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Old 04-19-2012, 08:22 PM   #1
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Eduamacation on Chassis

As stated in other questions I have posted, DW and I aore looking at getting a Class A or large 5er to full time in.
I have zero knowledge on Class A's so am looking for info on different parts of the coach, hope you don't mind, should get to the end of my questions about the time I pass on.
I would assume that all of the major brands of MH's use quality chassis's. What differences, if any, on chassis's influenced your decision. Should it even be a consideration when it comes to choosing our coach, assuming we stay with quality brands?

Thanks
JT
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Old 04-19-2012, 08:31 PM   #2
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Remember, if you are full timing and you have a chassis problem, the whole house goes to the repair shop for repairs....Where do you live?

Ken
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Old 04-19-2012, 08:45 PM   #3
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JT,
Are you talking new or used?? Gas or diesel Class A?

Give us a little more info on how comfortable you want to be when /if you go full time.

Spartan and Freightliner are probably the main 2 diesel chassis.

Ford and Workhorse are the main 2 gas chassis but if you want new you will be looking at Ford unless you can find a leftover Workhorse since Workhorse quit making gas chassis for RV's at the present time.

Jon
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Old 04-19-2012, 10:15 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by jfran304 View Post
JT,
Are you talking new or used?? Gas or diesel Class A?

Give us a little more info on how comfortable you want to be when /if you go full time.

Spartan and Freightliner are probably the main 2 diesel chassis.

Ford and Workhorse are the main 2 gas chassis but if you want new you will be looking at Ford unless you can find a leftover Workhorse since Workhorse quit making gas chassis for RV's at the present time.

Jon
If we go with a Class A, it'll be a DP. Of course I want to be comfortable when we go FT, that's why I'm doing as much investigating as I can now.
Yes, I'm aware Spartan and Freightliner are used on a great deal of DPs, is there any real difference between the two as far as stiffness, ride comfort, tracking, etc. Should the chassis even be a consideration when choosing a coach.
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Old 04-19-2012, 10:23 PM   #5
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Remember, if you are full timing and you have a chassis problem, the whole house goes to the repair shop for repairs....Where do you live?

Ken
TX, DW and I are still looking at pluses and minuses for us as far as making the decision on going with a 5er, or an\ DP. Trying to gather as much info as I can, so as to make a choice based on items that make a difference. If the chassis that all the major brands use are basically the same, then I don't need to use that as a factor in making my decision. I'm located in Idaho now, once I get thru with the VA here, probably another year - 18 months, we will purchase the DP or 5er and head for somewhere, preferably somewhere quiet and peaceful.
Thx
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Old 04-19-2012, 10:53 PM   #6
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Aside from the problematic Roadmaster RR4R's out there (and more are getting the upgrade every day, I imagine) I really wouldn't worry much about chassis unless you are going quite old on a coach. Personally, and maybe this is the voice of inexperience, but as much as I am a total gearhead, I made myself not consider chassis and engine combinations (and I would have bought an RR4R and had it fixed straightaway, really).

Floorplan, and storage, etc., were the MOST important things. For us, the critical things were (not particularly in order, they were all important):

1) lots of floorspace so you can play with the puppies
2) nice to be able to watch TV without sitting "sideways"
3) had to be very usable with the slide(s) in since we are on the road a lot and sometimes at race tracks are very space constrained
4) diesel generator
5) light and airy with windows. My wife was adamant about "no man caves"
6) Dedicated throne room

If were were full timing I would have also put storage on the list.

As it turned out, we got pretty much everything we wanted, including the gearhead things of raised rail, independent front suspension, side radiator, Cummins ISC.

Others can probably point out other good requirements, but really in the end, I think the chassis is the last on the list as there are very few show stoppers. After all, even the lowly 260hp/520tq Cummins ISB setups will still get you there... just a bit slower. But once you are there, you have to live with the floorplan you bought.

