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Old 01-12-2012, 11:18 PM   #1
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Question Chassis Brands: Spartan -v- Freightliner

OK... I know I'm opening up one of those "Ford -vs- Chevy" or "Tastes Great -vs- Less Filling" topics, but I'm curious:

What really ARE the differences between current-model, equivalent chassis from the two big players: Spartan and Freightliner?

I've owned coaches on both... and can't really say that I have any great passion for one over the other.

So... does anyone have any facts/stats/engineering flaws that can point in one direction or the other and label a clear winner? Or is this just a "brand loyalty" thing... and once you own one brand (and have a good experience) you automatically/reflexively say the other one sucks?!?!

Fire away!

2005 Newmar MADP
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Old 01-12-2012, 11:43 PM   #2
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In 2002 when we ordered our DSDP the Spartan was some 500#'s heavier and carried the ISC 350/1050. The FL chassis had the CAT 3126 330/860 and one of the reasons for upgrading from our 2000 DSDP was the "bigger" ISC.
In 2000 the FL chassis had a beam axle and the 300/860 CAT, the Spartan had the 300/950 Cummins and IFS. I drove both and there was a difference, the Spartan was slightly smoother.

2009 45' Magna 630 w/Cummins ISX 650 HP/1950 Lbs Ft
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Old 01-13-2012, 08:29 AM   #3
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From someone who was in the business, Most of my customers thought the spartan rode slightly better and was considered a upgrade. Most liked the freightliner for ease of service. There is a freightliner dealer in most larger cities. I would probably go with the freightliner for the service issue.
1998 Pace Arrow 35 ft. F53 Ford V10 2012 Honda Civic toad
32 years mechanic at Delta Air Lines 15 year motorhome service manager. 3 popups....2 travel trailers....5 motorhomes....loved them all.
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Old 01-13-2012, 09:17 AM   #4
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When we were shopping for a new Class A, a dealer we were working with had a 40' Allegro Bus on a Freightliner, Spartan, and their own chassis. We drove all three and evaluated the ride on: dive during hard braking, lean and corner drop in a low speed swerve, lean and corner drop in an aggressive high speed lane change, and overall brake feel and effectiveness in a HARD brake from 65mph to a stop. Freightliner definitely had the stiffest ride, but it performed best in these tests, so we own the Freightliner.

Define what you're looking for, test it out and pick what YOU feel best meets your criteria.

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Old 01-13-2012, 09:20 AM   #5
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I would probably go with the freightliner for the service issue.
I've been driving my Spartan chassis all over the country for almost 9 years ...had it serviced at many locations wherever we happened to be ...service has never been an issue in any way. I've not owned a Freightliner so can't compare from much experience other than test drives. I would prefer Spartan if I were buying a new coach today, but that alone would not be a deal killer/maker.
Paul (KE5LXU) ...was fulltimin', now parttimin'
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Old 01-13-2012, 09:32 AM   #6
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Both are excellent chassis. A lot depends upon what your coach manufacturer does with and to that basic factory chassis.

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chassis, freightliner, spartan

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