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Old 03-17-2015, 10:31 PM   #15
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This site is great for information on solutions and suggestions on equipping our airstream interstates. After our cross country trip from ca to mi , it was inevitable not to be cut off by truckers and my personal favorite a teenager in a fiat that almost clipped our front bumper at 65mph. After honking ( laying on the horn) pure reflex . Nothing but embarrassment over the sound of the wimpy horn and the middle finger from the fiat of course! Our awesome airstream dealer installed a Wolo bad boy horn , highly recommend this horn it's loud and worthy of a rig like airstream. The best part was our dealer installed this in addition to the wimpy horn along with a switch in an empty slot on the dash to switch back and forth when you need just a polite honk. Btw months later was cut off again by someone crossing 4 lanes of traffic to get off freeway honk the horn and they dropped their cell phone as they gave us the finger, took it as a sign of respect! Lol
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Old 03-17-2015, 10:40 PM   #16
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Installed a pair of the 'Hella' dual tone horns on my HD years ago... no room for a compressor or tank for the air version. Very capable.

A friend had a set installed in his truck a month ago. It cost $850. Why? Well, he was in the 'Austin' area, in a parking lot (Austin is now 'hands free' zone)... and just so happens, this 'lady' is doing something on her phone..in her car... like talking... while in a parking lot. She proceeded to back up without looking behind her.. My friend was trapped by cars ahead and behind. She backed up into his truck while he was full on the horn....

He had the 'switch' for it located in an accessible place. It only engages when he flips the switch..

Reports are he has had to use it a couple times a week.. and the results were astonishing and satisfying.
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Old 03-18-2015, 07:51 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
The best excuse of all. Germany, home of the Autobahn, is also the home of drivers who pay attention to what's going on around them!
It's funny you should say that, because my very first ride in a Sprinter was actually in Bavaria some years ago. It was a people-mover hired by my client to shuttle a half-dozen of us back to the Munich airport and my first reaction was, "What the hell is this contraption?!" followed by a sudden attack of agoraphobia no doubt exacerbated by the previous week's many travels on roads that lacked speed limits.

What I found about Germany is less that they pay attention and more that they simply DON'T HAVE TIME to sound the horn, so why bother having a good one? Because if your driver is going 126 mph and the lorry in the lane next to you screws up a maneuver at 65 mph, your driver has more important things to worry about than hitting the horn.
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Old 03-18-2015, 08:31 AM   #18
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A couple of folks mentioned the freeway... what I have found so far is that my biggest Interstate horn-use scenario is right-on-red drivers who violate left-turn primacy on divided arterials (sorry - can't find a useful diagram on the internet).

In other words, I've got the green arrow and I'm turning left in the Interstate across a very wide divided intersection, and the dufus who is opposing me in the oncoming decides that the exact best time for him to take his right turn on red is when I'm bearing down on him at maximum left turn velocity. Because he checks his own left and sees that cross traffic is stopped but then he neglects to consider that the REASON why his cross traffic is stopped is that his oncoming left-turners are the ones who have the right of way. So without checking his forward field of view (because he is turning right, after all), he jack-rabbits into the intersection, right under my wheels.

This type of moving violation is a huge problem in Houston, which is replete with arterials that are configured this way (they aren't as common in older areas of the country). I've heard cops say that they will never let anyone off without a ticket in those scenarios. Because if drivers are too stupid to check their cross-intersection oncoming, there's no way they deserve a warning.

That being the case, we may get a powerful horn for this reason alone. I need something that conveys the message in an immediately-convincing manner, "Dude, I'm eight thousand pounds, I'm coming straight at you while accelerating because I have the right of way, and you're cutting me off at the worst possible moment."

