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Old 01-21-2014, 02:53 PM   #1
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Tag axle

We have been shopping for a used 40'+ m/h have seen several with the tag(plan on test driving several in the next few weeks) are most of these rear radiator,we hear side is much better for servicing .Is this a problem working on motor. Not sure we need the tag ,just better driving.
Looking at a mandala coach 43a and a 42' Tiffin.
Thanks everyone for your advice.Tim
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Old 01-21-2014, 02:57 PM   #2
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The side radiator does make it easier to access the motor, but then again are you going to be working on the coach? You will find that the higher end coaches generally have side radiators, but the cost to buy is usually higher as well. This will most likely more than make up the difference between maintenance costs for these coaches.

The tag makes for a better ride and more carrying capacity. Most also have more storage area due to longer chassis.

Don't use the side versus rear radiator as you main determining factor.
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Old 01-21-2014, 05:22 PM   #3
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In DPers, 40' and under will be no tag. Over 40' will be tag. I agree on dont let the radiator placement be the deciding factor. Ours has a rear rad and cools just fine and never heats up. Don't know where your home base is but in most cases anything over 40' will need special drivers license too.
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Old 01-21-2014, 05:30 PM   #4
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We currently have a 2004 Country Coach "allure" 40'. This coach has both a tag axle and a side radiator.
In regard to the tag axle I believe there are several advantages. First carrying capacity, you will find that manny DP's in the 40' and above range with a single rear axle are maxed out in there carrying capacity as they sit. Whereas with a tag axle you can expect and additional 10,000 + pounds carring capacity. I would not consider a DP over 40' unless it had a tag axle.
Second I believe the coach rides and handles much better with a tag axle.
On the down side the tag axle does eliminate some storage area. However without the tag you do have the carring capacity to use your storage area.
In regard to your question regarding rear or side radiator, I can only say I have a side radiator and like the setup. But I have never had a DP with the rear radiator, so no real knowledge in that area.
Good luck in your quest for a MH.
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Old 01-21-2014, 06:43 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by TBS-POPS View Post
In DPers, 40' and under will be no tag. Over 40' will be tag. I agree on dont let the radiator placement be the deciding factor. Ours has a rear rad and cools just fine and never heats up. Don't know where your home base is but in most cases anything over 40' will need special drivers license too.
sure DONT know where this info came from. there are lots of coaches with tags from 37-40 ft.
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Old 01-21-2014, 07:37 PM   #6
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Tag axle also has better braking, another axle with brakes.
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Old 01-21-2014, 07:59 PM   #7
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I've had a rear radiator DP with a single axle and now have a side radiator with tag axle. The tag does improve ride and handling, along with the obvious ability to handle more weight. That said, my previous coach with a single rear axle did not handle badly.

No question that side radiator allows easier access to the motor in general. Much easier to service many items....belt/s, hoses, water pump, alternator,etc. This could mean easier for you if you do your own maintenance and lower cost in terms of labor if you have to pay someone else to do it.

Most folks say pick the coach that you can best live in and enjoy. That means floor plan and size are most important. IMO, if you plan to really drive a coach a lot, also consider those things that will contribute to a pleasant driving experience.
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Old 01-21-2014, 09:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TBS-POPS View Post
In DPers, 40' and under will be no tag. Over 40' will be tag. I agree on dont let the radiator placement be the deciding factor. Ours has a rear rad and cools just fine and never heats up. Don't know where your home base is but in most cases anything over 40' will need special drivers license too.
A few points regarding this.

1. With the addition of DEF there are a few DP models at 39-40' with tags. HOWEVER...look out for major loss of basement space.

2. Length by itself does not determine license needs. GVWR is the controlling factor for those states with upgraded licenses requirements. In IL RVs more that 10,000 up to 26,000 require a class C NON-CDL DL and those more than 26,000 GVWR require a class B NON-CDL. We are now SD residents and SD does NOT have any such requirement...same DL covers Yugos to 45' MHs.

