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Old 02-19-2015, 12:32 PM   #1
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Newmar Comfort Drive Demonstration

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Old 02-19-2015, 12:49 PM   #2
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Great video!! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 02-19-2015, 03:35 PM   #3
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He says the nicest things. I don't use the efforts control the way he does but that's the beauty of it. He has authority over his control and can operate it however he wants, not the way some engineer somewhere tells him he has to. If what he does makes him happy, it thrills me silly. It also means that you don't have to use it like either one of us.
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Old 02-19-2015, 03:56 PM   #4
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Would like to try a comfort drive to see what it does.

I wonder what a demo on 95 would be like. The road surface is a lot rougher than the one in the demo. I notice the puddles on the side of the road and did not see any wind riffles on any of them.
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Old 02-21-2015, 05:11 PM   #5
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Took a test drive w/ Lindsey and he's a great guy!
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Old 02-21-2015, 05:29 PM   #6
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Lindsey's a good guy. We dealt with him for a couple of years in trying to come to terms for a 43' Ventana. Due to one thing or another, we just couldn't find the right mh at the right price. We drove several of the big Ventanas with the CD, and it was very nice to drive.

At the time, we had narrowed our choices down to the 43 Ventana and the 42.5 Phaeton. Both were comparably equipped with the Phaeton having more accessories and options. However, the CD was really a big plus, but while it was very nice, I didn't feel that the CD was the deciding factor and we eventually wound up with the Phaeton (for about $10K less) that we got down the street from Guaranty at RV Corral.

I really enjoyed working with Lindsey.

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Old 02-21-2015, 05:49 PM   #7
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I wish they explained the mechanics of how it works.
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Old 02-21-2015, 06:53 PM   #8
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Lots of great stuff but I have to knit picks.

1. Emphasis on driving 1 handed. It is nice that you can but it isn't the normal position one should normally use. IMHO.

2. Freightliner chassis as an upgrade. Open for some debate but I don't think it should be a deal breaker either. Still a good chassis.
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Old 02-22-2015, 06:49 AM   #9
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I wish they explained the mechanics of how it works.

I think - in laymans terms - there is a centering device that feels the steering move from center when a wind gust or road deviation changes the steering. It has a device or something to recenter the steering, much like we automatically do when driving. There is a sensitivity setting that the operator can change sort of like an autopilot.

I have some concerns that you have to change it for different road conditions. It appears to work against you if you have it set for straight roads and enter a section of curves. I can see opportunities to forget to change the setting and end up fighting the comfort drive while negotiating curves.

I have no issues with Lindsay and hope I did not come across that way. The video was well done and he is a good ambassador for the product, well spoken and believeable.

However for a true demonstration I would like to see it in the conditions described of cross winds and semis passing.
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Old 02-22-2015, 10:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon Dewald View Post
I think - in laymans terms - there is a centering device that feels the steering move from center when a wind gust or road deviation changes the steering. It has a device or something to recenter the steering, much like we automatically do when driving. There is a sensitivity setting that the operator can change sort of like an autopilot.

I have some concerns that you have to change it for different road conditions. It appears to work against you if you have it set for straight roads and enter a section of curves. I can see opportunities to forget to change the setting and end up fighting the comfort drive while negotiating curves....
As to how it works I think that in schematic description it senses the difference between steering wheel input and front wheel direction. It then calculates a correction factor. After it makes those comparison and throws in some computer magic it re-centers the steering wheel and relieves the pressure on the driver's hands. For pilots it is akin to the trim features aircraft have that relives input pressures on the yoke.

The problem the system faces is that it can't predict anything but can only rely on what it has seen, is seeing and then produce some kind of average correction factor to the steering wheel.

It is perhaps a wild guess but I think that the system setting determines how much history and how it is used/calculated to determine how it makes these corrections. On a long, straight path with few changes present the system will have a long, consistent history so a setting of "5" might be "best". Roads as seen in the demo video will not produce a consistent history. In such a case I would hope the CD system actually disengages in a careful/gradual manner or at least limits itself until it can find enough data to do its job. I also suspect that it doesn't make the effort more difficult when compared to a none CD coach but if you have been driving set at 5 and then hit those curves it will appear harder by comparison. I say that because I suspect that the driver gets use to easy (1 handed?) driving and now has to use 2 hands.

To be honest, in longer coaches and those with tag axles I don't think settings above 3 would yield any significant additional comfort to the driver. I'm certain my 43', tag axle coach would gain some comfort from the system but to what degree I really can't say but only guess.

One feature I have read of and heard other talk about is that when backing up it will auto center the wheels. This can be helpful in re-orienting the driver's awareness of wheel position.