I've not yet had to slam on the Interstate's brakes while turning. I've had to do it while straight-lining and I've been impressed by the way the T1N handles - it holds the road. But with that whole CG issue... I'd be more hesitant to try evasive action while in a turn. Better to try more moderate deceleration while horn-blasting a wayward driver instead, is what I think.
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Old 03-18-2015, 02:16 PM   #19
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Or - - treat that right-turner like a trucker treats a deer that appears in his headlights at oh-dark-thirty: Don't flinch, drive through it and keep going. How many times have I wished ! was driving a WWII-vintage Dodge Power Wagon, with a railroad tie for a front bumper? Nail the guy in the left front wheel, push him in the ditch or drive right over his hood, and keep right on going . . .
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Old 03-18-2015, 11:25 PM   #20
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+1000 for the Hella SuperTone.
We (as well as almost every other driver i know) use these on our rally cars.
and one in my street car.
and my other sprinter.
and my FJ cruiser.

This is, no exaggeration, the best horn ever.
(i have the one going in my GT sitting on the bench right now)
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Old 03-19-2015, 07:32 AM   #21
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Or - - treat that right-turner like a trucker treats a deer that appears in his headlights at oh-dark-thirty: Don't flinch, drive through it and keep going. How many times have I wished ! was driving a WWII-vintage Dodge Power Wagon, with a railroad tie for a front bumper? Nail the guy in the left front wheel, push him in the ditch or drive right over his hood, and keep right on going . . .
I worry that the day may come when I am forced to do the likes of this out of necessity. The alternative is a sudden braking with an even-harder left evasive. That is the worst case scenario from a physical mechanics perspective - decreasing turn radius coupled with deceleration. If I try that stunt, I may end up flipping all nine feet of my tallness on top of him instead of driving over him.

On double-divided arterials (two lanes each way on each road), some of them seem to assume that they can turn in lockstep with a 22 foot vehicle that is simultaneously making their own tight 90 degree turn. Like they should be able to claim the right lane under the assumption that I will stay entirely to the left. But that's not open for negotiation - when I've got the right of way on a left, I reserve the right to also claim portions of both target lanes momentarily if I need them. Certainly every other large truck does - they have to.
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Old 03-19-2015, 08:49 AM   #22
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But that's not open for negotiation - when I've got the right of way on a left, I reserve the right to also claim portions of both target lanes momentarily if I need them. Certainly every other large truck does - they have to.
In most, if not all, states you have the right-of-way (ROW) to turn into the same lane as you started from. So if you can't make it and there are two left turn lanes, the vehicle in the right lane of the left turn lane has the ROW for their lane.

I agree that big rigs will cut into the lane but usually they will start in the right left turn lane and go wide so they don't intrude on the left, left turn lane.

If you go wide and hit someone that stays the course, you will probably be found at fault in most states.
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Old 03-20-2015, 08:01 AM   #23
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In most, if not all, states you have the right-of-way (ROW) to turn into the same lane as you started from. So if you can't make it and there are two left turn lanes, the vehicle in the right lane of the left turn lane has the ROW for their lane.

I agree that big rigs will cut into the lane but usually they will start in the right left turn lane and go wide so they don't intrude on the left, left turn lane.

If you go wide and hit someone that stays the course, you will probably be found at fault in most states.
Administratively that's not quite the case here - it may be so on paper, but it's often not in practice. The person with the green arrow has primacy over the opposing person who is facing a solid red light, period. The person facing the red light can only proceed after everybody else's right of way has been yielded. The rest is details, and as I stated, I've seen police strongly positioned against right-on-red turners who interfere with traffic in any way. Even if two cars try to squeeze into adjacent lanes simultaneously, what tends to happen is that the left-turners won't take the chance - they will instead halt in the middle of the intersection because they can't tell whether the right-turners have actually registered them visually, and it's very common for right-turners to turn right directly into the left lane. In sooth, it makes a mess even if it is theoretically possible for drivers to handle this kind of scenario.

