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Old 06-25-2015, 08:12 PM   #1
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THOR #1469
The forgotten mod - the driveway

After upgrading from the Class C to the Challenger I realized that with the new 252 inch wheelbase it was a little tight pulling in and out of the driveway. My driveway was 12 feet wide and come off a rural road that does not have any shoulders. Making matters more difficult are mailboxes and the ditch running along the road.

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Today I solved the problem.

I had a contractor come in and extend the reinforced concrete pipe running under the driveway by 8 feet. Since the pipe already ran 4 feet beyond the paved surface this provided an additional 12 feet in width.

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He then covered the pipe and added approximately 6 inches of fill dirt over the pipe

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After the fill came 6 inches of crush and run to widen the drive way and provide a good approach for entering and exiting the driveway. In the photo below the two surfaces come together approximately 35 feet from the road. The driveway at the road is now 22 feet wide.

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After allowing this to settle until next spring, when I have some asphalt repair work done I will have this section paved as well.
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Old 06-25-2015, 08:50 PM   #2
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Nice area, and nice job with driveway.

Did you anticipate the need for wider driveway? Your motorhome's 252-inch wheelbase is about as long as they make gasoline RVs as far as I know. How much longer is it than your previous Class C?

I'm curious if you've encountered many tight spots other than your driveway, like campgrounds or gas stations?
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Old 06-25-2015, 08:57 PM   #3
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Oh, come on now!? With a good running start down that country road you could have easily locked up the back wheels and "carefully" fishtailed your Challenger coach into the original narrow long driveway.

Plenty of driveway length there for a controlled stop.

Now, you just made it way too easy! Nice planning.
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Old 06-25-2015, 09:36 PM   #4
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Good thing that telephone pole wasn't too close to the drive way. Would have to chainsaw that thing down.
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Old 06-25-2015, 10:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beacher View Post
Oh, come on now!? With a good running start down that country road you could have easily locked up the back wheels and "carefully" fishtailed your Challenger coach into the original narrow long driveway.

Plenty of driveway length there for a controlled stop.

Now, you just made it way too easy! Nice planning.
Actually my first option discussed with the wife was something similar except it included installing a two stage NOX setup on the V10 and hitting the switch at my neighbors drive before making the turn. Needless to say she wasn't impressed with the thought.
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Old 06-25-2015, 10:21 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by sikoriko View Post
Good thing that telephone pole wasn't too close to the drive way. Would have to chainsaw that thing down.
Actually that pole gets moved about every 2 to 3 years after a car takes it out at 2 in the morning. Since it has been moved twice the contractor took about 1/2 mile of shielded copper wire out of the ground that was not removed by the utilities the last two times the pole was replaced. The utility crews just rolled the wired and buried it in the ground.
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Old 06-25-2015, 10:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chance View Post
Nice area, and nice job with driveway.

Did you anticipate the need for wider driveway? Your motorhome's 252-inch wheelbase is about as long as they make gasoline RVs as far as I know. How much longer is it than your previous Class C?

I'm curious if you've encountered many tight spots other than your driveway, like campgrounds or gas stations?
Chance

Overall length went from 30 to 38 feet and wheelbase went from 202 to 252.

I knew it would be tight and it wasn't a problem until about 4 months ago. At that time we residents defied the USPS and moved all mailboxes from the south side of the road to the side of the road where our houses sit. The mailbox close to my driveway is actually my neighbors and he put it right on the property line. Starting them when going out I had to worry about tail swing taking out his mailbox or sideswiping it coming in after a trip.

As to gas stations and campgrounds there have been no issues to date. Fueling is interesting though because the fuel filler is on the rear cap so you could be hanging out in an exit lane when putting 80 gallons in the tank.

With prior planning though and about a 550 - 600 mile cruising range I try to find the Pilot Flying J stations that have dedicated RV lanes.
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Old 06-25-2015, 11:33 PM   #8
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Something to think about:
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Old 06-26-2015, 12:26 AM   #9
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You gotta do what you gotta do.
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Old 06-26-2015, 01:44 AM   #10
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You gotta do what you gotta do.
How true that is. And at 463.00 widening the driveway is a lot cheaper than a storage lot and I get to keep the coach connected to the house when we're not travelling.
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Old 06-26-2015, 02:18 PM   #11
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Oh, come on now!? With a good running start down that country road you could have easily locked up the back wheels and "carefully" fishtailed your Challenger coach into the original narrow long driveway.

Plenty of driveway length there for a controlled stop.

Now, you just made it way too easy! Nice planning.
Reminds me of a story...
maybe 3 or 4 years ago....The first time my DD, who's now 7, was driving her battery operated jeep in the driveway..... I was out in the driveway with her sitting in the driver's seat, she had been driving it a bit with me trying to explain the pedals and her not really getting it....

