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Old 12-11-2015, 07:41 PM   #1
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Can this much overhang be stable?

Looking through archives I found a Hurricane that is almost 32-feet long on a 190-inch wheelbase. Pictures depict a rear overhang that seems out of proportion. Should that in itself be a concern?

I'm curious if anyone has a similar motorhome with long rear overhang that tracks well in crosswinds and when passing trucks?

Also, how does the Hurricane rank on quality? Is it at very bottom of Thor Class As?
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Old 12-11-2015, 08:42 PM   #2
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Challenger 37ND- one hand on the wheel 420 miles 63 MPH with no issues to include winds on I526 bridges into Charleston
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Old 12-11-2015, 09:26 PM   #3
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Challenger 37ND- one hand on the wheel 420 miles 63 MPH with no issues to include winds on I526 bridges into Charleston
Yeah, you have long rear overhang too. Your MH is listed at 38'-1" but with 252-inch wheelbase. So you are about 6-feet longer but most is in added wheelbase -- just over 5 feet.

I guess visually what looks unstable is long overhang relative to wheelbase, or perhaps overall length.

Thanks. I'm going to look for side view picture of 37ND to see how it compares.
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Old 12-11-2015, 11:27 PM   #4
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That looks like a 32A. The late models had a wheelbase of 208".

The rear overhang can be an issue for stability when passing as you mentioned, (can be minimized with suspension aftermarket add-ons if it bothers you), and it also has an effect on the towing capability, (the more overhang, it tends to go down, probably so your front wheels don't leave the road).

The Hurricane line now owned by Thor used to be a Damon product. They have always been "value" level priced motorhomes, placing them at the lowest price point. However, "old relics" still on the road have held up just as well as any other gassers, regardless of their original price point, or brand.

Now that they are owned by Thor, the Windsport line is manufactured on the same assembly line and has the same price point, floorplans and specifications, just some cosmetic differences.
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Old 12-11-2015, 11:32 PM   #5
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Dave, is this like yours?
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Old 12-12-2015, 12:05 AM   #6
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That looks like a 32A. The late models had a wheelbase of 208".

....cut......
Thanks Beacher for history lesson. It makes sense that there is a Damon connection in that many of their motorhomes had a pass-through rear mega-storage compartment large enough for bikes standing up (I want it to fit a tandem and a couple of singles). It's a little Euro in design which I like.

The unit in above picture is a 30Q on 190-inch wheelbase. It was made through 2012, and has a traditional (old fashion) slideless floorplan. It's a lot bigger than we need/want but may be a good interim Class A for a couple of years just to try one out.
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Old 12-12-2015, 04:26 AM   #7
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I recommend finding something with a 55% or higher wheelbase to length ratio.

Keeping front axel from being overweight and some in-town maneuverability are the only good attributes associated with long hang-over, everything else is a negative.
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Old 12-12-2015, 08:14 AM   #8
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I would be concerned that there may not be enough weight on the front axle after loading up the coach with tons of stuff, which can also cause steering and handling problems. Also, a huge rear overhang means you have to be careful at the gas pump or other locations where you must make a turn.
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Old 12-12-2015, 11:17 AM   #9
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Looks can be very deceiving. As TyCreek pointed out, it is about the ratio of wheel base to length to start with (e.g. 38' Challenger on a 252 wheel base = 55.2 ratio).

Then the layout, weight distribution and tire size are equally important. BUT if your ratio is low - very difficult to get there from here.

Finally, if ratio is solid and loading is well thought out - correct tire pressure is literally where the rubber meets the road.

Like Dave, after we had our first road trip behind us - I simply could not believe how well the new Challenger 37TB handled. We have since traveled 14000 miles (most in a round trip coast to coast trip with granddaughters) and I can only remember getting "surprised" one time by a what I called a rogue side wind. It was SCARY but not dangerous.

PS: I added a Roadmaster Steering Stabilizer to help with blowouts not for steering troubles.
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Old 12-12-2015, 01:42 PM   #10
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Dave, is this like yours?
Looks the same. I'm on the iPhone for this. I haven't fired up the laptop on this trip; yet.
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Old 12-12-2015, 01:44 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Beacher View Post
That looks like a 32A. The late models had a wheelbase of 208".

The rear overhang can be an issue for stability when passing as you mentioned, (can be minimized with suspension aftermarket add-ons if it bothers you), and it also has an effect on the towing capability, (the more overhang, it tends to go down, probably so your front wheels don't leave the road).

The Hurricane line now owned by Thor used to be a Damon product. They have always been "value" level priced motorhomes, placing them at the lowest price point. However, "old relics" still on the road have held up just as well as any other gassers, regardless of their original price point, or brand.

Now that they are owned by Thor, the Windsport line is manufactured on the same assembly line and has the same price point, floorplans and specifications, just some cosmetic differences.
My tow dolly addresses overhangs in hitch ball height instructions.
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Old 12-12-2015, 02:10 PM   #12
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The Hurricane 30Q seems to have a very long rear overhang, even by RV standards. It's 31'-11" on a 190-inch wheelbase, which is practically the same wheelbase as Axis/Vegas that are at least 5 feet shorter. Since the front overhang is very similar on all gasoline motorhomes, it suggests the rear tail sticks out 5-feet more than Axis/Vegas; hence my concern on whether these were stable.

Another way for me to compare wheelbase percentages is to standardize on a given wheelbase to better visualize what I'm looking at. If I scale a few different popular motorhomes to the 30Q's 190-inch wheelbase and 32-ft length, I quickly see its rear overhang is indeed longer than most by many feet.

