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Old 03-23-2014, 08:19 PM   #15
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True, Sky_Boss.

We are on number 5 in over 20 years because the mission changed from vacation to F/T, and then from only what we needed to what we desired.

Dave and Nola, RVM1
The Journey is Our Destination!

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Old 03-23-2014, 08:21 PM   #16
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Go to a large dealer where they have the space, different style coaches, and patience to spend a lot of time with you so you can drive the different types and get at least a short experience with each. Good luck with your adventure !

Neal, Tam, & JR
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Old 03-23-2014, 08:32 PM   #17
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We have a 35 foot DP and it drives great. Drove truck all my life and to me it drives like a big Pick-up. No problems in the wind and rides good. JMHO. It has no tag. Jim
2002 Newmar Dutch Star DP3569 330 CAT - Toad Jeep Liberty, DW is the Nagivator. Work to travel and everything revolves around the price of diesel.
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Old 03-23-2014, 08:39 PM   #18
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Had both..tandem straight away....driving a 38' or 43' won't be much different driving between one or the other after you get use to them....
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Old 03-23-2014, 09:19 PM   #19
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We are on our fourth motorhome. We started with a 35.5' non-slide diesel pusher, with mid-entry. It worked for us as a weekender, and we even survived a month long trip to Montana and Wyoming. We learned a lot, and after three years moved up to a 40' pusher with two slides. Again, it worked well for weekends and occasional one or two week trips. It handled extremely well, and the 350hp provided plenty of power. The bedroom was a little snug, but we spent most of our time outside or in the living area. We made some expensive upgrades and really loved it, until we had it weighed at a rally. That was when I realized that we were nearly overweight on the front axel (one side), and we were not very heavily loaded. That wasn't going to work when we started traveling more, and loading more "stuff". So, again after three years we upgraded. This time it was to a 42' tag axle with 500hp. It was loaded, and handled everything we could throw at it. It only had two slides, but that was what we wanted. With no slides on the passenger side, and a large Girard awning, we had ample outdoor space in the shade. The coach was loaded with all options available, and also had a lot of after-market options. We loved that one also, this time for more than eight years. The tax axle was a significant improvement, and the 500hp pushed it with ease. The coach performed great on a 5 1/2 month retirement trip across the western US. Just before we traded it we made some significant upgrades (MCD shades, LED lights, etc.). We were on the verge of swapping to LED TV's. The coach might have worked as our "final" coach if the grandkids didn't enjoy camping with Ma and PopPop so much. We now have a 45' three slide (including a full wall) American Eagle (our third in a row). Fortunately, the coach has essentially everything we could want. I say fortunately because I'm not permitted to contemplate upgrades. Seems we tend to trade when I make upgrades.

Bottom line is if you can contemplate your future needs, and can afford to accommodate them, by all means buy your last coach first. If not, buy what works for you now and enjoy it. As your lifestyle changes you can move up. Coaches are going to change, and so are features. You'll either want to upgrade your present coach with newer features, or upgrade to a newer coach with newer features at some point.
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Old 03-23-2014, 09:39 PM   #20
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While you're researching coach features and size you may want to look online or get some campground books and check out places that you are likely wanting to stay. The larger coaches will be more limiting due to length, especially with state parks and non-commercial campgrounds.
Glenn & Mary
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Old 03-23-2014, 10:14 PM   #21
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We have a tag on our 42' motorhome. It is very rock solid on the road. But 36' in my humble opinion is too short for a tag. The reason is you loose basement storage space when you have a tag and on a 36' coach that would likely mean you only get one full width bay.
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Old 03-23-2014, 10:37 PM   #22
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IMHO you are putting the cart before the horse. Having owned a tag before I can sing their praises but I would never make that a priority in my selection. First and foremost would be to find floorplan that you want. Right now it sounds like you are all over the place and not really thinking about living in the thing which you will be doing a heck of a lot more of than driving it. (I full-time and put on about 6,000 miles a year which is equivalent to driving 1% of the hours in a year - it's the 99% of the hours that I focus my coach search on.)

