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Old 02-22-2014, 07:45 AM   #15
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FWIW, I have both tag and non tag. As a reference non tag, 39'6", FL chassis, cat c-9, 2003 model. Very good coach with added aftermarket products from Henderson Drive Line. These products we not cheap but improved the handling experience with strong crosswinds from "white knuckle" to a two handed grip. However, at days end your tired, really tired. 2012 tag axle with Spartan MM chassis. No comparison. The tag offers greater CCC, improved braking, etc. as a footnote, the tag looks,
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Old 02-22-2014, 07:59 AM   #16
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I have driven the exact same model and year tag axle (43 foot) versus non-tag axle (40 foot). No comparison. Tag axle hands down. Just a smoother ride. I do drive with one hand on wheel almost all the time. Do yourself a favor, go to the closest dealer and drive both. I did so with both a Dutch Star, Tour and Allegro Bus, and in ALL cases there was a marked improvement with the tag.

I suppose if you don't mind bouncing around more or fighting the wind for extended periods while driving, the non-tag could be favorably compared. NOT!
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Old 02-22-2014, 08:23 AM   #17
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At the end of a 500 mile day in a non tag coach you will be tired and anxious to get off the road to relax. Doing the same in a tag coach, you won't want to stop because you have been relaxing all day. That is how I felt when I compare our 40' non tag to our current 43' tag MH. Due to the space the tag takes up, I have only slightly more space now than the 40' had. The only time you will be able to utilize the extra load capacity is if you pull a heavy trailer. The rear will carry anything you want to hook onto. My mileage dropped about 1/2 mpg with the 43'. The larger engine more than makes up for the added weight when compared to our 2011 40' coach.

The only reason not to get a tag is the cost. If your budget can handle it, get the tag, as you will enjoy the MH experience more. If not, the view is still the same in a non tag, but requires more effort and not as good of a ride.
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Old 02-22-2014, 08:42 AM   #18
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What about non-tag with "Comfort drive" as in Newmar.
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Old 02-22-2014, 10:23 AM   #19
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We all have our experiences and preferences, but I just can't relate to tales of "bouncing around and fighting the wind" in a non-tag DP!

I logged about 20,000 miles on our 43+ foot 2008 Mandalay (with tag), and already about 7,000 on our new 41-foot 2014 Tuscany (no tag). Both on Freightliner chassis with Cummins ISL, etc., so should be very similar except for the tag.

I won't say I can't feel any difference -- there is slightly more reaction to crosswinds, but that's about it. On the other hand, I have significantly more power on hills (presumably the combined effect of less weight and an ISL chipped at 450 hp instead of 425), and about 25% better fuel mileage (about 7.5 mpg vs. 6.0), perhaps partially due to the DEF system, which Cummins says lets them optimize the engine better.

I still drive with one hand more often than not (bad habit, I know, but both of these coaches drive like a dream). I find I can drive a much longer day in the RV than a car (12 hours if appropriate, but 8-10 routinely), due I think to the comfortable seat as much as anything. Losing the tag has not impacted that at all.

Lastly, as to Comfort Drive, I guess I just don't get it. I test-drove a Newmar with that feature a couple of coaches ago, and just couldn't feel the difference. If that made my coach any more relaxing to drive, I'm afraid I'd doze off.

Again, just my opinion, but based on substantial experience.
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Old 02-22-2014, 10:50 AM   #20
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Sorry, but just one more point:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crasher View Post
The only reason not to get a tag is the cost.
This is just not true. In our case, we could afford another tag, but just chose not to. Our driveway configuration is such that the extra few feet made it more difficult to get the coach in and out, and we just never needed the extra weight and space capacity that the tag provided. The shorter coach leaves more room in our RV garage (I can now get the Jeep in front of it), and we've already stayed in several campsites where the extra length would have made it difficult, if not impossible.

We got essentially the same floorplan (bath-and-a-half with full wall slide), just about 4 feet shorter. I made sure that the shorter coach would still have plenty of weight capacity (which it does, mostly thanks to a higher-capacity rear axle). The improvement in fuel economy alone (which I wasn't really expecting) would have made it worthwhile to us.

Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of reasons to get a tag, if you need it. But the difference in driving smoothness and comfort, in my experience, is just not that great.
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Old 02-22-2014, 11:50 AM   #21
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I would have to say that for some, the perspective can be hugely affected by the "before" and "after".

