Today I will be interviewing the owner of a company which is teaching people how to safely drive and back RVs of any type and size. As a result, he is reducing accidents and helping to eliminate the stress involved with driving and towing recreation vehicles.
George Mayleben served as an instructor at RV Driving School for eight years until he took over the company in 2011. The company has grown considerably since that time. Today, there are 107 independent instructors teaching students in nearly every state.
In addition to teaching people how to drive RVs, the school also teaches people to operate commercial vehicles, such as bloodmobiles and bookmobiles. In fact, the company can provide training on how to safely operate any type of RV from big Class A diesel pushers to smaller popup campers.
The training George’s company provides is invaluable because RV owners do not get any lessons on how to drive motorhomes or tow RVs from dealers after purchasing a unit.
Often, the need for driver training is hampered by a misguided belief that people should know how to handle an RV because they have been driving for years. But, there is a big difference in the dynamics involved in driving a vehicle with a long wheelbase compared to even the largest SUV.
Another frequent problem is that generally, one person does all the driving, but the spouse or partner has no idea how to do it safely. It becomes a problem when the primary driver is sick or injured. Then the partner is thrust into an uncomfortable situation of figuring it out under pressure.
There are many situations for which RVers need to be prepared in advance to address. Driving in mountains is one because it is not safe to keep applying brakes to slow an RV. Doing so will cause brakes to overheat and stop working.
Another situation is learning how to navigate around fuel stations without damaging the RV or the pumps. Because RVs have such a long wheelbase, many RVers find themselves in embarrassing or unsafe situations due to the wide tail swing which occurs when turning.
Because there are 107 independent instructors working in nearly every state, it is relatively easy to get training at times which are convenient for RVers. Many of the instructors are experienced RVers, too.
When providing training, RV Driving School always likes to include couples. Lessons are provided during either two four-hour days for individuals or two six-hour days for couples. The cost is $595 for a solo RVer or $895 for a couple.
All of the training is provided behind the wheel, meaning that RVers don’t sit in a classroom and watch videos. The sessions are created around the individual needs of RVers themselves.
For example, George said about 20% of students are either downsizing or upgrading the type of RV they own. Since the RVers are already familiar with driving a vehicle that has a long wheelbase, the training would pay more attention to the dynamics of the particular vehicle they just bought.
In addition to teaching driving strategies, instructors also address frame of mind when people are behind the wheel. When operating a big vehicle, other drivers sometimes do silly things, like cut people off or pressure RVers to move faster than they’re comfortable driving. In those situations, patience is needed.
George reminds RVers they have just as much right to be on the highway as other vehicles, and they should drive as fast or as slow as they are comfortable doing.
RV Driving School is also looking for experienced drivers who want to be instructors. They must have experience operating heavy vehicles as well as driving RVs.
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That’s all I have for this week’s show. Next week, I’ll be talking to the CEO of a company that specializes in building RVs with innovative living and working spaces. So, tune in next week for more information. Thank you for listening to today’s episode of The Workamper Show.