In California, when you purchase a motor home that is over 40 feet in length, you are required to obtain a Non-Commercial Class B (Housecar) license. We have a Boot Camp for that where we prepare you for the driving skills and road test. I am pleased to recognize the perfect drive test results achieved by a recent RV Boot Camp grad, Todd G, who is the proud owner of a 43 foot Entegra.
The driving skills test must be completed before leaving the DMV lot. There are four basic driving skills: Straight Line Backing, Alley Dock Backing, Offset Backing, Right or Left and Sight-Side or Conventional Parallel Parking. For the Housecar test the DMV usually requires that you complete only the Straight Line and Alley Dock backing. Straight Line backing involves backing your RV 100 feet in a 12 foot wide space, while keeping within the lines and stopping in a 2 foot “box”, before the end of the lane. Alley Dock backing involves backing your RV into a space that is 12 foot X 20 foot while stopping in the 2 foot “box” at the back of the site. You can see from Todd’s Pre-Trip sheet, he was perfect!
Once you have shown the DMV examiner that you know how to do the basic skills, it’s out on the road to show him or her that you know what you’re doing in traffic. There will be at least four turns to the left, four turns to the right, lane changes, numerous intersections and a trip onto the freeway and off again, all while the examiner is watching to make sure you are checking your mirrors, using your turn signals, staying centered in your lane and doing your traffic checks. Again, Todd did a perfect job, zero deductions!
As everyone who has ever taken a test knows, there is a lot of pressure and sometimes ones nerves can get the best of them. For this reason we will do our best to show you what to expect on your drive test so that you too can get the perfect score. Congratulations Todd!
I had to send this email right away. I just finished my RV training with Cy today here in Grand Rapids, MI. He was a fantastic instructor. I am a mom of 4 children who wanted to learn to drive the RV by myself to help my husband on longer journeys. I also wanted to learn in case the kids and I wanted to camp while my husband was working.
I had NEVER driven our 38' motorhome. I wouldn't even move it a foot if my husband needed me to. I was very intimidated by the size and by the other drivers around me. Cy put me at ease from the start. He said I would be much more confident after our day together.
Ya know what???? He was right!!!
I told my husband that I am driving it from now on. By the end of the day, I was no longer gripping the steering wheel with white knuckles. I was completely at ease. I have no more fear and that's half the battle right there. The knowledge I learned from this course is what squelched the fear. Knowledge really is powerful.
Thank you again and thank you, Cy!!!
Just wanted you to know I’m very happy about my training session with Sully!
(Karen Sullivan is RV Basic Trainings, RV Boot Camp Instructor in Northern California).
She is an inspiring teacher and really helped with improving my confidence to manage hauling my gooseneck horse trailer. Like a lot of folks, I was petrified at the thought of backing my horse trailer and she showed me the skills I need to safely haul any trailer.
Thanks again and tell Sully I am now constantly checking my right mirror, no matter what vehicle I’m driving – I won’t forget!
We receive many great Testimonials from satisfied Trainee’s and today I would like to share this one from Rick and Trish who were trained by our Columbus, Ohio trainer, Cy Cottrell this past weekend.
Cy, thanks for doing a great job!
Just wanted to let you know we had an excellent weekend of training with Cy – he was awesome! His patience, skills and techniques were perfect. Great course you have. My “significant other” had never driven the coach before Saturday, and safely and confidently drove us over 200 miles home yesterday.
If you need any references please do not hesitate to use us.
Rick and Trish
Date Tue, Oct 25, 2011 at 9:29 AM
Subject: Re: That time of year....
I’m happy to report that last season we had zero accidents!!!
I’m hoping that wasn’t just luck but in part due to your refresher course you did for our main drivers. I’d like to set up a date to do that again this year before they embark on the 6 month travel season. I’d like to concentrate on driver/spotter communication, navigating around and backing into tight spots.
If there is a short classroom review of basic concepts that is fine however I think the hands on is most valuable for my drivers. Driving on the open road tends not to be our problem areas either so if we could keep that to a minimum as well, I think that would be the best use of our time and yours.