My suggestin would be to stop thinking about the axles and start thinking about the floor-plan
Steven and Stephanie
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Old 03-23-2014, 11:36 PM   #23
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Resist.....This stuff will make your head explode. We've had a slide in camper when we were first married. Bought a Class C that we kept for 14 years while boating and camping with our daughters. We bought a Class A gasser as an interim vehicle until I retired, but hated it. In 2005 we bought a new Monaco Diplomat 36' diesel pusher.

It was a great coach and we took it all over the country (70000 miles), even before I retired. We estimated that we would be RVing for at least another 12 years and the Diplomat would need replacing. In the DP world, a 36' coach is fairly short. As a matter of fact, it had the same wheelbase as our 32' Class A gasser. I spent over $4K on handling improvement equipment and the coach worked reasonably well, even in the wind. It was exactly 37' long, cap to cap.

Over the years, I had decided that if we replaced the Diplomat, I wanted a true 40' coach, not 40' 8" or some 40's that are actually 41' plus. We were excited to see that he Newmar Dutch Star 4018 was exactly 40' cap to cap. We wanted this length for the longer wheelbase, yet reasonably sized for the type of camping we do... a lot of National Parks. I also wanted a tag axle. Even though some can get larger coaches into National Parks, tag axles actually make your coach park/fit like it's longer. A lot of parks have concrete stops that block your back wheels from backing in too far and the tag stops you even sooner.

Now for the handling. Even though my Monaco handled well after some suspension improvement, it' not even close to the tag ride. The smoothness is similar, but the tracking and steering, especially with the Comfort Drive, is fantastic.
Don & Mary
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Old 03-24-2014, 12:00 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Resist View Post
My decision changes the more I learn. This will be my first RV, but don't plan on buying another RV in my lifetime, so I want to make sure I get it right the first time.

Initially I was against RVing because I didn't considering it real camping…until I camped in a Class A for the first time. Now, I don't see camping any other way. There's something to be said about camping with all the comforts of home. So yes, my RV has to have a washer/dryer and maybe even a dishwasher.

My biggest concern is being able to drive something as large as a tag axle coach, especially because I've never driven a Class A before. However, I am eager to take on the challenge.
I went to a tag coach from never having had an RV before. I hear your concern about the driving a longer vehicle. There is a learning curve but it really isn't that difficult provided you are willing to take the time and be patient. Tag or no tag, the challenges of a large vehicle often come down to figuring out where you can and can't go in your vehicle. That comes with experience. A tag has more hardware to deal with but it also gives you an increased safety factor both in the way of brakes and blowouts. One other thing you can take to the bank is that if you are going to buy once and keep it for a long time, it is far easier to deal with too much space as opposed to not enough.
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Old 03-24-2014, 04:23 AM   #25
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I wish I would have bought a tag first. I love my 3852 Dutchstar but the extra axle adds capacity and stability. If you can afford it get the tag.
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Old 03-24-2014, 12:13 PM   #26
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I agree that the floor plan is the major choice but am still leaning towards a tag axle the more I learn about them. I said I'd only purchase an RV once because I doubt I'll be able to afford another one, this first purchase will be difficult as it is. I know many of you are going to suggest buying used, but I'd rather go new.

There are not many RV dealerships on my area, so unless I hit the road to find more, test drives might be out of the question. I'd love to take an RV driving course, but those aren't close by either.
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Old 03-24-2014, 02:30 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Resist View Post
I agree that the floor plan is the major choice but am still leaning towards a tag axle the more I learn about them. I said I'd only purchase an RV once because I doubt I'll be able to afford another one, this first purchase will be difficult as it is. I know many of you are going to suggest buying used, but I'd rather go new.

There are not many RV dealerships on my area, so unless I hit the road to find more, test drives might be out of the question. I'd love to take an RV driving course, but those aren't close by either.
Used or new and someone has to buy new, do the depreciation bit and get all the bugs out for us who always buy the tried and proven, used. Anyway and having said that, used or new and with a modern DP sporting a tag axle, I would go 45ft to fully justify it.
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Old 03-24-2014, 03:05 PM   #28
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Personally, I will never have a MH with a tag axle, simply because I don't want the extra expense when replacing tires! 40' is long enough for me!

Joe & Annette

2002 Monaco Windsor 40PBT, 2013 Honda CRV AWD
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