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Old 06-17-2013, 06:14 PM   #1
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Location: Vernon B.C. Canada
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axle width on Dolphin

I am looking at a 1997 National Dolphin 33' and it looks like it has a very narrow front axle. I would like to know if they are all this narrow or if there is different styles on this unit?
I am worried about the handling.

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Old 06-17-2013, 09:26 PM   #2
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Location: Hood River, OR
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Narrow Front Axel

It must be a Chevrolet P-30 chassis. The front track on these is quite a bit narrower than the Ford chassis of the same general age. I had a 34 ft '94 Vectra on the same chassis, and it did seem a little unstable sometimes. I installed anti-sway bars which helped some, but the biggest change came when I put some weight in the thing instead of babying it.

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Old 06-19-2013, 10:05 PM   #3
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I have a 92 Southwind on P30 chassis and found that filling watertank to 1/2 full helped along with proper tire inflation.
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Old 06-20-2013, 05:45 AM   #4
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The GM P30 chassis had a front wheel track that was narrower than the rear. When Workhorse took that line of chassis (1999 or 2000) they widend the front track to match the rear for MH chassis.
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Old 06-20-2013, 01:50 PM   #5
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Hi tubless and

Both Ford and Chevy had narrow front axles in '97 (and before). Ford widened their's in '99, Chevy/Workhorse about the same timeframe.

While the wider track might offer some additional stability, there are too many variables involved to make a blanket statement. Weight distribution - correct alignment - track bar(s) - tires - shocks - etc. ALL affect stability and handling. If the Dolphin is in good condition with a floorplan you like and a price you can afford, don't let the front axle width be a deal-breaker.
I've got a wide-body 36' coach with a narrow axle. It looks goofy but it handles just fine for what it is.
1995 Coachmen Santara 360MB 36' w/slide.
Ford F53/460 chassis, 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee "toad"
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