On The Road Again & Girls At the Wheel

Goin’ places that I’ve never been.
Seein’ things that I may never see again
…I can’t wait to get on the road again.
On the road again
(Willie Nelson, “On the Road Again” 1980)
Yours truly commands the wheel

Oh yeah baby -> it’s up with the jacks, on with the cowboy hat and off to the road we go. Yesterday we started off our 2011 season with a gorgeous, weather-perfect drive back to Alafia State Park and like natural-born nomads we revelled in the feeling of the wind in our hair (or, more precisely in our case, the bounce of “the beast” on the road). Even the RV seemed happy, having become rather fat and lazy during her winter sojourn. After all, the whole point of being on wheels is using them, n’est ce pas?

Since we had a longer drive yesterday (250 miles compared to our usual realxing 150 or so), hubby and I shared the work at the wheel going 50/50 on the drive. I actually love driving and started learning to wrestle the monster early last year back in Quartzite, AZ (our very first boondocking trip). There were a few first-time nerves, a bit of practice getting used to turns and some freaky initial moments on the freeway but after a while I got into the groove and started enjoying the road just as much as Paul.

Paul enjoys the other side of RVing

Another bonus to wheeling power are the rather  surprised looks I get from truckers and other RVers on the road.  You see, it seems men do most of the driving in larger rigs and I think that’s a shame. Not only is RV driving rockin’ fun, but I consider it an important safety net to make sure both partners can take the wheel. Should something happen to either one of us, both of us are able to run the RV and I’ve wanted it that way since we started.  I self-learned the art, through practice and geometry but there’s plenty of places to learn for those that seek other means:

1/ Empty Parking Lots/Roads – If you’re taking the RV for your very first spin a big, empty parking lot or a lonesome road are great spots to try. Wide, open spaces allow you to get a feel for the turning radius and practice driving without pressure from other cars on the road. I started on BLM land in AZ, progressed onto deserted and low-traffic roads and then finally took the wheel for a freeway. Going slow and taking your time is my driving motto, and I still drive that way today.

2/ Online YouTube Videos – For those who like visual aids, there are LOTS of excellent online videos that teach RV driving. Just google “RV driving” on YouTube and check out the links. There are even safety and maintenance videos too, as well as excellent tutorials on tire blowouts and other specialized topics.

3/ RV Driving Course – Although you can legally get into an RV in most states (depending on size) without a special license, doing an RV driving course can be a really positive and useful experience. Of course, I never did one (rather typical of me, mind you), but I’ve heard great things from others. Google the web for hits and ask for references and checks from others who’ve taken the course. A good tutor should always have excellent references.

So, this is a shout-out to the gals out there. If you aren’t already driving I encourage you to give it a go. If you need a bit of motivation here’s my own little message to get you started, once again proving that girl power is the way to go (click the video link):

Girls at the RV Wheel from Paul Novell on Vimeo.

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We LOooVE Comments, So Please Do

  1. CJ says

    Your words are encouraging….I’m the major driver in the van…born in my blood as just love to drive. Have yet to take the wheel pulling the camper! I know I must…you got me excited to try it. Make that my challenge this year! The thought of passing a semi though….ecks

    • libertatemamo says

      You go girl! I’ll be waiting to hear the good results :) I have to admit the part of driving that took me the longest time to get used to was the big truckers that pass close and fast on the freeway, so I know exactly what you mean on that one. There’s always a bit of air pressure change as they go by. I tend to go to the side a tad and let them have the pass. Nina

  2. Bill B says

    Hey Nina – (Trouble brewing) From the pictures and such, you look like a ‘normal’ sized girl. My wife – Cec – is about 120 pounds or less, some med issues at the moment, but normally 120 pounds and stands all of 5′. You’ve seen the picture of the rig in my avatar, but for the rest, Volvo 630 motorhome and 38′ New Horizon trailer – 42 k total. She has driven the rig about 4,000 miles since we got it.

    CJ, get out and do it. If something, anything happens from a severe sprain, stomach cramps, food poisoning you have to be able to drive it. May not be comfortable, but say you are 200 miles from home and it has to be done. Much better to have some practice than at crunch time.

    • libertatemamo says

      I’ll definitely be rooting for her to get behind the wheel. It can be scary at first but I do agree it’s a big safety net and with practice it becomes alot of fun too :) Go girl!

  3. Bill B says

    Nina – In case you have missed it, the official release of MS Streets and Trips 2011 is Feb 11. (Just in case you have missed it). Late Christmas / early Valentines. Don’t miss the new POI also.


    • libertatemamo says

      Whoo hooo! Can’t wait. I’ve been holding out on buying ever since you told me about the 2011 release. Cheers for the update. Nina


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