How miserable is it to drive a RHD "manual" 81?

SoyBoy

Member
I drove my 1st RHD "automatic" 81 yesterday and was pleasantly surprised by how intuitive & drama free it was to drive on the right.

To qualify my question - I learned to drive on a manual LHD and still own a few fast manual cars.
So - Now that I have been convinced to get a manual for expedition use, I am wondering how annoying it would be to drive a RHD 81 with "manual" transmission day in day out for 3 months straight? I ask this having never driven a manual RHD.
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
I think your question is also about how quickly a person used to driving with right hand shifting can mirror learned muscle memory. Sit on the passenger side of your current stick shifts cars and try.

The gear pattern is the same regardless of handedness. So to get 1st now is pull left, push up with right arm but on RHD it will be push left, push up with left arm. The pedal layout is the same, so left foot clutch, right brake and accelerator.

Another thing to consider is sometimes turn signal and wiper levers are flipped on the steering column, too.

It'll be interesting to hear what people say.
 

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Heading Out

Adventurer
I was shifting my parents VW from the right seat when I was about 6 and when I started driving from
the drivers seat, it was no problem. as has been said soon you will notice.

If you're considering a RHD vehicle in a LHD country or the other way around,
for me the biggest problem was seeing around vehicles in front to pass.

Around here the rural mail carrier sometimes drive a LHD car from the right seat. LOL
 

SoyBoy

Member
Dave - I'm at the edge of my seat. I sat in the passenger seat and tried it out. Tomorrow I'll have someone drive my manual while I shift in the passenger seat.
Red90 - You have a lot of confidence in me. But I'm guessing you are probably right.
Heading out - I've heard that - But when I test drove the RHD 81 yesterday I kind of sensed that passing for me will be less of an issue than I initially perceived.
Shortbus - I'll tie a string on my right hand to get around it.
 

Regcabguy

Expedition Leader
I've worked on a few mail Jeeps and the hardest thing for me was I would always go to the left door to get in to drive it.
I was doing that 3 months into a trip in Australia and I was 29. It's been 40 years now. Probably a fourth of the traffic compared to there now. Before mandatory conversions the Aussies drove LHD Yank Tanks there for decades. Funny,elbows in is the law but back then you could share a liter of Toohey's with your mate in the front seat.
 

Heading Out

Adventurer
Heading out - I've heard that - But when I test drove the RHD 81 yesterday I kind of sensed that passing for me will be less of an issue than I initially perceived.
It's really not that bad, mostly on narrow busy 2 lane roads with a large truck or van in front.
and yes, walking to the incorrect side of the vehicle with people around makes one feel silly LOL
 

Heading Out

Adventurer
Dave - I'm at the edge of my seat. I sat in the passenger seat and tried it out. Tomorrow I'll have someone drive my manual while I shift in the passenger seat.

The toughest thing is getting the timing of the clutch and shift right between driver and shifter
 

C p weinberger

Active member
-if you go from right hand to left hand drive vehicles regularly during week you will find
-you open left side door to drive car and realize the passenger is already sitting and you awkwardly walk to right side to get behind wheel. And vice versa
-you confuse wiper and indicator
-you try to insert ignition key on wrong side
- the only serious drawback I found was trying to pass on windy two lane rounds with steering wheel in wrong side. It is definitely more dangerous. With that said, living on Mid east coast I can’t remember ever trying to pass some one on a two lane road in the last ten yrs. It was definitely an issue over seas. But if you were driving an older diesel landcruiser you weren’t passing anyone anyway so it was mute point.
 

C p weinberger

Active member
Remember Japanese vehicles are intuitively designed by their engineers in right hand drive first and only converted to left-hand drive for the other markets outside of Japan, So they are instinctively better in right hand drive
 

SoyBoy

Member
C p - The passing part was one of my first concerns.
- I have the ignition key in the wrong hand all the time in my 993!
- good point wrt Japanese engineers - bonus...
 

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Peter_n_Margaret

Adventurer
There are a couple of manoeuvres that can trap you when in a RHD vehicle driving on the RH side of the road (or visa versa).
Turning left at an intersection there is a tendency to finish up on the wrong side of the road. The clue is to watch the centre white line and keep it on your left.
Then entering a road from private property or a shopping centre can lead you to driving on the wrong side of the road.
Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 motorhome
 

C p weinberger

Active member
One of my biggest concerns for me personally buying and driving a RHD vehicle in the USA.. but probably would not pertain to most people in the states.. as I drove on the left side for so many years, and to this day if I am tired and on the road without other vehicles I repeat the mantra to myself “right is right” to not drive on the left side, but if I’m in a RHD vehicle, it’s late, I’m tired or distracted I could easily see myself making a dangerous error. My sister was a nurse in the head injury unit at Mayo Clinic and besides the majority of donorcycle patients she would routinely have elderly priests with head injuries who had returned to USA from overseas postings and forgot what side they were supposed to be on.
 
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