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Old 09-10-2020, 12:02 PM   #1
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Red face Today's dumb question: Tag axles

I'll remind people I'm very new to this purchase journey and still learning, so forgive me if I sound a little slow....

My wife seems to love a Super C- an actual hood with alot of motor to absorb a crash, typically mid-entry, and she says they 'look less scary'.

I'm in love with Class As. I know there's no airbags and if we're in an accident at 60 MPH and airbag probably won't do much anyway. I don't care about mid entry. However, one thing I keep seeing is how valuable a tag axle is.

To be clear I'm looking at coaches >40 feet and I understand the tradeoff of a longer coach. What I see though is arguments for and against a tag. In my head I'm thinking yes it's more expense with tires and moving parts, but part of me also says if the costs outweighed the benefit tractor trailers wouldn't use them. Then I hear about greater stability and control and as the goober behind the wheel I kinda would prefer any advantage I can get driving 30K+ pounds down the road.

What do you think- is a tag axle that big of a deal? If not, would a super C be safer?
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Old 09-10-2020, 12:16 PM   #2
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Once you’ve driven a tag axle coach, you’ll NEVER go back to one without. Two extra tires every 10 years is about the only cost. I recently had to replace the $20 rubber diaphragm on the raise cylinder after 16 years... total amount spent on the tag besides tires.

Yes, in a head on crash a Super C should be safer and about the same in a roll over compared to most rigs, but not all. Monaco and Country Coach built their own chassis...semi monocoque all welded steel plus you are higher up.
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Old 09-10-2020, 01:22 PM   #3
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One of the best things designed into a gas or diesel coach is the tag axle. I have owned both gas and DP's with and without tags. There is a big difference in the quality of ride and ability to load up whatever you want with little worry about being overloaded when you have a tag and an extra set of brakes comes with it to stop the added weight. Negligible difference in fuel economy and little maintenance. The only downside is the small amount of basement storage lost. We will never be without a tag coach, unless at sometime we go back to a 36' or less coach, but I don't see that happening in this lifetime.
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Old 09-10-2020, 01:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelInNM View Post
My wife seems to love a Super C- an actual hood with alot of motor to absorb a crash, typically mid-entry, and she says they 'look less scary'.

To be clear I'm looking at coaches >40 feet

What do you think- is a tag axle that big of a deal? If not, would a super C be safer?
Just get "Super C with a Tag" and you have the best of both worlds.

Like this https://www.newmarcorp.com/super-c-m.../supreme-aire/
They have a 40 footer and a 45 footer (Super C) - both have tag axles and can tow 30,000 lbs.
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Old 09-10-2020, 01:42 PM   #5
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Unlike Class 8 Semi Trucks, the Tag is not driven with engine power. It is just there for weight carrying and stopping. If you are looking at >40 ft, a Tag will be included.

Super C is safer overall, and more asking to driving a car/truck in terms of driver position and view.
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Old 09-10-2020, 01:47 PM   #6
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It takes a 45’ C to equal the room inside a 40’ DP and even more if the front seats do not turn around. Biggest reason for buying a Super C is many have a 15-20K hitch for those pulling heavy trailers.
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Old 09-10-2020, 03:19 PM   #7
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My friend has a super c 45' and he hates the turning radius.
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Old 09-10-2020, 03:38 PM   #8
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Aren't most tandem Super C's a twin screw instead of a tag?
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Old 09-10-2020, 03:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crasher View Post
Aren't most tandem Super C's a twin screw instead of a tag?
Super Cs do not build their own chassis so if it’s a class 8 truck it will have tandem axles so I say YES.
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Old 09-10-2020, 04:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Outbound View Post
My friend has a super c 45' and he hates the turning radius.
I have a Class A, and I hate the turning radius. 75 feet!

It would be great if the rear drive axle (not steerable tag) counter-steered at low speed. We had some fire trucks that did that. But I imagine it would add a lot of cost.
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Old 09-10-2020, 04:28 PM   #11
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Biggest advantage to a tag axle is the extra pair of braking wheels, in my opinion. You can never have too many wheels with brakes on the ground in an emergency situation.

The other advantage is load capacity.

We were involved in a head-on collision with our first bus conversion a few years ago and walked away from it due to the structural integrity of our vehicle. The insurance adjuster said that in most Class A RVs out there we would not have been so lucky. I think that you are correct in being cautious on the safety front.

From what I've seen, a Super C is going to give the best combination of size and safety. Even something built on a Ford 550 chassis will have something substantial up front to protect the front seat occupants. But, that has to be taken in combination with all the other features such as braking, handling, accident avoidance tech, etc.

It's true that the interior space on a Super C is less than a Class A of equal length, but the difference is not as great as often thought. On most diesel pushers, you lose a good chunk out of the back of the coach for the engine bay. On a Super C the interior can go all the way to the back of the coach.
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Old 09-10-2020, 07:26 PM   #12
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We love our tag. More load carrying capacity. Stabilizing the MH. And they just look cool.

Good luck with your choice. Enjoy the journey.
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Old 09-11-2020, 07:42 AM   #13
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Yes, Tag!

Yes, tag - definitely. For all the reasons stated above. Plus they look cool. And if you want to combine a tag with a small turning radius, get an original 2801 or 2802 Newmar NewAire.
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Old 09-11-2020, 09:56 AM   #14
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I'll take exception to most of this topic. The only reason a tag (or a second drive axle) is ever included is to get additional load carrying capacity. Yes, there are some fringe benefits as well, but they are trivial and never the justification for including a tag.

Therefore you buy a coach or truck that has the size and load rating (GVWR) that you want/need, and if that is large enough to require a tag, it will have it. And if not that large, no tag because it is a major upfront expense that has as many drawbacks as it does ancillary advantages. The chassis engineers figure that out based on weight, taking into account chassis rigidity, cost and state & federal laws governing max axle loads.

A 40-45 foot coach has a big turning radius because of the long wheel base. If it also has a tag the radius might be even a bit greater, but probably not much. The tag is behind the pivot point (the drive axle) so the only effect it has on radius is some potential sideways drag resistance and most coaches easily overcome that, even in a sharp turn.
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