Steve
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Old 04-19-2012, 11:18 PM   #7
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If there is a RV show near you in the next few months that would be a big help. When we were deciding on our MH we spent many hours at RV shows. After you've been inside a few you start to get a feel for what you like. When we would find one that seemed to be good we would sit there for a while and picture ourselves doing all the things you do during the day. After a while we would just walk in a MH and turn around and walk out. It's hard to explain.
We also had the opportunity to rent several MHs for a week before we bought. When you're trying to get all your stuff in a MH for a week and find there is no place for the lawn chairs except the top of the bed because the basement area is too small you learn real quick.
The other big help was this website. There are so many knowlagable people here willing to share their experieces. You can learn a lot from other peoples mistakes.

Good Luck with your search.
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Old 04-20-2012, 04:05 PM   #8
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Spartan fan here, test drive both freightliner and spartan if you can't tell the difference then it doesn't matter. Then there is the engine cummins or cat. and the horse power is xyz enough or do I need more. My revolution is my 3d MH and 2nd new one with it I did things backward from the other ones I started with the chassis then found my floor plan. I wore the pants on this coach at least she let me.
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Old 04-20-2012, 06:44 PM   #9
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We did live and travel in a 5th wheel for a couple of years. FWIW my feeling is the living space is great but basement storage is limited compared to a DP.
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Old 04-20-2012, 08:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdat View Post
If we go with a Class A, it'll be a DP. Of course I want to be comfortable when we go FT, that's why I'm doing as much investigating as I can now.
Yes, I'm aware Spartan and Freightliner are used on a great deal of DPs, is there any real difference between the two as far as stiffness, ride comfort, tracking, etc. Should the chassis even be a consideration when choosing a coach.
When we bought our gas coach we drove one on a Ford Chassis and one on a Workhorse Chassis. We were happier with the Workhorse. Both were built by the same company (Tiffin) and the same year and models.

As a lot of other people have pointed out, be sure the wife is happy with the inside layout.

Good Luck,
Jon
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Old 04-21-2012, 08:09 AM   #11
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Thanks

Appreciate the info. At this point I'm just trying to educate myself to the what and why of certain chassis's and engines. Do chassis's very in flexibility, ride comfort, handling? As someone said above, drive both, then see if you can even notice the difference. That I'm assuming will be the biggest test, if I can even tell the difference. Once again, thanks for the info as I continue on my journey of learning.
JT
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Old 04-21-2012, 08:43 AM   #12
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SteveLevin is bang on. The only thing I would point out about the chassis is that the difference between a tag axle and a two axle DP is night and day. After that, the differences between Spartan, Freightliner, and Roadmaster are details.

A tag axle is bigger and heavier, but it can carry more weight and it will drive better in all weather and ride smoother than a two axle. Many two axle DPs are so close to their weight limit you can't haul water in them.

Tag, non-tag, and engine size are most significant. I have never read a posting from a motor home user that they hate their chassis.

After that it comes down to the match between the configuration and your planned use.

Since you have not declared new vs used I'll hold back on that set of comments.
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Old 04-21-2012, 12:30 PM   #13
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Thx

Distaff, appreciate the info, that's kinda of what I was thinking, that there can't be a huge difference between similar chassis's. Should we decide to go with a DP, tag axle is one of the few mandatory requirements I have. DW's happiness with the floor plan will almost certainly be the primary focus, with a requirement for a tag axle the 2nd. We've got a year - 18 months to decide, I'm trying to learn as much as possible from folks here so we make a smart choice.

Thxs
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Old 04-21-2012, 12:45 PM   #14
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As far as the chassis question, F/L is more typically seen on entry or mid level coaches.

Spartan is seen on higher level coaches, a lot of Americans and Newmars and such.

Roadmaster of course is a Monaco Creation, and is seen on anything built by monaco, including HR's and Beavers and such. The much maligned RR4R chassis is to be avoided, the 8 bag (or 10 with a tag) is as good or better than anything that has ever been designed.
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