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Author Topic: The Better half  (Read 4120 times)
Chopper Scott
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« on: April 29, 2009, 06:43:48 PM »

My wife brought it to my attention that she is concerned that if need be she will not be able to drive the bus. I will get her behind the seat in some isolated area to prove that it can be done. Just wondering if any other nuts have their better looking co pilots take the controls. Later
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WEC4104
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« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2009, 07:07:18 PM »

This subject has been raised several times during our 9 years of ownership.  I don't believe my wife has any aspirations of becoming a regular driver, and usually she starts by describing some scenario where we are on vacation and I become sick (Wishful thinking??)

I have been hesitant, because the 4104 with it's 4 speed Spicer is a beast.  Although my wife wants to think it is like driving a really big minivan, it is not.
 
I did take her out driving locally once.   Only once.   We tooled around a huge empty parking lot for a while and then ended up on some rural highways.  I think it took several years off my life.

I think if I had an automatic transmission she would have faired much better. 
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RickB
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« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2009, 07:11:26 PM »

My wife drives our bus often and really, really well. The hardest thing was trying to get her to realize where she "is" on the road as compared to where she thinks she is. We specifically planned for her to learn on a lonely divided highway that was fairly straight and then I asked her to drive as much with the rear view mirrors as she was with the windshield, that allowed her to see where she was on the road. The tendency was for her to move way too far off the center line. Now, with 3-4K miles under her belt, she drives our bus with a heavier foot than I do which I chalk up to the fact that I know how much a rebuild costs!

The other issue was hitting curbs while turning on city streets. At first she would only drive from onramp to offramp but I took her to a parking lot, she once again focused on her mirrors, and she figured it out quick. When we tow the car she still gets a little nervous making turns but I just reassure her and watch her mirrors with her. I have yet to reach R.E.M. sleep with her driving but I have had a couple of good catnaps with her behind the wheel.

Lastly, having an inexperienced driver take the wheel in heavy side winds or having them learn on a coach with loose front end steering issues are probably not the best ways to instill confidence with any new driver behind the wheel.

My wife is proud of the fact that she can drive our bus well and I am proud of her for conquering her fears by trying and succeeding.

Rick
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« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2009, 07:19:45 PM »

My wife loves our bus, but she has made it abundantly clear that in the case of my death, she only wants to know how to start it so the guy (or girl) that buys it can see it runs. End of story. Will
BTW, am I correct in assuming that when I reach 500 posts I won't be a senior any longer? Because if that's the case, LET"S GITTER DONE!!
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« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2009, 07:33:00 PM »

My wife wants to, but we have a small problem. She is 5'2", weight is *#%, and doesn't lift weights. We have Armstrong Steering, a 4 speed Crash Box, a 22" steering wheel, the driver seat won't go far enough forward, we don't have pedal positioning, and one more thing, she has no desire! Grin

PS she said that if we had power steering and an automatic she would reconsider. Yeah right! Wink

Guess that leaves the driving to me! Roll Eyes

~Paul~
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Michael & Christi Hargis
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« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2009, 07:45:20 PM »

 Cheesy Wow, what a topic. My better half and I were just talking about this very thing. Looks like we will embark on all the tactics all of you have gone through. If my bride is willing and the Lord is willing? I will do my best to be willing. All the Best, M&C Roll Eyes
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RJ
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« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2009, 11:59:45 PM »


Having trained over 250 bus drivers in my career, I'm more than willing to help anyone, male or female, who'd like a weekend's worth of training from a retired professional.

Often times having a pro substitute for spouse relaxes trainee & spouse alike.

If anyone's interested, PM me for more info.

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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RJ Long
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« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2009, 04:59:46 AM »

    When we had our 4106 with the 4 speed standard transmission, my wife said "No Way!!"  Now that we have our MC-8 with automatic transmission, she has driven it a few times.   Usually the last 10 or so miles to our place.  She would rather be co-pilot than pilot, but that is OK because I really enjoy driving. She does drive enough, that if she had to she could drive it.  We know several couple that the wife drives as much or more than their husband.
    What RJ said is very true. Most of the time, a wife will learn faster and better, if not taught be their spouse.  Spouses usually do not have as much patience and frequently expect the learning to proceed at a much faster pace.  Jack
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Van
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« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2009, 06:24:32 AM »

RJ,atta boy!,you hit the nail right on the head.This should be interesting ,to hear from the members how they have or are dealing with this issue.I myself have trained the most untrainable students to pass the road tests,but training the wifey,another story.

