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Old 06-04-2016, 01:52 PM   #1
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How much turning radius do you need for a rig?

Before I even get into the question, I think the answer will most likely be that you gotta see.

I was wondering how to determine how much turning radius would be needed for my truck/5th wheel combination.

We bought a used 40' Prime Time Crusader 351REQ a month ago (still at the dealer's) and last weekend found a used Ram truck, crew cab, long bed. The issue is where we're trying to park it. We're gonna pull into the driveway up to the garage and back it down another drive towards the shed.

Driving it out will need a tighter turn. One tree has to come down for sure. Trying to figure out if there's a way to calculate the turning radius needed beforehand. Trying to save another tree.

The truck has the 169" wheelbase. Of the 40' length of the trailer, approximately 9 1/2' hang out past the back end of the second axle tire (seemingly not part of this equation except for what it might hit when swinging, and about 24' in front of the front axle tire.

This just seems too hard to figure. I wonder if there's a way to make a model, or if there is a s/w model somewhere.

Any thoughts graciously and thoughtfully considered.
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Old 06-04-2016, 04:32 PM   #2
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I think you already know the answer. (unknown) A lot has to do with the skill of the driver but also with where the hitch pin is located in the bed of your truck. I'm sure if you built an exact scale model you would get your answer otherwise once it's hooked up go to a vacant parking lot and practice turning and measure the radius.
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Old 06-04-2016, 04:42 PM   #3
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There are many possibilities for an answer. Are you expecting to drive straight out or are you willing to do a little maneuvering?

There are certain methods you can use to make shorter corners. It involves some backing up but if you are only doing it occasionally it is not too onerous.
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Old 06-04-2016, 05:12 PM   #4
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Thanks LJowdy & Gordon

Yeah, intractable problem from an armchair perspective. Experience counts.

I prolly will do some maneuvering and have to make more than a 90 degree turn to get out. Don't have the 5th wheel yet and don't want to bring it home for the first time until all the prep work is done.

A second tree guy came out, gave me a great price, was real confident on having to remove a three-trunk clump of tree, and that I should have plenty of room to pull out by removing that second tree. And he's done work for my wife before we met. It's all good.

Now to get a second quote on adding to the driveway...

Thanks again, all.

later
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Old 06-04-2016, 06:13 PM   #5
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Reminds of the lyrics of an old song.
"Give me forty acres and I'll turn this rig around
It's the easiest way that I've found
Some guys can turn it on a dime or turn it right down town
But I need forty acres to turn this rig around"
Don't remember who sang that.
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Old 06-04-2016, 06:22 PM   #6
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Old 06-04-2016, 06:37 PM   #7
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Might take a bit of maneuvering just take your time and have a spotter to assist you.
If I was to try to calculate too much I would never be able to park mine where I do, in my backyard 90 degrees off the alley with a guywire right smack dab in the way.
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Old 06-04-2016, 07:15 PM   #8
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My turning radius is way-huge. But I don't know the specs.
We jus' finished doubling the width of our driveway apron to accommodate our rig. Now I don't have to perform 13 jacknife "K" turns to get in/out onto a narrow county road in front of our house. We had to cut six trees and widen the driveway too. Whew.
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Old 06-04-2016, 07:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwhit View Post
My turning radius is way-huge. But I don't know the specs.
We jus' finished doubling the width of our driveway apron to accommodate our rig. Now I don't have to perform 13 jacknife "K" turns to get in/out onto a narrow county road in front of our house. We had to cut six trees and widen the driveway too. Whew.
Nice. This is why I'm not backing in:
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Old 06-05-2016, 12:54 PM   #10
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Don't blame you. It is doable but would be no fun.
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Old 06-05-2016, 12:57 PM   #11
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Don't blame you. It is doable but would be no fun.
Yeah. Plus the street is kinda narrow and everybody is impatient and until I develop more skills than backing up an 8' trailer, I'm gonna need a lot of time. The second tree has to come down. Liking my plan better every day.
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Old 06-06-2016, 10:04 AM   #12
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Yeah. Plus the street is kinda narrow and everybody is impatient and until I develop more skills than backing up an 8' trailer, I'm gonna need a lot of time. The second tree has to come down. Liking my plan better every day.
IMO it is easier to back up a 40' trailer than an 8' trailer if you have the space. The longer trailer does not react as quickly to steering inputs so I find it easier to predict.

However an 8' I will unhook and push back many times by hand! LOL
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Old 06-06-2016, 10:56 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Yeah. Plus the street is kinda narrow and everybody is impatient and until I develop more skills than backing up an 8' trailer, I'm gonna need a lot of time. The second tree has to come down. Liking my plan better every day.
Long wheelbase truck and short trailer makes for most difficult to back up. The longer 5th wheel is actually easier to back up. As you already determined, you will just have to see once you get the trailer and try it. I believe you will find the longer wheelbase truck is your limiting factor more than the trailer length.
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Old 06-07-2016, 10:18 PM   #14
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Truck turning radius is in owners manual. In reality you can make this steering lock turn while towing a 5er. I've done it on a 4-lane city street, however, it's going to be very hard on trailer suspension, wheel bearings, and tires. I broke a spring shackle doing that turn.
The 5er will track inside the truck turning radius by about 6 or 7 feet. You can determine what your does in a vacant parking lot. Make a steering lock turn, get out and measure tire tread marks you left on the pavement when you dragged the trailer tires sideways and left many miles of rubber on the pavement.
You can back into a place you cannot drive out of due to steering geometry and coupled truck and trailer dynamics.
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