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Old 01-26-2010, 12:29 PM   #1
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Another rookie question...

First, allow me to say thanks for all the help I've gotten thus far. This forum has been a wealth of knowledge. Hopefully one of these days I'll be on the giving end as well as the receiving end.

I've had no problems at all driving just the coach, but we are about to embark on a trip with a small trailer behind. The coach is 35' and the trailer is a single axle, 13' overall length. My question has to do with swinging wide around corners. As I said, I've been fine with just the coach, but I have no idea how the trailer will track around corners due to the long overhang on the rear of the coach.

Am I going to need to swing really extra wide, or is the overhang going to be my friend in this case, and naturally pull the trailer in a wider arc than that of the rear wheels on the coach? I just can't see in my head what it's going to do. I'm sure I'll be comfortable with it in fairly short order, but I'd sure like some advice before starting out.

Thanks again,
Dan
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:48 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Dan View Post
First, allow me to say thanks for all the help I've gotten thus far. This forum has been a wealth of knowledge. Hopefully one of these days I'll be on the giving end as well as the receiving end.

I've had no problems at all driving just the coach, but we are about to embark on a trip with a small trailer behind. The coach is 35' and the trailer is a single axle, 13' overall length. My question has to do with swinging wide around corners. As I said, I've been fine with just the coach, but I have no idea how the trailer will track around corners due to the long overhang on the rear of the coach.

Am I going to need to swing really extra wide, or is the overhang going to be my friend in this case, and naturally pull the trailer in a wider arc than that of the rear wheels on the coach? I just can't see in my head what it's going to do. I'm sure I'll be comfortable with it in fairly short order, but I'd sure like some advice before starting out.

Thanks again,
Dan
Dan I swing a little wide, if you don't, you may hop some curbs, or take out a stop sign or a tree. If you have a rear view camera, you will quickly see what how much swing is needed. Other wise watch your mirrors closely. The first couple of corners wait for a clear traffic condition and swing very wide to get a mental picture of what works. Some corners are of course worse than others.
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Old 01-26-2010, 02:05 PM   #3
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I know you are looking for information before you start, however, if you have an open parking lot, preferably with some moisture, make some practice turns there. If you have left a trail you can even stop, get out, and walk back to see just how the trailer tracks relative to the MH. MY toad always stays inside my MH track but I have watched a lot of trailers cut to the inside. The width of the trailer Axel and distance before and after the ball figure into the results. You may want to provide that information to get a better answer from someone more knowledgeable than me. Good Luck.
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Old 01-26-2010, 02:13 PM   #4
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If there is a double left or right turn... Get in the outside turn lane for a wider sweep. Be careful not to take out traffic on the inside lane

Anticipate ahead... way ahead
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Old 01-26-2010, 03:49 PM   #5
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Like the other said, always cheat wide but be careful that a car does not try to grab that inside lane while your making the turn. Also use your directionals religiously.

Another suggestion would be to attach a big fisheye mirror on the passenger side so you can see the whole side of the coach.

Roadways seem to give you enough room for turns. I have the most trouble in parking lots where the access is narrow with trees and curbed islands on each side.
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Old 01-27-2010, 01:02 PM   #6
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The long overhang should be your friend in this case, swinging the trailer even wider than the coach wheel track. But watch very carefully on both sides until you verify this.
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:16 PM   #7
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Big Dan
I am going back to the parking lot. I suggest you take bunch of paper cups and some small rocks for weight and go to an empty parking lot with your wife or a helper. Prepare to make a turn, have your helper set a weighted cup beside the rear tire on the inside of the turn. Then as you move through the turn, have your helper set a cup beside the tire about every 10' and watch the trailer tire as it goes by the cups. Do this on various degrees of turns until you are comfortable with what to expect. You may need to change the cup spacing as needed to see what you want. Then go traveling and enjoy.
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:40 AM   #8
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Hi Dan,

Another thought about turning; I always go some distance straight into the corner before beginning the turn, then quickly turn the steering close to full lock to complete the turn. This gets as much of the coach length into the turn as possible. Using this technique, I was able to turn our 26 ft Safari TREK and a 20 ft car trailer around a residential 90 degree turn and stay in one lane (we now have a 29 ft. TREK, and the slight extra wheel base doesn't quite allow this precision).

For longer wheelbase coaches, there is no choice but to use the wide "Barnyard" turn. However, the technique of driving straight into the corner can still be used to advantage; many people (especially in cars) begin their turns before the corner and, with a long wheel base vehicle, this is an invitation to running the rear wheels over the curb.

Practicing in an open parking lot is a good idea; in your mind's eye, think about how you see 18 wheel truck drivers get their rigs around a 90 degree turn.

Good luck and enjoy your RV.
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Old 01-30-2010, 05:23 PM   #9
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Thanks guys. George, I already turn as you do, but was wondering if I would have to exagerate that technique with the trailer. Gary seems to be thinking along the same lines I am. Luckily, we live way out in the sticks, so my first dozen or so turns will be as stress-free as possible. Unluckily, there aren't any parking lots around here big enough to practice on. By the time I get to the first one, I will have already made that first dozen turns. I just can't wait to get out of here Monday morning.
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