Go Back   iRV2 Forums > MOTORHOME FORUMS > Class A Motorhome Discussions
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 06-18-2012, 06:30 PM   #1
Senior Member
Kathryn's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 636
Question Independent Front Suspension ... what's the buzz?

As I have researched all these (dozens!) motorhomes to determine which one is best for me, I have discovered how tough it is to find models with IFS! I have only found three that MSRP for LESS than $400k - Tiffin offers it on the Allegro Bus; Entegra does NOT offer it on the Aspire , but does offer it on the Anthem; and Itasca/Winnebago offers it on the Ellipse/Tour.

Monaco/Holiday Rambler are pretty vague on their Roadmaster chassis - does their airbag system fulfill the same function as IFS? Newmar doesn't list IFS on their Dutch Star info, which is on a Freightliner chassis - anyone know the scoop on that one?

Have I missed any others? That seems like it should be a must-have for high-mileage RVers!



Kathryn . . . still lurking and learning!

"Wise men still seek Him..."
Kathryn is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 06-18-2012, 07:39 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Fort walton Beach Fl
Posts: 625
It helps to stop some inside roll when going over an uneven surface like turning into a parking lot with a rise or dip. On the open road no difference. I had 2 of each.

2016 Entegra Cornerstone
Lault is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2012, 07:42 PM   #3
Senior Member
dennis45's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: BC
Posts: 4,702
Not sure about all the new class A's but the IFS chassis as I understand is a Spartan design. Up until 2010 Newmar offered the IFS Spartan as standard. Since then, I see they only offer the Freightliner chassis as standard.
In my research, the IFS is a much better handling and riding chassis but since I have not driven both, I should bow out on this point.

One thing is for sure, the Spartan chassis is a more expensive chassis than the Freightliner and I suppose that is the main reason Newmar has made a change.
If you are looking at a New rig, I think you will be limited to a solid axle chassis IE Freightliner. Always comes down to the bucks

FYI, there is a database program at www.rv.org that will give you some real good information to help with your search. I purchased it for about $140 during our search for a used rig and it proved to be the best money I've spent in a while. These people have been in the bussines of rating RV's for a long time and they are an independant group not funded by the RV industry.
Dennis & Carol
2003, 4006, 41' DutchStar, Spartan, ISC 8.3L W/BanksPower - 2013 Honda CRV, BlueOx Baseplate, Aventa Bar & Patriot Brake. And the 04 Bird, Sunshine Car.
dennis45 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2012, 07:45 PM   #4
Senior Member
Beacher's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 247
My 2012 Newmar Dutch Star has IFS and it's great I've had it on both my Newmars
Beacher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2012, 07:47 PM   #5
Moderator Emeritus
Gary RVRoamer's Avatar

Fleetwood Owners Club
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Silver Springs, FL. USA
Posts: 16,446
An IFS is expensive, so most low end and mid range coaches don't have it. And in todays RV market, $250k is not considered high end. American Coach (Tradition, Eagle & Heritage) have an IFS, but they are over $400k.

Monaco's Roadmaster chassis is not an IFS. The I-beam axle on the front subframe does not allow the wheels to act independently, i.e. when one one side goes down, the other goes up.

That said, a modern Solid (I-beam) axle with air suspension handles quite well. I really don't think you are suffering much to be without an IFS. While the IFS is technically superior when encountering major potholes, there is no material difference on most halfway decent road surfaces. By the way, I'm not rationalizing. I own a coach with the ZF IFS.

Freightliner will configure their chassis with either I-beam axle or IFS. I think they even even have a choice of two different IFS. The motorhome builder orders whatever he wants.
Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition; 2014 Buick LaCRosse
Homebase in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
Gary RVRoamer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2012, 08:02 PM   #6
Senior Member
Mr_D's Avatar
iRV2 No Limits Club
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 22,437
Have had two Dutch Stars, 2000 had beam axle, 2002 has IFS. Will stick with the IFS till I drive something better!
2009 45' Magna 630 w/Cummins ISX 650 HP/1950 Lbs Ft
Charter Good Sam Lifetime Member, FMCA, SKP
RV'ing since 1957, NRA Benefactor Life, towing '05 Odyssey
Mr_D is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2012, 09:58 PM   #7
Senior Member
B Bob's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,140
We have IFS. It is the only way to go. Ride is better. Turning radius is far better, and that is significant unless your day job is piloting the Queen Mary. Think about it. When is the last time Chevy, Ford, GMC, or Dodge put solid axle front ends in their trucks. Decades ago. There is a reason. I don't know about new, but I think all Country Coach from about 2000 on had IFS.