Typical 24-ft Sprinter on 170-inch wheelbase:

24 X 190/170 = 26.8 feet

Challenger 38-ft on 252-inch wheelbase:

38 X 190/252 = 28.7 feet

Ford 20-foot Class B on 138-inch wheelbase:

20 X 190/138 = 27.5 feet


There may be many motorhomes out there that have proportions like the 30Q, and if so, I'd like to know if they drive OK. My "guess" is that these 30Q extreme proportions create an inherently bad situation in crosswinds. On the other hand I may be expecting a problem that's not there.
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Old 12-12-2015, 02:19 PM   #13
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My tow dolly addresses overhangs in hitch ball height instructions.
I'd be more concerned with side-to-side movement due to long overhang. With a dolly, unlike a trailer, tongue weight isn't much of an issue. However, long rear overhangs can lead to instability as speed increases because of hitch side movement that is opposite of the motorhome's direction of travel.
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Old 12-12-2015, 02:35 PM   #14
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I would be concerned that there may not be enough weight on the front axle after loading up the coach with tons of stuff, which can also cause steering and handling problems. Also, a huge rear overhang means you have to be careful at the gas pump or other locations where you must make a turn.
I agree. Plus there is the issue of center of pressure that hardly no one talks about.

When I look at the picture of the 30Q above, I see that a gust of wind from the side will act on motorhome very close to rear wheels, and shouldn't affect front wheels proportionally. That concerns me more than weight because it can't be varied by how we load the RV.

Most motorhomes carry roughly 1/3 of weight up front and 2/3 on rear in order to match axle and tire load ratings, but if a crosswind gust hits it at the center of pressure which is far behind the center of gravity, then the motorhome may react much different than driver expects.

I'm not sure, but expect that the center of pressure from side wind forces should be close to center of gravity, and that's probably hard to build into motorhomes on present front-engine truck chassis. Just a guess on my part though.
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Old 12-12-2015, 03:10 PM   #15
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The rear overhang doesn't look much different from a travel trailer or 5th wheel. If you think about them the axle's are placed such that the entire unit is balanced on the axle's with just enough bias to give them an acceptable amount of hitch weight (5th wheels a bit more hitch weight).
The balancing act with a motorhome is a bit easier because they can put the tanks between the wheels and (in the gas engine ones) you have this big chunk of metal way up front.
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Old 12-12-2015, 03:30 PM   #16
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Long overhangs are air pressure leverage on the rest of the chassis and will steer the coach. There are things to reduce the effects of those forces but they don't go away.

Proportional weight distribution for chassis capacities is a design factor that "should" be considered. Certainly any overhang that leverages to the point of not having enough weight on the front axel is a dangerous combination that crosses over to "everything else is negative".

People have different tolerances for handling characteristics. I've driven several new and used RVs with long overhangs because they hosted floor plans we really liked. My takeaway is that nothing about a long overhang is good when it comes to highway travel in an RV. Even worse, is pulling anything behind a long overhang.

WB to length ratios:
<50% = dangerous anyhow you look at it (city delivery vehicles only)
51-54% = it depends (marginal) not toad friendly
>55% = better odds of achieving great handling both solo and with something in tow

There are compromises we make when selecting RVs and a proportionately too long of an overhang is not a choice I'd ever consider again, even if the rest of the layout is perfect. If it looks oddly long, it's probably too long! We don't even look at those anymore. I recommend strategically staging a test drive for a windy day in freeway traffic prior to making a purchase commitment.
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Old 12-12-2015, 03:48 PM   #17
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TyCreek - exactly the ratios I was referencing.

Using Chance's examples:

Typical 24-ft Sprinter on 170-inch wheelbase:

24 X 190/170 = 26.8 feet
24x12=288
170/288=59.7%

Challenger 38-ft on 252-inch wheelbase:

38 X 190/252 = 28.7 feet
38x12=456
252/456=55.2%

Ford 20-foot Class B on 138-inch wheelbase:

20 X 190/138 = 27.5 feet
20x12=240
138x240 = 57.5%

As I said in my earlier post, there are many factors that will affect handling beyond ratios but easier to correct tire size, inflations and weight distribution (IMO).
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Old 12-12-2015, 03:49 PM   #18
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The rear overhang doesn't look much different from a travel trailer or 5th wheel. If you think about them the axle's are placed such that the entire unit is balanced on the axle's with just enough bias to give them an acceptable amount of hitch weight (5th wheels a bit more hitch weight).
The balancing act with a motorhome is a bit easier because they can put the tanks between the wheels and (in the gas engine ones) you have this big chunk of metal way up front.
Are you referring to balancing weight or area of pressure?

I'm not sure I follow if the latter because a heavy engine and transmission leads to longer rear overhang compared to front overhang, and since most motorhomes are shaped like a rectangle/box, then the lighter back of motorhome adds proportionally more crosswind area than actual weight.
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Old 12-12-2015, 04:21 PM   #19
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Balancing weight. Right that was the point I was making: since there is this big chunk of weight up front the much lighter rear overhang can be bigger.

But bigger surface area affects handling... (2nd point)
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Old 12-14-2015, 05:14 PM   #20
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Here is the first picture I've seen of the new Vegas 25.4, which at 27-ft in length, is 1'-6" longer at rear than the original Axis/Vegas 24.1. The picture taken from the rear makes the overhang seem longer, and certainly longer than that of 24.1.

Note generator location under main bed.
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