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Old 07-13-2016, 07:08 PM   #1
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Driving 36 or 38ft MH vs 40ft w/o tag ax

Hi folks,
Newbie still in the process of finding that DP. Any things I should be aware of in driving a 36 or 38ft MH vs a 40ft without a tag ax? Would there be a noticeable turning radius difference between a 38ft and a 40ft, for example? What about ride characteristics? I see many nice 40' DP's for sale, but have this (uninformed) view that, once you get to 40' and longer, you should really have a tag ax. Of course, that means more exposure to failure of an expensive component. Thanking you in advance for any thoughts you may wish to share.
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Old 07-13-2016, 07:17 PM   #2
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Before you get into the differences between lengths, you need to look at the wheel base of each coach plus whether or not it is a straight axle or an IFS front end.

The IFS will normally have a tighter turning radius than a straight axle but remember way back when there was nothing but straight axle coaches. They are still being built and can still get into campgrounds with no problem.

Then there is the term "noticeable". Are you talking about 1 foot, 2 feet or 10 feet?
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Old 07-13-2016, 07:27 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dons2346 View Post
Before you get into the differences between lengths, you need to look at the wheel base of each coach plus whether or not it is a straight axle or an IFS front end.

The IFS will normally have a tighter turning radius than a straight axle but remember way back when there was nothing but straight axle coaches. They are still being built and can still get into campgrounds with no problem.

Then there is the term "noticeable". Are you talking about 1 foot, 2 feet or 10 feet?
Thanks Dons2346
We are looking at Newmar, HR, and Monaco. 2003 to 2005 range. I have printed out the company brochure specs and will look at wheel base. Would any of those brands which I identified have IFS?
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Old 07-13-2016, 07:36 PM   #4
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There are lots of them on the lots for sale. Take some time and try a few out (road test) and see for your self.
You will get alot of personal opinions here that may not really help. Only you will know what is right for you.
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Old 07-14-2016, 04:44 AM   #5
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Tag axle coaches will generally have a shorter turning radius then non-tag coaches do. Due to shorter wheel base between frt and drive axles. Tages made for more stable ride, but you lose basement storage compartment space as well.
The GVWR is what makes it a tag or not.
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Old 07-14-2016, 06:34 AM   #6
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Tag axle coaches will generally have a shorter turning radius then non-tag coaches do. Due to shorter wheel base between frt and drive axles. Tages made for more stable ride, but you lose basement storage compartment space as well.
The GVWR is what makes it a tag or not.
Wouldn't the wheelbase be longer between the front axle and drive wheels on a DP ?

Maybe I'm wrong but I thought the tag was ahead of the drive axle.
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Old 07-14-2016, 06:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandy Swede View Post
Thanks Dons2346
We are looking at Newmar, HR, and Monaco. 2003 to 2005 range. I have printed out the company brochure specs and will look at wheel base. Would any of those brands which I identified have IFS?
We have a 38ft Newmar Dutch Star 2001.

We were absolutely stunned at how tight the turn radius was! We had driving lessons after getting the coach and he had us BOTH do a turn with him standing in front of the coach about his arm length away from the front. As long as it was a hard turn, we missed him with NO problems. If we happen to go forward a bit before turning, then he had to get out of the way. Not sure if we have IFS but even without it, the turn radius suits us just fine. NO issues.
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Old 07-14-2016, 07:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Wouldn't the wheelbase be longer between the front axle and drive wheels on a DP ?

Maybe I'm wrong but I thought the tag was ahead of the drive axle.

Nope. A tag axle tags along behind the drive axle. A weight bearing axle mounted in front of the drive axle is called-- for reasons defying all understanding-- a pusher axle. Go figger.

So when you design the chassis for a tag, for engineering reasons you move the drive axle slightly forward, resulting in a slightly shorter wheelbase than you otherwise would have had.
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Old 07-14-2016, 07:43 AM   #9
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Had a 40ft dp last year and bought a 38ft dp this year. The 38 wheelbase as well as overall length is approx 2ft shorter and is noticably easier to get in and out of places. That said I would find the floor plan you like and not worry about the length as you will get used to where you can go or not go. The big difference for me is sometimes i tow a trlr that is 24ft in length and the 2ft in the mh made a big difference.
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Old 07-14-2016, 07:44 AM   #10
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The wheelbase is the key to turning radius. In my observation, there is no rhyme or reason for wheelbase length between coaches of the same length made by different manufacturers. A longer wheelbase gives you a better ride at the expense of turning radius, but in my short time owning a class A, turning radius has never been an issue.
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Old 07-14-2016, 07:50 AM   #11
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To the OP. If you are concerned about potential additional problems on a coach with a tag axle, do not, under any circumstances, take one for a test ride. Unless you need maximum basement storage, and few of us do, a 40' w/tag will always ride better, turn shorter, and handle better than a non tag. A 40' non tag coach can handle well in most cases, but can not compare to a tag in the wind, over rough roads, or a just plain relaxed trip. I have owned six non tag coaches and two with tags. Both tags, one a gas and now our dp, out performed the others in every way. We will not go back to a non tag.
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Old 07-14-2016, 07:56 AM   #12
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40' non tag is fine. Many coaches in this configuration. Find the floorplan you like and don't worry if 36' or 40'. You spend more time living in the coach than driving it. Not a huge difference in the drive.
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Old 07-14-2016, 01:03 PM   #13
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I would think having to worry about four more $500-$600 tires to replace would also be a consideration for some when deciding between tag or no tag axle. There are some out in the RV world that want their motor homes to drive, ride, and perform like a BMW! They won't.
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Old 07-14-2016, 01:17 PM   #14
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I would think having to worry about four more $500-$600 tires to replace would also be a consideration for some when deciding between tag or no tag axle. There are some out in the RV world that want their motor homes to drive, ride, and perform like a BMW! They won't.
Good point on the additional tire costs ( actually 2 .... tags aren't duals) figure another 150 a year in costs. How much did the coach cost again ?😉
I've had a 35 and now a 41 with a tag and drove a few 40 single rear axles. Turning radius never bothered me but the ride sure did in the 35 .. A lot mor wander not so prevalent in the 40s and non existent on the tag ( the tag also goes over speed bumps without shaking the heck out of the coach like the 35 and 40s I drove . doesn't matter though , sounds like the op has ruled out tags and that's ok.
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