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Under The Awning Here is where you can carry on a conversation, just like............well, like you were sitting under your awning at the campsite.

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  #1  
Old 05-28-2009
yesmar's Avatar
yesmar yesmar is offline
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Smile Driving can be stressful

We left TGO this morning in the rain. I elected to pull the boat behind the motor home and allow Sue to follow in the Jeep. This makes me about 70 feet long, which means I need to make wide turns. Forty miles out of TGO, I decide to go through Deland. It’s a good road and it would save 20 miles. Blindly following the GPS, I turn onto SR 17 in Deland. It starts off as a four lane, so I am sure this is a good route. Then the four lanes becomes a two lane street. Then the city decided to put posts (message says stop for students in the cross walk) in the middle of the two lanes as we approach Stetson University. It’s tight, but I have room on each (at least 2 inches). Then I must turn left. It is very very very narrow. Gator was sitting in Sue’s seat. The people in Deland are pretty smart. It did not take them long to figure out that I needed both lanes of that road. It was good of the city to have built side walks on their side of the road. Now at the end of this road, I have an inside to inside (right turn) turn from this narrow street to another narrow two lane street. Since I am in the left lane, the guy across the intersection realizes in a heart beat that he is not going anywhere until I turn. I see the cars going in the opposite direction that I am attempting to go. Quickly I give it the gas to get in their lane before they get there. Yep, those Deland people are pretty smart and they have brakes too. They must have a good dentist there also. As I went by them on that narrow road, they all opened their mouth to show me how their good teeth were. I knew I was in trouble when Gator(our dog) attempted to jump out the window. Gator sat in Sue’s seat and was ever vigilant for the rest of the trip. All in All, I did good. It is so much easier to absorb information and make key decisions when Sue is not there to give her opinions and observations. However, when we did stop, she compared the experience with Jackson State University that Richard Booze caused. The streets were so narrow there, that Sue and I stuck our heads out the side windows in order to make sure we missed the cars parked on each side of the road.



In Ocala we opt to take a short cut under I-75 to HWY 27 to Chiefland. It is a lovely lane lined with horse farms on both sides of the road. It is some what narrow, but you know, I can see half the center line and half the side line in my mirrors when I am centered. The shoulders drop off fairly rapidly, but not bad. This guy in a car starts flashing his lights at me as we meet. I think he is warning me that a policeman is ahead, but I don’t need to worry, because the road is so narrow, that 45 MPH is all I am comfortable driving. As I make the curve, I see what all the flashing is about. A double wide mobile home coming down the road taking up half my lane. Slowing down to a crawl, I move over and go off the road as far as I dare. I don’t need a wrecker to pull me and the boat out of the 4 foot ditch. He moves over as far as he can. I never heard of kissing mirrors, but our mirrors came as close to kissing mirrors as you can without really kissing. Then it occurs to me, that double wides have two halves. I look in the mirror and I noticed the back of the mobile home was open, but it never occurred to me that this a triple wide. To make a long story short, I met the other two and I survived.



Now that I am on a four lane headed for Perry, I am sure all my driving test and trials are over. Wrong. Driving down the lane fat, dumb and happy, I notice a car following Sue very close. I watch intently for about 5 miles. I am debate calling Sue and bringing it to her attention. But I decide not to, because I do not want to alarm her. Well, she calls me about the car tail gating her. We decide for her to pass me and then pull in front. She pulls out. The other car pulls out. Sue pulls over in front of me. The other car pulls over in front of me and still behind Sue. Sue is about 6 car lengths in front of me and the other car is so close to her I can only see half way up the back of Sue’s car. The other car is only about a half a car length behind Sue. I quickly dismiss the idea this driver is practicing drafting for NASCAR. Sue slows down. The other car slows down. While speeding up to get on this jackass’s bumper, I continually blow my air horn. It makes no difference. As I am approaching his bumper and reaching for my phone to call the highway patrol, the car breaks away and leaves. That was an unsettling event. It appeared to be a young man and woman. I don’t know what the deal was, but they came close to being pancakes made by Bluebird.
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  #2  
Old 05-28-2009
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JackandLiz JackandLiz is offline
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Howdy, Richard.
I enjoyed reading about your driving "adventure".

Early on in our RVing career, we got hung up on some narrow roads and squeeky tight spots. Because of that, my DH, Jack, drives on the interstate highways as much as possible.

However, y'all did good!!

Regards,
Liz
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  #3  
Old 05-28-2009
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Richard,
The next time you go through DeLand take the 17-92 truck bypass around the downtown area. It's 4 lane all the way through & lots less lights. Might help just a little with the stress level.
Happy traveling!
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  #4  
Old 05-28-2009
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peteaeonix peteaeonix is offline
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Your comment about "turning wide" because of the length of the trailer:

When I took my training with the RV Driving School, the instructor demonstrated something that certainly was not intuitive. If the rear wheels of the coach clear (a curb, or other obstacle), then the toad (and I presume a trailer) will also clear the obstacle.

I don't know if a trailer might move differently than a toad behind a bird, but even so, the trailer is less wide than the coach, so even if it 'cuts in' a bit, it may still clear the turn.

