6 Reasons Women Drive Large RVs – Or Should Learn To

Can Women Drive Large RVs? How it Began

As I drove my 42’ Diesel Pusher with a towed car into the RV park in Watson Lake, Yukon Territory, I seemed to have raised an audience. A couple of ladies came out of their rigs and watched me park the bus.  Later, they came over to chat, exclaiming “I can’t believe a woman could drive that large rig”.  I did think it a little bit interesting that these 55-year-old ladies of the women’s liberation era would be so surprised.
Our Dirty Motorhome and Jeep on the Alaskan Highway
Our Dirty Motorhome and Jeep on the Alaskan Highway
It started six years ago when my husband and I decided to sell our “sticks and bricks” house and buy a motorhome.  Because of his health issues, we knew I would have to do the driving, or we would not be able to go on this great adventure.  Read more about how our adventure started.  I was a good driver of small vehicles, but had never driven anything as large as a motorhome.  “Nervous” was an understatement.  But it was really important, so I learned. I will talk more about how to learn to drive a beast in below.
For me, age 49 at the time, there really was not a question of “can a woman drive this thing”.  The question was “can I drive this thing”, which is slightly different. Being male or female is not really the defining question.

Reason 6: Freedom of the Open Road

So why did I take it on?  The answer is pretty simple. I really wanted to go travel with my husband.  We had finished raising our family.  He had retired for health reasons. We had worked hard for decades building the home and family and business.  Now it was time to enjoy the world God created on the open road. We had always loved to travel but had not taken enough time to do it. I wrote about our reasons for wanting to travel in this article.
But my husband was limited by his health and would not be able to drive a large rig.  What’s a girl to do? Just do it!  If I had not chosen that path, we would still be sitting in a house that was too large for the two of us, and too small for adventure.
Many women would like to travel, but they do not have a male partner to take on the driving.  Really?  That is a reason to not go? Come on ladies. You’ve got this!

Reason 5: Because they can!

It never really crossed my mind that women just don’t drive large rigs. The people in my life that mattered, like my husband, my father, and my son, loved the idea that we would be able to follow our dream. So what if I had never driven something that large? There is a first time for anything. Dad even gave me some driving lessons.
There is nothing inherently different between men and women related to their ability to drive. Most men are stronger than most women. This is not relevant to driving. Some men have more mechanical skills than most women. Not all men are mechanical. This is also not relevant to driving a large vehicle, although mechanical skills might make life easier as you travel. (Neither my husband nor I are mechanically talented, but we get by.  More on that in another article)
The only relevant question is your skill as a driver. Both men and women need to learn to drive a large vehicle.  We are not born with the skill. It takes a willingness to get into a parking lot and practice. It takes a great deal of concentration. It takes a willingness to go slowly in difficult situations and not get flustered. But it is not required that you be male.
My beautiful granddaughters. There's a reason to drive!
My beautiful granddaughters. The best reason women drive large rvs!

Reason 4: Safety in Case Your Spouse is Unable to Drive

For those women who have a spouse that does all the driving, I would like to gently suggest that you learn a simple skill.  First drive the vehicle around in an empty parking lot.  Church parking lots on a Monday morning offer a lot of space. Work on turning in the drive lanes while not running over parking lines (which would actually be cars if there were any).

Second, try driving the rig on a back road that does not have a lot of traffic.  Turn the corner, watching your mirrors to make sure you keep it between the lines! You should see your tires and the lines in your mirrors at all times.
Third, try asking your spouse to park the vehicle in a rest area on the highway. You drive it out and get to the next rest area. Easy in, easy out.  The hardest part of driving a large rig is the parking.
Another thing you might consider is to take a training class from a private company or even from a dealer such as LazyDays to learn to drive your beast.
Once you have that skill, you have gained the power to help your husband if he gets sick and cannot drive. Even something as simple as a flu bug can make it hard for him to drive away from a campground.  But if you need to leave, because the space is taken for the night, you can do it!

Reason 3: Share the Work With Your Spouse

Now I know that some spouses would prefer to do it themselves.  They like the control of deciding where to go and how far to travel in a day. But many husbands are not control freaks. If you can give him an hour break here or there, he might enjoy the day more and you can get more experience behind the wheel. Hey! Maybe he could learn to navigate!

Reason 2: More Confidence in Life

I have learned over the last 6 years, that each new skill I gain, in any area, gives me more freedom to do what I want to do. My life is always about learning the next thing and stretching my wings. If you have a little more confidence, you can take on the next part of life.
There is an amazing sense of confidence that flows into all areas of your life when you learn a hard thing and can do it well. Love it!
The View from our motorhome in Valdez, Alaska
The View from our motorhome in Valdez, Alaska

Reason 1: Because it’s Fun

But here’s the best reason women drive large rvs.  It is really a lot of fun!  I love to drive.  Of course, construction areas and busy parking lots give me heartburn.  Driving through large cities, especially during rush hour, is to be avoided at all costs.
But over all, the roads are beautiful and this period of my life is a grand adventure. And its really fun to see surprised neighbors in an RV park say “That’s a lady driving that thing!”

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