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The Advantages of a Custom-Built Chassis - Part Two

Previously, we spoke with Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation about the importance of a custom-built chassis to your overall RVing experience, as well as the advantages a custom chassis offers over a one-size-fits-all application.

To learn more about these benefits, we contacted the team at Spartan Chassis. Spartan Chassis is a world leader in the design, engineering and flexible production of chassis and components that consistently deliver superior performance, exceptional safety ratings and technological innovations.

The chassis is not something most RV shoppers consider when choosing their next coach. How do you explain the value of a custom-built chassis to the everyday buyer?

Our goal is to keep things simple. We don’t feel there’s a need to over-complicate the difference a custom-built chassis can make. Essentially, the RV manufacturer builds the coach itself, or what is otherwise known as the box. The box encompasses a coach’s visible exterior and the components, furniture and other features that make up the interior. The box is all about the destination. Most consumers think of Class A motorhomes from this perspective. Shoppers want to know “Does this coach have the tile I want? Do I like the design of the exterior? Is there a washer and dryer inside?” These are the kinds of things customers want to know about concerning an RV’s box.

So while we refer to a coach’s box as being all about the destination, the chassis is all about the journey. The difference between having a quality, custom-built chassis and a chassis that is less tailored to a particular motorhome can mean the difference between a journey that is comfortable and a journey where the driver is constantly fighting the wheel while having to feel every bump in the road, which often leads to driver fatigue. For example, a chassis with a spring suspension wont have a tuned suspension with air ride like we have on the Essex and King Aire chassis. As a result, the King Aire is probably one of the best riding and handling coaches on the market.

Essentially, if you’re enjoying your journey, you probably have a high-quality ride and handling package. And that’s why we believe people ascribe to Spartan. We offer the kind of premium ride and handling that people want so when they leave one destination for the next, they’re not reaching for a bottle of aspirin because they’re being forced to endure a rough ride.

Speaking of handling, what does a custom-designed chassis offer in terms of overall maneuverability?

As Class A motorhomes continue to grow in size, maneuverability is becoming more and more important. The Essex and King Aire feature our passive-steer axle along with an independent front suspension, which combine to create a highly-maneuverable vehicle. Having those things helps drivers when it comes to getting in and out of a campground or RV show, for example.

There’s also the safety aspect. With an independent front suspension, if one of your two front wheels encounter a pothole, both don’t move. In fact, only one half of the unit moves or adjusts to compensate. There is no tipping point.

As RV’ing has grown in popularity, more and more travelers are finding themselves behind the wheel of a Class A RV in need of repair. What does Spartan offer to those who encounter an issue while out on the road?

Spartan has a network that provides 24-hour roadside assistance and features 550 service centers covering most of North America. The individuals that we employ at each service center have been chosen from the factory. These are technicians that once built units and decided they wanted to make a career move and work more closely with our customers. These people know how axles, tires, engines and platforms go together. In short, they know our products inside and out.

What about those who like to perform routine maintenance themselves?

Every Spartan chassis has a service center on the rear of the passenger side. There’s a door that opens and provides access to all of the filters and other serviceable components right there in front of you. Spartan chassis customers have found that their cost of ownership has gone down because all of those serviceable components are accessible to them.

Lets talk warranty. What does Spartan chassis provide?

At Spartan, we don’t just offer a five-year warranty, we provide a lifetime warranty that covers all frame components. In addition, we powder coat all of our chassis frames in an effort to make them last for decades.

In terms of power, what do the Spartan chassis featured on Essex and King Aire deliver?

Both Essex and King Aire feature a Cummins® diesel power plant that delivers more horsepower than any other on-highway engine on the road today. While many high-end manufacturers can offer a 500-horsepower engine, Essex and King Aire provide a whopping 600 horsepower.

Lastly, how does Spartan Chassis partner with Newmar to deliver the perfect custom chassis?

The way we work with Newmar to integrate the body of the coach with our custom-designed chassis is key. We consider it extremely important to work hand-in-hand with Newmar’s engineers in order to create a true custom fit. For example, the Spartan tag axle chassis featured on the King Aire is specifically designed to fit the King Aire and only the King Aire.

The fact is, it doesnt take RVers long to notice the difference a Spartan chassis provides. We truly believe we manufacture a market-leading product, and not because we say so. Newmar customers appreciate Spartan quality and let us know just how much they enjoy their coach because of it.

To learn more about Spartan Chassis, visit

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