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Old 11-12-2018, 10:41 PM   #1
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Spartan vs Freightliner

Folks, I would be grateful to get your insights on why you chose Spartan or why you chose Freightliner. I tried to search the forum for this but surprisingly didn't see anything. Thanks for your help!
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Old 11-13-2018, 06:26 AM   #2
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I would also be interested if the same unit on Spartan drove the same as a Freightliner? If anybody has experience?
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Old 11-13-2018, 06:28 AM   #3
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Old 11-13-2018, 06:39 AM   #4
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Got mine opcorn
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Old 11-13-2018, 07:20 AM   #5
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Spartan vs Freightliner

I believe they are both good choices. I chose Spartan for the following reasons: thicker frame with lifetime warranty, hydraulic radiator fan because I like the design better and doesnít kick up dust in dirt campgrounds, (in 19 FL has added a shield that greatly reduces the dust storm at dirt camp grounds), for 18 disc brakes on drive axle (19 is the same as FL, drum), better view of the engine due to filter location, air drier filter mounted in the back behind bumper vs FL mounted over rear axles requiring substantial labor to change (every 3 years), Spartan runs a separate drive belt for the AC compressor, if compressor fails AC belt can be cut off, in my opinion the Spartan frontend components are more substantial and lastly it was my observation that 16 and 17 FLís had a fair amount of customer warranty issues (to list a few; fan brackets braking,tag axle alignments and fires), in 18 FL seems to have been much better. The two chassis are closer then ever, and you canít go wrong either way.
Note: the Spartan now has an up charge of $3500 and for that you get 2 more years of Warranty.
Good luck
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Old 11-13-2018, 07:35 AM   #6
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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
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Old 11-13-2018, 07:49 AM   #7
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Since you didn't specify, it depends on what years you are looking at. For some years Freightliner was better, for other years, Spartan was better. For example, when we were looking for a mid-00s Newmar, the Spartan IFS chassis had ball joint problems and the Freightliner IFS chassis did not.
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Old 11-13-2018, 08:05 AM   #8
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Spartan vs Freightliner

Quote:
Originally Posted by FatChance View Post
Since you didn't specify, it depends on what years you are looking at. For some years Freightliner was better, for other years, Spartan was better. For example, when we were looking for a mid-00s Newmar, the Spartan IFS chassis had ball joint problems and the Freightliner IFS chassis did not.


Very true, I answered with the assumption that the OP was shopping for a 2019 DS, although it could be a 2019 Ventana or like you said another year. As Redbaron73 pointed out 18 DS Spartan front shocks were an issue on the 43 and some 40 footers for the first 65% of the production run until a production change was made to the stiffer shocks. 19ís all have the updated shocks
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Old 11-13-2018, 09:31 AM   #9
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For non-engineers and dummies like me that don't understand all the ins and outs of how each is made from year to year, we basically looked at two things when we were doing our search last year.

We were concerned with how each chassis rode/handled, and how easy it would be in future ownership years to find service centers as full time RVers.

Overall comparing some of the FL and Spartan chassis coaches we drove I would have to say FL didn't ride as good up front, just a little rougher. When looking at where we could find service centers FL came out on top.
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Old 11-13-2018, 11:13 AM   #10
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Had a Spartan chassis on my American tradition put 128,000 miles on it and was very dependable and easy to access filters as mentioned. My current DS has a FL chassis and so far have been satisfied. All that being said I would probably prefer a Spartan chassis because I like to do my own service and the access to filters is awesome. If I found a DS that I loved and the price was right I wouldn't care one way or the other. It's like Chevy vs ford. Really no wrong answer!
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Old 11-13-2018, 11:37 AM   #11
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Newmar choice Spartan for its top coach King Aire. After 21 years of Newmar ownership, 250K driving Spartan chassis and talking to FL owners we choice Spartan for one our 18 London Aire. Newmar Man
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Old 11-13-2018, 11:58 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redbaron73 View Post
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
Honest question...why do you feel the Bryan shop is better than the others? My wife is big on reading reviews, and she said Bryan did not get good reviews. I live almost equi-distant from the Bryan and Waco FL shops, but she convinced me to drive another half hour to Temple because they got better reviews. All owned by the same company. Bryan is by far the most convenient and I'd prefer to go there if I can convince her they are ok. Thanks for your input.
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Old 11-13-2018, 01:09 PM   #13
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While there is an up charge for the Spartan in 19, in addition to the longer warranty, there is an air line to the back of the coach. Makes Demco much easier.

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Old 11-13-2018, 01:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMWheeler View Post
Honest question...why do you feel the Bryan shop is better than the others? My wife is big on reading reviews, and she said Bryan did not get good reviews. I live almost equi-distant from the Bryan and Waco FL shops, but she convinced me to drive another half hour to Temple because they got better reviews. All owned by the same company. Bryan is by far the most convenient and I'd prefer to go there if I can convince her they are ok. Thanks for your input.
My info is 4 years old..have yet to try again recently, so anything can change.
Back then I was able to call Bryan and make an appointment, and that appointment was honored. I drove down the morning of, it was promptly worked on, and I returned home same day. Its 2.5hrs one way for me to drive to Bryan.

Conversely, the Waco shop "said" they would make an appointment, but when I arrived, they didn't have any record. Same issue with Fort Worth.

Never tried temple.
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