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Old 07-30-2009, 09:07 PM   #1
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DP Handling

We are considering getting a used DP to travel in. This would be our first motorhome.

Our #1 interest is one that handles well in wind and with passing trucks.

We prefer 40 feet and not the more expensive, longer tag axles.

Not many used DP's in Maine to look at or try out.

Based on internet searches alone, we are leaning towards 2004-2006 40 foot Allegro Bus, Dutch Star or Travel Supreme (Intrigue if price was right).

What can you tell us about the handling of these models?

Any other DP models like the above that are solid on the road?
Thanks,
Tom
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Old 07-30-2009, 10:52 PM   #2
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I have a 40ft HR Endeavor. When I first got it, it did not handle very well. I had it out on a long trip and noticed that the tires were starting to wear funny. It only had less then 10,000 miles on it when I bought it. I took it in to be aligned and that fixed the problem. The tires would not even out so I bought all new Michelen XZA's. I also put on a set of new Koni shocks. What a world of difference. It handles like a totally different rig. I dont get bumped around in the wind when a semi passes me.

As far as cross winds go, you are really at the mercy of the wind. I have been pushed over one entire lane before from a gust of wind. Just slow down if the cross winds are making you nervous, or pull over and wait it out.
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Old 07-31-2009, 05:06 AM   #3
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Thanks - 20 years ago, my father-in-law had a Southwind. That would it took 3/4 turn on the steering wheel to keep from changing lanes. That isn't relaxing.

Glad to hear that there are things to do to improve handling.
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Old 07-31-2009, 09:07 AM   #4
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I would say the majority of DPs handle pretty good. My 38' 2004 DSDP handles perfect. I have put 50,000 miles on it, on all types of roads and I am still amazed at how well it handles.
That being said, there are some posts on the forums about DP owner's that complain about handling. So it may just be luck of the draw if your DP handles great or not.
You will definitely want to test drive one, particular on narrow 2 lane roads, before you buy.
Tom
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Old 07-31-2009, 12:07 PM   #5
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We had a 2004 Allegro Bus 40DP. Huge improvement over our 33' Suncruiser. The extra weight, wheelbase, and air-ride suspension made a big difference. But the we drove a tag axle coach. Again, a HUGE difference. The tag axle coach was like riding on rails and many times we have to look at nearby trees when driving to see that the wind is blowing hard.

We were initially concerned about length though and now that it's over we found that the extra 2' doesn't hurt one bit. There's maybe two campgrounds that we ever stayed at where a 40 footer fit but the 42 didn't. In that case we just parked the Jeep sideways in front of the Bus rather than end-to-end.

I think you'll find that most RVers who went with a tag probably won't go back. Just one more thing for you to think about when choosing an RV.
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Old 07-31-2009, 12:35 PM   #6
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Try RV Ratings for motorhomes, fifth wheels, trailers, toy haulers. RV Consumers Group has very good information and I found it worth a little expense to help me make a sound decision. Ended up buying Country Coach "Inspire" 40. Wheel base is one very important consideration.
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Old 07-31-2009, 02:07 PM   #7
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DP handling

I found that the big problem with handling on DPs is long rear overhang and fairly light weight. I had a 34' Fleetwood Expedition that would not stay in a single lane in light winds or when being passed by a large vehicle be it truck, bus or RV. No matter what you do to the front end it won't change the handling characteristics of the rig as there is just so much front tire patch on the ground.

I now have a 40' Country Coach Inspire with IRS and even fairly heavy winds only move the rig slightly in the lane with no sudden jerks or necessary corrections. Handling could not be better short of the big bus conversions.

In other words, look to the wheelbase for comfort and control no matter what size the coach.
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Old 07-31-2009, 02:24 PM   #8
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It's been my experience that most handling problems are driver induced, over correction which leads to more over correction. Unless you are going to hit something or go off the road, light corrections over a longer distance will keep the tail from wagging the dog. JMO
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Old 07-31-2009, 08:21 PM   #9
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Thanks to everyone. A friend had an older version of that RV rating CD. Sounds like I should get a copy. Small investment for big investment.

Glad to hear the Dutch Star and Inspire handle well. I am looking at both.

Thanks again, Tom
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Old 08-01-2009, 08:17 AM   #10
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Save your money on RV Consumers Group. They don't drive the MHs or trailers they rate and the wheelbase to length ratio is only one of several factors that determine handling. My ratio is just a little under 0.5 and my handling is great on my 36' DP.
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Old 08-04-2009, 04:01 PM   #11
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The only way to tell how a coach will handle is to drive it; but longer wheelbased MHs in the 30K lb range usually handle pretty well. That being said, I'd stay with the companies that are still solvent - Tiffin, Newmar, and Winnebago. At the recent Winnebago Grand National Rally, among the 1200+ MHs there were many that were 20 years old. They still could get parts and service at the Winnebago factory. I'm sure Tiffin and Newmar could do as well. Whether or not you'll be able to get parts for a Travel Supreme, Roadmaster chassis, or other orphans in the future is questionable.
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Old 08-04-2009, 06:35 PM   #12
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Dont let Travel Supreme being out of business keep you from buying a truly great coach! About the only parts that are unique to the T.S. are the end caps and Jayco kept the molds for those so it should not be a problem getting parts for as long as anyone wants to get them. The Spartan chasis, appliances, lights, trim etc are all made by someone else. Any good cabinet maker can replace or repair any of the woodwork so really there is not a big worry about parts. AND the bonus is that these orphans can be bought a LOT cheaper than those still in business. All things being equal, we would all prefer to have a coach that could be serviced by the manufacture, however, not all things are equal, the PRICE being way cheaper gives you a lot of incentive to put up with what ever hassle you might encounter getting and installing parts. AND as long as there are still a couple of very good service centers in Elkhart owned and operated by Travel Supreme experts there will be no hassles getting them serviced. Just my experience and 2 cents. Good Luck with your purchase, AND I really recommend the Travel Supreme tag, it handles like a dream. Gene
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Old 08-05-2009, 07:19 AM   #13
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Habdling Our 38' Dutch Star DP

Our first coach was a 36' Infinity gas on a P30 Chevy chassis. Even not so big trucks passing us on the highway knocked us around. I had to add a steering stabilizer!

When we upgraded to our '98 Dutch Star on a Spartan chassis everything changed. The air bag suspension makes the coach ride like a luxury car. The air brakes have great stopping power AND the exhaust brake makes slwing down effortless.

Occasionally, on the interstates, I make very small steering corrections when a tractor-trailer passes us.

At 27,000 lbs GVWR wind (for us) has not been a factor.
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Old 08-05-2009, 07:43 AM   #14
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Our first MoHo was a Southwind loved it, but all over the place when trucks blew by. Got DP and the ride has been great.
Now having said that, there are very little strong winds in the Eastern part of this great Country of ours, but in the Western part we hit some really strong gust of wind that "Said slow down or pull over" even the 18 wheelers were going under 40 mph. Some areas have wind socks every mile or so to let you know direction and some idea how hard the wind is blowing.
Couple of areas also have dust storms as bad as white out in snow.
Bottom line is you must adjust your speed to the conditions.
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