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Old 11-13-2018, 02:39 PM   #15
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Obviously things have changed somewhat. We called Waco and was told they do not make appts, we could drop it off and they would look at it in a few days. Temple doesn't make appts either, but said when we brought it in, they would look at it that day. We never called Bryan. We dropped it off at Temple and got it back a week or so later. It was a comfort drive issue, and they had never worked in one before. But they got it fixed and also found another small issue with the steering column and fixed that as well.
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Old 11-13-2018, 09:24 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redbaron73 View Post
...




Both get heavy modification by newmar as part of the star chassis. I dont believe there is a structural difference between the two. Maybe someone has current data that can prove it one way or the other.1700.00
just fyi
For 2017, the spartan compartment area was taller by a few inches(6?), duno if that is still the case.


for those who may care for the actual designs, the FL front suspension is a bit of mystery. the driver side toe link is bent. for front end alignment, the passenger side can only be adjusted, the driver side has to be removed for adjustment. again for 2017, not sure if it has changed for new models. Also, the A -arm on spartan appear much more stable and seem a bit better for roll-over during turn-in. you have to see the bare chassis to compare for yourself.


one more item, is the design of the plungers for the passive steer on the tag axles. Fl uses one air "pump" to activate the tag axle plungers. Spartan has a dedicated air "pump" for each plunger located right next to the plunger. The FL single air pump creates a time lag for the plunger activation from the passenger side to the driver side. again, for 2017.


just some "minor" detail on the extent of attention on the engineering side of it.


if you can find the bent toe link, its from FL, the other pic is the spartan A-arm and toe link. both are the driver side view.
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Old 11-14-2018, 07:57 AM   #17
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Stuart W answered the question very well and accurately. This topic is often a flame target.

I do question the frame thickness. I dont think that they are different now, as spartan no longer publishes the spec. I believe newmar dictates, and that both are the same. Thickness is only one part of the equation. How you use it is the remaining part. Both get heavy modification by newmar as part of the star chassis. I dont believe there is a structural difference between the two. Maybe someone has current data that can prove it one way or the other.

I chose Freightliner for my 2019. As said above, there is no more dust storm . The air dryer location is a puzzler. It is just terrible on the freightliner. I had my 2013 for a little over 5 years and 50k miles and never changed mine. Plan is to do the same with this one, or take it to Gaffney and have it done.

Depending on the year, the spartan may need to have the front shocks replaced. Various posts on this. I have a hard time calling this a spartan only issue, as I dont like the Bilstein shocks on the freightliner and will be installing Koni EVO.

As far as locations for service, you will see 1000's of freightliner and not see many spartan signs. Dont let that sway your decisions. Most fl shops wont work on RV, and spartan has shops everywhere that are authorized, just no signs. I think the 2 brands are equal on service locations, just may vary by city.

I live in fort worth, TX and drive past 3 freightliner shops to go to a decent one in Bryan, TX

If warranty is the only reason, a 5 year fl warranty is around 1700.00
Haven't had my FL chassis that long, so maybe others can chime in reference FL shops not working on RVs. In my limited experience I have found that to be just the opposite.

I wanted mine serviced while in central Illinois this summer. There was a FL service center (full of commercial trucks) 5 miles away, plus 3 more within a 100 miles radius. Not only did the FL service center 5 miles away give me a quick appointment, when I told them we were full timers they guaranteed it to be done in a certain number of hours that day and no keeping it overnight.

Before leaving SW Florida this spring I had estimates from two close by FL service centers for annual maintenance. Both of these are always full of commercial rigs but absolutely work on RVs all the time.
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Old 11-14-2018, 08:03 AM   #18
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Haven't had my FL chassis that long, so maybe others can chime in reference FL shops not working on RVs. In my limited experience I have found that to be just the opposite.

I wanted mine serviced while in central Illinois this summer. There was a FL service center (full of commercial trucks) 5 miles away, plus 3 more within a 100 miles radius. Not only did the FL service center 5 miles away give me a quick appointment, when I told them we were full timers they guaranteed it to be done in a certain number of hours that day and no keeping it overnight.

Before leaving SW Florida this spring I had estimates from two close by FL service centers for annual maintenance. Both of these are always full of commercial rigs but absolutely work on RVs all the time.
I have had many great service experiences too.

