Girl Power – Women in RVs

Getting behind the wheel of a big rig can be a pretty daunting task and I’ve received a few emails and comments about how inspiring it is to see a little thing like me behind the wheel of this huge motorhome.   It’s so inspiring to know there are other women out there like me who want to take control of the wheel and drive these beautiful roads.

Anyone who’s ever been on the road knows a lot can go wrong and usually does, but that’s no reason to stay home!  Take everything slow at first.  I always visualize my trip before I actually drive it and Google Earth can help you get an idea of what your route might entail, but sometimes it’s just not possible to know the roads before you go.  Again, take it slow and stay in the slow lane.  If you give the people behind you enough warning with your turn signals they can *usually* figure out what you’re doing and let you do your thing.

Orange Cone by ThinkVisualDesign

Photo by ThinkVisualDesign

There are a lot of things to get used to; you’re higher up off the ground, which can be a little awkward, but it helps to be able to see above and beyond all the traffic and it takes a bit longer for you to stop.  It’s also a lot wider and much loooonger than your average sedan so, again, go slow until you get your bearings.

As silly as it might sound, before I drive any rig, I walk around the whole rig once, this helps me get a better feel for how much clearance I’m going to need.  Another great way to familiarize yourself with your rig, is to bring it to a large (and empty!) parking lot to practice in until you get comfortable (or at least until the adrenaline has worn off).  You could even buy some orange cones to see how many you can crush while backing into a spot! ;D

When we bought our first rig, Duncan and I split the driving time in half.  It was only fair and we didn’t really have much time to mess around – we needed to drive as much as possible so we could get to our first workamper gig, stat!  The entire drive was smooth sailing except for one instance.  Duncan was catching up on some sleep and I was driving on an unassuming two lane road that was surrounded by small hills.  As I came out of the hills and hit the open prairie, a small gust of wind hit us and moved the entire rig about a foot to the left, and our tires started thumping the reflectors in the road so I calmly steered us back into our lane.  Whew!  That was close!  Then came The Big Gust, jolting us three feet into the other lane!  I had no control, she slid over just. like. that.  I squealed and Duncan was abruptly woken up from his nap.  Luckily there wasn’t another car or semi in the other lane!  After I calmed down, I realized that was the only scary thing that happened the entire trip from Florida to South Dakota.  That was pretty good odds!  I also chalked it up to being a Florida native and not having enough experience driving in (and out) of hills.  Now I know when I come out of the hills onto open prairie to be prepared for those big gusts!  (duh)

T-rex photo by Scottkinmartin | Traveling On The Outskirts Girl Power

Photo by Scottkinmartin

When we bought our motorhome I was given the task of driving it alone from the dealership to a gas station, then to it’s temporary parking spot and finally to our first campground.  No co-pilot!  I was terrified!  I didn’t want to scratch my new home!  Just like with any vehicle, big or small, I took my time, drove defensively and stayed alert.  It took me FOREVER to get through that first intersection!  I must admit, the tail swing had me pretty worried – it’s like driving a bouncy T-rex down the freeway – but I took it very slow and everything worked out fine. :)

Girls, don’t let the boys have all the fun and excitement -  grab that huge steering wheel with your tiny girly hands!  :D

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  • Domnic pizimenti

    hey how do you connect your rv to freshwater 

  • Tek180

    Hey I love you guys I check your site daily for updates. My gf and I are making plans (have been for better part of a year) to take off and do what you guys are doing in June.

