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Old 10-11-2006, 01:00 PM   #1
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I am wondering why one would choose a Spartan Chassis over a Freightliner Chassis when considering purchasing a new 40' motor home. What are the major advantages of one over the other.
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Old 10-11-2006, 01:00 PM   #2
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I am wondering why one would choose a Spartan Chassis over a Freightliner Chassis when considering purchasing a new 40' motor home. What are the major advantages of one over the other.
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Old 10-11-2006, 08:58 PM   #3
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lundy, when you buy a Newmar DP you have no choce. Newmar has Spartan chassis from the flagship London Aire Bus to the Kountry Star, the only DP with a Freightliner chassis is the Ventana DP from Newmar.
It really the manufactures choice base upon,price and how pro-active the chassis builder is to the changes the coach builder wants made to the chassis, if the chassis builder is slow to th response of the coach builder than the coach builder buys frm whom ever meets their criterion. Ed.S
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Old 10-11-2006, 09:07 PM   #4
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Additionally Freightliner only builds up to a 400 HP chassis which would require Newmar to use two different chassis's to fulfill their product line in MH's.
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Old 10-11-2006, 10:14 PM   #5
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Tiffin gives you the choice of either on the Allegro Bus and neither one is an additional charge. My 2004 40' Bus came with a Freightliner because that's all they offered. My 2007 42QRP will have the Spartan because I chose it.

My personal feeling is that the Spartan is a better chassis. The Freightliner was decent and gave me good service but Spartan does a better job of sweating the details. I'll give you 3 examples:

1) When you look underneath you'll find that the Spartan does a better job on the myriad of brackets and mounting fixtures for the various accessories. The welds are neater, the brackets are stronger, and these items are placed in handier locations.

2) Open the rear doors on a side radiator FL and you'll see a plastic coolant recovery tank smack in the middle. That makes it harder to get at the engine and the plastic doesn't hold up that well. I've had mine replaced twice under warranty. On the Spartan you'll see a steel coolant tank with glass sight vial. Plus it's located off to the side so that you have easier access to the engine for changing belts or whatever.

3) The FL has a 1,050 sq in radiator. The charge air cooler, radiator, and hydraulic cooler are all stacked in front of each other. This means that the heat from one will pass to the next. Spartan has a 1,326 sq in radiator and the charge air cooler and oil cooler are stacked vertically so that each unit receives cool air. Ask any owner of a Freightliner XC w/ Cummins 400 ISL how hot his engine gets in the mountains and you'll see what I mean.

Granted, these are small items. Either chassis will give you years of service but I just feel that Spartan holds an edge in this area, as well as in customer service.
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Old 10-12-2006, 12:08 AM   #6
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Thanks to all but especially Cruzer. That is just the info I am looking for. The Allegro Bus was the unit I was referring to. You have a choice and I have seen the ad for a 60 degree turning Freightliner with IFS and wondered if that might be the way to go.
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Old 10-16-2006, 08:00 AM   #7
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If you are specifically looking at a Bus, take a look at This Review that I did recently on a 42' Allegro Bus that covers more of the differences.

As an aside, I did spen some time talking to the Spartan rep that services the Tiffin account. One thing that came up in our conversation was the turning radius. Spartan will not be going to a 60 degree wheel cut. They tested it and were very uncomfortable with the stress placed upon the driveline. If you can imagine cranking the wheel over that hard and stepping on the "go pedal" the coach will want to go forward. But, with the wheels cranked that far over, it can't roll forward and meets with tremendous resistance. Especially when you consider the Ackerman effect, which turns the inside wheel sharper than the outside. Spartan chose to stick with the 55 degree wheelcut rather than overstress the driveline and have failures occur. The only way a really sharp wheelcut would work was if there was some sort of front wheel drive system to pull the coach in that direction.
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Old 10-16-2006, 08:45 AM   #8
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Cruzer, What a great full review. This is way more info than you would ever get reading a motorhome magazine.
Nice job.
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Old 10-16-2006, 06:42 PM   #9
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Cruzer is one of a kind when it comes to the well thought out answers and great reviews.
His point about the steering sure makes sense I see FL pushing the turning radius in their adds. Possible problems down the road for some people.
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Old 10-17-2006, 03:40 AM   #10
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">The only way a really sharp wheelcut would work was if there was some sort of front wheel drive system to pull the coach in that direction. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


All Wheel Drive! Hmmmmmmmm.
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Old 10-17-2006, 01:24 PM   #11
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by KenSherwin:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">The only way a really sharp wheelcut would work was if there was some sort of front wheel drive system to pull the coach in that direction. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
All Wheel Drive! Hmmmmmmmm. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Naw.....leave it rear wheel drive and give me my ladder truck from my days as a firefighter....steerin' from the back!!

All wheel STEER!!!
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Old 10-17-2006, 03:56 PM   #12
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Cruzer,

Wow, that is the only words I have for your in-depth report on the Allegro Bus. I would hate to be an RV salesperson and try to BS you about a product I was trying to sell you! I wish you would study an Alpine in a similar manner. That report must have taken you long time to prepare. Are there other coaches out there that you have evaluated that completely? If so, I would like to read those reports. Frankly, I have never studied a product that completely.
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Old 10-17-2006, 04:53 PM   #13
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