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Old 07-23-2015, 03:10 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by peterson View Post
Wow, pretty incredible that Newell makes their own chassis. They certainly were innovators.



Since they were ahead of their time with diesel pusher design and chassis innovation, how does their chassis compare with the modern Freightliner and Spartan chassis?

Use to be more common. Foretravel and Newell are still building a semi monocoque chassis. I guess Tiffin is still building a standard raised rail chassis for some of their coaches. In years past, Monaco and Country Coach built semi monocoque chassis as well as raised rail chassis. Alpine also built a raised rail chassis designed by the guy who designed Tiffin's chassis.

The semi monocoque chassis are supremely strong and stiff. The down side is weight and cost. The engine builders helped kill the coach builders building their own chassis by changing how they classify their customers. The pure chassis builders like Freightliner & Spartan buy engines at a significantly lower price point than the single source chassis builders.


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Old 07-23-2015, 11:40 PM   #16
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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
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Old 07-23-2015, 11:58 PM   #17
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Newmar takes the Fl or Spartan chassis and takes the camber out of it by welding in more steel in the correct places. The new chassis they are advertising looks very much like what CC built some years ago. I looked at the Newmar pictures and then the ones that came with our CC and they look very close.
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Old 07-24-2015, 06:59 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeHappy View Post
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

The chassis that all these coach builders are using are variations on a theme. They are all rail chassis. Some are raised rail, some are lowered rail. The Wbgo and American that you talk about are using front and rear "clips" from the chassis builder and joining them with their proprietary rail type assembly. All these guys but Foretravel, are building standard house on chassis construction. The Foretravel (not sure about the Realm) concept is a semi monocoque construction. A semi monocoque chassis can be built using clips from Spartan or Freightliner but I don't know if that is the case here. This design was used also by Monaco and Country Coach in past years. In this construction, the lower chassis is welded to steel sidewall framing and these sidewalls are welded to steel framing in the roof. The load on the chassis is spread through the whole structure. Very strong and rigid. Also heavy and expensive. The expensive part killed these designs. The heavy part necessitated a tag axle.

When you visit American Coach in Decatur, ask if you can see the chassis being built. Also look at the Monaco Dynasty and Holiday Rambler Navigator. They are built in the same ARG plant in Decatur.

The salesman's talking points about equipment placement and center of gravity are not unimportant but like Paul Harvey use to say, "now the rest of the story". Some of those items, buried in the center of the chassis will need service. Batteries have a finite life and they need to be serviced. Test drive these coaches in the worst conditions possible. There are some ride/handling differences but I submit that none of that is due to battery placement.

Good luck with your search & enjoy the process.



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Old 07-24-2015, 08:36 AM   #19
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The American Coach chassis is not built in that plant but arrives as a rolling chassis. Assuming the tour hasn't changed since we took it 5 years ago that's where your tour will begin, where the completed chassis comes in the back door.

When we were researching our first DP purchase five years ago, of those that made our short list (based on our budget and expected level of comfort and amenities) only the American Coach and the Entegra had the "bridge truss" center sections I thought would provide a better foundation for long term durability. As of the 2016 model year Newmar has upgraded their chassis (calling it the "STAR") and would now be on my list for consideration.

Were money no object, I'd be in Miami Oklahoma specking out my Newell.
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Old 07-24-2015, 08:45 AM   #20
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There is a show on how do they do it or how is it made where Winnebago makes a unit.

Standard chassis from someplace that is cut in half then extended.

Inside built then walls added with small screws.

That would turn me off to them in a heartbeat!
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Old 07-24-2015, 09:33 AM   #21
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I stopped by the Newell factory and they were nice enough to walk me through the factory. Interesting to see the frame to finish. Very impressive facility, and very friendly long-term craftsman working there.
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