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Old 09-28-2012, 07:26 PM   #15
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Well, I'll probably get flamed for this... but here goes...

Get with a big truck driver and learn the art of the "button hook turn".

Contrary to what others above have said, you'd actually need to move to the right side of the lane closer to the curb, then swing the cab left, then right to negotiate the corner. The initial hook left steers the trailer axles to initially go left and thus make a wider arc as you round the corner and keep a better tire distance from the curb.

I know while it may sound like "if someone throws a left hook at you... lean into it", but properly executed it really does work. Watch your city delivery guys in the semis closely and you'll see it in action.

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Old 09-28-2012, 10:24 PM   #16
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. Congratulations on your new Grand Junction. We have a 40' long, 05 GJ, 35TMS, and love it, in fact we just returned from Alaska. I was in/out of some CG's that I didn't think possible, some towns with narrow streets, etc. Take your time, assess your situation, and proceed slowly. I agree, measure your trailer wheel "tracking", for instance, our 40' GJ wheels tracks about 8' inside of the truck rear wheels. I measured the tracks in a gravel parking lot after making a sharp left/right turn like I was in town on narrow streets. Use cones or 8x11 paper weighted with a rock to outline the "intersection".

2000 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom USQ40JD, ISC 8.3 Cummins 350, Spartan MM Chassis. USA 1SG, retired;PPA,Good Sam Life member,FMCA."We the people are the rightful masters of both the Congress and the Courts - not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow men who pervert the Constitution. "Abraham Lincoln"
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Old 09-30-2012, 06:15 AM   #17
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It' ironic but when I was a cop they taught us in pursuit driving to take corners "deep and wide". This advice worked perfect for me when we got our trailer, I just go "deep and wide" and have had no issues when towing.
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Old 09-30-2012, 01:01 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by chiefneon View Post

You need to go to a large empty parking lot and learn how the 5er tracks when making turns. This should help you gain some confidence towing.

"Happy Trails"
When I moved up to a Class A (from a 13 foot Scamp) the length did not bother me at all... I've pulled assorted trailers in the past and am used to calculating turn radius and such.. the WIDTH however, was an entierly different horse. As was pulling in for gas (IF you have a DP that's not an issue)

I second the recommendation for a large (Shopping mall) parking lot after hours when there is nothing to hit but the brakes.

If you can get 'em take some dunce caps with you (Traffic cones)

Drive on the circle road, figure out where "Center of lane" is and put a sticker (avery inventory control dot, or any other peal and stick dot (Publisher Clearing house green dot?)) on the windshield in the proper spot. to cover the center line .

Practice backing into parking spots (without taking out a dunce cap)

and overall get comfortable in the driver's seat.

That is the best advice I can give.

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Old 10-04-2012, 08:18 PM   #19
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I have been towing TT & FW for over 30 years ( ya newbee) But I think the most important thing I learned is to make sure your mirrors will show both the rear axles and back bumper and beside your rig. I upgraded to curved split mirrors and feel it was the biggest help when teaching others how to back up. I have a 41.7' FW and it followes the same tracking as my 36' FW . Previously I towed my boats behind my 36FW and it made tight right corners really interesting. Scared my wife so she says no hitch on the new one. ( we'll see).

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Old 10-04-2012, 11:35 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Shooter351 View Post
The first and most obvious thing is to take your whole lane and the lane of the next one over too if it is safe. Go as wide as possible and if necessary make the vehicle(s) in the left lane of traffic looking at you when you turn, back up or move to accommodate you.

Next, once you enter an intersection legally, you have the right to complete your turn. If traffic has to stop and/or get out of your way, make them.

Finally, don't get nervous or frustrated because people have to move or wait a few extra seconds because you are there. They are obligated to accommodate you. It's your road too.

Truckers have a right hand turn maneuver called a "button-hook." A better description might be a shepherd's staff with the crook on the end. That is the best way to describe the maneuver I have tried to relate without a video.

From: 30 years a trucker and 15 years a driver trainer.
Hey Shooter I appreciate your vantage point. Everyone gets nervous when navigating in close quarters, but it is a relief to hear from a point of view of a professional driver.

I have many times been required to move or back up when confronted with a 53' trailer and tractor.

Thanks for the vote of confidence.

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