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Old 05-30-2012, 06:43 PM   #1
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Turning radii

I'm very new to rv-ing. I will soon own a 40ft class A. It's my first and I'm jumping in with both feet. But I want to know how one calculates whether or not you can make any particular turn beaded on the width of the road and the angle of the corner??????

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Old 05-30-2012, 06:51 PM   #2
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Welcome to Class A RVing.

You don't "calculate" turns, you eventually get enough driving practice that you can pretty easily judge whether you are going to be able to make any specific turn. It's not 100% accurate, but after ~20,000 miles of driving ours I can pretty much make any turn I attempt and I rarely decide not to try. You'll be surprised how easy turns become after you get enough practice; I've been stuck on some narrow city streets with telephone poles on the corners and I didn't even bother to unhook my toad!

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Old 05-30-2012, 06:54 PM   #3
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I guess it comes with practice for the most part.Sometimes I don't make it and have to back up.Take it to a school yard on the weekend or a mall early sunday morning when the parking lot is empty and practice,you will soon get the hang of it.
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Old 05-30-2012, 07:24 PM   #4
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Different model coach chassis turn at different rates, so there is not one answer. As the others say, it just takes practice. Just as it did when you learned to drive a car.

A 30+ foot Class A RV may have a turning radius in the 30-40 foot range, so you can't do it on a two lane road with no shoulders (road lanes are typically 10-14 feet each).
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Old 05-30-2012, 07:31 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Lynneeskis View Post
I'm very new to rv-ing. I will soon own a 40ft class A. It's my first and I'm jumping in with both feet. But I want to know how one calculates whether or not you can make any particular turn beaded on the width of the road and the angle of the corner??????
Thanks all. I figured that experience would be the true leveler. My problem is that I will be parking on my bed and breakfast property andnusingnit as overflow accommodations for summer guests and the corners onto and off my property are on somewhat sloped gravel with lots of side foliage. I'm terrified that I will tip it on the first try!! Wish me luck!
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Old 05-30-2012, 08:05 PM   #6
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You will have to decide whether to attempt the turn, but my experience has also been that they will negotiate corners better than you would think. One good thing to remember is to start your turn when your tush is even with the corner, not before. My rule of thumb is that if I am uncomfortable with the turn I do not go there.
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Old 05-30-2012, 08:07 PM   #7
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Your turn radius is also determined by the amount of "cut" your chassis has. That is how far the wheels actually turn. Knowing that cut can help in timing most turns. It also will help you anticipate how much swing your overhang will have.

Your chassis manual should tell you how much cut it has.

This is a pretty good series of Class A driving technique videos

RV Driver Confidence Course: Part 1 - Better RVing

It talks about the difference in turn timing based on cut.
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Old 06-01-2012, 10:47 AM   #8
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Macantic's suggestion is a good one! It's even better if you can grab pylons or something visible to mark out the same diagram as were you want to park at your B&B...running over pylons vs. hitting a building - much easier on everything.

Another suggestion while in that empty lot. From a stop, crank the wheel all the way to the right and then do a full circle. I'm sure you'll be able to see from the resulting tire tracks exactly how far out the front tires track, and equally importantly where the rears track. You may want to measure for future reference. I've also heard rumours that some coaches have a different radius on full right hand turns over left hand turns - something to do with their racks. It would be good to know either way!

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Old 06-01-2012, 11:05 AM   #9
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When we got our first DSDP I was amazed at how much sharper it could turn over the previous 35' gas unit, even though the DSDP was 39' long. Our present 41' DSDP turns just as well, as it has an even higher wheel cut at 55.
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Old 06-01-2012, 01:47 PM   #10
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I've found myself in some "tight" Right Turns in downtown traffic situations. This is the most curb-finding maneuver, as opposed to a left-hand turn, that you will encounter.

Like the safe driving video suggest, you need to get a feel for the curb's location and your so-called "Pivot point" where the main swing of the motorcoach occurs.

For me, I have a "visual" clue as to how far back my rear axle is located. My shower stall/tub is directly over my rear axle. I can gauge my speed of turn an approximate when my shower reaches a point where I can do a Hard Right & not hit the intersection's curb.

As mentioned before, familiarity comes with use. You will get the hang of it.
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Old 06-01-2012, 10:45 PM   #11
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Does a garbage truck come up your driveway? My rule of thumb is that if a garbage truck can travel the route, I can make it in my 41 footer. Similar height, width and wheelbase.
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Old 06-02-2012, 01:36 PM   #12
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On a multi-lane road I don't even consider a right turn from the curb lane into the curb lane. I cheat as much as I can into the left lane and then make my turn and usually end up with the front of the coach in or over the center line of the street I am turning onto. Sometimes I run into folks who are not quite courteous enough to help me make the turn, but generally they are very accomodating and will wave me on around while hesitating at the intersection to allow the turn.
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Old 06-03-2012, 05:57 AM   #13
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As already mentioned, study every part of the online driving course. since you have not bought a coach yet, be aware that gas coaches have the motor in front which limits the turning radius, diesel "pushers" have the motor in the rear which allows a greater wheel "cut" and allows sharper turns. This compensates for the diesels longer size. Just like learning to ride a bike......practice practice. DACOTAH
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Old 06-04-2012, 09:46 PM   #14
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Does anyone have thoughts on whether a diesel is a bad idea if the rig will sit more and only be driven about 2000 miles a year. Would gas be better?

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