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Old 02-07-2016, 03:09 PM   #29
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For a better selling point and impressive numbers, I wouldn't be surprised if the comparison is between a non lifting tag and the passive steer tag. My son has a new Mountain Aire and claims that at the end of the day with "Comfort Drive" he is still relaxed. When we travel together, at the end of the day with our Powerglide chassis, I hate to stop because I am still relaxed from such a well handling ride. Although it's a good marketing feature, I question how much better it can be over what I have. We both pull a 30' trailer, so tight turns are not an issue. The same applies to the steerable tag. Probably not enough difference to matter. The only reason I would like the passive steering tag is to avoid dumping the tag for a turn. With the 1500# tongue weight, the drive axle goes from 20,000# up to 24,000# till the tag is re-inflated which I can do manually immediately after the turn. So other than tag air management, It offers me nothing worth spending money for.
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Old 02-08-2016, 12:15 AM   #30
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If I recall, the tests were compared to a tag coach that lifted. It sounds weird, but it's not the dragging of the tag that increases the turning radius, but the steerable tag forcing the drive tires to turn sharper.

When it comes to Comfort Steer there is really no comparing it until you've driven one all day and see the difference. My Monaco handled well and there were days when I drove 600 - 700 miles. I wasn't worn out at the end of the day, but I was done. The Comfort Steer leaves me more relaxed than the Diplomat did. No matter what, non Comfort Steer coaches don't correct for road crown or wind push automatically. So at the end of the day, you've had to steer the Comfort Steer coach substantially fewer times.
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Old 02-08-2016, 12:27 AM   #31
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Well,
I don't have experience with a steerable tag, I do have it with BOTH REAR AXLE STEERING on a Fire Truck. One of our ladder trucks was 42' long and had a 105' aerial ladder on it. That truck came with what's called " All-Steer". It was a $20,000 option that we (the FD) thought we'd try for a truck that was to be used in tight city/driving areas. Yes, both rear axles did steer if and when you wanted and needed it. And, that steering was selectable in that, you could steer the rear wheels in the same direction as the front axle was pointed or, you could "counter steer" the rear axles in the opposite direction, for other advantages.

Talk about maneuverability, WOW! I could turn that truck, completely around, as in a 360 degree u-turn, in some of our smallest intersections. Now, that's just an example of it's capability. In other situations, I could "crab-walk" it away from curbs or, in a fire ground situation where things were ultra-tight in maneuverability requirements. You could literally walk that truck sideways (at a 45 degree angle) if needed. We only purchased one of these trucks outfitted with this rear-steering setup, due to cost.

The rear steering was only available at less than 3 miles an hour. After that, the computer took over and shut down that system and straightened up the rear axles and locked them. That was one fun truck to drive and operate.

Now, I always said if I was rich, like many of the country singers and all those that can afford to have seriously nice, custom built coaches, THAT'S WHAT I'D HAVE INSTALLED!
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Everything you have said is correct,I have experience with large Oil fld trucks and cranes. They work excellent.
One thing that I would like to point out is the cost to repair. Motor homes are terrible to work on as access is very limited.
I had a unit that decided to stop working at the most inopportune time. However it was really not a big problem as a neutral sensor was loose and required adjustment. I don't think we could have corrected the problem if it was on an motor home without lifting the rear wheels to get access.
Apart from those issues they are great when they work.
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Old 02-08-2016, 09:16 AM   #32
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Gordon....When Newmar first came out and offered the steerable tag, they had a whole press release showing how it worked and how much it shortened the turning radius.

I don't know if I would pay to add it on, but I think, like Comfort Steer, previous tag axles that lifted and other chassis improvements, it's probably here to stay and will migrate into brands as time goes on, especially since you really only have two major chassis providers who now both offer it.

When talking about complexity, go work on your car. It has a computer running everything. Heck....just to start your car, it has to receive signals from six different places or it won't start. RV;s are getting to be the same way....there is no changing that.
Agree with the inevitability of bigger and more complex units. These "better" versions and changes will keep us buying new models to replace the outdated models we currently are using.

Having a steerable tag could be very desirable and beneficial. However I have never seen a thread on the forum where the OP was having to replace tag tires because of scuffing from turning.

I wonder about the number of new editions of cel phones that are must haves even if the main change is a choice of case colors. Extra for gold!! I am going to have to buy that new car because it has 4G so the kids can sit and play games on the internet. What happened to eye spy and punch buggy?

Anyway marketing will out and the manufacturers will be selling us more stuff that we did not realize we could not do without or we can not opt out of.

