So I inserted the key and turned on the ignition and rev’ed her up (I am pretty sure it is a she). Merikay asked if I test drove her before and the answer is no I didn’t but we did start her up and check her out pretty thoroughly. Since she has a 5 speed Allison I pushed the D button and gave her a bit of diesel and off we went… and first obstacle was a large low hanging tree near the exit. Easily circumvented it was down the narrow road to my first ever right turn.
I let the front end go a lot further than I did in my old truck to turn right and I had a successful first right turn… one more and we were on the state highway a short bit till we got to the restaurant where we were going to eat lunch. After hearing my driving looked pretty good for a rookie from my partner I had a great chicken fried steak and then it was time to get on down the road.
So we are driving and I am seemingly staying between the lines and noticing how ever so close the guard rails seem to get on the right side of the road (never noticed it before – wonder why?). So we drive on through Johnson City (a bit scary), on through Dripping Springs (a bit scary) and then we started approaching Oak Hill near Austin where the traffic started to become quite congested. I was feeling pretty comfortable when we got here so I stayed in the middle lane of the three lane road (thinking I was big and they would steer around me). And then it happened…
An approaching light was turning yellow and I had to decide if I was going to stop or go for it. I decided I needed to feel the motorhome stop on short notice so I hit the breaks firmly. Stopped at the light and when I did the passenger side curtain (which was apparently not secured) slid forward completely blocking off my right side mirror and part of the right side of the windshield. Traffic started moving and I thought “CRAP” so I stayed in the middle lane and hoped the next light turned red… it did and I hopped out of my seat and secured the curtain. Whew!!!
Driving though the congested south side of Austin with somewhat white knuckles I made it to Bastrop where my partner pulled into a convenience store for a potty break. When I got to the entrance I scouted the place out and saw where I could pull out easily on the other side but when I looked up at the entrance there were three cars lined up to leave and I had to turn right into that entrance and hopefully miss them and the ditch on the right side of the entrance. Several YIKES later I was parked and talked with my buddy who said I was doing great.
With my confidence growing the last seventy miles would be a breeze right? Wrong! Sixty nine of those miles were easy but then I had to park the rig in my neighborhood alongside the curb in a cul de sac – YIKES!!! But with my wife assisting me getting close to the curb I was able to get her home after 3.5 hours of tense driving… I am now an experienced class A RV driver!
… now I have to get her turned around in a few days at the end of our cul de sac.. YIKES!