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Old 03-22-2009, 06:20 PM   #1
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DP Handling - Winnebago vs. Monaco Roadmaster

We are in the market for a good quality Diesel Pusher Motorhome. Monaco makes a major point touting their Roadmaster Chassis and airbag suspension and having driven several of these units in high cross wind, I tend to accept much of what they claim. The question is, how do others compare, especially the Winnebago Tour or Vecta? I haven't been able to learn much about these in terms of suspension or handling. We travel extensively, so drive-abilty is a major issue. Input is appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 03-22-2009, 08:20 PM   #2
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We are in the market for a good quality Diesel Pusher Motorhome. Monaco makes a major point touting their Roadmaster Chassis and airbag suspension and having driven several of these units in high cross wind, I tend to accept much of what they claim. The question is, how do others compare, especially the Winnebago Tour or Vecta? I haven't been able to learn much about these in terms of suspension or handling. We travel extensively, so drive-abilty is a major issue. Input is appreciated. Thanks.
Can't answer all your question, but we think the Vectra has independent front suspension while the Tour may have a front axle, so their may be some difference in the driving of the two.

When we were purchasing our Journey, we did drive a Vectra, but not the same day, & they were both so much better than our HR on a Ford chassis, we thought either was excellent for us. I think they are both Freightliner chassis, but different models. Since then we have wondered what we would think, if we could drive both, one right after the other.

I would presume the independent front suspension is suppose to drive better. Do not know anything about the Monoco. I would presume they may have different models with different chassis also.
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Old 03-22-2009, 08:56 PM   #3
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I have driven a Holiday Rambler Scepter as well as our Winnebago Tour and found that both handled great. I would drive the coach(s) you are interested and believe you will be very pleased.
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Old 03-23-2009, 08:21 AM   #4
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We had a 2001 Monaco Knight 30J . . . admittedly with a very short wheelbase. It was an absolute nightmare in crosswinds.

We now have a 2005 Vectra 36RD. It is an absloute dream to drive. In strong winds, you obviously have to correct - but it's not a constant fight. Passing semi's are almost non-intrusive. The Vectra does have independent front suspension, and the Tour does not.
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Old 03-23-2009, 10:45 AM   #5
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Thanks

I appreciate the feedback on my question. I know the Tour and Vectra are different in front axle configuration - in fact that's one of the few differences we have found between the two. What I don't know is if the Vectra's independent front suspension is better or worse thans what the Tour uses - being an engineer I know independent is designed to be different, but it does not always work out that way, and since we are new to big motorhomes, I do not know the answer.

Thanks.
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Old 03-23-2009, 01:03 PM   #6
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Hi BobnGayl,
Consider test driving a Newmar DP, with Comfort Drive, before buying. I think you will see/feel quite a difference and be impressed. Go to http://www.newmarcorp.com/comfort_drive and read all about it.
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Old 03-23-2009, 07:52 PM   #7
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The Tour & Vectra both ride on a Winnebago Maxxum chassis. Maxxum is Winnie's customized version of a Freightliner, so for purposes of suspension and handling, you are looking at a Freightliner. The Tour uses the Freightliner XCL with a solid front axle. The Vectra uses an XCL with a ZF independent front suspension. Details are available on the Freightliner site.
Tour Freightliner

Vectra Freightliner

I think you would find both excellent, but the IFS would have an edge in some road conditions.
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Old 03-24-2009, 03:54 AM   #8
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I can tell you that IFS does hold to the road and ride better than a straight axle. I had a right front blow out a few years back and if I would have had a straight axle, it would have been a hand full. With the IFS I was able to hold onto the steering wheel with one hand. It was amazing, the damage done by the tire!
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Old 03-24-2009, 08:34 AM   #9
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You have a larger turn angle with an IFS, I believe it is 55 degrees. The IFS is more complex and perhaps more difficult to keep aligned, but it is a bit better in performance. On some longer coaches the greater turn angle is important. On my 36' DP my 50 degree wheel cut is fine and my solid axle is also fine.
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Old 03-24-2009, 10:00 AM   #10
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You have a larger turn angle with an IFS, I believe it is 55 degrees..
J Walker, The IFS wheel cut angle is 60 degrees whereas the solid front axle FCCC XC has a 55 degree cut.

Right now there isn't a whole lot going on at the Roadmaster Chassis plant (CCP) however I expect that we will hear some news about what's happening in Elkhart, IN pretty soon.
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Old 03-24-2009, 10:12 AM   #11
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The Roadmaster chassis also has a straight axle, but it is mounted on a floating subframe that gives it some of the advantages of an IFS. It rides and handles quite well, in my limited expereince with it.
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Old 03-24-2009, 10:43 AM   #12
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J Walker, The IFS wheel cut angle is 60 degrees whereas the solid front axle FCCC XC has a 55 degree cut.
You are right. My 2000 Freightliner with a solid front axle does have a 50 degree wheel cut.
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