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Old 09-02-2017, 03:20 PM   #1
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Thumbs down Newmar: Please improve your steering wheels for hands free phone/stereo control

Hello 1999 - why are steering wheels not supporting hands free phone and audio controls and anything else cars support for years now? Want to improve driver safety? Keep our eyes on the road and put controls on the wheel PLEASE. Innovate!!!
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Old 09-02-2017, 03:32 PM   #2
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It's not Newmar but, instead, the chassis manufacturer. Your steering wheel is the same as on a Tiffin. Steering wheels are the same on most brands because most coaches are built on a Freightliner chassis. It's Freightliner that should change the steering wheels.
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Old 09-02-2017, 03:33 PM   #3
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I do realize that but there may be some spec or requirement from Newmar for FL to design for.
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Old 09-02-2017, 03:44 PM   #4
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I guess if Newmar built their own chassis then they could get you what you want. For the money involved you'd thing the coach builders would demand it.

I drive a lot of different motorhomes and none of them have any provision for handsfree calling or radio controls on the wheel. It's a pain. I just delivered a Thor Challenger (gasser) and the radio was really a stretch to get to. Most of the drivers I work with have a trucker's Bluetooth headset to use the phone.
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Old 09-02-2017, 03:45 PM   #5
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Ranting on this forum is not going to do it. Write directly to Newmar if you have a suggestion for improving the product.
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Old 09-02-2017, 04:06 PM   #6
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A big "button" on the radio screen, like my last two toads had/have would satisfy me. Unfortunately I think we have one of the last coaches built with the old style radio face, with a zillion buttons you need a 10X zoom magnifying glass to be able to read.
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Old 09-02-2017, 05:41 PM   #7
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Well heck, while we are wishing for changes I would like to see the shift control positioned where I can actually see and use it on the mountain grades rather than trying to look at the arm rest area rather than the road. That would be useful to me on the wheel.
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Old 09-02-2017, 05:43 PM   #8
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Okay...then one more...NEVER put the parking brake right of the steering wheel - NEVER!
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Old 09-02-2017, 05:44 PM   #9
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Or, maybe just enjoy a few hours without having to answer the phone? Radical idea, I know, in today's world.

As for the radio/stereo, in our coach, that's the job of whomever is sitting in the passenger seat!
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Old 09-02-2017, 05:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tranquil Jim View Post
Or, maybe just enjoy a few hours without having to answer the phone? Radical idea, I know, in today's world.

As for the radio/stereo, in our coach, that's the job of whomever is sitting in the passenger seat!
I don't care so much about the phone and it would be a challenge as to where to put a mic and pick up voice in the noise at driving speeds. However, audio control really would be nice.
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Old 09-02-2017, 06:03 PM   #11
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Okay...then one more...NEVER put the parking brake right of the steering wheel - NEVER!


Actually, the parking brake on the right side is good for the passenger in the event the driver experiences a medical emergency. They can activate the brake and guide the coach to the side of the road in a controlled manner, even with the driver unconscious in the drivers seat.
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Old 09-02-2017, 06:13 PM   #12
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Ranting on this forum is not going to do it. Write directly to Newmar if you have a suggestion for improving the product.
And get your checkbook out to pay for it!
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Old 09-02-2017, 07:19 PM   #13
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Our Dutch Star Clarion radio has Bluetooth for basic hands free phone operation. It actually works pretty well. I've tried to justify replacing the Clarion several times, but the darn thing does a pretty good job of GPS, Bluetooth and XM radio for us.

On my previous coach, I installed a Pioneer AVIC AM/FM/XM, CD, GPS unit. At that time it was Pioneer's top of the line. With that unit you could buy an optional steering wheel remote. It was a small egg shaped remote that strapped to the wheel. It fit perfectly on the Smart Wheel. I could change stations and switch from AM to FM and XM. The thing I really liked.....it had some GPS functions, the best one being, a repeat switch of the last direction. Often it was handy to repeat the last direction given.

They still make the AVIC units and the remote is still available for some of the models.
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Old 09-02-2017, 07:57 PM   #14
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I have a Garmin 770 just left of the wheel dash mounted, it has very good hands free use as well (bluetooth, phone, etc.). I prefer the 770 over the Clarion a million times over. I sometimes use the Clarion as backup but the Clarion does not have my confidence. I'd consider replacing it IF there was a dash unit that had the RV/Trucker support (dimensions). The 770 has been fantastic other than within yellowstone, both Clarion and Garmin wanted to route me around yellowstone, paper directions were key there and also proved having paper backup is good for directions.
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