NYT Blog: Navigating Manhattan By Motorhome

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October 21, 2013 by   Leave a Comment

Editor’s Note: The following is a blog by Benjamin Preston posted on the New York Times website chronicling his trip through the downtown Manhattan in a 30-foot Jayco motorhome. To read the entire blog click here

Navigating New York City streets in a normal vehicle can be trying enough. When the roads aren’t an awful patchwork of lumpy asphalt and haphazard steel plates, thick clusters of pedestrians crowd into the right-of-way at intersections, making your path look like a canyon that’s slowly closing in upon itself.

Add into the mix a vehicle that is over 30 feet long and about as wide across as two small cars put together, and you’ve turned a course that’s already challenging into something that’s nearly impossible to negotiate. Or so I thought until I tried driving a 2014 Jayco Precept Class A motorhome through several miles of Manhattan traffic last week.

The seat from which I commanded the Precept seemed at first glance like a bus driver’s chair. But even though I was at the wheel of a vehicle large enough to hold leather couches, a kitchenette, a bathroom and a queen-size bed — and with a décor that would rival any townhouse in suburban America — driving the R.V. through the city’s frenetic stream of cabs and delivery trucks felt, after the first few minutes, about as normal as piloting my pickup truck. I assumed the disposition of a stone in the middle of a river: I stayed steady and traffic flowed around me.

Even steering a motor home down narrow Midtown streets isn’t that difficult, I learned — until you come across other oversize vehicles, which are often double-parked. Then it seems almost inevitable that the side mirrors are going to rub like the elbows of people walking down a narrow corridor. But I managed to keep the big plastic mirrors clear of obstacles. I was even able to back out of a street choked with double-parked cars at one point.

Add to that the fact that I didn’t hit any pedestrians and I’d consider my test-drive a success.

To read the entire blog click here.

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