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Old 05-28-2017, 09:28 AM   #1
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Sharp Turns

A simple question, is there a hitch/trailer clearance problem towing an Airstream on a sharp turn such as a U-turn and if so how do you handle it? Thank you.
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Old 05-28-2017, 09:36 AM   #2
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It's very possible to jack knife. If it's going to be close use an outside observer.

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Old 05-28-2017, 10:02 AM   #3
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Whew! that's close.

Excellent point to bring up as some ended up seriously creasing their AS on tight turns.

In afterthought, we realized could have done the same. We were very lucky due our specific protrusion of the hitch assembly to ball.

Under controlled circumstances, practiced very carefull slow but sharp turn radius tests while sweetheart was on radio observing. Overall, barely an inch of clearance on the tightest turns.

Don't think we could have lucked out more if we tried or a different bumper !
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Old 05-28-2017, 10:12 AM   #4
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Slow and easy in tight spots and don't be afraid to stop, get out and look as many times as it takes.
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Old 05-28-2017, 10:33 AM   #5
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Yes, when backing up there is such a thing as too sharp of a turn.

http://www.ourflyingcloud.com/2016/1...lesson-52.html
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Old 05-28-2017, 10:43 AM   #6
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Thanks for the quick response. I would like to clarify that I am inquiring about turns while moving forward. It seems some of the new tow vehicles can are capable of a very small turning radius and I'm wondering if this is becoming a potential problem while towing. Again thanks for the response.
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Old 05-28-2017, 10:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smartstream View Post
Thanks for the quick response. I would like to clarify that I am inquiring about turns while moving forward. It seems some of the new tow vehicles can are capable of a very small turning radius and I'm wondering if this is becoming a potential problem while towing. Again thanks for the response.
Every trailer has it's limit. I'd recommend taking the unit to a vacant parking lot and getting a feel for how close you can get. I know with my former MH, the backup camera was a great help. My Tundra's BU camera is very, very wide angle, but it's no help going forward. (only works in reverse)
The bottom line is, there will come a time when you can't just turn. I remember driving 20 miles out of my way to find a suitable spot to turn around once out west. It's just part of the adventure.

Forget about U-turns unless you have a football field to do it in.

Condition yourself to analyze gas stations before pulling in. That pump facing the convenience store looks great until someone parks in front of the store and now your radius is too small. Pumps parallel to the store are better.
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Old 05-28-2017, 11:15 AM   #8
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A follow up question if you will:

If your TV's turning circle will mean that contact can be made between TV and trailer, what can be done to mitigate this? Can some sort of stop be added to your steering rack, bump stop on your suspension, increased length of hitch extention with ball; or add length to the trailers hitch?

What would you do and why?, or why not?

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Old 05-28-2017, 11:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smartstream View Post
A simple question, is there a hitch/trailer clearance problem towing an Airstream on a sharp turn such as a U-turn and if so how do you handle it? Thank you.


Very good advice above in the thread.

Maybe mine is different due to the ProPride (longer?) and truck (2500) but I've not noticed any issues in turning where the truck and trailers are at right angles.

Not that I make a habit; I understand it is hard on the TT tires.

I've done it once at a gas station in LA; I had to back up 15', then make a large U turn. My wife was outside with the radios marshaling me as I did it. Also, I went very slow, and stepped out once to check clearance.

But yeah, you get to quickly 'size up' a gas station, and react accordingly. I will say it's a bit surprising how many stations I've fit in to. Given I'm only 8'6" wide, 52' overall, but I bend in the middle, it's usually not a problem.

These days I look in Google Maps in the morning to check out fuel options using Satellite view. I typically have a Plan A and a Plan B, if we are doing any drive over 300 miles, for the mid-day fuel stop.

Only thing I really can't predict is unusual elevation changes or very sharp bumps or dips in the road. I have dragged the rear bumper a couple times going into some pumps. Judging by the ruts, I'm not the only one.

Rich
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Old 05-28-2017, 11:40 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Isuzusweet View Post
what can be done to mitigate this? Can some sort of stop be added to your steering rack, bump stop on your suspension, increased length of hitch extention with ball; or add length to the trailers hitch?

What would you do and why?, or why not?
I wouldn't do any of those. First, your TV will be often used when not coupled to the trailer, so I wouldn't reduce it's turning radius.
A hitch extension solves one problem but creates another, now your WD hitch is changing the "lift" geometry and stresses the receiver more.

The best solution is to install a back up camera so you can see your hitch. But don't make this more than it's worth. In all my years of RVing, I've never dented the TV or the Trailer. Scared myself a few times. Especially when tired.
You'll get the feel of turing radius, and if there's any doubt, get out and look or don't do it. (forget about making a U-turn on a 6 lane highway.)
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Old 10-12-2017, 09:11 AM   #11
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Just dented new AS

Wish I found this thread earlier. We took a wrong turn down a narrow road with very few places to turn around. I pulled into a driveway and we were greeted by 3 dogs who looked rather hungry preventing wife from exiting vehicle. I had to turn tightly while backing up and the rear light on my Tundra hit the front panel of the airstream denting the protective panel and scratching/denting the panel underneath. It also broke my tail light!

Depressed!
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Old 10-12-2017, 10:15 AM   #12
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Yep, early rookie mistake with turning while backing up a steep driveway. Decided camouflage was the least expensive way to go!
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