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You probably had to take a driver’s education course to get your driver’s license. However, driving a car and driving an RV are different experiences.
As a result, you may consider signing up for an RV driving school. However, they’re not required, and many RVers, including us, have opted not to attend any special training to learn to drive an RV.
Today, we’ll share some information about RV driving schools, whether you should sign up for one, and why we chose not to.
Buckle up, and let’s get going!
What Is RV Driving School?
RV driving school is like a driver’s education course for those wanting to drive an RV.
Students walk through lessons that teach them how to maneuver a rig, do pre-trip inspections, and what to do in different situations.
If you’re nervous or intimidated about driving an RV, these courses can give you the confidence to enjoy driving your rig.
How Hard Is It to Learn to Drive an RV?
Learning to drive an RV isn’t overly difficult, but it does require practice. Driving an RV is very different from a passenger vehicle and does require you to make a few adjustments in your driving.
You can’t expect to get behind the wheel of a massive motorhome with no prior experience and be the best driver on the road.
Failing to make the necessary adjustments can put you, your loved ones, and others on the road in danger.
However, with a little practice, you can confidently tow your RV from campsite to campsite like a seasoned veteran.
Do You Have to Go to RV Driving School to Drive an RV?
There are no rules requiring you to attend an RV driving school. However, just because it’s not required doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider attending.
Overconfidence in your ability can be dangerous, and just about every RVer can learn something from these lessons.
If you’re new to towing trailers or driving a large vehicle, it’s worth researching and considering your options.
Pro Tip: If you’re hesitant about towing your RV for the first time, read our RV Towing Guide for Newbies. Then look into driving schools below!
Why We Didn’t Go to RV Driving School
Just because we didn’t attend an RV driving school doesn’t mean that we don’t think they’re a good idea or have the potential to be beneficial.
Here are a few reasons we didn’t go to RV driving school.
Lack of Available Schools at the Time
When we started RVing, it was a different ball game. The RV industry has exploded in recent years, which has resulted in the creation of many more options for those interested in RV driving schools.
With so many first-time RVers, there’s no shortage of potential students for these companies.
While we tried to find an RV driving school near us, there simply weren’t many options when we purchased our rig.
Practiced on Our Own
Before we hit the road full-time, we had busy schedules that would have made it nearly impossible to attend classes together.
Instead of enrolling in classes, we opted to practice on our own. Before hitting the road, you’ll likely take your RV for a few shorter trips to familiarize yourself with it.
We used these opportunities to hone our skills in planning, navigating, and how our RV systems functioned.
We made checklists to ensure we didn’t skip any steps. These trips were pivotal in having a smooth experience once we did launch into RV life.
Pro Tip: The checklists we made for ourselves are available for everyone -> RV Checklist for Camping: Over 60 Printable Pages!
While there weren’t many options available, the ones we found were expensive. Not only that, but we would have to travel with our RV to the school, which was several hours away.
Having to travel to the school added additional expenses in gas, campground fees, and taking time off work.
While we could see the benefits of having professional instruction, we couldn’t justify the expense for our situation.
Where to Find RV Driving Schools
Luckily, you’ll find many more options for RV driving schools today than in 2017 when we started our RV journey.
If you think you could benefit from lessons, here are some great resources to help you find an instructor or school.
RV Driving School
RV Driving School has trained thousands of people to safely and confidently drive an RV. If you’re a hands-on learner, this is the course for you. This school doesn’t use books, videos, or classes.
Its hands-on learning experience lets you get behind the wheel of an actual RV. And it prepares you with the knowledge and training necessary to navigate safely.
The company has instructors all over the country. Rates range from $325 for a 3.5-hour backing lesson to $895 for a two-person, two-day private lesson that lasts six hours per day.
All graduates from their courses receive a course certificate. This certificate has the potential to save you money on your insurance premium.
You could save money on your insurance, and the lessons can help you avoid making a costly mistake that could damage your rig.
Pro Tip: Take a look at our Newbies Guide to Driving Your RV to see if you think you can handle it on your own, or think a school would be beneficial.
RV Basic Training
Another great resource for learning to operate your RV with confidence is RV Basic Training.
This program includes classroom instruction and first-hand experience driving in the country, city, and on freeways. The trained teachers will help you learn many tricks professionals use to stay safe on the roads.
Instructors cater lessons to your unique RV and come to you. They’ll walk you through everything you need to know to get on the road safely.
You can learn a lot from this program, such as handling just about anything the road might throw at you.
Because instructors travel to you, costs can vary quite a bit due to travel expenses, but RV Basic Training Boot Camp starts as low as $500.
With the growth of online learning, many online education options are available for RV driving schools. For example, RV Masters has free resources online as well as structured courses available through their website.
If free content is your cup of tea, you can find plenty of how-to videos on YouTube, blogs, and more. However, you might have to spend more time researching trusted resources.
Is RV Driving School Worth It?
Learning to drive an RV can be difficult. But experience is the best way to learn. However, getting experience means getting behind the wheel and getting out on the road with other vehicles and drivers.
Thus, an RV driving school can help you learn how to drive your RV safely and confidently.
The added costs of the lessons can be a tough pill to swallow. But if they help you avoid increased premiums with your insurance or an accident requiring filing a claim, they can pay for themselves.
For those with little or no towing experience, RV driving school can be worth it. You may find it more worth it if driving a large motorhome.
However, if you’ve towed RVs or other trailers before, you might not benefit as much. You might simply need lessons on how to maintain or service your rig.
Keep Reading: Here are 10 Myths About RVing Debunked! Which ones have you heard of?
You Decide if RV Driving School Is Right for You
Whether or not you will benefit from RV driving school is a personal decision. You must evaluate your skills and abilities for driving and maneuvering your rig.
If you have the time and money to invest in learning and honing your skills, it doesn’t hurt to enroll in a course.
However, you can learn much of what you would in the courses by getting out and driving your RV. The more you drive, the more experience you’ll gain. You can book campsites and other adventures, all in the name of practice.
So will you enroll in an RV driving school?