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Old 07-28-2021, 09:29 PM   #1
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Tag Axle question?

Hi everyone.
My RV is a 2007 Monaco Camelot 42 PDQ with a tag axle. On a recent trip I experienced an issue that I’m wondering if anyone else with a tag axle motorhome has encountered. I was trying to maneuver into our campsite which has about a 6% incline up hill on a dirt/gravel surface. I was struggling trying to get up this hill to get to my campsite. All my motorhome would do is spin the rear wheels and kick up lots of dust even with the traction control applied. I tried to lift my tag axle but for some reason it would NOT LIFT. Later the next day I was successful in getting the tag axle to lift… so I know it does still work... After about 45 minutes of fighting with this in the DARK we finely managed to maneuver into our campsite. The following morning I walked out to see why I was having so much trouble getting up this slight incline. I had noticed that my two rear drive wheels had dug two trenches up this slight hill. While I was assessing what happened the previous night there was a 36 foot diesel pusher motorhome pulling a small truck behind their motorhome drive up to their campsite just up the hill from our campsite. He did not have any issues at all. Later that day I spoke with the owner of the 36 foot DP motorhome and I told him we struggled getting into our campsite. We both were looking at the two very large trenches that my rig dug the night before. He was telling me that he previously owned a 45 foot diesel pusher with a tag axle. He said he had never encountered anything like what I described to him. He told me that it sounds like I might have too much pressure on my tag axle. We opened my engine compartment door and he looked at my tag axle pressure gauge and he told me that he thought I had too much pressure. The pressure that was on the gauge was about 110 psi. He told me to start the RV and let the air pressure come up to operating range. So we did that. The tag axle gauge stayed at 110 psi. He said if it was his rig he would let some pressure off the tag axle and see if that helps. So I did just that. I reduced the pressure from the 110 psi to 100 psi …. Now I know from everything I have been reading about the tag axle adjustments that when you make an adjustment it takes time for the adjustments to take effect. So with that said I left that adjustment and on our way home there is a huge climb out of this RV resort that we were camped. So every time we leave this resort I always put the transmission in 2nd gear for the torque to climb out of this resort. Yes…. It’s that steep of a climb. I have done this many times before. As I was about half way up this grade I noticed an increase in engine RPM’s and as I looked in my mirrors I noticed a large plume of smoke from my rear tires. Knowing that I had to keep power applied just so I could make it to the top of this steep climb. This wasn’t the last of the wheel spin…. About 5 miles up the road we came to our next left turn. This was about a 4% climb. And again we had rear tire spin…. Enough that it filled the intersection with lots of tire smoke. So at my next rest stop I decreased the tag axle pressure to 90 psi. I did not encounter any more steep grades to see if that fixed the problem.
Later I was browsing through the huge book with all the documentation that I received with the motorhome I came across some paperwork from the previous owners. Back in 2014 they had all wheels weighed from Smart Weigh escapees RV club. This is the numbers that they recorded.
R-Front =6,575
L-Front= 6,650
R-Rear = 10,000
L-Rear = 9,250
R-Tag= 2,250
L-Tag = 2,200
According to these numbers there doesn’t appear to have that much weight on the tag axle wheels. Now these numbers are not current I was making these adjustments in regards to these numbers.
Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated
Thanks
Frank.
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Old 07-29-2021, 04:34 AM   #2
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I run my Tag Axle air at 40 psi to 45 psi. The higher pressure when carrying my motorcycle on the back.

I also used Smart Weigh. It's the best way to adjust your Tag air. Set the Tag air so you have close to the maximum weight on the front axle with your Coach fully loaded. The Coach will handle best with max weight on the front axle.

My Smart Weigh numbers are similar to yours for the Tag (on my report, for the left Tag the Smart Weigh guy wrote 5,160 but meant 2,650). My Tag weights are shown with 40 psi in the Tag.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 2005_Beaver PT Weight - measured by Smartweigh.pdf (203.9 KB, 4 views)
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Old 07-29-2021, 04:50 AM   #3
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When you had the weights done in 2014 do you know what the air was on the tag then?



Tags can reduce traction on uneven ground, you discovered that when it wouldn't lift when first trying to back in to your site. I'd check that out real well, and make sure it's lifting all the way when it does.
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Old 07-29-2021, 05:13 AM   #4
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You should have a weight sticker in your coach that shows max weight for each axle. Get it weighed again with full fuel and water and check to see if your underweight. I would also make sure your ride height settings are correct. Yes you can to some degree change the tag carrying weight by changing the ride height but in theory if they made your coach well this should not be necessary.