I test drove a 42' coach with solid front end when we were looking three years ago. Forget about it. Turning circle way too big. Another thing that helps with turning circle is a tag. Get one of those too.
B Bob
Country Coach 42' Affinity
2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
B Bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2012, 10:05 AM   #8
Senior Member
PDR John's Avatar

Join Date: May 2012
Location: Lighthouse RV Resort, Melissa TX
Posts: 3,561
Built On Freightliner Here is Freightliner's rv chassis site.
2013 DSDP 4347, all electric, 450 H.P. ISL
Air & hydraulic leveling
14 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland toad
PDR John is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2012, 12:41 PM   #9
Senior Member
Cat320's Avatar
Fleetwood Owners Club
American Coach Owners Club
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 4,175
Check here: www.americancoach.com Might have to buy used to get under $400k.
2014 American Eagle 45T
DD 500
Pulling a Honda CRV
Cat320 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2012, 01:40 PM   #10
Senior Member
Coached's Avatar
Fleetwood Owners Club
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 292
My Rev has a front axle, so does my Jeep. They both drive just fine. I can't see spending one more Dollar than I did just to get IFS. If other "stuff" I wanted came in the same package I might spend the money, but not just for IFS. Realistically, these Coaches just don't get in that many situations, at speed, or driven slowly, where IFS will truly make a difference. This could be part of the reason why its offering is so limited? "Perception is reality" so I can see Manufacturers making this available as a perceived benefit in upper end coaches. Just my $489,924.63 (MSRP) worth!
Tony & Yolanda / Katie & Spencer (the Doodles)
2011 Fleetwood Revolution 42W (450/1250)
2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee (Diesel) behind
Coached is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2012, 03:05 PM   #11
Senior Member
B Bob's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,140
Coached - I certainly hope your Rev has a front axle as you need one to go down the road. But to use a Jeff as an example of good handling or smooth ride is not a good one. Jeeps are very good off road and built tough, but the ones I have been in do not ride well. Here is a quote from Consumer Reports about the 2012 Jeep Wrangler "Although the Jeep is better than it has ever been, it's seriously outdated. The ride rocks and jiggles constantly, "

That Jeep comes with solid front Axle. As I said in my previous post, solid front axle is a step backwards in ride, turning circle, and stability.
B Bob
Country Coach 42' Affinity
2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
B Bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2012, 04:50 PM   #12
Master of Disaster
SteveLevin's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
Posts: 1,195
IFS doesn't automatically mean tighter turning radius. My Spartan with the Granning IFS only has a 45 degree front wheel cut as compared to the 50 degrees of many beam axle setups of the same era.

Since I've not owned a beam axle diesel, I can't comment on the ride/handling differences of IFS.

The Green Machine -- 2000 Mountain High Coachworks Summit (Spartan chassis / Cummins ISC)
...and F-Troop: Fearghus, Fiona, and Frankie (Cairn Terriers)
SteveLevin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2012, 05:51 AM   #13
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 324
We've owned 3 class A's, 2 solid axle and our last one a IFS. Hands down the IFS is the best handling/driving unit and the turning radius is MUCH sharper.
RSchleder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2012, 07:52 AM   #14
Senior Member
B Bob's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,140
I am not a chassis engineer or engineer of any kind. But if you just take a quiet minute and visualize in your mind what happens when you travel over uneven surfaces with independent wheel suspension as opposed to beam solid front suspension you will realize the advantage of independent. For example, when you go up a driveway and one wheel goes up the other wheel hooked to it does too. With IFS, one wheel goes up the other resists that. The result is a better ride. Less swaying.

My last coach had independent suspension on both front and rear. It was a GMC. In my experience a really smooth riding motor home. In the case of the GMC though you had six wheel independent suspension. And that brings up the disadvantage of independent. More complication and moving parts. Generally beam suspension has less maintenance.

B Bob
Country Coach 42' Affinity
2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
B Bob is offline   Reply With Quote


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:58 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.