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Post Info TOPIC: Frames....Freightliner...Spartan....Roadmaster

RV-Dreams Family Member

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RE: Frames....Freightliner...Spartan....Roadmaster

Spartan and Freightliner sell what the buyer wants, but the buyer is the motorhome manufacturer. Fleetwood and Winnebago have special deals with Freightliner and their versions of the chassis are specific to them. American Coach (Fleetwood again) has a special deal with Spartan, they have a special chassis that only they get. Newmar has a special deal on a steering modification that they have an exclusive on through this year, it is really nice if you want a Mountain Aire or higher. Roadmaster is Monaco's own chassis company, they build only for the Monaco family and they build what they are asked to build. If you buy Monaco family (Monaco, Holiday Rambler, Safari, Beaver) diesel it will be a Roadmaster chassis.

Any RV manufacturer can order one of Spartan or Freightliner's chassis with the options they want, these might include what engine to use, the particulars of the front axle, even down to what hitch recieve to include (Spartan does this one). Two 2007 Spartan Mountain Master chassis could be optioned way differently, same with Freightliner. Most motorhomes that are not built on a manufacturers own chassis are built on Freightliner, they are a bit cheaper. All Newmars, all American Coaches, some Tiffins and some National RVs are on Spartan.

Are they all built well? Yes. How about ride? You have to drive the individual units because the customization affects the ride. Top end motorhomes from all three drive very well, the low and middle is where things might be lacking.

A big difference I have seen is warranty handling.

Freightliner acts like a car manufacturer about warranty work, remember they are part of Diamler-Chrysler, they want it handled at only a Freightliner place and if they can get Cat (engine), Cummins (engine) or Allison (transmission) to do the warranty work at one of their shops instead of their own they are happy since that is not on their money. They have an accountant in Germany questioning their every line item. Some Freightliner places will play the game for you, some won't.

Spartan is about the opposite, they willingly handle warranty work and work with Cat, Cummins or Allison behind the scenes. They don't have their own shops except at the factory in Charlotte, MI, so they have to be nicer to the places that service their chassis.

Roadmaster/Monaco wants to be called first and like to refer you for warranty work. They also want the shop to get appovals before the work and can sometimes be a pain for the shop to work with.

Luckily all three do not have much warranty work to do, they are all fairly reliable. I know many with Roadmaster and Freightliner chassis that have had great warranty service, but I know others that had to deal with hassles. I don't know anyone who does not feel Spartan was unsupportive. though some have had lemons and are not sure they would buy again (some Newmar Essex had a lot of problems with their fans, some 2005 Spartans had rough rides and had to take them in over and over again as Spartan tried different air bags and shocks.)

A very few use the Workhorse diesel chassis, but mostly they buy gas chassis from Workhorse. I do not know anything about the Workhorse diesel chassis.

Remember that most of the chassis is built with truck and bus components that can run for 1,000,000 miles or more. Us motorhome drivers barely wear the brakes, engines and about everything else.

Spartan and Freightliner have very active FMCA chapters with factory support and great rallies. Freightliner owners get rebates on Chrysler or Jeep cars and trucks after the sale, good rebates.

After the warranty a lot of places can fix any of them. Remember the components are fairly standard. They all provide good after warranty support and Monaco has been known to fix things on their money after the warranty.

Alpine Coach also makes their own chassis and it drives really nicely. Country Coach, Foretravel and Newell make their own chassis and you can get good deals on used ones that mortals can afford.


Bill Joyce,
40' 2004 Dutch Star DP towing a 2012 AWD Chevy Equinox
Journal at
Full-timing since July 2003

RV-Dreams Family Member

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Posts: 518

I'll give this a shot based on how I would approach it. This is a completely wide open question. I am not even sure where to start. Each chassis has very individual pluses/minuses and you have to get very specific (like brand, model and year AND under what coach) to get any real detail. For example, a Spartan xyz under a Newmar is NOT exactly the same as a Spartan xyz under an American Coach.

If I use an analogy like "which is better, Chevy, Ford, or Chrysler" one can see the answers are going to be all over the map - some personal some factual. So I think we need to ferret out the root questions and concerns.

Here's a suggestion. First, try to create a list of chassis things that you might be interested in or concerned about. For example, this question was asked because of a, b, c, d..... Make a detailed list of the a, b, c, d… With this list of concerns in hand scan several other forums (, to name a couple) which have a longer history, are deeper technically, and are more motorhome heavy than Howard's (please, no offense Howard! rv-dreams is far and above my favorite). Also do some general internet searches to uncover more forums and sources of info. You might be able to find answers to many of your concerns in this scan. You’ll also generate more questions. This will take time - maybe 5-10 hours over a couple weeks. Time flies when you are having fun!

You will then have learned a lot and will still have several open items which will be rather specific and would make for great forum postings. I'd start those postings right here because this community has fostered a deep sense of mutual help and it will help build the technical depth of this community too. You can then post on other forums for second opinions.

Sound like a starting plan? Or am I way off base?

-- Edited by RVDude at 21:16, 2007-02-22


RV-Dreams Family Member

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Posts: 173

I thank you all again for  the great  information, and your  thoughts.
So much to think about  before we go  from our  stick home to  a MH....and fulltime living  on  wheels.  Retiring  soon, and  looking forward to  buying  our new home.
I need all the help I can get......believe me.

I may be overly cautious to some, but I like to  investigate  everything before I buy it, and  who better to  ask questions the people who are  living it right now.
Really appreciate all the  great information, and your advice.



Freightliner ...Spartan and Roadmaster.

The Vectra Winne has the FL

Any thoughts on these  frames ?

I  know floor plans are   important of course, but  I need to  know about  a few of these  things before deciding on any  coach.

With sincere thanks  for your help out there

  • Travelin' Duo
  • Arlene & Larry 
  • and our Furry kid...Cian (^..^)
  • 2007  Winnebago Vectra TD 
    Buick Enclave Toad w/ Blue Ox
    Became Fulltimers on December 5, 2008
    " Life's A Journey,  Not A Destination "



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