We'll I told her it was time to park it in the garage and go inside....
so, before I could finish my directions or stop her, she floors it!

Heading straight for DW's van which was in front of the garage &
without letting off the accelerator, she swerves hard left, sliding sideways.... then an immediate swerve to the right, sliding the other way fishtailing it around and barely missing DW's van by inches..... then back to the left, fish tailing it again..... letting off the accelerator at just the right moment....
perfectly in it's parking spot just inside the garage!

I was a proud papa .... just wish I had that move on video, with my in shock thinking she was gonna crash full speed into the van & no way I was quick enough to reach her. A hollywood stunt man couldn't have done it better!
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Old 06-26-2015, 04:33 PM   #12
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Reminds me of a story...
maybe 3 or 4 years ago....The first time my DD, who's now 7, was driving her battery operated jeep in the driveway..... I was out in the driveway with her sitting in the driver's seat, she had been driving it a bit with me trying to explain the pedals and her not really getting it....

We'll I told her it was time to park it in the garage and go inside....
so, before I could finish my directions or stop her, she floors it!

Heading straight for DW's van which was in front of the garage &
without letting off the accelerator, she swerves hard left, sliding sideways.... then an immediate swerve to the right, sliding the other way fishtailing it around and barely missing DW's van by inches..... then back to the left, fish tailing it again..... letting off the accelerator at just the right moment....
perfectly in it's parking spot just inside the garage!

I was a proud papa .... just wish I had that move on video, with my in shock thinking she was gonna crash full speed into the van & no way I was quick enough to reach her. A hollywood stunt man couldn't have done it better!
Danica Patrick, watch your mirrors!
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Old 06-26-2015, 05:09 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by dstankov View Post

....cut.....

As to gas stations and campgrounds there have been no issues to date. Fueling is interesting though because the fuel filler is on the rear cap so you could be hanging out in an exit lane when putting 80 gallons in the tank.

.....cut.....
Thanks for feedback. As you can imagine it's a concern for many considering a larger motorhome. My van is only 138-inch wheelbase, and Class C was 156 if I recall correctly, so even a small Axis/Vegas won't turn as sharp.

The latest Ford Class C I rented (about 31-ft long) had an extended wheelbase around 215 inches and it seemed to take a country mile to make a U-turn. Going in and out of grocery stores and gas stations required some planning too.

Anyway, glad to hear it's not that big an issue. The tight wheel cut on the F53 probably helps too.
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Old 06-26-2015, 06:48 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chance
so even a small Axis/Vegas won't turn as sharp.
The 24.1's wheelbase is 155 but is surprisingly agile. I've been able to get it around some tight gas stations so far (this is without towing anything of course).

Much easier than pulling a 5th wheel around thats for sure!
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Old 06-30-2015, 11:31 AM   #15
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I am a simliar situation. I need to add a driveway side extension and pad. My HOA doesn't ban self-powered RVs in the driveway, but I want to get it behind the fence on the side yard. Im in the process of getting quotes...

That said, I am going to have the pad made large enough for a bigger unit in case we upgrade down the road and it will prevent doing it twice.
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Old 06-30-2015, 07:08 PM   #16
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The 24.1's wheelbase is 155 but is surprisingly agile. I've been able to get it around some tight gas stations so far (this is without towing anything of course).

Much easier than pulling a 5th wheel around thats for sure!
Jamie, can you confirm that? Thor specs show 188", which while longer in wheelbase than my van camper or previous Class C, it's not as long as the longest rental I've driven. I'd still expect very wide U-Turns.

The latest 25.2 is listed as even longer at 194" wheelbase. I was told it has to do with weight distribution. Moving slide from front to back would have made front axle too light unless wheelbase was stretched more.
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Old 06-30-2015, 07:28 PM   #17
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yeah, my bad its 188" but still turns tighter than I would expect.

I don't know what the turning radius is but I've been able to do U-turns within gas stations (e.g. maneuver around the pumps without having to do the stop-reverse-go method).
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Old 07-02-2015, 03:22 PM   #18
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yeah, my bad its 188" but still turns tighter than I would expect.

I don't know what the turning radius is but I've been able to do U-turns within gas stations (e.g. maneuver around the pumps without having to do the stop-reverse-go method).
As of 2013 model the turning radius of Ford E-Series have not been particularly short for their length. I don't think that has been revised, although it's possible.

The 2013 specs I've seen show the turning diameter curb-to-curb at 60.3 feet for the longest OEM chassis with 176-inch wheelbase. Obviously wall-to-wall is a little longer.

When stretched to 188- or 194-inch wheelbase for Axis/Vegas the turning diameter will increased to roughly 63- to 65-foot diameter range. It's not a linear relationship and I haven't calculated it, but this range should be close.

On longer Class Cs where the wheelbase is stretched to around 220 inches, the turning circle should be just over 70 feet. That's roughly twice that of many typical automobiles.
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