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Old 09-10-2013, 07:25 AM   #15
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Bottom line on TAG axle is to help carry the addition weight that the 40'+ coach will have on the rear axle.
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Old 09-10-2013, 07:54 AM   #16
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My observation. My rig (new diesel dually truck and new 5th wheel) goes down the road great. No sway when passing semi's, plenty of power, very stable and quiet.

I pass most single axle MH's. I do not pass any tag axle MH's. They pass me!!!

This observation makes me believe tag axle MH's go down the road better than single axle MH's. Also makes me believe my rig goes down the road better than single axle MH's but not as good as a tag axle MH.

If I were to switch to a MH I would want a tag axle if I could afford it.

Note: Single axle MH's top out at around 425HP while tag axle MH's go into the 500HP range or more.
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:00 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Route 66 View Post
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:53 AM   #18
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Just a simple fact from one that has owned and driven both extensively: Fleetwood 39P, non tag, 330 Cat, as most 39's or even 40 non tags large rear overhangs. I found the necessity to keep from involuntarily changing lanes in strong cross winds the addition of 4 Koni's, MCD devices from Henderson DriveLine and steering yoke? ( nomenclature escapes me at this moment) this resulted in a depleted wallet with some improvement in handling. DW and I had no intention of trading up after pouring our monies in this fine coach! However, we did. What the heck it's my kids money they have enough! Present day, Fleetwood Providence tag, what a huge difference! Crosswinds, except for 40 plus knot crosswinds, no issue, semi's no issue, tight spots, dump the tag, no issue, room, no issue. You get my point! Each to his or her own style just hoping to add info to the OP's question.
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Old 09-10-2013, 09:28 AM   #19
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My experience is as near to the extremes one can get.

MH #1 was a 39' Winnebago on a Workhorse, W-24 Chassis. (24,000# GVWR) This included new shocks, new tires, upgraded sway bars, steer assist and a few other handling upgrades.

MH #2 is a 43' DSDP, Spartan Mountain Master Chassis with a tag. (44,200# GVWR) Does NOT have Comfort Drive.

It isn't even a fair fight. MH #1 did improve a fair amount with the upgrades but I think my wallet certainly got deflated in the process. I don't regret the upgrades because that beast was a monster to handle in significant cross winds and when trucks passed me. It wasn't fun but it was predictable so I wouldn't call it dangerous.

MH #2 is a dream to handle. Where you point it, it will go. Other than the light steering corrections for road crowns and cross winds below about 25 MPH it just likes to stay on track. Under these conditions the only time I felt more than a VERY SLIGHT push from another vehicle was when a Prevost passed me doing 80+ MPH compared to my 62 MPH.

Cross winds above 25 MPH to about 40 MPH that are steady require a bit more steering into the wind but nothing that is too much to deal with. Yes, those kinds of cross winds might take out some of the fun but would not make me pull over provided road conditions are not a factor. I once ran into a weather system with winds near 30-40 MPH with gusts to about 50-55 MPH. Yes, I could feel that push me around but it was manageable on dry roads. MH #1 would have had me a blathering idiot after a few minutes of that.

That doesn't mean I can fall asleep at the switch. In strong cross winds I still pay attention to wind blocks and prepare for loss and then regaining a cross wind. I also still do not ignore trucks passing me. I can barely feel them most of the time but if they are passing me at a much faster speed and especially if they are on the windward side of me, I stay prepared for more of a nudge.


IMHO the tag axle MHs clearly are more stable for a few reasons.

1. Longer wheel base.
2. More tires on the road. (And more brakes)
3. More weight on the road.
4. Lower center of gravity compared to gassers.
5. The longer overhand of gassers helps exacerbate their ability to be pushed around by winds and trucks.
6. (Perhaps debatable) the longer overhand with a toad on the back of a gasser might increase tail wagging if the toad is also getting pushed around.

These are my opinions based on owning 2 different MHs. Take them for what they are worth.
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Old 09-10-2013, 11:51 AM   #20
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I'm with docj - few of the anecdotal stories ever compare apple to apples. There are many more factors at play than just a tag.

My own anecdotal evidence is as follows:
We owned a 36 foot tag axle coach and it did not ride anywhere near as well as our current 40 foot non-tag. It did, however, porpoise much less than another newer, 36 footer we owned. Both the 36's were leaf spring, front engine coaches, while the 40 is a much heavier diesel pusher. The 40 ft DP doesn't sway or wander, and ignores passing semis. My conclusion is that a tag helps, but it is not the epitome of suspensions. Maybe adding a tag would improve the 40 footer even more, but I'm not adding one to find out!

Tags are added to carry additional weight, not to improve ride. The ride improvement, if any, is a fringe benefit. The biggest bene is that one rear axle maintains road contact while the other crosses a pothole or bump. This pretty much stops the rear end hop that can cause porpoising or bounces. It also puts more rubber on the road, but I doubt if that's a noticeable benefit in any coach heavy enough to need a tag.
Gary Brinck
Former owner of 2004 American Tradition and several other RVs
Home is in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
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