Friday, October 7, 2022

MENU

Essential RV driving tips: What are off-tracking and rear overhang?

This RV driving tips video answers the questions: What is off-tracking and what is rear overhang, and how do they affect driving an RV?

It comes from someone with an impeccable record.

Peter, one of the “RV Geeks,” featured in the video, was a former professional tour bus driver and a safety and training manager for the largest bus company in North America. He has designed and managed training programs and hired and trained hundreds of drivers and dozens of driving instructors over the years.

Peter has also accumulated a shelf full of trophies earned while competing in the American Public Transit Association’s International Bus Roadeos (who knew there even was such a thing?).

The video below will not only make you a better RV driver, but it can also help improve driving skills overall, regardless of what type and size of vehicle you happen to be piloting.

RV driving terms defined and topics discussed (these are the same for truck and bus drivers) include:

  • Wheel cut
  • Wheel base
  • Rear overhang
  • Drive axle or pivot point
  • Off-tracking

So what is off-tracking?

When you’re driving straight, the rear wheels of the RV follow the front wheels.

However, during turns, the rear wheels follow a different path than the front wheels. This is off-tracking.

The amount of off-tracking directly results from two factors defined earlier in the video: wheelbase and wheel cut.

The longer the wheelbase and the sharper you cut the wheels, the greater the off-tracking.

This is essential information that can save you from doing damage to your RV.

In fact, if you have seen a long motorhome or truck with damage in front of the right rear wheels, you are likely looking at the after-effects of off-tracking miscalculations.

The video visually demonstrates exactly how off tracking will affect turning an RV in an incredibly helpful way. It even uses aerial drone footage taken while they make the turn with wet tires that leave tracks so that you can clearly see the exact consequences of off-tracking.

You might think this only matters if you have a long motorhome, but you would be wrong.

All vehicles off-track. You’ll be amazed at the part of the video that duplicates the driving experiment with an ordinary car.

Rear overhang RV driving considerations

The part of the RV behind the rear drive wheel is known as the rear overhang.

Just as with off-tracking, the sharper you cut your wheels, the more pronounced the rear overhang swing will be. But here, instead of the wheelbase being the secondary factor, it is the length of the rear overhang itself.

To help keep you and your RV safe, the video also demonstrates the most common rear overhang accident situation.

Learning about these two common RV driving hazards will put you far ahead of the curve towards avoiding two of the most common types of RV damage.

##RVDT937

Comments

Subscribe
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

3 Comments
Newest
Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jane
1 month ago

I was so glad to find this Video before we took delivery of our class A (3.5 years go) RV Geeks and RV Masters have done some excellent videos. Watched this video and others more than a few times. Of course, we both practiced at the school parking lot till we were both comfortable. Who wants to embarrass themselves, right? Or worse, make an insurance claim.

Bob p
1 month ago

If you watch a semi making a right turn at an intersection his tractor continues straight into the intersection across 2 lanes before he starts to turn. “He’s driving his trailer” to get the trailer wheel close enough to the corner before starting to turn the corner with the trailer wheels. In a right turn his trailer will off track several feet depending on the location of the sliding tandems in relation to the rear of the trailer. Unlike a 5th wheel trailer where the tandems are placed just aft of the center, a semi trailer tandems are able to slide fore and aft to spread the weight evenly between the tractor and trailer.

Gary
1 month ago
Reply to  Bob p

Just like taxiing an airliner…