I have always pulled the miles in on trips ,for that matter,any time we are both in the same vehicle I drive ,I don't know ,it always seems to have been that way.

Heck when I first met Cheryl at a bike rally,she had wanted to learn how to ride a harley,so off we went ,and with in a half an hour or so she picked it up astoundingly quick,and returned to the rally (to her friends amazement)with her driving my bike(picture this,18" ape hangers,6" risers)and me sitting in the back with my hands clasped behind my head(another rider is born,right?)and wifey right at home at the controls.

 ;)That was 11 years ago,let's speed up to today,she will not drive with me in the vehicle ,suspects I am always grading her ,and she gets nervous .Cheryl has gotten behind the wheel of the Eagle and moved it abit at Clifford s place on her own.Point being that another person would be the best instructor,no pressure. Grin
« Last Edit: April 30, 2009, 02:18:08 PM by van » Logged

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Dallas
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« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2009, 06:53:44 AM »

Since I don't like to drive that much anymore, (28 years behind the wheel of a truck... 3.5 million miles), Cat and I have a deal.
I drive the bus or any large equipment and she drives the car anytime we have to go somewhere without the bus.

She is qualified to drive semi's and has driven buses around the farm, (Ask her about the great time she had pond jumping in Slow Rider's MC8  Grin ). She can also drive our PD4103 if needed, although it never has been.
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Blacksheep
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« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2009, 06:56:12 AM »

I don't remember who I was with but I DO remember getting out of your car and kissing the ground!
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Dallas
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« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2009, 07:15:25 AM »

I never did more than about 80 mph with that bad tire going down the freeway!  Grin

I don't remember who I was with but I DO remember getting out of your car and kissing the ground!
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grantgoold
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« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2009, 07:47:46 AM »

I made a deal with my better half. You help with the conversion (manual labor) and I may consider letting you drive her. I believe that if you want an opportunity to sit behind the wheel and act as King of the road (or queen!) then you better have put some blood, sweat and tears into it. Wow! how Puritan of me. Huh

Really, she has little desire and says she would rather have me hurt the bus than her! Grin

Good day.
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Grant Goold
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luvrbus
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« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2009, 10:08:32 AM »

My,wife has driven every bus we have owned over the years manual transmission with no power steering and autos with power steering.Only one time did she complain and that was driving the MCI 5 with a four speed in downtown Phoenix at 5.00 pm the clutch about did her in standing up to push it down.They do need to learn to drive one you never know when it will become necessary.   good luck
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« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2009, 10:18:46 AM »

I know my wife is capable but hasn't got behind the wheel as of yet. Years ago I got her driving the tractor trailer unit we used to own. I had to trick her into it the first time with a switch on the road. After I pulled that trick she gave me @#@# saying if she's going to drive she's going to start from a dead stop and shift. It wass all good to me but I find she lost confindence (like I would as well) when she hadn't drive for awhile.
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« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2009, 10:42:24 AM »

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Sean
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« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2009, 10:57:56 AM »

Personally, I think it would be potentially dangerous if we could not both drive the bus.  We spend a lot of time in the middle of nowhere, and so we have studied wilderness medicine, carry a charged and ready Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) and a fully stocked first aid kit, and practice our emergency plans periodically.

With no toad, if something should happen to either one of us, the other will have to drive the bus to reach help.  (Even if we had a toad, the logistics of getting an unconscious person loaded into a car are non-trivial -- I weigh close to 150, and I think the best Louise could do would be to drag me someplace;  I'm certain she could at least get me through the door of the bus.)

