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Old 12-20-2012, 09:17 AM   #1
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Comfort Drive question

I have a 2006 DSDP and I love it. My question is about a control I have on the Steering Wheel called "Smart Wheel". I really like the feel and control it gives me. It makes driving much easier. Is this similiar to the "Comfort Drive" I hear everyone talking about?
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Old 12-20-2012, 11:36 AM   #2
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Hi JBrockey,
The short answer is no. CD did not get installed on the DS coaches until 08. I have no idea what the "Smart Wheel" control does as far as steering goes.
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Old 12-20-2012, 11:44 AM   #3
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No, comfort drive is a electric assist in addition to power steering.


How it works is by correcting the steering in "odd road conditions". Say you're driving on a road with a heavy crown, that crown consistently pulls the steering wheel to the right. So to compensate you have the hold the steering wheel to the left to maintain a straight coarse (in a non-comfort drive coach).

With comfort drive: That holding to the left for straight becomes the new center point of the steering. Now your coach tracks straight and true with minimum steering input, even though the road conditions have not changed.

After road conditions do change and you begin to hold the wheel to compensate, comfort steer senses this change and re-compensates for you.

Should there ever be a failure in the comfort steering it's natural default setting is plain old power steering.

The newer models have an adjustable dial on the dash so you change how hard or soft the power steering feels.


Here is what I've found after putting 4000 miles on our comfort steering: It happens so smoothly that you don't even know it's working. The more tired I get at the end of the day, I just turn the dial to soften the steering. Wind gust still wiggle you on the road, but a steady side wind isn't even noticeable.

It took me 600 miles before I realized how drastic a difference it made for me. I just did not feel like I drove 600 miles, felt more like 400.

Hope this helps to understand a little bit.
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Old 12-20-2012, 12:25 PM   #4
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This sounds similar to the Blue Ox TruCenter I had installed on my F53 chassis.
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Old 12-20-2012, 03:19 PM   #5
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Jim, here is information on your smart wheel and here is info on CD.
Both are found in QT's 1 & 2.
CD is not Blue Ox true center, completly different, I'am afraid.
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Old 12-21-2012, 06:22 AM   #6
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Our coach is "rad old school" with its "Howard Power Center Steering" adjustable air over hydraulic centering assist system. Love it for the long side wind trips. Envious of the Comfort Drive though just saying.
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Old 12-21-2012, 06:39 AM   #7
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OK, I guess I just Crazy.

I guess I need to drive a unit with "Comfort Drive" to see the difference. I love the "Smart Wheel" feature and I believe it does the same that everyone describes as Comfort Drive. I guess it doesn't matter, I like what I have and it seems to take the play out of the wheel and handles the winds just fine.

Thanks everyone for your help. I also LOVE this site.
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Old 12-21-2012, 11:46 AM   #8
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I am pretty sure that "smart wheel" has zero to do with steering. I am pretty sure it only deals with lights, cruise and wipers. I have searched everything I can on "smart wheel" and get all the same info. I have an 05 MADP with "smart wheel" and it does nothing with steering.

OP, what is the control on the wheel you are speaking of? Is it a switch, button, knob? That might help us understand a little more. I am certainly not disagreeing with your post, but if smart wheel is something different than what I think it is I would like to know as well becasue I have a smart wheel.
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Old 12-21-2012, 03:24 PM   #9
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Smart Wheel

The Control for the Smart Wheel is located on the steering wheel. It is exactly the same type of button as my wipers, wiper speed control and my cruise control. when I press it, there is a noticable difference in the play in the steering wheel, making the unit easier to steer. That's all I am saying. It does not appear to have any control or effect on the wipers or cruise control. I will try to photograph the control button tomorrow and attach to this thread.
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Old 12-21-2012, 03:31 PM   #10
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A picture would be nice. Does it say something, or have a symbol on it? Again, I am not doubting at all, but it is interesting and I am trying to learn also. I just picked my newmar up a couple months ago coming from a Fleetwood. so I am in sponge mode for knowledge right now.
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Old 12-21-2012, 04:16 PM   #11
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A "Smart Wheel" has nothing to do with assisting the steering like "Comfort Drive" does. It has the controls for your wipers, cruise control etc. I had a a "Smart Wheel" on my Bus and have now driven many Newmars with "Comfort Drive" which really seems to assist especially in cross winds and when being passed by semi's.
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Old 12-21-2012, 07:37 PM   #12
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The Comfort Drive link will explain its use when you move up to 2008, some 2007's, you will have it on the Sparten chassis and the new Freightliner chassis's.
If you can afford a Provost they say they have it also but maybe not Ken's design.
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Old 12-21-2012, 09:07 PM   #13
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I am not aware of any Prevost with anything like comfort drive. Newell coach is using a version of Kens system on their coaches now I understand.
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Old 12-21-2012, 09:35 PM   #14
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One of the big boys has it and its not the same as Ken's.
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