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alfadriver
alfadriver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/2/22 8:59 a.m.

In reply to californiamilleghia :

Stay off highways. It's easy and pleasant to drive 2 lane roads at 55mph. It also keeps stability issues down. 
 

Since we finished our camper a year ago, she has not been over 65 mph, and almost all of the time it's 55 on normal roads. 

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
7/2/22 10:09 a.m.

In reply to alfadriver :

While you are spot on regarding freeways vs 2 lane roads, you miss three very important Points.  
   2 lane roads are often narrow and have sharp corners sometimes without notice.   
 Those can be a blast in a sports car but a 10+ foot tall,  8 ft wide,  30,000 pd.+ motor home or RV isn't well suited.  That low branch may take out the corner of your RV or cause you to dodge toward the center only to meet something coming the other way.  
 If you try to adjust your pace to something more suitable to the road, local drivers will press the center button in the steering wheel and often give you a single finger salute as they rush by. 
    Finally the locals extremely familiar with the road will often be driving as if it's their own private road. Not looking as they back out onto "their" Road, sudden turns and stops because they forgot, or saw aunt Sally and want to share a little gossip.    The milk truck is running late and how dare you drive only the speed limit on "his" road. Plus tractors pulling wide plows, kids running out into the street, chasing a ball or their pet.  Then add  deer, moose, and other wild creatures that failed  to even take the  drivers test.   
    Freeways may have higher speeds and suck more of that expensive fuel. But most of them are relatively straight, wide with broad shoulders  and vehicles who can pass you without causing problems.  Not to mention cruise control compatibility.  

Rodan
Rodan SuperDork
7/2/22 10:09 a.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

My understanding is that there is no CDL requirement for private coaches.  There is quite a bit of debate on the RV forums about things like overall length restrictions.

As to speed, I've found anything over ~65-67 only results in drastic drop in fuel mileage, so that's where we cruise.  Rural 2 lanes are nice, but are also narrow, and sometimes steeply crowned and can be more fatiguing to drive than interstate in a large rig.

Edit:  looks like Frenchy and I were typing at the same time...

Big city traffic is always uncomfortable, but we've never had an issue running 65 on interstates posted 75-80.  Just do you, and pay attention to your mirrors and you'll be fine.

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/2/22 10:19 a.m.
frenchyd said:

In reply to Don49 (Forum Supporter) :

Do you need a CDL for a Class 8 if it's a private coach?     I know in Minnesota you need to pass the air brake test for anything with air brakes.   Not hard if you read before.    And it's a separate  test. 
     Interesting thing is you don't get a air brake endorsement on your license. Instead you don't have a restriction.  

A while ago USDOT tried to make a more standardized set of rules for heavy/commercial vehicles.  What it ended up doing was causing states to make a bunch of changes.  While the overlying US laws are now somewhat standard, each state has their own way of licensing it.

PA for example used to have three classes (plus motorcycle of course):  Class C (normal stuff under 26k single), CDL-B (commercial, single vehicle over 26k, trailer under 15k), and CDL-A (commercial, single over 26k and trailer over 15k)  Basically, passenger vehicles, buses, and tractor trailers.... which you know, being a bus driver.  Another important distinction in PA is that the Class C restriction of trailer under 15k is not enforced for two reasons. 1) it's an outdated law and you can buy an F150 these days rated to tow 15k.  New duallys are rated for well over 30k.  2) The only law enforcement entity who enforces weights is a specific department of the state police that only targets commercial vehicles.  Non-commercial vehicles are mostly under the radar.  Much like removing your catalytic converter in a county that doesn't do smog checks.  It's still illegal, but there is no one who would notice it.  A similar intersectionality happens if I were to purchase an MCI or Prevost motorcoach and convert it to an RV and title/register it as an RV.  GVWR might be 32k, but since it's a "not-for-hire" motorhome, there is really no jurisdiction which would give me crap about driving it on a vanilla class-C license.  Illegal by US transportation law, but since the US doesn't have highway patrol, there is no real agency that would pull me over.

