Mark Polk of RV Education 101 – This RV driving skill segment is on your pivot point. I think it’s safe to say that lots of RV accidents are a result of not understanding where the pivot point is on your RV and how it applies to making turns. Let’s take a closer look.
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 the rear axle, 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. On most vehicles, you will not be able to see the rear wheels when you are driving, so you will need to establish some reference points to know where your pivot point is located when you are looking in your mirrors.
Look in the mirrors towards the rear wheels and identify a spot on the side of the coach that is in relation to the center of the rear wheels. Putting a traffic cone or some other marker on the pavement to mark the center of the wheel will help locate your pivot point initially when you are looking in the mirrors. An awning arm, compartment door edge, a light, anything at or slightly behind the center of the rear wheel that you can see in your mirrors will do.
Once you determine where your pivot point is in the mirror, you will know when it is safe to make a turn. Well, there you have it. Understanding where your pivot point is and how it applies to making turns with the vehicle can make maneuvering your RV less stressful.
This RV driving skills tip is from our “Drive Your Motorhome Like a Pro” DVD.