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Old 02-27-2013, 09:46 AM   #1
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Steering angle - Itasca Suncruser

While watching a video on driving an RV the presenter said that were you begin you turn should be based on your steering angle. This is described as the degree between your wheels facing straight forward to their max angle (either left or right). Where can I find the steering angle on a 2006 Itasca Suncruiser 37B?

I have looked at the available documentation but cannot find that info.

Thanks
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:26 AM   #2
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I'm not sure you need that specific information. If you pretend it is 50 degrees and use your seat as a reference, you should be fine. Granted, you may be wandering into the oncoming traffic a bit, but you just have to be careful. IMHO, your coach has a 50 degree cut, but I am by no means certain.

Travel safe.
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:21 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by osgoor View Post
................ Where can I find the steering angle on a 2006 Itasca Suncruiser 37B?

I have looked at the available documentation but cannot find that info.

Thanks
The steering angle is determined by the chassis builder, so you need to research the SA for the particular chassis, not the coach model. Ed
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Old 02-28-2013, 08:23 AM   #4
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Did the video come with a protractor?

My pre-driving-age daughter watched me driving from the passenger seat and declared "I see how you do that." What she observed was me looking in the right-hand rear view mirror to see where my rear axle was as I made a tight turn.

I think it doesn't really matter so much what the maximum angle is as it does to know your pivot point. When your rear axle looks to be almost up to the apex of whatever you're trying to clear, like a curb corner, crank the wheel over all the way. Learning to think about your pivot point and watching it in action will probably teach you more about how to make turns than knowing statistics about your chassis.
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Old 02-28-2013, 08:27 AM   #5
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Thanks all.... I guess it's like most things. Once you've done it a few times it is no big deal.
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:05 AM   #6
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If it is the Workhorse W series chassis it should be 50 degrees as I recall. In 2004 it was 47 degrees but changed to 50 in either 2005 or 2006.

It is a good number to use to compare/judge the turning radius of different chassis. It won't tell you what the turning radius is but the higher the degrees the better the turning radius should be.
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Old 02-28-2013, 12:39 PM   #7
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Did the video come with a protractor?

My pre-driving-age daughter watched me driving from the passenger seat and declared "I see how you do that." What she observed was me looking in the right-hand rear view mirror to see where my rear axle was as I made a tight turn.

I think it doesn't really matter so much what the maximum angle is as it does to know your pivot point. When your rear axle looks to be almost up to the apex of whatever you're trying to clear, like a curb corner, crank the wheel over all the way. Learning to think about your pivot point and watching it in action will probably teach you more about how to make turns than knowing statistics about your chassis.
That is an extremely good summary, John!

Both DW and I were transit operators and trainers at one time in our working lives. Having to maneuver 40' and 60' buses in heavy downtown traffic in a big city where clearances are a matter of inches at times , it really boils down to exactly what you're saying. We always stressed "pivot point" when training new drivers. It's important to picture in your mind exactly what the bus is doing when making a turn. When students had trouble making turns, we'd always tell them to imagine you are in a helicopter looking down on the bus making a turn and watch exactly where the coach is pivoting and it will be, as you said, the rear axle.

Had a student asked "what degree of steering angle should I be worried about when making a turn," I'd tell them to actually forget about worrying about steering angle or the turning radius as (for us) each bus you drive will be a bit different when it comes to steering angle and turning radius.

In practice, it really doesn't matter what the turning radius may be if you start turning the wheel before the coach reaches its pivot point as you will come in contact with whatever it is you are trying to avoid whether it be another vehicle, a fixed object, or a curb.

So I agree, it's a matter of feel and being aware of the pivot point of the vehicle you're driving and not a matter of trying to calculate actual angles in your head while making a turn. Just our opinion.

-harry


edit: I had an agreement when training new students that everytime they ran over a curb that they'd owe me a cup of coffee. Even when I found myself yelling "watch your pivot point!," some would run over the curb regardless. I accumulated many free cups of coffee through the years during the time when I trained students. -harry
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:19 PM   #8
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edit: I had an agreement when training new students that everytime they ran over a curb that they'd owe me a cup of coffee. Even when I found myself yelling "watch your pivot point!," some would run over the curb regardless. I accumulated many free cups of coffee through the years during the time when I trained students. -harry
Thank you for your kind words and professional perspective. I'll share a story on myself about curbs. I was driving a 15-passenger van in college with a friend following in another vehicle and I misjudged a curb. My friend wanted to hassle me about it, but was actually impressed. I had so perfectly followed the perimeter of the curb from entry to exit that they just couldn't bring themselves to hassle me about it. Passengers, however, lacking the exterior perspective, were not as reluctant to voice their opinion about the incident.

My daughter, BTW, is driving age now and, unlike her older brother, appears to be quite good at handling a vehicle. Haven't put her behind the wheel of the Winnie though.
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:35 AM   #9
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FWIW....

A driving coach where we bought our MH said that when turning a corner, turn the steering wheel only when your seat is physically aligned with the edge of the road you are turning into. That assumes a right turn. Turning left, you would align with the centerline of the road you are turning to.

Frank F.
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:18 AM   #10
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I was given the same advice as Ding-a-ling with a slight modification ....
start your turn when the front wheels are aligned with the middle of the lane you are wanting to turn into ...

For a gasser this generally means your seat ...

For a diesel pusher this generally means about a foot or two behind your seat

I agree the final test is to watch the rear wheels as you turn.
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:36 AM   #11
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Worrying about the "Steering Angle" when making a turn is about as useless as worrying about weighing all four corners of your motorhome, in my humble opinion. As Amanda says, know what your pivot point is and make sure you're past it when you begin your turn. Always watch your rear wheels in the mirror and be careful of 'tail-wag' whenever driving a motorhome. Common sense and lots of practice will never fail you.
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:54 PM   #12
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Best way to learn is to practice in an empty parking lot.
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:11 PM   #13
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Dear Jon Mo,
You said it all. Watch your rear axle.
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