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)
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.
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):