    Just wondering how the planning stage is coming for you guys. Any idea when you plan on getting back to it? I really value the information you put in your videos :)

  • Eileen White

    When people ask if I drive our rig they are surprised when I say, “Yes”.  I haven’t scuffed or scraped it yet (like my husband has) but I did get stopped for speeding and following too close.  So I’d like to add to your list, “UR not so big that you don’t have to keep the rules of the road”.  Great article!   camphosting.blogspot.com

  • http://www.interstellarorchard.com BeckyIO

    I’ll be driving my RV with my little girly hands – I’m going to be going solo so there really isn’t a better choice. :P   But I’m cheating, in a way, because my RV is going to be small, and pulled behind my truck, which I am already confident at driving alone. :P

  • http://www.technomadia.com Cherie @Technomadia

    As a new bus babe, I’ve had a wake-up call in the bus-nut community – it’s very male dominated!   I’m often one of the only females posting in the various forums (at least, on topics other than quilting), and many of the men just don’t let ‘the wife’ drive THEIR bus. 

    Hmpt. 

    We just had a reader on our blog write asking if we both drove the bus – which was a surprising question to me. 

    I did regularly drive our truck/trailer combo (and got us safety stopped after having a 360 degree jack-knifed spin out after hydroplaning during an intense rainstorm).  But honestly, haven’t driven the bus much at all… but that’ll change now that we’ve gotten it up to DOT safety standards and know the critical systems are up to date on maitenance. 

    We recently took a bus driving safety course – and highly recommend that for anyone taking on a big rig for the first time. Especially if you have air brakes. 

  • Domnicpizzimenti

    i love your site i check it alot because theres really nothing to do in are rv except go outside and enjoy fresh air  

  • http://nomadichome.org Nomad

    As a former truck driver, the first and probably most important suggestion I would have for anyone new to driving larger vehicles, is to keep looking in both side mirrors. That will help you learn how to stay in the middle of your lane in a small amount of time. Then come night time, you will know where you are on the road.

  • Cdmorrison1960

    Two years ago,my hubby and I rented a 28 footer for a 10 day trip to Minn.15 miles from home ,I looked at my dear hubby and told him to pull over.I was not going to live in terror for the next 10 days.So I drove the entire trip both ways.I loved it,and it took the pressure off my husband.
     In 2 yrs,we are planning to have our RV bought and paid for,and hopefully outfitted the way we want.( Satelite,solar panels,the works!!) And I will do most of the driving then.It can’t get here fast enough for me.It’s an itch that can’t be scratched!! Right now,both of us are reading as much as possible,researching what rig will fit for us,and saving like crazy.We are also trying to find someway of financing this lifestyle without killing the entire savings!We are both too young for retirement(50yrs old).Our family think we’re crazy and that’s just fine with me.
    When I die,I don’t want some pristine body going into the grave.I will be sliding in that grave sideways,with my last thought being Holy Crap…what a ride!!!
    I hope to meet you folks somewhere down the road!!
     take care,
    Christine Morrison

  • Sassy Rider

    I have a 40′ Class A and as a Solo RV’er, yes, I do drive it !  LOL  I always ask many women if they drive their rigs but always get a “NO”, the hubby does.  Oh well.

  • Dominicpizzimenti

    you guys should make a water connection video

  • Dominicpizzimenti

    why dont you guys post more videos?

  • Tek180

    Like Dominic said already, I’d be really interested in a new video whenever you guys find the time. Really like what you guys do and my girlfriend and I are getting ready to do something similar to this.

  • Dominicpizzimenti

    SO EXCITED GET MY NEW RV TOMMOROW
     
     
     
     
     

  • Melody

    I am a new rv girl. I have been living in my small motorhome since 12-29. I have been getting used to things and working out the bugs. Yeah its used. I could afford new. The toilet has some serious issues. Hopefully tomorrow that will all change. I am learning all kinds of stuff. I just can’t wait to get out there. Hopefully April 1st is d-day! Ha ha ha fooled em again!

  • Visionsbydarrah

    Haven’t heard anything form you two in a while?
    I hope everything is going ok!

    Just hoping for more great real world input form your adventures.

  • Bob Smith

    You ladies still living?  guessing the blogging part got boring :P  

  • johnmonTX

    Enjoyed your site.  Sorry it doesn’t seem to be active anymore.  Guessing trouble in Paradise?  Hope not.  Good luck