (minimum age 18): Required to operate any single vehicle rated in excess of 26,000 pounds. Example: Motor homes rated at 26,001 pounds or more."

craig7h

Branson MO area

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Posted: 10/14/19 03:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

To me the hardest part to get used to was the air brakes. To me they work so much different that the conventional brakes. I have always left a lot of room to brake but it seems with air brakes you need just a little bit more. You need to plan ahead more also, for braking and turning. Like you said its parking lot time, work on those right hand 90 turns. I have found that my 38' DP turns better than my old 30' gas.


Itasca Meridian SE 36g
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jplante4

Cape Cod

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Posted: 10/14/19 04:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

One adjustment I had to make was to anticipate light changes a little better. Most of my panic stops involved red lights. Now when I see a green light, I assume it will be red when I get there and adjust my speed accordingly. Believe me, it is an adjustment. I'm one of those drivers that got annoyed when people slowed down for a light, yelling "Green means go!!!".

Some lights have a pedestrian walk lights that start flashing 5-10 seconds before the light changes. It's a good indicator to look for.


Jerry & Jeanne
1996 Safari Sahara 3530 - 'White Tiger'
CAT 3126/Allison 6 speed/Magnum Chassis
2014 Equinox AWD / Blue Ox


Horsedoc

Dixie --- N. Georgia

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Posted: 10/14/19 07:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wow! I went from a diesel to gasser and liked the air brakes much better. Don't be afraid to get on them if you get caught by a stale green light and it changes before you anticipated. Our diesel was 40 feet with ceramic tile floors towing a 4 dr Jeep. Don't know the weight, but the air brakes would stop in quickly.
This much lighter gasser will stop, but I am not nearly as confident as I was with the diesel


horsedoc
2008 Damon Essence
2013 Jeep Sahara Unlimited
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janstey58

Glenwood, IA

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Posted: 10/14/19 10:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I too had trouble acclimating to the air brakes on my DP when I jumped into it. It just took some time, and it gets better with experience. For the short term just give yourself more room to brake.


Jeff and Kim
2015 Fleetwood Discovery 40E
Freightliner Chassis 380HP DP
2012 Ford Escape Limited Toad

noteven

Turtle Island

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Posted: 10/14/19 12:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Taking an air brake course, even if not “required” in your license jurisdiction, is a great way to learn how your brakes work. Perhaps you could find one more directed to buses and coaches vs heavy trucks pulling trailers.

You must allow for system “take up” time (approx 5/8 second) when braking / following too close...

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