We went form a 39' gasser on a Workhorse W24 chassis with a GVWR of 24,000# and CCC of about 1700# to a DSDP tag with a GVWR of 44,200# and CCC of about 9800# but no Comfort Drive.

It ain't even fair to compare them. The gasser was not fun to drive in cross winds, heavy truck traffic and even in maneuverability when compared to the DSDP. Fuel mileage wasn't that different with about 7.2 MPG for the gasser and 6.2 MPG on the DSDP but, of course, gas is cheaper so that is important to remember for those doing lots of miles in year.

While I did get lots of enjoyment with the gasser when driving conditions were less challenging, I LOVE to drive my DSDP! Oh...I hate going to the fuel pump but every relationship has its good and bad points.

For ME and Sandee wishing to travel as we chose to, which includes lots of STUFF and living in it full time, we don't regret jumping up to the tag. Don't get me wrong, if we decide to trade out in the future, we will keep all our options open. We may find a nice 40' non-tag after we learn to travel even lighter. (maybe? ) We may even find that the difference between our 43' tag and a 40' non-tag is no big deal.

I think that in the end, all of the advice and commentary you get on this subject is really only abstract to a reader until they have had sufficient time to put their tail end in the driver's seat, take rigs out on the road, and experience what they bring to the table. Of course, I would hope that such test drives could be in the worst conditions (reasonably speaking) of cross winds, road crowns, bumps and such to expose a coach's strengths and weaknesses. After that, it is up to the prospective owner to tally up what was important what wasn't and let the chips fall where they may.
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Old 02-22-2014, 12:11 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbo2013 View Post
What about non-tag with "Comfort drive" as in Newmar.
Newmars Comfort Drive makes the MH easier to drive, the handling is dramatically improved. It does not make the coach ride better.
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Old 02-22-2014, 12:39 PM   #23
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I demo'd one in 30 MPH cross wind it was very stable, a train on a track.

On my home I drove the same road in my 2500 HD pickup, that was getting shoved around like crazy.

So I thought the CD was very remarkable.

Having said that my current coach I drove 3,000 miles in last few weeks I had no issues controlling it in wind, so not sure CD would make the difference when I next purchase. I also don't think I need all that coach for two of us.
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:38 PM   #24
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You don't just add a tag axle cause it improves ride or handling - it is added because it is needed to carry the extra weight of the coach above and beyond what the same non-tag chassis could carry.

If you could get the same coach in tag or non-tag versions (you can't - nobody builds them that way), you would find that handling might get better in a crosswind, and that you lost a substantial amount of space (one whole bay on each side, plus wheel wells inside), and that your weight carrying capacity was larger.

I had a 36 footer with a tag, back when chassis were leaner. It only had a 17,000 lb drive axle, so I needed the tag to help with the weight. When I traded up, I got a 40 foot non-tag with a 20k rear axle and 14,600 up front, gaining both GVWR and CCC in the process. The bigger coach road and handled far better than the smaller one, in any weather or road condition. It was a superior chassis all around, with better suspension and steering, regardless of no tag.
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:54 PM   #25
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Recently upgraded from a 36' tag axle 20,500GVW gasser to a 43' tag axle 44,600GVW DP.
You really cant compare gas chassis to pushers in cross winds. There just so much lighter, without having that much less 'sail' area.
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Old 02-22-2014, 09:50 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
You don't just add a tag axle cause it improves ride or handling - it is added because it is needed to carry the extra weight ...
We'll be hauling our Honda CRV behind us, and we'll also have an attached motorcycle lift toting a 900 lb Goldwing. Weight of lift, car, and motorcycle will be around 7,000 lbs. Is that too much weight for a non-tag?
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Old 02-22-2014, 11:08 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CWinLV View Post
We'll be hauling our Honda CRV behind us, and we'll also have an attached motorcycle lift toting a 900 lb Goldwing. Weight of lift, car, and motorcycle will be around 7,000 lbs. Is that too much weight for a non-tag?
Our non tag coach has a 10,000 lb. hitch, so I think it should be able to handle the load you're talking about.

Our non tag coach handles and rides so good, I can't imagine how a tag axle could improve it. Someday I'm going to drive a 38' Monaco Dynasty tag axle, just so I'll know.
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Old 02-22-2014, 11:24 PM   #28
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I drove my 33 ft FRED with 2 fingers.
I now drive my 42ft tag with 2 fingers.
But there are a ton of dynamic differences twixt them.
I bought my tag for a reason.
I loan you my reason. ;-)
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