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Old 04-03-2014, 10:08 PM   #1
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Tag axle and towing and slides

We have found a couple motorhomes that are out of our price range, but that we are really considering as we thing they would be perfect for us. We would be upgrading from a 1988 bounder to a 1997-1999 possible bounder. The rig we like the best is a 1999 bounder 36s. It is a chevy platform and it says it has a tag axle. Never having dealt with a tag axle i want to know others thoughts that have had both. What are the pros and cons. I assume a con is an extra set of tires to buy. Does the tag axle also have brakes? Do the tires on this axle wear faster. Seems like they would be drug across the ground sideways in turns more and wear the tires faster. We also are looking at the same model with a ford platform and the v10. The coach is not as nice but is a little cheaper. But would cost about the same by the time we improved what is needed. The ford doesn't have the tag axle and and therefore a smaller wheel base.

Also when it comes to towing the manual says the tow hitch is rated for 3500lbs and 250lbs tongue weight. Many toads are heavier than this. The thought of pulling my flat bed car hauler seems out of the question. Is this cured with just a stronger hitch? Or do people puller overloaded or am i missing something here. Seems with the tag axle you would be able to pull more but doesn't appear so, it is actually less than the ford chassis by 1000lbs even though the hitch is the same rating.

Also these units have a single slide. Do these create a lot more maintenance. I have never had one. Love the idea of more room, but can do without it if it adds lots of costs and work.


1988 Fleetwood Bounder on John Deere Chassis
Newburgh, IN
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Old 04-04-2014, 01:41 AM   #2
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Location: Roy, Wa. 98580
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Tag axle is usually to cover tires that are almost "maxed weight"
it probably has 19.5 tires, and depending on tires, they are prolly rated for about 3500 pound each. (axle 7000 front, 14000 rear ) if the weight is higher, by adding a tag axle, that will increase the available weight by 7000 lbs.. newer motor homes are using 22 and 24 inch tires, they are rated for substantially higher weight handling.
one important thing you can do is stop at the weigh station and weigh it. front axle, total, rear. it will help you to know what you have.
Personally I would stay away from tag axle. just a suggestion..

Dan Asbjornsen and Patty Chatman
This was replaced this year with a brand new 2017 Toyota Tundra and a 2018 FOREST RIVER WILDWOOD HERITAGE GLEN 24RLSHL
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Old 04-04-2014, 01:55 AM   #3
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Location: Roy, Wa. 98580
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v10 is a good motor. our ambulance rigs are moving away from diesel to the v10 platform.
the gas chassis are usually lighter duty. and when towing, there is also side push or pull as you turn etc. so adding a "bigger" hitch, may not be the answer as it may be unsafe to tow that much weight as the frame is not built to handle it.
We bought a diesel, it's the same chassis as a fire truck, and will never be over weight as a motor home. and the chassis is very strong ( and heavy ) when compared to a gas chassis. I knew with the amount of money I had, my motor home was going to be an older one, so I stayed away from slide outs. it would be "new technology", and old. I'm sure prone to leaks from age.. We lucked out when we found our Vectra. no slides, very nice 6 speed, diesel, 13.8 mpg towing. We drove from Washington state (Roy) to McCloud Ca and back with out refueling. If your going to stay some where for several weeks, slide would be nice for the room, but for a week or two at a time, were ok with no slide. Good luck on your search.
Dan Asbjornsen and Patty Chatman
This was replaced this year with a brand new 2017 Toyota Tundra and a 2018 FOREST RIVER WILDWOOD HERITAGE GLEN 24RLSHL
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Old 04-04-2014, 06:08 AM   #4
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We had a 37 ft 1999 Pace Arrow Vision v-10 for 14 years. It had a tag axle. Yes, the tag had brakes so you had better stopping. The tires on the tag would also scrub on tight turns, but in the big picture of things, they really don't wear any faster. The tag give you some added carrying capacity and better stability on the road. , Yep, it's another set of tires too. The hitch we had was rated at 5000 lbs, I towed a Ford Ranger with a full size Harley in the back, so I was a bit over the weight limit. You really dodn't know it was back there, except on steep hills. Check the hitch and see what the sticker on it says, seems like 3500 is a bit low
Our Pace had 2 slides. I did have 1 issue with the BR slide when a gear in the motor gearcase broke off a couple of teeth. I was able to fix it with a salvaged part from another unit. I wouldn't have a unit without slide(s) . Our current coach is 43', 4 slides and a tag.
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