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Old 07-09-2014, 06:00 AM   #15
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Workhorse Chassis Owner
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Most handling problems are do to what is refured to as the tail wagigng the dog. The less weight you have behind the rear wheels compared to the weight in front the better the handling. As for DP motor homes the motor and trans is back there but the rear axle is back there too leaving most of thr MH in front of the rear axle. JMHO

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Old 07-09-2014, 06:47 AM   #16
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Workhorse Chassis Owner
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Location: Homosassa, FL
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My first & present MH is a 2008 35' gas Winnebago on a Workhorse Chassis. When we decided to buy an RV we planned to retire and go full time in two years (2 years ago). We had done some investigating and decided 35' was a good length for us. One of us insisted (not me) that new was best and close to new was a requirement. Relatively speaking 5 years old is close to new. Our coach is is smooth and quiet when the highway is smooth and flat and I stay at 55 but rough and noisy when the road is not so smooth or flat. I know now that age is just one factor to consider and if I had a do-over I would go for an older DP for its benefits over a gas chassis such as ride quality, storage space, tow capacity, power & engine location. I will try to tweak my gas chassis to improve ride quality but keep searching for an older DP I can convince DW to look at.

3 Humans,2 Dogs,1 Vision, sharing a Winnebago Sightseer 35J on a Workhorse Chassis. Allen, Donna, Drew, Bella & Pippy in the MH we call Glor-E-B!
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Old 07-22-2014, 07:30 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by 60Bubba View Post
As with many other new RV shoppers, I'm having a hard time ignoring the attractive pricing on the 34-37' gas class A motorhomes. Beyond the towing capacity limits, which I've discussed in another thread, I'm wondering about the handling issues I've read much about.

I understand the wheelbase versus overall length issue, and that most recommend a ratio of 54% or better. Also, I guess some of the trouble stems from the leaf spring truck chassis the Class A's use.

For those who have experience with both, can anyone give me a better explanation about the actual issues you've experienced driving gas motorhomes, as well as the technical explanation for it if you have one.

Floor plan is paramount. You will spend a lot more time parked than on the road. If needed, suspension upgrades will eliminate any handling concerns. I just added a rear trac bar and new shocks to my '05 37' gasser and greatly improved its handling.
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Old 07-22-2014, 07:46 PM   #18
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Long gasser handing problems are usually on Ford chassis and can almost always be rectified. Rear track bar is a biggie, as it stops the tail wag syndrome. Cheap handling fix is another common update. After doing these to my 37' is drives well.

Gas or diesel. Let your usage model decide. As others have commented, floor plan is paramount.
Vince and Susan
2011 Tiffin Phaeton 40QTH (Cummins ISC/Freightliner)
Flat towing a modified 2005 Jeep (Rubicon Wrangler)
Previously a 2002 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 37A and a 1995 Safari Trek 2830.
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Old 07-22-2014, 07:47 PM   #19
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Invest in 4 Koni shocks and you will be surprised a the difference in the ride. You have a good coach there and that Alison tranny is super.

People who have DP will disagree with me but the only thing they have going for them is the air ride. Maintenance on a DP is quite expensive compared to a gas unit. That Workhorse engine is not too noisy either.

I had a 2004 Adventurer 33 footer on a Workhorse and it was just fine. Now I have a 2014 Adventurer on a Ford chassis and time will tell.

2014 Winnebago Adventurer 35P,Ford F-53, V-10
2011 Ford Escape,2000 Roadmaster Tow Dolly
"Have a Great Day, Enjoy RVing."
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Old 07-22-2014, 08:40 PM   #20
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I agree with ecurb74 short trips gas long comfy diesel
a bad day camping is still better than a good day working.
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Old 07-22-2014, 09:27 PM   #21
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60Bubba - The key is how the coach you are going to buy drives. Not how well that brand or model is supposed to drive, but the one you are going to leave with. I have read all the posts and there have been many helpful comments IMHO. As far as gas coaches in the size range you are listing. Some drive well and some do not. Buy one that makes you feel comfortable driving it. Do NOT buy a coach that you think you can fix the handling on. Buy one that already handles well.

Motorhomes with long chassis compared to the house length handle better going down a freeway. Just like cars with longer chassis do. It is simple physics. Put the wheels closer to the front and rear and you have less leverage to throw you off course when a truck passes or the wind blows. And when you give steering input less force is needed to move the house.

Heavier motorhomes have slower handling oscillations and a smoother ride. Semi-monocoque chassis tend to allow less flex and therefore are a more stable platform for your suspension. Semi-monocoque chassis tend to be a much safer motorhome because you are riding in a welded strong steel cage. If the worst happens and someone hits you there is more chance you will survive.

DP's drive far far comfortably than gas motorhomes, but camp the same. If you are going to drive a lot get a DP. Not so much gas a great motorhomes.

Simple rule for cost of maintenance - More features = more things to go wrong. But heavy duty DP's tend to have parts that last a lot longer.

Buy what you like and your wife (if you have one) likes.

Don't walk, run from sales people that don't want you to take test drives and try to hard sell you. Leave the checkbook home for the first seven test drives.
B Bob
Country Coach 42' Affinity
2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
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Old 07-23-2014, 01:26 PM   #22
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We have a 2005 Fleetwood Bounder on a Workhorse chassis with an 8.1L GM gas engine. The coach is in nice shape and was well maintained by the previous owner. Here is our experience. The engine is noisy but is ok after you get used to it. It's not so much the absolute noise level as the comparison to today's cars. The handling was awful. The coach wandered badly and was a handful when a tractor-trailer passed. Cross winds were an adventure. The coach also lurched from side to side. The first thing that we did - mileage was about 47K - was to replace the shock absorbers. We bought original equipment Bilsteins from the Shock Warehouse on line. Very good prices and service. That took care of the lurching. We also adjusted the tire pressures and that made a huge difference. The thing was almost drivable. Finally, we bought a rear track bar from Oemy's on line. About $500, and worth every cent. The track bar completely changed the way the coach drives. Little, if any, effect from passing trucks or cross winds. Here's why. The front and rear suspension in the Workhorse - and many others - is 2 longitudinal (lengthwise) leaf springs and a solid axle. Add a couple of shock absorbers and that's pretty much it. Crude but it works - sort of. The problem comes in because the leaf springs and their attachments have very little resistance to sideways movement. The long overhang and a toad behind causes something called "tail wagging" which is exactly what it sounds like. So while the tail is wagging out back, you are up front sawing on the steering wheel trying to keep up. Not a great way to travel. However, the rear track bar changes everything. It consists of a bracket on the rear axle/differential, a bracket on the frame, and a heavy link that connects the two with a pivoting joint where it connects on either end. The way that it works is that it has no effect on up and down movement, but it prevents the chassis from moving sideways in relation to the axle. The result is no more tail wag. I can now drive our Bounder with one hand instead of two white knuckle grips. This particular track bar is produced by Brazel's and may only be available for Workhorse chassis. There are others form different vendors/manufacturers for other chassis. By the way, I did the install myself. Not too difficult, but it would be a lot easier if I didn't have to work laying on my back.

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