End of rant.
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Old 02-08-2016, 09:23 AM   #33
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You are right Gordon. The steerable tag is an answer to a question that very few people were asking.
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Old 02-08-2016, 09:42 AM   #34
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To me, there are more disadvantages than advantages:

Good - Reduces turning radius and scrubbing of tires.

Not so good - Added cost, added weight, added maintenance, more stuff to break, don't really need it.
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Old 02-08-2016, 10:10 AM   #35
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I suspect Spartan developed the steerable tag because their main products are emergency vehicle chassis.
For MH's this is an option for those who like toys -IMO. Simply lifting a tag axle has worked well for decades, without all the movable mechanics to wear out or fail.
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Old 02-08-2016, 12:19 PM   #36
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[QUOTE=

Adding safety and drivability are always welcomed improvements. If they were not, the high end manufacturers wouldn't be using/adding them.

Now here's an issue I do see and Newmar ran into this. Many of these companies are adding all of these extras, which increase weight, but are still using the same chassis. For example, Newmar has added a lot of features and heavy items to the Dutch Star in the last couple of years and is now taxing the chassis and engine to push all that weight down the road. They've had to recall the 2016 coaches to add a heavier front axle. I would love a 2016 Dutch Star with all the improvements, but I think the ISL 450 will be a marginal power plant. It's okay in mine, but certainly not overpowered. I suspect they'll need to go to a small ISX in the future.[/QUOTE]

Does anyone have the weight of a Dutch Star BEFORE the addition of the steerable axle and the newer slides?

If they add something that is less problematic or easier to work on, then these are extras I would like. If they are added and you actually do are required to go to a bigger engine, then I would not consider them.
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Old 02-08-2016, 05:16 PM   #37
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Might be easier just to call the coach manufacturer or who ever builds the new axle and ask them what it weighs.
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Old 02-08-2016, 05:39 PM   #38
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I suspect Spartan developed the steerable tag because their main products are emergency vehicle chassis.
For MH's this is an option for those who like toys -IMO. Simply lifting a tag axle has worked well for decades, without all the movable mechanics to wear out or fail.
Not sure I follow the logic here. There have to be some "movable mechanics" involved to lift an axle, doesn't there?

I've seen the bare steer tag chassis, they're "dirt simple". Presumably there are some additional lube points, where the hubs pivot and for the "tie bar" ball joints, I suspect a few additional shots with the grease gun when being serviced will be all that is required.

I don't see how this could be more complex than a tag lift system (distinguished from a simple lowering of the tag air bag pressure). Now, the question as to whether it was needed is legitimate. As to improved handling or maneuverability, ask me after I've put some miles on the London Aire.
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Old 02-08-2016, 11:39 PM   #39
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The Spartan passive steer axle reduces turning radius by 7%, locks when backing up and when driving over 20 mph. The computerized locking feature controls that. It requires wheel alignment like the steer wheels do.
MCI details of their steerable tag axle is operated by hydraulics from the steering pump for the front axle. It appears much more complex than the Spartan unit.
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Old 02-08-2016, 11:53 PM   #40
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Not sure I follow the logic here. There have to be some "movable mechanics" involved to lift an axle, doesn't there?

I've seen the bare steer tag chassis, they're "dirt simple". Presumably there are some additional lube points, where the hubs pivot and for the "tie bar" ball joints, I suspect a few additional shots with the grease gun when being serviced will be all that is required.

I don't see how this could be more complex than a tag lift system (distinguished from a simple lowering of the tag air bag pressure). Now, the question as to whether it was needed is legitimate. As to improved handling or maneuverability, ask me after I've put some miles on the London Aire.
Yep, liftable tag has air bags and connection to air supply and air control from the drivers seat. Seems like the passive steering axle would be less complicated.
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Old 02-09-2016, 09:36 AM   #41
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The way I understand my tag it is not "liftable" all the system does is dump the air pressure from the tag.
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Old 02-09-2016, 05:08 PM   #42
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The way I understand my tag it is not "liftable" all the system does is dump the air pressure from the tag.
That is all that ours does. No lift.

In the basic form all tags would be similar. Pivot points where the axle attaches to the frame so there is something that will move when going over uneven surfaces. Air bag to add lift to the chassis.

Steerable:

Passive has to have a mechanism in place that locks the tag on center when over a set speed and centers and locks the tag on center when backing up. Additional bushing are required to allow the axle to turn.

Active likely works in concert with the front steering through the hydraulic pump. This will mean the axle has to be aligned with the front and the steering bushing will be additional.

Hierarchy:
Air dump
Air dump/lift
Passive steer
Active steer

As you go through the progression the complexity has to increase.
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