First, x2 that we can have this discussion in a way that shares knowledge without offense/defensive posts.
This thread is SO timely as we currently are researching technical details as we search for a new tag axle bath 1/2 coach. We are giving serious research to American Coach Tradition, Winnebago Tour & Grand, Itasca Ellipse & Ultra. Have also taken factory tour for WBG, Entegra (Cornerstone?) and Newmar (MADP). Plan to do factory tour at Am Coach soon. And, we are impressed with Foretravel Realm FS6 based on internet info (though $ may ultimately make it not right fit for us, we have not seen it yet, but hope to this summer/fall).
Would be interested in learning from others here regards the following, as each mfr says "ours" is better...but we feel there must be some credible way to rate or evaluate & separate "differences" so we can make the best choice 'for us.'
For example, we recently were test driving a 2015 WBG Tour 42QD, salesperson cheerfully introduced us to the Dlr Rep from WBG who happened to be at that dlrshp on that day. WBG rep invited us to "ask anything."
1) We asked how the Maxum chassis/FtL XCL compared to American Coach Liberty bridge type chassis for "flex"? If I understand correctly, WBG rep mentioned : many mfr chassis is cambered (slightly arch in center like freight trucker bed) so that later with added weight of house set on chassis becomes 'flat.'. Whereas, Maxum chassis is designed flat at start, and remains so when
house is set on chassis. Also, that the flat supports WBG welds across both "rails" (= 'Maxum' mods done by WBG) on the lowered rail (XCL FtL) chassis are better? Less flex? than "raised rail" chassis by SOB.
We would like to hear others here opinions regarding "flex" ?
2) That WBG engineers by incorporating both a "lowered rail" design, with placement of house AGM batteries, and all fluid tanks (fuel/water/waste) "to the center" creates a lower center of gravity, and better/safer? handling coach. Whereas, SOBs use raised rail chassis and then place heavy house & chassis battery compartment in bay compartment, necessitating MH mfr designing an off-set for that weight on the other side of the coach. And/or, this battery bay weight being off center can affect handling in SOBs.
We would be interested to hear what others say ref raised or lowered rail? And, does battery bank in outside basement bay -vs- WBG battery bank midship, center of lowered rail, ...anyone here comment on handling effect?
3) We asked if WBG is or will be using the Steerable Tag and that both Am Eagle, and Newmar DPs competitors are for 2016. WBG rep told us they have not built on any yet ...but didn't say if later or not even considered. So, the rep could not give us any "compare contrast or opinion" for steering tag. We did tell him that is something that we are researching and would be of interest in our decision process.
But, would ask others here...where in our decision should steerable tag weigh in a tag model choice high, not so much, is the jury still out?
Regarding the newest model, Foretravel Realm FS6, does anyone here know whether as part of a market $ lower than say the IH-45 Foretravel....the Realm says steel structure, -- but is it equal / same as other Foretravel current build?
Also, Realm is on Spartan KGT-3 chassis, not Foretravel's "own" chassis. Based on reading discussion here...presume this means Realm would be the "rolling chassis" and NOT semi-monocoque?
Thanks in advance for everyones help in our understanding the complexity of these important structural components.
Safe Travels To All