After the USDOT changes, PA now added non-CDL versions of B and A, which is what the USDOT was kinda hoping.  When I got my CDL, I had to have the commercial part on a class B with an air brake endorsement.  Now I could drive one on a class C without air brake endorsement.  The only need for the commercial part is if I'm getting paid to be in the driver's seat.  It used to be that if I wanted to drive something with air brakes, I had to have a commercial license because that was the only way to get the endorsement.  Now air brakes are free reign.  I can rent a 26' box truck with air brakes on a Vanilla class C... as long as it's under 26k GVWR.

PA, like many other states, enforces many laws only if/after.  There's a term for it and it's escaping my brain.  For instance, everybody in PA posts on FB in the winter about remembering to clean the snow off the top of your car so you don't get a ticket.  That isn't the case.  It's not illegal to have snow on your car.  If your snow flies off and breaks something, you can be cited for whatever law covers "loose E36 M3 falling off your vehicle" but you won't get a ticket for the snow.  PA laws are sometimes like "you can weld a sword on your front bumper and we won't say anything, but if you stab someone, then we charge you with illegal bumper swording."

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
7/2/22 10:22 a.m.

In reply to Rodan :

I used to sell GMC Motorhomes and those are absolutely the safest,  best built,  best handling, best fuel mileage RV's but they are getting to be 50 years old and not suited for those not inclined to do their own work.  

     Using a vacuum gauge  to drive by we found the sweet spot of fuel mileage and speed was just under 60 MPH  which if we could stay there would yield a shade over 10 mpg.  
 
     Several 500 cu in Cadillac engine swaps for the Olds 455 could push the speed over 60 mph for 10 mpg.  
 Plus do a little better over the mountains. 
   EFI swaps would also add a few 10ths mpg  overall. But I wonder if that wasn't just because the quadrajet may have been less than optimally tuned.    
  The front hubs are getting to be rare, as well as  any of them driven during the winter in the rust belt have a virtually non existent chassis.   
 

Toyman!
Toyman! MegaDork
7/2/22 10:31 a.m.

My Tiffin is perfectly happy at 70 plus as long as you don't mind feeding it. Being aluminum framed and fiberglass skinned it doesn't have the durability issues of the stick built stuff. It has a one piece epdm roof that wraps over the top of the walls so it doesn't leak. The chassis is rated at 17k pounds but it tips the scales at just over 12k so it isn't overloaded all the time. And with a GCWR of 24k pounds it still has plenty of towing capacity. It is also perfectly happy at 60 on the back roads. 

Mine is a 1996 and all of the cabinets and upholstery are still in very good condition. The drive train is pretty flawless. It drives very well.  

As a trade it doesn't have all the bells and whistles or slides or outside kitchen and TV that the newer rvs do and I'm fine with that. 

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/2/22 12:48 p.m.

In reply to Toyman! :

Exactly... I can add bells and whistles.  But when I camp, the only bells and whistles I want are something like a coffee maker and an ice box.

My 92 Holiday Rambler was a two-piece aluminum roof that came down over the sides and the center seam had an 8" wide elastomeric "flex seal" type bandage on it.  That thing never leaked.  Even if it did leak, the studs and skin were aluminum and the skins were bonded to rigid foam insulation.  The worst that could happen is some rot on the interior paneling which could be easily repaired.  Knowing the entire structure was a bonded, stressed-skin box was a nice thing in a travel trailer.

Toyman!
Toyman! MegaDork
7/2/22 2:37 p.m.

In reply to Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) :

A bed to sleep in, a decent toilet, the fridge, and A/C is all I need. We spend most of our time outside.

alfadriver
alfadriver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/2/22 7:29 p.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

Stay on US and state highways, then. It's the farm side roads that I don't like. 

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