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Old 09-09-2013, 06:55 PM   #1
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That Tag Axel Ride - What Is It??

Many people speak about the better ride that a tag axel gives you ... but just what is that, and how would you describe it, and just how much better is it than a non-tag? For example, people say that there is less influence from passing semi's - but on my 36' Expedition, I pretty much do not feel anything from passing semis.....

How would you with experience describe the benefits of a tag-axel ride: less side-to-side in the rear? smoother up-and-down ride (i.e. bumps)?, less reaction to side winds? (which I definitely do feel in my Expedition when the winds are high), less transmision of road-texter (small bumps)?, etc. etc. I am inrigued by what a tag would offer, but haved never experienced the ride, either as a driver or passenger.....
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Old 09-09-2013, 07:06 PM   #2
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In short: yes to all.

3 axles with brakes.

Stops the porpoising, that bouncing feel you get a some concrete highways.

You don't get blown around in your lane from side winds.

The drive axle doesn't hit the bumps as sharply.
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Old 09-09-2013, 07:25 PM   #3
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Quote:
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Many people speak about the better ride that a tag axel gives you ... but just what is that, and how would you describe it, and just how much better is it than a non-tag? For example, people say that there is less influence from passing semi's - but on my 36' Expedition, I pretty much do not feel anything from passing semis.....
I think that many people who rave about their tag axle MH's are comparing them to MH's that they've owned that didn't drive that well. The problem is that's like comparing apples and oranges; the people who make those claims aren't comparing two and three axle versions of the same coach, they're comparing something that didn't drive well to something that does. Some folks are even comparing gas-powered coaches they once owned to the DP's they have now.

A well-designed 2-axle chassis can drive extremely well; we own one that does and it sounds as if you do, also. When driving along-side semi's or at them on a two-lane road we get practically no buffeting. Nor do cross-winds bother us unless they get to the >40 mph level. Even though we never had serious porpoising, we reduced it to nearly nothing by having Henderson's Lineup install their proprietary "air dampers".

I'm not denying that a tag-axle version of my MH probably would ride even better, but IMHO the statements that "nothing rides like a tag-axle MH" are based on anecdotal evidence and not empirical testing or comparisons.
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Old 09-09-2013, 07:33 PM   #4
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I had a 1997 HR Imperial with a Spartan Mountain Master chassis that was 40 ft long with just 2 axles. In a strong crosswind it became a 40 ft sail. I would have to steer into the wind to keep it straight. Many times a semi would blow me over a little when it passed me or I passed it. I now have a 2005 Panther 42ft with a tag axle and the ride is incredible. Now I know I am much heavier and that helps, but the ride quality with the tag when adjusted correctly is phenomenal. I do not get blown around and I move semi's over when I pass. It's hard to make a comparison if you have never driven a tag axle coach but IMHO it is well worth having.
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Old 09-09-2013, 07:37 PM   #5
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I think that many people who rave about their tag axle MH's are comparing them to MH's that they've owned that didn't drive that well. The problem is that's like comparing apples and oranges; the people who make those claims aren't comparing two and three axle versions of the same coach, they're comparing something that didn't drive well to something that does. Some folks are even comparing gas-powered coaches they once owned to the DP's they have now.

A well-designed 2-axle chassis can drive extremely well; we own one that does and it sounds as if you do, also. When driving along-side semi's or at them on a two-lane road we get practically no buffeting. Nor do cross-winds bother us unless they get to the >40 mph level. Even though we never had serious porpoising, we reduced it to nearly nothing by having Henderson's Lineup install their proprietary "air dampers".

I'm not denying that a tag-axle version of my MH probably would ride even better, but IMHO the statements that "nothing rides like a tag-axle MH" are based on anecdotal evidence and not empirical testing or comparisons.
No you are mistaken, the saying nothing rides like a tag is true and if you simply drive one you will understand, 2001 holiday rambler ambassador, 2001 dynasty 36 single rear axle and now my 41 tag axle, there is a noticeable difference in ride, stability, steering, the biggest difference was going from 8 bag to 10 bag, the 8 bag was marginally better than the 4 bag HR, several 1000 miles in each coach, more than enough on the same roads to notice the difference.