BTW...from the comments I have read and heard, it appears that settings of 3 and lower seem more normal and closer to 2 on 45' coaches. That is my non-scientifically determined conclusion. LOL

I don't like the concept that if a user needs to make sudden changes to the CD settings to make it work. This is especially true when transitioning from straight roads to twisty ones when the driver shouldn't be distracted with twisting any knobs. CD control should be at the driver's finger tips much like cruise control.

I'm certain there are variation on a theme that will be more accurate than my WAGs but I think I'm conceptually close to the mark.
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Old 02-22-2015, 11:43 AM   #11
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I think I am blessed to have CD on my 2007, but I can't fully appreciate how much it is doing for me. This is not only my 1st MH, but one of only half a dozen new or used coaches that I have ever test driven. So far, all my trips have been 4-5 hours over narrow, rough, and heavily worn roads with moderate to heavy cross winds. The 2007 models didn't have adjustable CD, and I feel like I have to constantly correct the steering, although it is effortless. I'm not sure if this is normal for these conditions or what I should reasonably expect from it. I am really looking forward to hitting I-10 west with good roads and moderate grades in APR. Although, one would expect some wind along the route. I travelled that route about 6 times in the last 3 years, pulling my previous 5th wheel.
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Old 02-22-2015, 01:43 PM   #12
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My scattered comments are in red.

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It is perhaps a wild guess but I think that the system setting determines how much history and how it is used/calculated to determine how it makes these corrections. This is not true. The efforts setting controls how much assistance (if the driver likes the steering light) or resistance (if the driver likes it stiff) when it is steered away from center.

In such a case I would hope the CD system actually disengages in a careful/gradual manner or at least limits itself until it can find enough data to do its job. The CD does not change its behavior over time. The driver controls the stiffness.

I also suspect that it doesn't make the effort more difficult when compared to a none CD coach but if you have been driving set at 5 and then hit those curves it will appear harder by comparison. I say that because I suspect that the driver gets use to easy (1 handed?) driving and now has to use 2 hands. It CAN make the effort even heavier than a conventional gear if the driver chooses to set it that way. I know of several drivers who like it very heavy.

To be honest, in longer coaches and those with tag axles I don't think settings above 3 would yield any significant additional comfort to the driver. I'm certain my 43', tag axle coach would gain some comfort from the system but to what degree I really can't say but only guess. Different people want different settings for different reasons at different times. Comfort is an extremely personal opinion and everybody has a different definition.

One feature I have read of and heard other talk about is that when backing up it will auto center the wheels. This can be helpful in re-orienting the driver's awareness of wheel position. This one is completely true.

BTW...from the comments I have read and heard, it appears that settings of 3 and lower seem more normal and closer to 2 on 45' coaches. That is my non-scientifically determined conclusion. LOL My scientifically determined conclusion is that a CD at 2.5 to 3 is about like a standard gear but the friction is very much reduced, improving the feel even then. Of course, this depends on the steering gear you are comparing it against. The brand and model of conventional gear affect the efforts by nearly 50%, too.

I don't like the concept that if a user needs to make sudden changes to the CD settings to make it work. This is especially true when transitioning from straight roads to twisty ones when the driver shouldn't be distracted with twisting any knobs. CD control should be at the driver's finger tips much like cruise control. This is completely not true. Most drivers do not change the setting from straight to curvy roads. The CD is always working and you do not need to change something "to make it work". If you want a fingertip control like cruise control, talk to Newmar because the driver interface is their choice. Newell does have a "heavier / lighter" switch on the steering wheel.
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Old 02-22-2015, 04:33 PM   #13
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My scattered comments are in red.
UM...my foolish opinions were pretty well shot down. LOL

Honestly, I guess I deserved it running with a theory that I came up with after a discussion with a tech. My bad and I apologize for confusing anyone.
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Old 02-22-2015, 09:50 PM   #14
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This is completely not true. Most drivers do not change the setting from straight to curvy roads. The CD is always working and you do not need to change something "to make it work". If you want a fingertip control like cruise control, talk to Newmar because the driver interface is their choice. Newell does have a "heavier / lighter" switch on the steering wheel.

My only knowledge of the system is what was presented in the video at the beginning of the thread. The explanation given was that a higher setting was used on straight roads and a lower setting on roads with twisties. The driver in fact made a point to turn the dial on the dash as he approached the curves.

It would seem that at a higher setting if the comfort drive is opposing the driver while in the curve it is not an assistance. A properly set up vehicle should steer itself around the curve (at least partly) while at the speed limit due to the superevlevation present in all properly designed roads. Superelevation is the banking of the road that helps the vehicle and driver counter the centrifical forces that occur when you are driving the vehicle on a circle.

It appears comfort drive does not like curves.
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