Some Class A Options May Be Overkill

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October 5, 2008

There are many options that are available on a new coach today.  Most of them, we would probably all order if price was no object.  There are few, if any, that would rank as a “no buy”, regardless.  There is, however, one seemingly non-necessary option.  That is power tilt and telescopic steering.  This is usually accompanied with power foot pedal height adjustment.  Good grief!  Is this really necessary?   I, for one, would think not.

Manual tilt and telescopic comes with the majority of new cars as well as many motor homes.  When I think of it, in my cars and SUV’s through the years, it comes to mind that I never actually change the steering wheel height or angle, once it is set.  Oh, granted, when the wife or others drive them, the ability to adjust them is a benefit.  But, for these times manual adjusting works well.  So why power?  Isn’t this a little overkill?

As luck would have it, power tilt, telescopic and pedal adjustment were standard on the coach I bought in ’07.    I assure you, at the time I certainly would not have bothered ordering such an item, even though I was bent on ordering every possible option.  The power package came standard with the memory preset feature.  This feature had three memory locations, each with a separate button numbered from “1” to “3”.  Each memory selection is capable of storing, recalling and commanding positions for the driver seat, the outside power mirror positions and the steering wheel tilt/height and pedal height.  

Being that the motor coach was about 46,600 lbs. gvw and was equipped with air brakes, it is highly unlikely that my wife, or anyone else for that matter, would ever drive the vehicle.  So it would seem like a very poor option to buy, had it not been included as standard equipment.  

So, for openers, I set position number “1” as the positions for all components exactly adjusted to my driving need.  I figured this would allow me to re-set my selections quickly in the event of someone, manually changing them.  This typically can happen during the servicing of the unit or having the company of a “fiddle-with-everything” guest. 

Once I got accustom to the rig, I found I was constantly adjusting the wheel, both tilt and height, to accommodate the turning of the driver seat to face the rear.  In my prior coach  I had manual tilt and telescopic, and found no issue in moving them to allow the turning of the seat.  So, at this stage it certainly seemed overkill to have them powered.

I did, however, find the frequency of the need to turn the front seats greatly increased.  This was due to the floor plan as compared to my previous coach.  In the earlier coach the TV was located in the front above the windshield, while the new one had a central located mid-ship TV.  With the mid-ship mounted television, the front seats were needed to be turned, even for an over night on-the-road stop, as it provides the best comfort and viewing.  

This led me to set memory position number “3” for quick preset TV watching.  So once in camp, a mere touch of preset “3”, and the steering wheel tilt folds and telescopes into a store -like position.  Additionally, the seat automatically powers itself in the correct position to allow easy turning.  The next morning, I just turn the seat back to face forward, push of memory button, and it’s ready to roll.  Once the engine is running and the park brake is disengaged, the memory switches are deactivated, however power adjustment to wheel tilt, wheel height and pedal height can be adjusted by operating the three toggling switches located below the smart wheel control groups on both side of the wheel.  But, quite frankly, who changes adjustments on the wheel location while driving?  I know I certainly never do. 

This power feature is available on many new diesel powered rigs as an option.  Is it worth the heavy price tag?  In my opinion, probably not.  Certainly not if you don’t require your front seats turned to the rear with frequency.  After all, if it is only for relatively long stays, it’s not a big deal and quite fast to do it manually.  But for those that may have a mid-ship TV, it may prove beneficial.  It’s entirely up to you.


With A Different Tilt On Life    –     Lug_Nut     –      Peter Mercer

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  1. Pingback: how to make a website

  2. Chuck, To my knowledge, it is legal to operate a 45′ coach in any state or province, subject, of course to some road restrictions. It may however, be a different story for residents of some provinces or states. Additionally there are variations of operating permits that may be required. But, what ever your home state or province’s laws are, are fully accepted while operating in any other state or province. Thank you for the comment.

  3. Chuck

    I have a question about large motor homes. Are 45 FT motors homes legal in the lower 48 states?

  4. Sue, I love your design senario fror the sauna. It wasn’t yet confirmed if alcohol was involved. Thank you for your input.

  5. Gord, I certainly agree with “A change in seat angle and pedal reach” helps to extend your driving time and stay alert. But, power tilt and telescopic wheel may be another story. Thanks for the input.

  6. Sue

    The silliest “overkill” option I ever witnessed was a dry sauna on a Gulf Stream Class A. Someone must have been hittin’ the sauce when that option was concieved! Can you imagine the designers sitting around brainstorming about new innovative options?

    “Say guys– how many times has a weary RV’er lamented to their partner after a long day of driving–“Dear–wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had a nice dry sauna on our next motorhome? Maybe they could make the bathroom a little smaller to put one in! And wow–wouldn’t all that extra heat inside the rig be cozy?”

    Now THAT’s having your finger right on the pulse of the typical RV’ers Wish List!

  7. Gordon Thompson

    I have a power seat in my hauler truck. The steering tilt is manual but the pedal position is powered. The ease of power assistance doesn’t save me many calories but it does have a major benefit and can also classify as a safety measure if you use them as I do. One of my points is that if something is easy, then we are more likely to use it.

    Fatigue on the road is a killer. I have a 40 foot fiver and take the driving responsibility very seriously; I try to avoid driving tired at all cost. After two hundred miles or so I am less than exhausted starting to fill the wear. When this happens, a couple of button pushes changes the seat configuration slightly and in turn I may adjust the pedal reach. This is short-term magic and has the benefit of a stretch and stroll without stopping. This is not the strongest reason for spending a few dollars but if it keeps me rubber side down just once, I’ve made a good deal :-).