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Old 08-30-2014, 07:07 AM   #1
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Tag Axle Or Not?

I'm reviewing options on upgrading my coach and have a 40-45' target in mind. Obviously there are plenty of manufactures and plenty of models that meet that basic criteria, but I continue to hear arguments for looking at models with a tag axle only.

I don't have any neighbors or friends with a tag axle and listening to sales people is anything but objective. Simply put it seems like the argument comes down to weight. How much you can carry, tow, or drag. I know how to search the forum threads but frankly haven't found anything that seems to address the "why" you need or should have a tag axle or not.

I typically use a 5800 lb TOAD, and I plan to install a Hydralift for a motorcycle on the rear. I choose 40-45' with a 400-425hp DP range as a target because it seemed the right combo. In addition I full time so floor space is the reason for going with the larger rig.

Can those of you with more experience with a tag axle break it down for me?
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Old 08-30-2014, 07:42 AM   #2
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If you're opting for a Hydra-lift, go tag, you won't be sorry. Non-tag coaches are closer to weight limits with the Hydra on the back and that limits what you may or may not be able to carry. By going tag, you won't ever worry about the weight limits with your bike on the back.

I don't have a tag and consider myself lucky because my Hydralift plus bike don't exceed my GAWR on the rear. It's close, but not overweight. There have been others that have exceeded their rear axle weight limits, which obviously isn't good.

Not owning a tag I can't comment on stability improvements, but pretty much everyone states that stability of the coach on the road is also greatly enhanced. I find my ride quite nice without the tag but it could be my particular coach/setup.
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Old 08-30-2014, 07:46 AM   #3
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We just upgraded from a 38 ft Travel Supreme non tag that we had for 10 years and "thought" it handled great. We just upgraded to a 43 ft Entegra with a tag and what a difference!!! In the TS trucks would break my draft when passing and knock me around a little bit, sometimes scaring the hell out of you if your weren't expecting it. With the tag I don't even know they are there until they have gone by. Cross winds....you hardly feel them with a tag. Towing capacity has increased from 5,000 to 15, 000 pounds. The ride is so much better than just the one set of wheels trying to smooth out the bumps in the road. I cannot believe what a difference a tag makes.

You can carry more weight, but you also loose a storage compartment where the tag now sits. I thought it would be a problem, but as I did house clean loading the new MH, I don't miss the extra compartment a bit. Just less junk I never used that I won't be carrying. A pickup load went to the Salvation Army. Many of the items I carried are now built in to the new MH, so that freed up space.

Another drawback....another set of tires to buy at change time, but with the added comfort it will be worth it averaged out over the 7-10 years. Having owned both, I can see no reason not to have a tag now unless the MH is just for weekend camping.
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Old 08-30-2014, 08:45 AM   #4
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Thanks fellas, that's the type of info I'm seeking.

Storage space is a non issue with me as I slimed down for my Outlaw and anything is a vast improvement over my limited space in that. Stability and load sounds like the prime improvement and that, at least on the surface, is what I thought I would get.

Thank you both for your comments and observations!

Anyone else?
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Old 08-30-2014, 09:25 AM   #5
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Tag only if going with a lift. Does not get blown around by trucks and wind. A whole other set of brakes, and you will never have to be worried about being overweight.
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Old 08-30-2014, 09:33 AM   #6
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Exactly what he other Chuck said...
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Old 08-30-2014, 09:50 AM   #7
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You get a tag when there is more weight in the rear than a single axle can carry. Until recently, single axles were limited to 20,000 lbs, so coaches over about 40 ft were nearly always equipped with a tag. However, a recent change in highway regs allows a single axle to be 23,000 lbs, so chances are a new coach won't have a tag unless it is above about 42 feet.

In any case, since you want to add a lift, check the rear axle capacity vs actual weight of any coach you are considering and estimate the weight your lift & bike will add. All that extra weight falls on the rear axle(s), so you need that much extra capacity, plus whatever is needed for gear & water onboard.
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Old 08-30-2014, 10:28 AM   #8
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The lift is probably what puts you into a tag, I suspect, so that you don't have to worry about rear axle loading.

As far as the handling, I've wondered if that's not something that depends on the chassis itself. I don't have enough experience with other DP's to judge, but my non-tag Spartan is rock solid on the road until you get to crosswinds up in the 40+mph range (and even then, it still drives better than my old gas coach did without wind!).

To be honest, it handles the wind at least as well as my Suburban -- at some point, everything gets blown around.

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Old 08-30-2014, 10:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveLevin View Post
The lift is probably what puts you into a tag, I suspect, so that you don't have to worry about rear axle loading.

As far as the handling, I've wondered if that's not something that depends on the chassis itself. I don't have enough experience with other DP's to judge, but my non-tag Spartan is rock solid on the road until you get to crosswinds up in the 40+mph range (and even then, it still drives better than my old gas coach did without wind!).

To be honest, it handles the wind at least as well as my Suburban -- at some point, everything gets blown around.

Steve
Thanks Steve (& everyone else)

I've heard nothing but good things about the Spartan raised rail and have been looking for that combination. All these things make sense and keeps me on the straight and narrow.
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Old 08-30-2014, 08:12 PM   #10
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I am unsure of the newest coaches, but up through 2014 and perhaps 2015 I do not believe you can find a non-tag over 40 foot. A couple of the higher end manufacturers put tags on 40 foot (at least they used to) but I don't believe you will find a coach longer than 40 foot without a tag.

Tags give more cargo capacity and smoother rides.
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Old 08-30-2014, 09:30 PM   #11
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The only true way to appreciate a TAG is to drive a coach with one in cross winds or when being passed by a semi. It makes a world of difference in the handling. The additional braking axle and increased cargo capacity are something you never have to worry about. As others have noted over 40' most coaches will have TAGs and some 40 footers have a TAG as an option.

See if you can find a dealer with a TAG that will let you test drive it.
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Old 08-30-2014, 09:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
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The only true way to appreciate a TAG is to drive a coach with one in cross winds or when being passed by a semi. It makes a world of difference in the handling. The additional braking axle and increased cargo capacity are something you never have to worry about. As others have noted over 40' most coaches will have TAGs and some 40 footers have a TAG as an option.

See if you can find a dealer with a TAG that will let you test drive it.
Thanks Tony, and yes, I just recently drove an American Eagle model with a tag. I didn't want to get out of it. But, like all things I didn't want to make a hasty decision so thought I would pick the brain trust here to listen to the pro's and con's. Sounds as if for my situation - taking the bike on a hydra-lift and towing a FX4, that the decision is already made for me.



Now if I can just pick one, just one. . .
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Old 08-30-2014, 10:09 PM   #13
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Good luck with the search.
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Old 08-31-2014, 07:20 AM   #14
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During our search, we drove several manufacturer's models with and without tags. The ride difference was substantial in our minds. The extra braking, storage space and comfort made the decision easy for us. As FT'ers we really like the little extras the tag gives. But as others have said in various threads, the extra tag comes with more tires to maintain.
For most of us, we are not on the move every day. In our situation we are parked far more than we are traveling. As FT'ers we have to carry most if not all our stuff with us. Plus we were moving from 1700 sq. ft. SB to a 400+ sq. ft. coach. There is something of a shock.
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