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Old 01-27-2013, 11:59 AM   #1
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190" Wheelbase

In looking around at motorhomes I've come across the Newmar Kountry Star DP model 3355. I like the size and layout but I see that it is on a 190" wheelbase. Total MH length is 33'-08".
From what I've read it seems as if having a wheelbase to total length ratio that is less than 50% almost guarantees handling issues. In this MH the ratio would be about 47%.
It seems like a pretty short chassis. Should a person be concerned with this?
Thanks!
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:15 PM   #2
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That does seem awful short.
One of the things I was concerned with was wheel base length when we were looking.
Which is why I chose what I did. 34'10" = 242" wheelbase.
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:34 PM   #3
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  • I agree. I wouldn't even settle for a 190 wb on a 30' model. Too much tail wagging the dog. Shorter wheelbase chassis is cheaper so some manf use them to cut costs.
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:55 PM   #4
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I have a KSDP 3353 with the 190" wheelbase, it's the only class A I've owned or driven. I've had it for 3 years and put around 20k miles on it. I also read the recommendations and comments on wheel base vs. length before purchasing mine. My experience has been positive, I do feel the semi's pushing me over when they overtake on the freeways and in a crosswind it's not fun at all. Friends in 40'ers make the same comments. On a smooth road in relatively calm conditions it is a joy to drive. I've never felt the "tail was wagging the dog". I should note that I do pull a toad, though there was no toad for the 5k miles back from Florida and the biggest difference between having one or not was mileage. My advise would be to take it for a good long test drive trying as many road types and conditions as possible. Good luck.
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Old 01-27-2013, 06:03 PM   #5
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I have a Fred with 200 wb on 33 chassis. The extra weight of the diesel up front keeps it steady in all conditions
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Old 01-27-2013, 06:09 PM   #6
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A test drive will tell you more about how a motorhome handles than just reviewing the specifications. A shorter wheel base gives more manuverability and handling problems can be fixed with after market products like Koni shocks, stiffer sway bars, track bars, safety steering gear, and 4 wheel alignments. A longer wheel base will be a little smoother on good highways but may limit the places you can go or turn into, and there are no after market fixes for that.

My 2012 Newmar Bay Star 2901 has a 190" wheel base with enough weight on the front axle and the improvements listed in my signature below that I do not get pushed around by the bow wave or turbulance from passing semis; I do not know I am being passed until I see the front of the semi coming along side.

If the front axle has about 40% of the weight the RV will probabley handle well.
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:01 PM   #7
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My 31' is on a 190 wheelbase. With the rear track bar and the CHF I have no problems from trucks.

I don't know whether I would want to have an additional 4 feet of sail in the back. As others say test drive it on freeways and see what passing trucks are doing to it.
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