3. There are 34' DPs that exceed 26,000#.
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Old 01-21-2014, 09:21 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by tagcat View Post
We have been shopping for a used 40'+ m/h have seen several with the tag(plan on test driving several in the next few weeks) are most of these rear radiator,we hear side is much better for servicing .Is this a problem working on motor. Not sure we need the tag ,just better driving.
Looking at a mandala coach 43a and a 42' Tiffin.
Thanks everyone for your advice.Tim
One of the reasons i think i need a tag is we will be full time, driving a lot and the biggest reason is all the tool i will be taking.I have been a carpenter my whole life ,and the kids are all over the map and there houses need work. They leave home now we take the home to them!
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Old 01-21-2014, 09:36 PM   #10
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One of the reasons i think i need a tag is we will be full time, driving a lot and the biggest reason is all the tool i will be taking.I have been a carpenter my whole life ,and the kids are all over the map and there houses need work. They leave home now we take the home to them!
Keep this in mind...watch the FRONT axle closely. While the tag axle will make a HUGE difference in CCC, basement loading and weight distribution will have a major impact on front axle weight. While I love our coach, it has a VERY HEAVY slate tile floor. The front axle is rated at 14,600# and we come in at 14,200# with full fuel, propane and water along with grey and black tanks that are about 1/4 full. We are just starting our 3rd month of FT use and know we have to be a bit cautious on what we add to the coach and where it will go.

It will be nearly impossible for me to max out the drive and tag GAWR and pretty darn hard to max out the GVWR or the GCWR under anything close to normal loading. In short, as long as you don't exceed the front GAWR, it is difficult to overload a tag axle MH.

Now...you can work around this with a trailer but then what about a car and total length and all that stuff?
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:26 PM   #11
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You will not gain a lot of useful carrying capacity with a tag axle on a 42-45' coach. The manufacturers use as long a wheel base as they can to get as much basement space possible. The tag axle takes up the space of two compartments which is why a 43' with tag won't have much more storage in the basement than a 40' single axle. Remember that the more weight you put on the tag, the more weight will transfer to the steering axle. The drive axle works as a fulcrum. I had to remove the proportioning valves on our new coach and replace them with manual regulators so I could get the correct balance between axles. This is a whole other discussion. There is no way to get 35,000#s on the drive and tag axles which is what they are rated at. So, yes you will be able to carry more weight with a tag axle, but the steering axle weight has to be watched closely, partly due to basement loading but also how much weight the tag is carrying.

Before you buy any coach, but especially one with a tag fill it with fuel and fresh water and drive it over a scale with a second person in it. What are the weights. I ended up with 37% on the steer, 48% on the drive and 15% on the tag. Total weight loaded is 39,500#. The steering is 1,000# below the max, the drive is 2,000# below the max and the tag is carrying 5500# but is rated for 13,000#. There are too many tag coaches on the road that are close to or are exceeding what the steering axle is rated for. Check and be sure before you buy.


edit: When I pull a 9500# trailer with a 1,000# tongue weight, I increase the tag up to 7,000# and the steer is still 1,000# below the max and the drive is up to the max of 22,000#s You can't get it any better than that.
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Old 01-22-2014, 06:31 AM   #12
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I guess the key here is to load the heavier "stuff" in the rear most cabinets of a tag axle coach in most cases. The tag will definitely create a smoother ride. I test drove 40 foot non-tag and 43 foot tag coaches of the exact same brand/model. Could definitely tell the difference in ride.
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Old 01-22-2014, 06:42 AM   #13
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altho i understand the advantage of having a tag,as far as a better ride, but i heard that when turning/cornering they tend to drag/slide over.
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Old 01-22-2014, 06:52 AM   #14
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altho i understand the advantage of having a tag,as far as a better ride, but i heard that when turning/cornering they tend to drag/slide over.
It is no question the tag tires get dragged a bit in turns. Most tag axle coaches have the ability for the driver to lift the tag to prevent that when making tight turns at low speed.
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