It might be time to find a big parking lot, set up some "soft" obstacles (cones, or even a rag) then make some turns. To demonstrate the situation, my instructor had me make the sharpest turn I could, then I stopped part way through the maneuver -- he put a cone right next to the drive axle inside wheel and I continued the turn. The toad cleared the cone by more than 18". As I said, this was not intuitive.

Admittedly, the toad "steers" and a trailer does not, but it's probably worth making the experiment to ensure that you're not oversteering unnecessarily.

Note: If you're over 70' in total on-the-road length, then be careful what states you tow the boat into. In California, which has a 65' length limit, the result would be (1) an expensive ticket, and (2), you will be required to 'drop' the trailer and make other arrangements to tow it while in the state. While many states do allow 70', there are also quite a few where the limit is considerably less, with 65' being the most common.
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  #5  
Old 05-28-2009
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iamflagman iamflagman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peteaeonix View Post
Your comment about "turning wide" because of the length of the trailer:

When I took my training with the RV Driving School, the instructor demonstrated something that certainly was not intuitive. If the rear wheels of the coach clear (a curb, or other obstacle), then the toad (and I presume a trailer) will also clear the obstacle.

I don't know if a trailer might move differently than a toad behind a bird, but even so, the trailer is less wide than the coach, so even if it 'cuts in' a bit, it may still clear the turn.
I'm sitting at a WalMart Supercenter in Winder, GA while I wait for the Road Atlanta gates to open so I can get in there this afternoon, but getting into the parking area here took a little maneuvering and the right hand turn that I had to make, was into a narrow entrance turn. I managed to make it into the turn completely clearing both front and back axles of my 'Bird, but my trailer CLOSED IN on the turn and I had to go slowly so I could watch my right mirror, as the right side trailer tires on the inside of the turn climbed onto and off of the curb, I have had this happen more than I would like, but it is the nature of the beast. So assuming that the trailer will clear is not the best assumption, it all depends on the length and width of the trailer and the position of the axle(s) on the trailer, they do not necessarily track the same as a toad. Since I pull the trailer almost all of the time, I get a lot of practice.

I would rather unnecessarily oversteer, or swing wide making a turn, than to cut it too short and either hit something or catch myself and have to back up and try over again to clear it.
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  #6  
Old 05-28-2009
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Bill Pape Bill Pape is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peteaeonix View Post
Your comment about "turning wide" because of the length of the trailer:

When I took my training with the RV Driving School, the instructor demonstrated something that certainly was not intuitive. If the rear wheels of the coach clear (a curb, or other obstacle), then the toad (and I presume a trailer) will also clear the obstacle.

I don't know if a trailer might move differently than a toad behind a bird, but even so, the trailer is less wide than the coach, so even if it 'cuts in' a bit, it may still clear the turn.

It might be time to find a big parking lot, set up some "soft" obstacles (cones, or even a rag) then make some turns. To demonstrate the situation, my instructor had me make the sharpest turn I could, then I stopped part way through the maneuver -- he put a cone right next to the drive axle inside wheel and I continued the turn. The toad cleared the cone by more than 18". As I said, this was not intuitive.

Admittedly, the toad "steers" and a trailer does not, but it's probably worth making the experiment to ensure that you're not oversteering unnecessarily.
Pete,
I believe you are correct on the turning side with a steering toad.
But on a sever tight turn that 18" moves the toad in the opposite direction 18" or what ever distance???, and it may not clear on the opposite side. We, with FC's and maybe PT's, need to be concerned about the rear kick-out swing.
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  #7  
Old 05-28-2009
fxdwg fxdwg is offline
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I always think about rear end swing out when I'm in tight quarters. It's never come close so far, but the first time I don't look, I can guarantee I hit.
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  #8  
Old 05-28-2009
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gcyeaw gcyeaw is online now
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Yea,
Sometimes the road narrow, and sometimes the bridge is too low, and sometimes you are too heavy. Ocasionallhy it's all three.
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  #9  
Old 05-28-2009
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yesmar yesmar is offline
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Smile Short cars track

I tow a Jeep and a full size Cherolet 4 door truck. With the Jeep, If the coach makes the turn, the jeep makes the turn. However, with the almost 20' 4 door pickup truck, It will cut shorter than the coach by about 1/2 the width of the tire. Maybe the width of the tire.

I have a sharp left hand turn in my drive way. The coach's tires will completely stay on the asphalt (just barely) in this turn, but the truck's tires will travel over the grass by at least 1/2 to the width of the tire. Due to the small image in my small mirror, it is tough to tell. I am usually too busy avoiding the pine trees on the right to worry about moving the large mirror.

I think that how something tracks behind a vehicle, depends on the axle placement, the width, and the length. The Poontoon boat trailer is just as wide as my coach. My truck and Jeep are not as wide as the truck, but the jeep has a shorter wheel base. With the Jeep, no need to fear turning too sharp. Because if the coach makes it, so will the jeep Grand Cherokee.

Glad I stirred up some debate and interest. It was written to share an experience and amuse seasoned drivers by the green horn stupidity.
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  #10  
Old 05-28-2009
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Randy Dupree Randy Dupree is offline
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Hwy.27 is a beautiful road,thats my part of the country,i travel those roads a lot.

I'm a back roads kind of guy,i hate running the interstates.
Next year going to "Q" i'm going to run hwy 98 all the way from Fl.,unless i can find another back road thats better!
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