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Old 07-14-2018, 05:32 PM   #1
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First Time..Seneca ..What's it going to be like

About to pull the trigger on a 2017 Seneca 37TS in Florida. Having never driven one, let alone one that big, whats it going to be like driving it back to northern Ohio???????
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Old 07-14-2018, 06:26 PM   #2
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I don’t know from where in Florida you’re driving north, but stay away from I-4 !

I-75 is pretty good.

Welcome to the forum, and safe travels!
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Old 07-14-2018, 06:39 PM   #3
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About to pull the trigger on a 2017 Seneca 37TS in Florida. Having never driven one, let alone one that big, whats it going to be like driving it back to northern Ohio???????
Be aware it doesn't accelerate, and certainly does not brake, like a sports car. Give yourself lots of room to merge and pass. If the others drivers let you, leave lots of room between anything you are following and yourself. Sitting up high in the cab does give you great forward vision, use it to anticipate and adjust to what is coming ahead.

Also be very aware of the rear end "swing". At slow speeds, if you turn sharply the tail will swing wide. If you are not careful it could strike something beside you like a signpost, pole, vehicle, etc.

Many of us have found the headlights to be weak compared to many modern cars. They frequently are way out of adjustment, but even when correctly aimed they are not great. I have upgraded mine with led bulbs and they are much better. So if you do any night driving just take that into account.

You also have air brakes. They "feel" somewhat different than what you may be used to. Not a bad feeling, just different and may take a bit of getting used to. If air brake-equipped Senecas were commercial vehicles you would need a CDL to drive them, with the air brake training required as part of the CDL training. But for us Ohioans our regular operator's license is all that is required. But I would suggest you educate yourself on how air brakes operate and how they fail. It is different that our car's juice brakes!

May the adventures begin!
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Old 07-14-2018, 07:39 PM   #4
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If you've ever rented the biggest U Haul truck available, and drove it, then you have an idea of size, but not the weight.
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Old 07-14-2018, 08:03 PM   #5
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The biggest thing I realized is that your anticipation has to increase significantly. The elevated height allows you to see much further down than a small car .
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Old 07-14-2018, 09:02 PM   #6
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If you can scope out a large parking lot somewhere like a church or school that you can go to and practice turns, braking, backing, and such.

Driving on the interstate will not be a problem...it's in town and traffic where panic can set in.

I have a CDL and have driven almost every big something out there. What you have is one of the easiest. Just take your time. Use your mirrors. Check your blind spots for idiots. Take turns by pulling ahead as far as possible before starting the turn. Tail swing will get you...it got me once.

Congratulations...I really like the Seneca's. Post up some pictures. Enjoy and safe travels!
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Old 07-15-2018, 12:22 PM   #7
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I agree that it will take some adjustment, but those that I have helped train over the years have the most trouble with changing lanes in traffic.

Most are used to relying on the center rear view mirror, instead of the side view mirrors. Old habits are tough sometimes. I suggest that you start now and force yourself to use the side mirrors ONLY when you drive. I covered our center rear view mirror in our car for DW when prepping her to using the Seneca mirrors.
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Old 07-15-2018, 03:30 PM   #8
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I should have noted that I currently drive a 31' gas class c which is not much of a speed demon either and can get you in trouble with the tail swing
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Old 07-15-2018, 05:02 PM   #9
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I should have noted that I currently drive a 31' gas class c which is not much of a speed demon either and can get you in trouble with the tail swing
Well now...that's a horse of a different color! From your Class C 31' to the Seneca will be an easy transition.

Air brakes, more power, better ride with air bags, diesel generator all pluses! I bet you will enjoy it even more...the handling will be better on that Freightliner Chassis also.

Post up some pictures! I'm jealous but at this stage of our lives wanted to size down and are loving our Greyhawk. We owned a Seneca back in 2006. Not quite what yours will be. Ours was on a GM Kodiak chassis with the Duramax diesel.

Safe travels and let us know how you like it!
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Old 07-16-2018, 08:41 AM   #10
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Well now...that's a horse of a different color! From your Class C 31' to the Seneca will be an easy transition.

Air brakes, more power, better ride with air bags, diesel generator all pluses! I bet you will enjoy it even more...the handling will be better on that Freightliner Chassis also.
X2
We went from a 24' C on a Chevy G30 Chassis - to the Seneca. it was an improvement we really like.
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Old 07-18-2018, 05:25 AM   #11
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Your top awareness items should be:
  1. Navigating fuel stops in your big new rig. Plan them carefully, especially if you have a toad.
  2. Know the limits of your tail swing at all times when turning.
  3. Tires aired up properly (we set ours at 100 psi).
  4. Use an RV GPS of your choice so you can route away from roads with clearance issues.
  5. Be skeptical of your pessimistic fuel gauge; trust your odometer more when planning fuel stops (use 8 mpg as a conservative value until you gain actual usage experience).
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Old 07-18-2018, 05:39 AM   #12
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After traveling a whlie, you can almost predict how much time to allow when trying to compute your travel time. We have come to be able to compute ours by using 50 mph as a figure.

If we are traveling 500 miles, thats a 10 hour day. This factors fuel, meal and rest stops. It's uncanny how it works out about the same, no matter where or how far.
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Old 07-18-2018, 06:15 AM   #13
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After traveling a whlie, you can almost predict how much time to allow when trying to compute your travel time. We have come to be able to compute ours by using 50 mph as a figure.



If we are traveling 500 miles, thats a 10 hour day. This factors fuel, meal and rest stops. It's uncanny how it works out about the same, no matter where or how far.


We run about the same. On long days it might move up a bit but we use 50 as guide and it come pretty close.

One additional item on the Seneca to watch out for is tail drag when towing a dolly or flat towing. My dolly and flat tows require a 4 inch drop hitch. Which puts the hitch ball or tow bars back an additional 6-12 inches. When leaving or entering some parking lots there can be quite a dip between surfaces this can result in a scraping the pavement which is fairly loud and nerve wracking. You need to adjust approach and departure angles to eliminate this as much as possible or even skip the location if it doesnít appear like you can avoid the rub.

Safe travels
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