RV Driver Training: It’s Worth Going Back to School!

first-time-driving-rv-motorhome.jpg Most truck drivers earn their wings, so to speak, in truck drivers school. The industry has proven that the best drivers are those who have completed an accredited course that includes all aspects of the truck driving profession.

Many RV setups can almost match an 18-wheeler in size. In fact, most high-end luxury coaches these days are actually based on the same vehicle that is used to transport passengers commercially all around the country: the Greyhound bus. (Actually, this is true for practically any "coach" type bus you might be chartering for cross country travel. Prevost is the brand that immediately comes to mind, but there are others.)

So when you consider that many RV owners and drivers are well into retirement, or those who only get behind the wheel of such a large vehicle when they head out on the highway a couple times a year, the idea of some specialized RV training seems pretty reasonable.

Read: RV driving is different — not difficult.

Some states even require you to upgrade your driver’s license before you can operate an RV. For example, California requires that you obtain a non-commercial Class B license if your motorhome is over 40 feet in length.

A good RV driving school can teach you all the same skills that the professional truck drivers need — including how to make a daily safety inspection to ensure that your RV is ready to hit the road, and how to handle your RV in many different situations.

Here’s how to find RV training schools, seminars, and courses in your area...


RV School & Driver Training

There are RV driving schools with multiple training locations around the country allowing you to get specialized training close to home. Most cities will have a truck driving school program in place too.

Here in Duluth, Minnesota a local community college provides over the road training for truckers.

With the high demand for truck drivers, training institutions are located wherever the population is large enough to supply candidates. Many of these truck driving schools may have RV training in place. Or, if they don’t, it’s very likely if there is enough interest they would gladly develop such a program. 

Here are some RV driver training schools:

Other RV Driving Safety Courses

motorhome-passing-motorhome.jpgEven if an actual behind-the-wheel program isn’t available in your area, many organizations also provide classroom instruction.

AAA’s RV Driver Improvement Program is one example. Plus, insurance companies often offer drivers courses as ways to help people avoid accidents. Some may even offer a discount on your insurance policy if you attend programs geared for drivers over 55.

Often at RV rallies or large sales events like RV shows you will find organizations like The Good Sam Club hosting seminars which help you improve your RV driving techniques. The Good Sam VIP Safety Rally is one such example.

Sometimes, RV clubs or groups whose main purpose is organizing group trips and outings may set up special sessions and bring in an instructor to highlight RV safety procedures.

One thing’s for sure, over the years when I’ve taken the time to attend RV seminars or training events, I’ve always come away with some new bit of knowledge I had overlooked in the past. I highly recommend sitting in on an RV driver safety course whenever the opportunity arises — whether you are a new RV driver or an experienced RV driver. It’s well worth your time.

After all, you don’t want to be the RVer that all the truckers are cursing about over the CB radio due to your poor RV driving skills — or because you’re creating a road hazard by doing something really stupid like dragging your TV antenna behind you after it caught a tree branch when you forgot to lower it!


RV Eduction 101: Play It Safe!

Professional Driver Driving For RVers Is Worth It!

What RV Driving School Is Like

RV Quick Safety Refresher Course

What RVers Learn When They Go To School

Learning RVs The Easy Way: Videos & DVDs

Curtis Carper

I’ve been involved in RVing for over 40 yrs -- including camping, building, repairing, and even selling RVs. I’ve owned, used, and repaired almost every class and style of RV ever made. I do all of my own repair work. My other interests include cooking at home, living with an aging dog, and dealing with diabetic issues. If you can combine a grease monkey with a computer geek, throw in a touch of information nut and organization freak, combined with a little bit of storyteller, you've got a good idea of who I am.

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  • Glenn

    I need help! I am in upstate NY and am trying to find Class A driving classes for my mother and I. Do you know of any? ANY help is greatly appreciated.

  • Souriante1947

    Are there any RV driving schools in New York.  My husband and I are retired in Goshen NY and we bought a small RV which neither of us can back in very well.  We would both love to take a course in RV driving.

    • Curtis

      Souriante1947, I did find a web page that lists a number of NY RV driving schools.  This link http://tiny.cc/t83do may give you some leads to what you’re looking for.  If there is nothing close enough to you to be practical I’d recommend finding an empty parking lot and setting up some cones (you can use milk jugs too) and practice backing around corners and into parking spaces.  More than anything practice makes perfect.

  • Jessica Gross

    I am looking into buying A c-class RV maybe around 26 to 30 foot but the size is a little intimidating. I live in Virginia and am looking for any type of driving school or something to help me learn,do you know of anything in my area?

    • Curtis

      Jessica, Here is a link to one school that has a permanent location in N.C. http://www.rvschool.com/school-locations/ They also set up temporary locations and do rallies. They may be able to help you.

  • Michele Muzzi-Ecochardt

    I have recently purchased a 38′ 2000 Ultimate Advantage that I am converting for my new mobile business I desperately need to find a good driving school in NJ (I live in Central NJ) There are Many Schools in North Jersey but they are geared towards CDL/big rigs/etc. Since my business is catering to residential homes I really need a great school that can teach me the ins and outs of how to maneuver a Class A motorhome to be as SAFE a driver as possible……(I have never owned or driven a motor home so SAFETY is huge! I won’t drive it until I’m properly trained!) The schools I am finding will train you in your own vehicle however they are ALL located out of state in MO/CAL/ etc. Are there any in NJ (or within an hour or so of NJ? THANK YOU for ANY help/advice you can offer. :)

    • Curtis

      Michele, Maybe this will help: http://www.superiordrivers.com/
      All I did was Google:
      RV driver training school New Jersey and they came up on the list.

      • Michele Muzzi-Ecochardt

        Thank you Curtis. I did Google search schools in NJ and this one did come up. It is a 4 hour class. the others I found out of state were 8+ hrs or 2 day classes. they offered much more detail about what they taught and things like: understanding rear swing out; what is off track; driving challenges; defensive driving techniques; along with parking; turning and road experience on highway & residential…I just don’t see how they can accomplish that in 4 hours. It’s really important to me that I learn how to drive this large vehicle safely in various settings with all of the residential areas I will be in….I think I need more than 4 hours to gain the experience & confidence….I did email them for more information. thank you again!