(As a side note, one of the things we learned in one of those medical seminars, and I think this is great advice, is what to do if the driver loses consciousness behind the wheel.  Get the foot off the throttle, maintain steering, and bring the bus to a safe stop IN THE TRAFFIC LANE.  Resist the temptation to try to steer off to the side of the road.  For one thing, you are more likely to lose control that way, and possibly run off the road.  But more importantly, if you pull over to the side, likely no one will stop to help, and you will be too busy doing CPR or whatever to try to flag someone down.  If you stop in the traffic lane, you'll have plenty of angry people come over to find out what you are doing there, and when they realize what is going on, their anger will disappear and they will go into rescue mode.)

We seldom drive more than two or three hours a day, and usually I do all the driving on routine days.  But when we get called to a disaster, we run all out, as many as 12 hours of road time per day.  I take a break every two or three hours, and Louise relieves me at the wheel; I will usually go upstairs and rack out on the couch, maybe even catch a few Z's before taking back over.  There have also been times when one or the other of us has had to fly someplace to deal with family emergencies or other obligations, and the other one has had to manage the bus alone.  It never happens to me, but Louise gets the jaw-drop look when she pulls into a campground alone.

-Sean
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loosenut
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« Reply #17 on: April 30, 2009, 12:10:52 PM »

The meaner, er better half has more large vehicle experience than I.  We're new bus owners and she has driven it everywhere but on neighborhood streets.  We bought it from a woman who said she and her husband used to split the drive time, 2 on and 2 off.

Mike
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« Reply #18 on: April 30, 2009, 12:37:39 PM »

Blu wanted to drive our 4903 once. Just in case something happened to me. We live in a 600 acre pasture. I hit the shut down switch and pull park brakes before she hit the tree. Now , she don't want to.  big john
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« Reply #19 on: April 30, 2009, 12:47:43 PM »

My bus is power steering, automatic transmission. I am a small frame woman. I have no spouse or significant other to drive the bus for me. I travel with 2 kids and my mom. My mom has absolutely no desire whatsoever to drive the bus. I dream of the day I get to teach my 16 year old to drive it though! Right now he is afraid of it and doesnt want to, but someday..... It has been so many years since I was a passenger in a RV that I forget what it's like. But I think it would be cool to be able to sleep while in motion or do whatever I wanted. I love driving my bus, but once in awhile I dream about being a passenger.
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« Reply #20 on: May 02, 2009, 04:24:38 PM »

My girlfriend LOVES to drive the bus

She doesn't do well driving at night (which we try to avoid anyway)

She will drive into fuel stops and rest areas but has not driven on the city streets yet

She seems to drive faster than I do but does very well maintaining her lane and passing slower and over sized vehicles

We have an auto and power steering so I am sure that helps also an electric seat so she can adjust it for proper positioning

Melbo
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« Reply #21 on: May 02, 2009, 04:45:17 PM »

My wife formerly drove school buses. Cool She has done the High School Auditorium parking lot and one 20 mile run back to the barn after filling up locally with diesel last year. She made me promise not to hollar at her. I promised not to say anything to her that she had not said to me when I was learning and not to say it any louder than had been said to me. Mostly what I had to say was, "Get Left!" She prefers that I drive it because, "You drive it so well!" I do believe she could drive in case of an emergency but calling 911 is usually the best thing to do in most emergency cases. EMS has much more equipment and supplies to deal with emergencies than most of us Nuts do. Them getting to you instead of you getting to the hospital takes less time, they have lights and sirens and Eagles don't fly!
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Sean
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« Reply #22 on: May 02, 2009, 10:58:11 PM »

... calling 911 is usually the best thing to do in most emergency cases. EMS has much more equipment and supplies to deal with emergencies than most of us Nuts do. Them getting to you instead of you getting to the hospital takes less time, they have lights and sirens ...


EMS and trauma centers are effective options in less than 10% of the country.  In the vast majority of the US, there is little or no cell phone coverage, few or no trauma centers, and ambulances can be as much as an hour away.

If you stick to that ~10% of the country, then, yes, 911 is your best option.

If you travel where we do, then you had best know CPR and first aid, and be able to drive at least as far as cell coverage and probably further.

