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Old 08-26-2020, 09:13 AM   #1
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Benefits of heavier chassis?

We are looking to purchase a 2021 Newmar Bay Star, 3226 (32’11”). Our local dealer has “upgraded” the F53 chassis from 22,000# (base) to 24,000# (additional cost ~$5000). How do we benefit from the heavier chassis? All other things being equal (suspension, trans,furnishings). One sales person said it increases payload capacity. Which seems counter intuitive to me if we are adding additional weight by using a heavier chassis and not upgrading any suspension components. I have found general info on chassiss but no good answer why it helps to spend an additional $5000. Thanks!
Tom
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Old 08-26-2020, 09:26 AM   #2
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Worth it to me if I was looking at a new rig. More load capacity is a safety feature.
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Old 08-26-2020, 09:32 AM   #3
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I would check the difference in the CCC. The heavier chassis should give more load capacity, in other words the stuff you carry.
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Old 08-26-2020, 09:35 AM   #4
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The heavier chassis will also likely ride better and handle better because it won’t be stretched to its load limits.
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Old 08-26-2020, 09:45 AM   #5
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Welcome to iRV2.

The important specification is the OCCC, ( Occupant & Cargo Carrying Capacity).
Have you looked at those numbers?
The heavier chassis, will probably include , heavier frame , suspension,better brakes, larger tires .
Think of it as the difference between a half and 3/4 ton pick up truck. The more load you want to safely carry , the more you need the heavy chassis.
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Old 08-26-2020, 09:47 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tpfender View Post
We are looking to purchase a 2021 Newmar Bay Star, 3226 (32’11”). Our local dealer has “upgraded” the F53 chassis from 22,000# (base) to 24,000# (additional cost ~$5000). How do we benefit from the heavier chassis? All other things being equal (suspension, trans, furnishings).
Tom
All other things should Not be equal. It would (should) have stronger (heavier Axles) and/or suspension. Ask for a listing of the components changed made to make the "heavier chassis".

Is this something being offered - or is the dealer saying it was already done and wants to charge you more? If the later, it may be a gimmick to get the price higher.
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Old 08-26-2020, 09:51 AM   #7
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Make sure you understand what a "heavier chassis" really means. You need to do some homework on definitions re: GVWR, GCWR, CCC and others (There are lots of threads in iRV2 on these terms.), as all are even more important for operation of your RV as compared to your contemplating which RV to purchase. Related to your specific question, 22K vs 24K deals with GVWR which in simplest terms is the max weight the RV is certified to carry. It means in your case you get approx. 2000 lbs more cargo carrying capacity with the 24K chassis. (The 24K chassis is slightly heavier.) Depending on how you travel, that 2000 lbs might be very worthwhile to you, although I'd negotiate very hard to reduce the price of the upgrade as much as you possibly can.
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Old 08-26-2020, 10:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tpfender View Post
We are looking to purchase a 2021 Newmar Bay Star, 3226 (32’11”). Our local dealer has “upgraded” the F53 chassis from 22,000# (base) to 24,000# (additional cost ~$5000).
Tom

Sorry, but I am puzzled. The chassis manufacturer determines the GVWR/GAWR.


While aftermarket devices (whether dealer or owner installed) can upgrade parts of the suspension, it will not change the legal GVWR/GAWR.
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Now, if the dealer ordered the coach on a higher GVWR chassis, THAT makes sense.


Example: I upgraded the rear Torsilastic springs on our 1993 Foretravel from 15,000 to 19,000 pounds. A big improvement in ride and handling as even empty the rear axle was at the 15,000 pound mark. Legally still a rear GAWR of 15,000.
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Old 08-26-2020, 10:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tpfender View Post
We are looking to purchase a 2021 Newmar Bay Star, 3226 (32’11”). Our local dealer has “upgraded” the F53 chassis from 22,000# (base) to 24,000# (additional cost ~$5000). How do we benefit from the heavier chassis? All other things being equal (suspension, trans,furnishings). One sales person said it increases payload capacity. Which seems counter intuitive to me if we are adding additional weight by using a heavier chassis and not upgrading any suspension components. I have found general info on chassiss but no good answer why it helps to spend an additional $5000. Thanks!
Tom
Newmar lists the axle ratings for the 3226 at 8K front and 15K rear, for a total of 23K, but they give the coach a GVWR of 22K. Other models have a GVWR of 24K with axle ratings of 9K front and 15.5K rear, which actually totals 24.5K.