If one takes into account a host of other static and dynamic nuances, it just makes sense for right-on-red drivers to yield. We have plenty of smashed medians and curbs to show for the alternative, having derived from left-turn lane conflicts.
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Old 03-20-2015, 10:26 AM   #24
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On double-divided arterials (two lanes each way on each road), some of them seem to assume that they can turn in lockstep with a 22 foot vehicle that is simultaneously making their own tight 90 degree turn. Like they should be able to claim the right lane under the assumption that I will stay entirely to the left. But that's not open for negotiation - when I've got the right of way on a left, I reserve the right to also claim portions of both target lanes momentarily if I need them. Certainly every other large truck does - they have to.
I have a 90 degree left turn similar to what you describe that I have to go through almost every time I return home. The only problem with another vehicle turning left out beside me is when the other driver shaves the corner and cuts across the intersection. As long both of us "square" our corners everything is cool. Since I put the Koni shocks on, I have no more problem staying in my lane in my Interstate than I have with my VW GTI.

Of course if the crossing traffic in their left lane has pulled past the line their left front headlight is in dire jeopardy from the back end of the Interstate.
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Old 03-20-2015, 11:15 AM   #25
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I too, have been frustrated by the wimpy stock horn, and the fact it is rarely noticed by those who are so engrossed in their mobile devices etc.

To that end, heavily influenced by my fire department background, I have a set of Grover Stutter-Tone (Fire Truck) air horns with the tell-tale familiar grumbly sound. They're mounted under the cab, along the frame rail on brackets that I welded together and bolted up, along with a 5 gallon tank. They're wired to a momentary switch on the dash, so I still have my stock horn separate. Although rarely used, when a brief honk of the stock horn doesn't cut it, or results in a single finger wave, a good 3 to 5 second blast of the air horns usually makes me feel better. I got most of my components at www.airhornsoftexas.com
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Old 03-20-2015, 12:16 PM   #26
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I still have my stock horn, and have considered replacing it, but I'm still on the fence about which one to get. This thread has given me a lot of food for thought.

Laying on the horn is a last resort after all other defensive driving maneuvers have proven ineffective; It's basically a way of saying "I can't avoid the accident that's coming, so YOU had better do it." In theory, a better defensive driver will use the horn less often than a driver who doesn't know how to get out of the way of idiots.

But since it is a last resort, by the time you need to lay on the horn, that horn had better be effective!

I think one reason people don't pay attention to horns is that they've lost their warning value, through over-use as a means of expressing anger, frustration, or aggression. As evidenced by the fact that the universal standard response to a horn is a one-finger salute; the horn being used to say "Eff You" and the salute to reply "Eff Off." If you always think the guy honking the horn at you is just angry, of course you'll ignore it. No thought at all to the possibility that the guy on the horn is actually trying to say "Look out!"

I wonder if anyone makes a horn that shouts "Out of the way!" at about 100dB— instead of honking or beeping. That would get people's attention, and restore horns to their intended use as a warning device.
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Old 03-20-2015, 12:26 PM   #27
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I have a 90 degree left turn similar to what you describe that I have to go through almost every time I return home. The only problem with another vehicle turning left out beside me is when the other driver shaves the corner and cuts across the intersection. As long both of us "square" our corners everything is cool. Since I put the Koni shocks on, I have no more problem staying in my lane in my Interstate than I have with my VW GTI.

Of course if the crossing traffic in their left lane has pulled past the line their left front headlight is in dire jeopardy from the back end of the Interstate.
You be in Fort Worth... then you probably know about *the other* complexity that can characterize these turns: roadways strongly banked outward to the curbs in order to accelerate the shedding of the torrential rains that we routinely have here in the south (Houstonians are famous for their use of the euphemism "ponding"). That's yet another reason why I often refuse to cut my left turns sharply - my Interstate is already wanting to lean on what has become, during the duration of my left turn, an improperly-banked curve. Every component of that equation works to maximize the exact wrong kind of centrifugal force. It doesn't matter much in a passenger car, but it can count for a lot in an Interstate.
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Old 03-20-2015, 12:39 PM   #28
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Can anyone explain this ??????

My father bought a Mercedes that was purchased in Germany and shipped to the USA. It had a selector switch to choose between a three note, normal volume horn, or a one note quiet " meep meep " horn.

Lemme see how many people I can offend…

A " good " driver, who drives defensively, should never really need a horn, unless he sees a pretty woman. ( kidding….just kidding )
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