When I started the motorhome lifestyle 11 years ago, I expected that freightliner would be like ford or Chevy. I was shocked and mad when I was rejected the first time, and after the 3rd time I figured out that there is a difference between my expectations and reality.

I am most disappointed with the oasis network. It is designed to be tailored to the rv lifestyle. In dfw the oasis dealers do not care. They do not have a place to plug in the rv. They have no dedicated techs for rv.
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Old 11-14-2018, 10:51 AM   #19
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Ventana chassis

Hi, I am the one who started this thread. So, what are your thoughts about the Freightliner chassis on the new the Ventanas? I don't think you have a choice of chassis on the Ventana.
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Old 11-14-2018, 11:11 AM   #20
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Hi, I am the one who started this thread. So, what are your thoughts about the Freightliner chassis on the new the Ventanas? I don't think you have a choice of chassis on the Ventana.
In 2019 there is a choice on Ventana. I have a friend with a FL on a 2019 VTDP 4369.
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Old 11-14-2018, 11:19 AM   #21
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The Spartan chassis for Ventana's starts with 40 ft. units. Spartan service centers are few then FL but are a big cut above FL which focus on trucks. When you need Spartan information on your chassis you get it on the first contact. The 5 year warranty more then pays for the up charge for the premium chassis. Newmar and Spartan have a long history of being partners in building the best motor homes, Newmar.
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Old 11-14-2018, 11:45 AM   #22
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When we were shopping the storage compartment height was 1.5" higher in the Spartan, the steer axle wheel cut was 3 greater, cargo capacity was a bit higher (600 lbs on our rig) and the chassis was all digital compared to Freightlines all analog (which contributed to the higher cargo capacity). Little unseen things, some already mentioned, like the fan drive, heavier brackets, tag axle design and so on, convinced me to go Spartan at the time. Both companies continue to evolve their products and technology so I can't say where the differences are now.

Service has never been a problem for st us. The Cummins shop that does our regular service is a Spartan authorized shop. Back home in Wisconsin a locale alignment/chassis shop that specialized in heavy trucks was an authorized shop. Put any zip code into their service finder and you'll see authorized shops are everywhere.
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Old 11-14-2018, 04:06 PM   #23
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I have owned 2 Spartan and now a Freightliner. I do like the hydraulic fan on Spartan, but had to replace shocks on both units. The stock shocks were just too soft. That may be why one poster stated that the front end felt better on the Spartan. No more bottoming and topping out with the Freightliner. I also had outside shoulder tire wear on the steer axle with both Spartans, even after several alignments. It is too early to tell on the Freightliner.
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Old 11-14-2018, 05:46 PM   #24
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Hi, I am the one who started this thread. So, what are your thoughts about the Freightliner chassis on the new the Ventanas? I don't think you have a choice of chassis on the Ventana.
I opted for Spartan in my Ventana. The primary reason was that the Freightliner shops around here don't have a good reputation (Tiffin telling customers to avoid the main one). In speaking with the dealer, he said that Spartan is far more flexible when it comes to working with not only their authorized dealers, but any capable shop to do warranty repairs.

Also, having the Safe Haul air hookup for Toad brakes is a plus.

One big difference between Spartan on Ventana and Spartan on the rest of the Newmar line is that there is no independent front suspension on the Ventana/Spartan combo.
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Old 11-17-2018, 02:39 PM   #25
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For what it's worth, I asked the 2 Newmar Company Techs (at separate times/when alone) that attended the Hershey RV Show which chassis they would purchase and both said Spartan and it's worth the extra cost. Seem to have less issues with Spartan.
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Old 11-17-2018, 03:03 PM   #26
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For what it's worth, I asked the 2 Newmar Company Techs (at separate times/when alone) that attended the Hershey RV Show which chassis they would purchase and both said Spartan and it's worth the extra cost. Seem to have less issues with Spartan.
I did the same thing three years ago, got the same response. Tech also mentioned it was so much easier to diagnose any issues with the Spartan. Just plug into the port, the chassis will tell you where the problem is. Another advantage of the all digital
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Old 09-05-2019, 04:44 PM   #27
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Hello Stuart W,

You gave me very good advice on previous issues. What is your opinion of the older (98-03) FL vs SP?

Thanks
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Old 09-05-2019, 05:47 PM   #28
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In a number of years there weren't choice of chassis. You will find many more Spartan chassis in the 98 to 03 time frame. Many FL chassis had CAT engines in them so that should also influence your selection of chassis.
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