I’m looking to do a one-day training in mid-December, possibly the week before x-mas. Can you also give me a price quote for the training?
Looking forward to seeing you soon. Your website looks GREAT! Congrats.
University of California
Davis, CA 95616
Just wanted you to know... We went camping this past weekend, and I drove the motorhome to and from the campground!! Then after we unloaded it at home, I drove it back to storage all alone, and even backed it into our spot, in one try!!!!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!
Backing into RV spots is tough for a lot of drivers but not after taking RV Basic Training!
Had to send you a picture of the first night of our trip with the rv on our way to Myrtle Beach. We stayed at Wytheville, Va and they only had backins for the 50 amp service. Look at the great job Dan did backing it in! Couldn't have done it without you and Cy!
Deb and Dan
Just wanted to tell you that we got back from our vacation to Utah--and I drove our 40ft. rv the whole way and back by myself!
Taking your class was the best thing we did after we purchased our rig. Thanks so much!!!
June of 2010
I was cleaning out old e-mails and ran across the very first one, before we met for our first driving lesson. Brought back lots of memories, of things we still rely on from your teaching. Makes me feel safer knowing we have those great tips from you.
We have been back and forth across the country several times, coast to coast. Always talk about how much we got out of your class....
Blessings, Liz & Don
Liz & Don had their RV Boot Camp on September 24, 2007
We had a lot of anxiety after purchasing our 40 foot diesel pusher because we had always been trailer campers. But I must say, your all day RV Boot Camp was the perfect answer to calm our fears!
It was even better that you took both my husband and I, as I fully intend to share in the driving.
I felt so confident after your training that I could have driven the two hours, through LA traffic, in the rain, to get home! You were extremely patient with us and gave thorough attention to all aspects of being an RV owner.
"Why would anyone purchase an RV and not take RV Boot Camp?!"
Thank you so very much!
Barbara and Mark
I did want to thank you again for your very thorough and beneficial RV training. I think you did a great job introducing the team to the fundamentals of large vehicle driving and the skills necessary to be safe on the road.
Your calming demeanor and patience were very much appreciated. I look forward to working with you in the future.
Hi There Gary and Randall,
Just wanted to drop you guys a line to tell you exactly how much we got out of taking the RV training course!!!! I don't know if we would have been able to manage had it not been for Randall’s class.
David (who really doesn't appreciate a lot of teachers or instruction) can't say enough about Randall and his instruction. The difference between this and our trailer towing experience is night and day, and having the fabulous and thorough lesson made all of the difference!!
We will HIGHLY recommend this program to any future people considering buying an RV.
Thyra and David
Wow Gary! What a day I had on Saturday.
You are a great instructor and I was so grateful that it was you giving me direction backing up. I thought I did pretty good!
At least I didn’t hit the house or our neighbor’s truck. Thanks for all of your help. I really feel better about everything now. What remains is PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE.
I just wanted to show you a picture of how great your student is, he parks our rig dead in the center of our parking space at the storage unit on the first try, every time.
Roger finally got his license, a long trip filled with a comedy of errors!
On his first drive test he flunked because he signaled too early when making a turn in a congested area and stopping too far back from the intersection.
He was scheduled to take the re-test the following Monday and received a call on Friday to say the DMV had shut down the program for up to a month to resurface and mark the testing area! Of course when they did reopen then it was another two weeks before he could sign up to take the test again. We ended up going back east without the license.
We returned 2 months later and had to start this whole thing all over again. This time he passed with flying colors and we headed north to Canada and just got back.
I can’t tell you the number of times Roger expressed how glad he was that he had taken your class on these two long trips. His skill level and confidence in driving the rig since taking your class is very evident. Last week when we were in Fresno at the dealership and he was in a tight area with cars coming at him right and left and he backed that rig up and turned it around in a space I didn’t think was big enough to turn a car around in! I was very impressed."
Thanks for the great service!