-Sean
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« Reply #23 on: May 03, 2009, 05:00:44 AM »

   I think everyone should know basic first aid (controlling bleeding, splinting, etc) and CPR.  As a retired paramedic, I want to say that in many cases, depending on the medical emergency or extent of trauma and your location, you may be better off getting yourself to the hospital. However, if rescue breathing or CPR is required, you cannot do that and drive at the same time. 
   If you have to call 911, try to give a specific location such as a mile marker or intersection. Also, if you call 911, stay at the location you gave them. It was very frustrating to get a call, go to the location and find no one there.
   Although there are places that have 1 hour response times, most of the departments I have talked to in our travels in the Southeast have average response times of 20 minutes of less. If the problem is cardiac in nature, I highly recommend calling 911.  What happens if the person codes (heart stops beating) while you are driving them to the hospital?  Yes, this does happen too frequently.  In addition to trained personnel, most ambulance have all the same cardiac drugs and equipment as the emergency rooms.
   As far as medical emergencies (as opposed to trauma), early recognition of the symptoms and prompt aggressive therapy is of utmost importance.  This is especially important in cardiac, stroke and diabetic cases.  Jack
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« Reply #24 on: May 03, 2009, 09:51:50 AM »

Thanks for the medical posts. Not to mention just helping somebody in our bus, but there is also the very real possibility of coming on a accident. Just this last trip we were the first on the scene of a accident. We were glad that we carried a fully equipped first aid kit with us. We didn't have to do too much, since the emergency crews arrived within three minuets (of course it was out East in a densely populated area).

As soon as we came to the car, we made sure that it was off, and that there was no gas leaking out of it, because we knew that the car could catch on fire. It  was a blessing because there wasn't any gas leaking, and it was very nice that the fire truck arrived so quickly.

Yup, I think that the more one knows about medical emergencies the better.

Jack, what about teaching a workshop at some of your rallies on this?

God bless,

John
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« Reply #25 on: May 03, 2009, 10:17:48 AM »

In my travels I have rarely been without cell coverage even at remote farm fields and ranches where events are held.  I do go to one event out in the desert where there is no cell coverage, but at least two people always have sat phones.  The nearest ambulance there is 30 minutes away and a hospital trip (not to a trauma center) would take 90 minutes by ambulance minimum.  For major emergencies a medical chopper takes about an hour to arrive and 45 minutes to an hour to get back.

Yes, we bring some pretty major medical supplies and know the basics of first aid and CPR.
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« Reply #26 on: May 03, 2009, 04:32:16 PM »


Right now, I am the only insured driver of my bus.  My wife has only wanted to drive it one time when I couldn't go with it.  Meaning take it.  I didn't like that one but it is insured. 

She much prefers the ride.
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« Reply #27 on: May 03, 2009, 06:03:34 PM »

I have said this before; I asked Dianne when we got the bus if she wanted to drive it.  She said...and I quote, "Your job is to drive the bus, mine is to bring you coffee!"  (End quote!)

As to first aid...I always wondered if I would retain any of the first aid/CPR training...or if I would know what to do!
My brother went into a seizure once and it came back ASAP!  I knew from the training to look for the 'ABC's'...Airway, breathing and curculation!

I personally think the idea of Jack doing a first aid/CPR course at the rallies.  I would gladly pay the fee.  I think I payed about $30.00 the other week for the training.  That is assuming Jack wants to do it and he is still doing the training.
Jack
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« Reply #28 on: May 03, 2009, 08:29:31 PM »

i've taken fran out driving at the local fairgrounds, at her request.  she has started it, released the brake, gotten it up to 3rd, stopped it backed it up, etc.  Never on the open road, though.  i asked if she wanted to drive while going from corpus christi to san Antonio.  she siad " ok as long as you don't mine 30 mph".

it would be nice if i could convince her to take over, but she won't change drivers unless i pull over which defeats the purpose of letting her drive awhile while i take a leak.

at least she knows what to do in an emergency.  if something happens to me, she knows where the shovel is, and how to start and drive the bus.
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« Reply #29 on: May 03, 2009, 08:43:01 PM »


Yeah, but it might have been less traumatic if you had been going FORWARD.

I never did more than about 80 mph with that bad tire going down the freeway!  Grin

I don't remember who I was with but I DO remember getting out of your car and kissing the ground!
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