Air pressure should be adjusted according to a tire pressure chart. Your tag is still carrying about 5,000 lbs. I would not to concerned.
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Old 07-29-2021, 07:52 AM   #5
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I would bet that 90 psi in the tag suspension is way too high. When I got my first six position weigh, I found that the drive was near 14,000# and the tag was close to 9000#. I would also lose traction on wet pavement. At the time the tag had 75+ psi in the bags. I kept lowering the pressure till I had about 20,000# on the drive (22,000# rating) and 5200# on the tag. That's where I left it. The tag suspension has 37 psi when towing my Avalanche and 42 psi when towing an 8500# trailer with 1,000# tongue weight. Another benefit of transferring weight from the tag to the drive is that it also transferred 750# from the steer axle to the drive where it was needed. My steer axle weighs 14,700# now instead of 15,450#. (15,860# rating)
You really need to re-weigh all three axles to confirm your earlier records and possibly adjust the pressure to get a better and safer weight distribution.
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Old 07-29-2021, 09:18 AM   #6
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Tag Axle Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Argosy View Post
When you had the weights done in 2014 do you know what the air was on the tag then?



Tags can reduce traction on uneven ground, you discovered that when it wouldn't lift when first trying to back in to your site. I'd check that out real well, and make sure it's lifting all the way when it does.

Hi Argosy,
I didn't have the coach weighted. The previous owner had it weighed back in 2014. I purchased the RV in March 2020.

The night in question I did look at the tag axle when i was trying to lift it. it seems that my motorhome has a mind of it's own. it lifts the tag when it feels like it. I know it's NOT the air bags because I replaced all 10 air bags in May of 2020. I asked a RV tech what he thought why it did not lift the tag that night when I needed it to raise. He couldn't think of anything why it didn't. When I asked this question we put it into operation and if did raise the tag when we pushed the tag axle button. The tech DID tell me that there is a 2 minute delay for the tag to operate. He also told me that if the tag axle button is pushed more then once it will not lift.

Thanks for your response.
Frank.
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Old 07-29-2021, 09:36 AM   #7
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I can't see those corner weight's being taken while the original owner had 110psi in the tag air bags.
If all is working properly (gauge, bags not leaking), 110psi should be grossly overloading your tag axle, steer axle, and fairly light on the drive axle.

Like others are posting, lower it to about 40psi.

This is a perfect example of why most coach chassis manufacturers don't give the operator any control over tag loading!
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Old 07-29-2021, 10:04 AM   #8
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I had a 2008 Monaco Dynasty, 42 ft., 4 slide weighing 40,039 lbs. (2007-2014, drove it almost 70,000 miles). I recall my tag pressure being in the 40's.

It will be interesting to see if you lowered the pressure and tried the same campground again.

Safe travels,
Mark
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Old 07-29-2021, 10:17 AM   #9
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Tag axle pressure definitely seems too high.

Our 40' Monaco Dynasty weighs in right at 36k pounds (36,060 lbs to be exact) with full tank of fuel, half water and empty holding tanks, basically in travel mode.

Axle weights are as follows:

* Steer 12,125
* Drive 17,235
* Tag 6,700

My air pressure is set at 36 psi for the tag axle.

I'm surprised your tag axle weights are that low. I would have expected them much higher based on your description of issues. I don't know that I would put much more on the steer axle though.
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Old 07-29-2021, 10:23 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Mark View Post
I had a 2008 Monaco Dynasty, 42 ft., 4 slide weighing 40,039 lbs. (2007-2014, drove it almost 70,000 miles). I recall my tag pressure being in the 40's.

It will be interesting to see if you lowered the pressure and tried the same campground again.

Safe travels,
Mark
Mark, I just can't get used to see'ng that picture under your name !
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Old 07-29-2021, 10:44 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 96 Wideglide View Post
Mark, I just can't get used to see'ng that picture under your name !
^^I was thinking the exact same thing. Just can't wrap my head around it.
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Old 07-29-2021, 11:12 AM   #12
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96 Wideglide and Zmotorsports,

HA HA!! Yep, I downsized after owning two large coaches over a 14 year period.

Now, I can get into places that I couldn't fit before.

Safe travels,
Mark
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Old 07-29-2021, 12:03 PM   #13
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Tag Axle Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by 96 Wideglide View Post
I can't see those corner weight's being taken while the original owner had 110psi in the tag air bags.
If all is working properly (gauge, bags not leaking), 110psi should be grossly overloading your tag axle, steer axle, and fairly light on the drive axle.

Like others are posting, lower it to about 40psi.

This is a perfect example of why most coach chassis manufacturers don't give the operator any control over tag loading!



Hi Ben,
After reading what everyone else settings are. I believe that myself. I'm looking around locally to see if I can get my RV weighted. I'm guessing that I am going to ask for a total motorhome weigh and a 6 point weight. and I want to see what the numbers are then.

Thanks for your reply.
Frank.
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Old 07-29-2021, 12:10 PM   #14
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Cheers

40psi tag axle loading would be a good starting point, and should be close to ideal.

On these coaches you will never get all 3 axles carying the same percentage of load vs their max rating. To get the tag axle to carry say 85% of it's max rating, you would be overloading your steer axle.

Especially if you have the same basement layout as myself, with the fuel tank, fresh water tank, and AquaHot system, all occupying the front bay behind the steer axle.
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