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Old 05-27-2011, 05:38 PM   #1
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Tag axle

Really like our 40 foot but don't really like the way it drives in the wind. Thinking of looking into 43 with tag axle. Is there a lot of difference in the way they handle. May have to go drive a few.
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Old 05-27-2011, 05:50 PM   #2
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This was discussed on another Forum but I will repeat what I said there

About the only time you will ever hear anything negative about a tag axle MH is from somebody who has never had a MH with a tag axle. My previous MH was a 36' DP with no tag axle and I spent a lot of time and money to get it stable and smooth on the road but with a small amount of success. My now 2004 Monaco Signature with a tag axle is just unbelievable to drive. It is so stable in cross winds and I don't even know a truck is passing me. I have heard all the negatives about having to buy two extra tires every 6+ years but I don't care because I love the tag axle. I can adjust the air pressure in the air bags on the tag suspension and balance the whole motorhome weight on all the axles and the steering feel. I have an extra axle with another set of brakes and it will slow down fast in an emergency stop. I worry about people behind me in heavy braking. On my previous MH without the tag there was no way I could lay on the bed in the back and sleep. On my Signature I put my wife in the drivers seat and I go back and go to sleep because it is so smooth. Yes, the tag is there because of the extra weight of the motorhome but it adds a lot to the motorhome in other ways. As far as the tag axle tires skidding sideways in a tight turn I can hit one button and lift them for those real tight slow turns. The tag axle tires have worn NO different than the drive axle tires at 37,000 mile.I will never own another MH without a tag axle. Feel free to ask me any questions you want to on a tag axle MH.
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Old 05-27-2011, 05:59 PM   #3
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Great explanation Mike. I've been wondering the same thing as the OP.

Just curious on a technical point; when the tag is lifted does it place an overload condition on the duals while they're in the air?

Rick
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Old 05-27-2011, 06:18 PM   #4
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You are only going to raise the tag if you are going real slow turning in or backing into a tight spot so you are below 5 MPH. If you forget to put it back down then it will automatically go back down at 20 mph. Yes it is going to increase the weight on the drive axle tires but I am nowhere close to the maximum weight on my drive axles so it will not go much over and like I said you are driving pretty slow with the tag raised.
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Old 05-27-2011, 06:31 PM   #5
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I agree with everything Mike said. However, the original OP needs to know that all tag axles do not have the button to lift them. If that is a feature you want, make sure it has it. My 03 Eagle does not have it. However, I have had no problems in slow sharp turns on asphalt or concrete. Key word 'slow'.

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Old 05-27-2011, 06:46 PM   #6
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a coach with a tag will scuff the tires unless you have the option of lifting or dumping the air in the bags. Like the previous poster stated- slow is the operative word here.
To make things more complicated, some coaches have a steerable tag. Very interesting to watch.
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Old 05-27-2011, 09:30 PM   #7
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Dave so in your MH if you don't have a lift function for the tag does that also mean you cannot adjust the amount of downforce on the tag tires by varying a pressure regulator that controls the amount of air pressure in the tag airbags? Just for interest does your MH have an air leveling system?
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Old 05-27-2011, 10:37 PM   #8
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One thing worth noting about a tag, it's federal law that coaches 42 feet or longer have to have one.

Our knight, classed as a 40 footer, but actually measuring 41', 4" does not have a tag axle.
Tags in coaches below the 42' limit are very very rare. They add a LOT of expense, the manufacturers don't use them unless they have too.
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Old 05-27-2011, 11:17 PM   #9
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I have a hard time believing that it is based on length. I would be interesting in seeing that Federal law. The reason for the tag is that the weight of the rear of the motor home is too much for the load specification of the rear axle and the tires. The tag axle became common when the slideouts were installed in the longer MHs because they increased the weight. Now I can believe that the Federal law is based on weight but not on length.
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Old 05-28-2011, 05:13 AM   #10
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I have several DP's and just moved up to a tag and love it for all the above reasons. I won't go back to a single. There's nothing wrong with a single, I just didn't realize the difference in driving,stopping and the ride until now. And yes I like the look as well!
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Old 05-28-2011, 05:50 AM   #11
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Many MHs can't lift the tag axle, but some have an air dump feature to reduce the load on the tag axle to enable sharper parking turns. This is usually a momentary switch which must be held down.

Most if not all MH's will air up the tag axle when speed reaches ~10MPH in case the driver forgets.

Tag axles are added when the single rear axle weight exceeds 20,000#, which is the federal max.

Some MH manufacturers were installing 23,000# single rear axles which exceeded the 20,000# limit.
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Old 05-28-2011, 09:56 AM   #12
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Now that you've had a history of the tag axles, back to the original post. To me there is quite a difference in handling with a tag axle. My 40' rig was like driving a billboard down the road in strong winds. On one trip in west Tx. I had to slow to 40 MPH to feel safe driving in a very strong cross wind, while semi truck were running 80 MPH. My 43' rig is so much more stable when driving in those conditions.
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Old 05-28-2011, 10:37 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Canter View Post
Dave so in your MH if you don't have a lift function for the tag does that also mean you cannot adjust the amount of downforce on the tag tires by varying a pressure regulator that controls the amount of air pressure in the tag airbags? Just for interest does your MH have an air leveling system?
Mike,

You ask me some questions I frankly do not know. I do know that the MH has a Powergear hydraulic leveling system for parking/leveling. The MH has a Reyco Granning 240AR suspension system. So, I read the owners manual. I believe it to be a standard manual with wording that covers most trucks & rvs. To my knowledge there are no adjustments in the engine compartment or the cockpit area that allows for an easy adjustment of the downforce on the tag axle.

If anyone has experience with this Spartan chasis and knows the answers to Mike's question it may help someone that is looking at purchasing a MH with a tag axle.

Dave
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Old 05-28-2011, 10:55 AM   #14
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Thumbs up on the tag axle. Love mine. When I see another MH without one and it has 12' or more of "body" behind the single axle, I know it must be a pain to drive. I also like the fact that if you get a rear blowout the tag will help the other tires. Mine doesn't have the lift option but I've never felt I needed it.
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