Have you ever driven a recreational vehicle in gusty winds or navigated an RV along sloped roads and through twists and turns? Have you ever tried to park a motorhome in a space that was just a little too tight for the turn radius? Driving–and parking–an RV can be challenging even in the best conditions, and sometimes just keeping the vehicle centered in your lane for hours on end can be extremely tiring. That is, if you don’t have assisted steering.
Driving a motorhome without assisted steering means that you truly “feel the road.” You feel the resistance in your hands as you grip the steering wheel to keep from drifting into another lane. You feel the effects of the random bumps and divots on uneven roads. You feel the sway from every crosswind.
While you might not mind the feeling of the road when you’re driving a small car, the effects are much more significant when you’re trying to maneuver a 40+ ft long, high-profile vehicle. The steering wheel is larger and heavier, and it can take a lot of power to turn the wheel and keep your vehicle centered. The mental and physical energy needed just to drive a straight stretch of highway can be exhausting, not to mention turning and navigating the winding roads along your route.
Fortunately, there’s a better way to enjoy both your destination and the journey itself. Motorhomes with assisted steering give you the ultimate RV driving experience: one where you can drive with comfort and confidence–and less effort. You might actually find long driving days relaxing!
Assisted or adaptive steering is an intelligent steering system that adapts to your input on the steering wheel while actively working to eliminate friction and keep you centered in your lane, regardless of road or weather conditions.
Assisted steering works by using smart software to automatically adapt to what’s going on around the RV. For example, if you experience high winds, the self-straightening steering wheel adjusts accordingly to help keep you from swerving out of your lane. This makes motorhome handling smoother and much more comfortable to drive because you can use a light grip on the steering wheel that won’t leave you sore or fatigued after a long trip. Don’t worry, you still have complete control and precise handling over the vehicle.
At Newmar, we call this Comfort Drive™, and it’s available on all of our rear engine diesel and luxury models. In fact, we’re proud to be the first to introduce it to the market in 2007.
You might be wondering, is assisted steering worth it? While you really have to experience assisted steering to feel the difference, we’re summarizing the most important reasons adaptive steering should be on your list of must-haves in your next motorhome below. To learn even more about the benefits of adaptive steering, Newmar owners can visit Newgle, our knowledge base.
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, in the United States, approximately 328,000 road accidents per year can be attributed to driver fatigue, or “drowsy driving” (National Safety Council). While this number isn’t specific to motorhomes, RV drivers are especially susceptible to fatigue while driving. By making driving easier and less exhausting, assisted steering helps you stay alert throughout your drive, which helps keep you safer. Plus, steering stabilization keeps you centered in your lane no matter what the conditions are. This helps prevent accidents due to drifting or swerving.
Assisted steering simply creates a better driving experience because there’s no need to white-knuckle the steering wheel. Instead, you can handle your RV just as comfortably and confidently as you would your family car. The computerized steering instantly and seamlessly compensates for sloping roads, pavement distortions, and windy conditions to deliver an effortlessly smooth drive even when you’re cruising at 70 mph down the highway. With Newmar’s Comfort Drive, you can also choose from several different resistance settings to customize the feeling and handling of the steering wheel to your preference.
In addition to easier driving, RVs with assisted steering are also easier to park and can handle tighter angles. Plus, the steering always wants to center the vehicle, making it easier to back up or back into a tight parking space. Simply turn sharply as you back towards your desired parking space. Once the motorhome is lined up, simply release the steering wheel and the adaptive steering will automatically track to center and guide the RV backwards in a straight line.
Assisted steering is a game-changer for the RV world. When you’re able to enjoy the drive, you arrive at your destination more relaxed and ready for adventure. If you’re still not sold, watch videos to see real people test drive our luxury motorhomes, and hear what they have to say about Comfort Drive:
GET EVEN MORE HELPFUL INFORMATION FROM NEWGLE
Newgle—Newmar’s knowledge base—has everything from technical data to basic how-to information catered specifically to your coach.