wheelbase vs handling

Discussion in 'General RVing' started by little_paulie, Sep 8, 2004.

  1. little_paulie

    little_paulie New Member

    I'm considering recent class A's from 2001-2003. I like the Winnebago Adventurer 35u which has a wheelbase of 228 inches. I'm also considering a Bounder 33R which has a wheelbase of 208 inches.The floor plan of both of these units are almost identical and are well suited for us. They seem to be about the same level of amenities, etc. Their overall length is 35-7 for the Adventurer and 33-10 for the Bounder.

    It would seem to me that the shorter wheelbase would make make turning and in-town driving easier. I'm not sure, however, if the 20inch :question: wheelbase makes a noticable or significant difference. Any thoughts?

    Alternativly, the longer wheelbase on the Adventurere might provide a more stable and better ride over the road while providing a shorter overhang.

    Both these units come with Ford and Workhorse chassis. It doesn't seem to change the wheelbase.

    Also with the Workhorse the tires are 19.5 or 22 in. Does this make a difference in acelleration or gas milage - as the larger tire goes a longer distance in each revolution?

    I've asked these questions to various salesmen and normally get a blank stare back. All thoughts appreciated
     
  2. janicenlarry

    janicenlarry New Member

    wheelbase vs handling

    LP, I have a Winnie Chieftain 35U on a Ford F-53 frame and it is one solid unit. Never have handling problems in high winds and it is uneffected by passing 18 wheelers. The steering geometry is such that it has a short turning radius.
    When looking at Fleetwood Products, you have other problems you need to consider.
    Many things effect mileage but primarily is your weight and how you are loaded and how heavy a foot you have on the accelerator.
    :laugh:
     
  3. little_paulie

    little_paulie New Member

    wheelbase vs handling

    Larry,
    Thanks for the input. Having a good solid feel makes driving a bit more relaxing. I currently have a 1985 Chieftan on the old p-30 chassis and the big trucks/busses can sometimes be a problem with the buffeting.

    Guess by your response you are not much of a fleetwood fan.
    Thanks for your comments
     
  4. Kirk

    Kirk Senior Member

    wheelbase vs handling

    While it is true that a shorter wheel base does make a motorhome turn shorter, the short wheel base also means a much longer overhang at the rear, behind the axle. And the longer that overhang, the more difficult it is to handle the rig when a big truck sails past or when you drive in a gusty side wind. The RV Consumer Group suggest that you should never buy any motorhome with an wheel base ratio of less than 50% for safety reasons. Also, the Bounder has a long history of using the short wheel base chassis and after a few years the rear begins to sag due to the extensions of the frame having been made of too light a material.

    One other problem from the short wheel base is the fact that it puts far more of the weight on the rear axle and it will quickly over load that axle. If you weigh most motorhomes with short wheel bases, you will find that you do not have enough weight capacity to allow you to put much of anything into the storage at the rear if you do not want to over load the rear axle.
     
  5. little_paulie

    little_paulie New Member

    wheelbase vs handling

    Kirk,
    Thanks for your thoughful response. It all seems quite logical - once someone explains it. The over weighting of the rear axle is very interesting and never would have occurred to me. Thanks for the info.
     

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