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Old 09-09-2013, 07:39 PM   #6
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Need to put the question in context--the primary reason for a tag [in most cases] is because the coach is over 40 feet and weights so much you cant balance the weight on two axles--you need a third axle to keep from exceeding the 20k lbs limit on a single back axle. So once you get beyond the differences between a 40 ft or less coach vs a 43 to 45 ft coach, I'd say yes--the tag axle does "improve" the ride. Other than some old gassers and maybe one or two modern 41 ft tag models, you are comparing longer and heavier tag coaches--apples vs oranges to me.
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Old 09-09-2013, 07:46 PM   #7
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I had a Journey on a Freightliner XC chassis, 36'. I put new shocks on it, a steering stabilizer, and supersteer motion control units. The coach drove very well and rode as good as any two axle Freightliner chassis could ride. Cross winds did push me around some but passing semi's were not bad at all.

I was unprepared for how much better a tag axle coach would ride and handle. I realize my current rig is longer and heavier than the Journey but without any of the enhancements I had to add to the Journey to make it handle well, the Allure rides like it is on rails. I did have to replace the front shocks (Koni FSD) which were not stout enough for my front axle weight. I put Koni's SP3 adjustable on it and it has eliminated the bouncing and occasional bottoming out of the suspension. I just don't feel passing semi trucks at all and on our first trip after getting the coach, while I did feel some very strong cross winds, it was nothing like the affect those same winds would have on the Journey.

I would say you really can't appreciate the difference unless you drive one for comparison.
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
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In short: yes to all.

3 axles with brakes.

Stops the porpoising, that bouncing feel you get a some concrete highways.

You don't get blown around in your lane from side winds.

The drive axle doesn't hit the bumps as sharply.
+ 1.....And you don't have to worry about being overweight once you load it for travel.
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:23 PM   #9
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Why would someone who has never driven a tag but offered their opinion anyway, believe the OP would believe what they had to say?
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:54 PM   #10
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My wife and I had a 08' 33' Ventana, 300 HP cummins. Lovely coach but as you might suspect it had a tendancy to "hobble-horse" as you drove out of over passes or clearings along the high-way in strong crosswinds. Even with Comfort Drive - plain and simple I always had to "drive" that short coach.

When we went shopping for a more spacious floorplan for our growing family our 08' tag axle Holiday Rambler was a good choice. We would have bought single axle but when the Scepter was sitting there with only 9000 miles on it - it was a given.

I weigh my corners 2 times a season and have a well maintained chassis with quality tires..........I can't say that the smoothness of the ride is end all-be all or completley different from our shorter DP - but the big differences include longitudinal stability, huge Cargo Carrying Capacity AND the enjoyable drive that obviously is associated with driving a heavier, more stable unit.

I really have to try hard to make our tag axle coach misbehave.

For whatever its worth we test drove a 2007 HR Scepter 40' the same day we purchased our 2008 HR Scepter 42' with the tag -------- There was a difference.



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Old 09-09-2013, 09:05 PM   #11
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I own a tagged 36ft . Load distribution, confidence. Not too much hanging out the back end. Seems to work fine for me. This is an opinion of mine only. All bets are off referring anyone else's rig. ; 0)
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Old 09-10-2013, 06:45 AM   #12
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When I was looking to buy a new MH, I test drove the exact same MH in both 40 foot (non-tag) and 43 foot (tag). The tag axle MH was definitely a smoother ride. Did not feel the road "noise" as much. Part of this could have been the longer length, I cannot prove or disprove this, but the tag definitely made a difference in that brand/model (Tiffin Allegro Bus and Newmar Dutch Star)
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Old 09-10-2013, 06:54 AM   #13
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Why would someone who has never driven a tag but offered their opinion anyway, believe the OP would believe what they had to say?
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:03 AM   #14
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I do not have a tag axle now but after having two friends, who have owned DP's for years, go to tag's and brag about the improvements in ride and handling my next one will be a tag. BTW one is a died in the wool Country Coach fanatic and the other swears only by Newmar.
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