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Old 03-23-2014, 05:47 PM   #1
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Tag Axle or Not?

I'm considering buying my first RV and decided on a Newmar. At first I wanted a 34 foot, because I figured smaller would be better for now. Then I heard that the larger units are more stable on the road, so I decided on a 36 foot even though it makes me kind of nervous because I want to tow a car. Everyone says they're not hard to drive and that a larger tag axle RV is more stable. So now I'm kind of leaning that way, if I can afford one. I have camped in a class A before, but never driven one. Any thoughts or suggestions?
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Old 03-23-2014, 06:04 PM   #2
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Tags are great, don't get blown around nearly as much as a non tag. More stable turning into parking lots doesn't lean and do the Wal Mart Wobble back and forth. Extra weight carrying capacity, Xtra set of brakes, doesn't porpoise on dipping roads.
Yes you will have to buy an xtra pair of tires in 6 yrs or so.

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Old 03-23-2014, 06:05 PM   #3
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I've never driven a tag, but it is a given they have less "tail wag" in crosswinds and passing trucks. My current coach is 38 ft and no tag, as the 2 axles are heavy/strong enough one isn't needed. I'm in the no tag camp as there are 2 more tires to fix and replace. Tags are usually "added" because of the length and weight of the coach needs another axle for load capacity. Older gassers approaching 36 ft had tags because the chassis mfgrs weren't building them to keep up with MH mfgrs adding length and weight. Adding a rear Trac Bar to a 2 axle can eliminate tail wag if the particular coach is prone to it.
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Old 03-23-2014, 06:21 PM   #4
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Tag for my money is the only way to go, but if you have never driven a coach of that size I suggest you test drive one to make sure it fits you
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Old 03-23-2014, 06:41 PM   #5
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If you need the extra space and load capacity...get the tag, if not, don't get the tag.
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Old 03-23-2014, 06:48 PM   #6
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I've had both.....and without a doubt, the tag is a much better driving machine. More stable and smoother riding. You really don't know the quality of the driving experience until you have actually owned one and have driven it extensively. A short "test drive" will not give you sufficient behind the wheel experience to understand this.

I would pretty much discount any replies you get unless they are from those who have owned both. No disrespect intended to those who haven't, it's just that they don't have the experience to back up "what they've heard".

The only difference in difficulty to drive between my 36 non-tag DP and my 43 tag DP is backing it into a tight spot.....and for all intents and purposes... that is minor. Driving on highway, city streets, freeways.....the tag was less difficult to drive as it was easier due to the quality of the ride the tag provided. I would much more prefer driving my tag axle coach than the other.


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Old 03-23-2014, 06:50 PM   #7
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It won't matter how many axles you have if you're uncomfortable driving it.

I suggest test driving a couple first.
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Old 03-23-2014, 06:51 PM   #8
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Yes, it is easy to drive a 43', tag axle MH but it does take some good training to make it easy in all situations. It isn't anything you can't learn. The biggest thing about going longer is adjusting to where you can get it in and out of. As an example, we once went into a fuel station knowing it was tight but doable. What we didn't know from the satellite photos was just how far back behind the pump our toad would nearly block the normal exit side of it. We fueled as quick as possible and got the heck out of there. But, simply driving it down the highway is pretty easy as long as you use your mirrors a lot and scan much further down the road than you do in your car. The tag is amazingly much nicer than our previous 39' gasser. Not even fair to compare them.

All that being said, as you will hear over and over and in many threads...it isn't a necessity. You have your budget and have to decide what gives you the most bang for the buck. I wouldn't suggest an expensive (relatively speaking) tag axle for someone that is going to use it for weekend camping within about 200 miles of home. However, it becomes more practical as you step into full time and/or longer distances for your traveling pleasure. It become essential if you travel heavy and/or are in a coach that runs on the heavy side to start with.

You have lots of homework in front of you. Trust me...you won't get it all right the first time anyway. Well, the odds are you won't but you might.

Good Luck!
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Old 03-23-2014, 06:57 PM   #9
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I've had both non-tag and tag DP and the improvement in ride, handling and overall stability with the tag is remarkable. That said, my 36' non-tag DP was not unpleasant to drive. The tag is a joy to drive.

You will give up storage with the tag axle (compared to a similar size coach without a tag).
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Old 03-23-2014, 07:12 PM   #10
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How much more does a tag axle bring to the cost of an RV? And are there any maintenance concerns or issues?
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Old 03-23-2014, 07:47 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Resist View Post
How much more does a tag axle bring to the cost of an RV? And are there any maintenance concerns or issues?
I think just 2 more tires/brakes/airbags and a few more zerks.

BTW, I am with Sky_Boss all the way on this. I was in your exact position. Then I test drove a used tag. Bought it. But I am fulltime.

I got a good deal and did not see any $ issues.
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Old 03-23-2014, 08:18 PM   #12
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You can have just as much fun and enjoyment with or without a tag, it all depends on your situation. You start out saying you are in the market for a 34' coach and then you are wondering if you need a tag. You only need what you really need. If you need a larger coach with more carrying capacity then look at a tag. If you don't then ask yourself why you really want a tag, do you need it or just want it?
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Old 03-23-2014, 08:38 PM   #13
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If you don't then ask yourself why you really want a tag, do you need it or just want it?
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.
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Old 03-23-2014, 09:14 PM   #14
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Quote:
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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.

...
Good luck with THAT! LOL Been there, tried that...missed the mark...RV#2. That begin said, we really tried to do as you are trying but the bottom line was, "We didn't know what we didn't know." In less than a year we learned enough to know that we missed the mark for what we wanted but gained enough knowledge to make a pretty good pick on the second one.

I venture to say that largest majority of RV buyers that stick with it, buy more than one for reason of missing the mark to changing desires of creature comforts. If you get it right the first time... Never the less, good luck and prove me wrong.
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