What ever modifications or components have been added to the coach to increase the GVWR, would ideally weigh less than the increased capacity. If the “upgrades” weigh 500lbs and the GVWR is increased by 2000lbs, the coach will have a net increase in payload of 1500lbs.

Be sure to confirm the claimed increase in GVWR by examining the placard on the coach. Typically, the manufacturer establishes axle ratings and GVWR’s for each vehicle. Perhaps it rolled out of the factory with the upgraded GVWR, or the dealer may be authorized by Newmar to modify the coach and weight ratings.

I am not familiar with how Newmar offers upgrades and options. Just be sure to confirm that anything the dealer tells you is actually a fact.
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Old 08-26-2020, 10:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tpfender View Post
We are looking to purchase a 2021 Newmar Bay Star, 3226 (32’11”). Our local dealer has “upgraded” the F53 chassis from 22,000# (base) to 24,000# (additional cost ~$5000). How do we benefit from the heavier chassis? All other things being equal (suspension, trans,furnishings). One sales person said it increases payload capacity. Which seems counter intuitive to me if we are adding additional weight by using a heavier chassis and not upgrading any suspension components. I have found general info on chassiss but no good answer why it helps to spend an additional $5000. Thanks!
Tom
He is correct.... those numbers are the GVWR of the chassis...

The heavier chassis is just that...

There have to be differences between the two, to allow for the 24K to carry and stop an extra ton of weight...

When I was shopping for a 2012-2014 used motorhome with the F-53 chassis, I did a bunch of searching to see the difference between the various GVWR ratings. I found a 2016 F53 Motorhome Chassis Specification form posted on a forum.


There were differences split between the 16K-22K chassis and the 24K & 26K chassis:

Ford F-53 chassis in 24k and up, use higher psi steel in the frame.

The Ford F-53 22k chassis can come with 19.5" or 22.5" wheels, the 24K comes with 22.5" wheels only.

The axles/springs are heavier on the 24K chassis.

The brake set-up and final drive ratios are different between the 22K & 24K chassis.


NOTE: I found a couple parts that I saved from the specification form... While we are talking about an older chassis, I suspect the differences are similar on the newer chassis... here are the 2016 differences







IMHO... the differences in the 22k & 24K 2016 chassis are worth $5K.... You may try to search for the same specification document for the 2021 chassis to see the actual differences on the new chassis...
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Old 08-26-2020, 10:47 AM   #11
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If the optional chassis is designed to carry more weight then the stock chassis, and you don't add that weight, its going to ride harder. That's how springs work.

The closer you are to maximum weight, the smoother the ride. That's why class C's running at near max weight ride better.
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Old 08-26-2020, 10:55 AM   #12
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I think you'll find that the "chassis" itself is the same. The extra GVWR rating usually comes from increased spring rates, axles, tires etc. Might ride a little rougher, but I generally feel that many Class A motor homes are sprung too softly and can benefit from a little more spring,
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Old 08-26-2020, 11:25 AM   #13
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Personally.. I would go with the heavier [24k/26k chassis] at the git go..

I am really really leery of any Dealer provided "add on" weight carrying capacity claims or improvements done to a "brand new" RV...
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Old 08-26-2020, 11:35 AM   #14
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Right, the "heavier chassis" means increased GVWR, with (probably minor) changes to provide that extra 2000 lbs of GVWR. For any given coach body, the benefit to the coach owner is increased OCCC (cargo capacity). The "heavier" chassis may also have an increased wheelbase, which can be a mixed blessing. A bit smoother ride but greater lag in the turns as well. Also increased tow capacity (GCWR).



I'd be looking at the OCCC estimate for the coach with the standard (22,000 lb) chassis and assessing whether it is generous or skimpy. If the OCCC is much less than 3000 lbs, I'd consider buying the upgrade to get more. At a guess, the additional 2000 lbs of GVWR would yield 1500-1800 lbs of additioal OCCC, but that would have to be verified from Newmar's specs. In my mind, the increased wheelbase and GCWR are of much less significance and not worth paying extra. And $5000 extra isn't chump change, even with the gain in OCCC.
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