RV Drivesmart - Drive Your Motorhome Like a Pro


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To turn or Not to turn, that is the question

My Travel Blog A problem that many people have when they drive a motorhome is to know when it is OK to turn. There are several ways to establish reference mark that can help you determine when you are clear to make that turn. Here are a few hints: The key to know when to start a turn is knowing where your vehicles “Pivot Point” is. The Pivot Point is defined as the fixed point on a vehicle at which the vehicle rotates around in a turn. On a two axle vehicle it is the center of the rear axle. This means that if an object, for example a tree, is located at the center of the rear axle or behind, you can turn toward the object and not hit it. If the object is ahead of the Pivot Point and you turn toward the object you will hit it.
What I do to start is to take a traffic cone, or something you can easily see, and lay it on its side pointing at the center of the rear axle. I then set in the driver’s seat and see if there is a reference point along the sight line from where you are looking in the mirror, normally the spot or convex mirror, to the point of the cone on the ground. I have experimented with several different types of markings.
On my motorhome the exhaust pipe on the driver’s side is almost perfect. On the passenger’s side there was nothing that stands out, so I put a piece of electrical tape on the awning arm along that sight line. I have also tried putting marks on the mirrors. If you have side cameras you could put marks on the screen. I have even heard of people using old fashion suction cup darts to mark their Pivot Point.
Which one is best is the one that works for you and you are most comfortable with..
When you come to a corner or object do not start turning until the corner or object is above your reference mark, which means it is behind your Pivot Point and the rear of your coach will be swinging away form it.

To learn more about driving a motorhome pick up a copy of “Drive Your Motorhome Like a Pro”, the book by Lorrin Walsh, or the DVD by Mark Polk and Lorrin Walsh, available at http://RVDriveSmart.com