Tag Axle RV: What Is a Tag Axle? (Pros and Cons Explained)

These types of axles appeared first on semi-trucks. They are flexible in that they can be raised when the truck driver did not need to use them. By keeping them raised, they save don wear and tear and added to their fuel mileage.

What is a tag axle? A tag axle is a third axle added to heavier RVs. It does not do any of the driving but it certainly helps with carrying more weight. Their inclusion meant that RVs could be built heavier and bigger. Their braking system helps the rig driver stop better and safely.

To learn more about a tag axle just continue to read our article. it has the information you need to know in order to understand why there is an extra set of wheels under your new motor home. These axles are actually a good thing.

What is a Tag Axle On an RV?


This is a third axle placed behind the drive axle. Its main purpose is to support the rear of the chassis so you can haul more weight as well as provide more shock resistance. This means that you get a better ride while being able to carry more gear and supplies.

Also, the third or tag axle does not handle any of the driving. It is just along for the ride and allows the motor home to carry up to 20,000 more pounds of weight. This additional axle is not found on rigs between 30 and 40 feet long.

They usually appear when the RV gets to be over 40 feet in length. That is when you need the extra hand when driving. There is an independent braking system on this axle allowing you to stop better and because it reduces rear overhang, you should have more stability when you drive.

Unlike the semi-trailer, the RV tag axle cannot be lifted when it is not needed. It is always needed because the weight of the RV remains constant all the time. So it will always be touching the pavement when you drive.

How Much Weight Can a Tag Axle Carry?

From our research, the standard figure that has been given is between 10,000 and 20,000 extra pounds. That is a lot of weight no matter which end of that spectrum you are on. That amount of weight translates into 5 to 10 tons of extra gear, amenities, and supplies.

The actual weight the axle will be able to carry will be up to the manufacturer. They will decide how strong that extra axle will be. You will need to talk to the dealer about this and if it is not going to hold the weight you want, you may have to look for a different model that has a tag axle that is strong enough.

The only need you have for a tag axle is if you are considering buying an RV that is over 40 feet n length. These axles help carry the extra weight and come in handy when customers want more living space inside their rig.

What the presence of the tag axle can do for you is provide you with more space and more amenities when you are on the road.

Tag Axle and Pusher Axle Difference


Both axles are what is called a dead axle. What that term means is that they do nothing during the course of the trip except what they are designed to do. They do not steer, they do not drive, and so on.

Technically, the only difference between these two axles is their location. The pusher goes in front of the live driving axle while the tag goes behind it. It is said that the only time people hear the term pusher is when they are on RV forums as it is rarely used around the country.

In design, the pusher axle will have a little dip in it to allow for the drive train to reach the drive axle without any problem. The tag axle won’t have that dip because the drive train ends with the drive axle.

The tag axle may carry less weight than the pusher axle but that is actual weight on the axle and not overall rig weight. The drive axle is never the pusher axle when it is in front of the tag axle.

Where is The Tag Axle Located?

The key to knowing where the tag axle lies is in its name. The axle tags along behind the drive axle just like a little brother tags along behind his big brother. This axle is placed behind the drive axle in order to help support the rear of the chassis on longer coaches.

Its purpose is to help you have more stability when you drive and makes sure you can carry all the items, toys, and passengers you need. Sometimes they are called lift axles because, on some big trucks, these axles can be lifted up to prevent wear and tear on the tires.

Another name for them is drop axle mainly for the opposite motion. After being lifted up, they can be dropped into place when the rig’s load gets a bit on the heavy side. But, the name that is used depends on which area of the country you are in.

Most people have never heard of the pusher label and may look at you funny when you say that word. The word tag is used the most around the country while other descriptive terms are present on different RV forums.

How do Tag Axles Work?


To tell you the truth, they do not do much. They are what is called a dead axle so their presence is mainly for handling weight, keeping the rear end from hitting the ground, and helping with stability.

These axles are placed behind the drive one and may carry the weight of the engine directly on its shoulders. Other than that, they just simply roll when told to roll and stop when told to stop.

They do have other benefits as you will see in upcoming sections. But they work like a regular axle with no real driving responsibility. When a semi-truck is empty, they are not needed for driving, stopping, or carrying so they are lifted up and kept out of the way until the trucker gets his next load.

Unfortunately, RV drivers do not have that option and the tag wheels remain in contact with the pavement. You will have to be concerned about the wear and tear of the wheels as they will wear down much like the wheels on other axles.

That will raise your tire costs up when it comes time to change the tires and put new ones on.

Why a Tag Axle On a Motorhome?

The simplest reason you need a tag axle on a motorhome is that the manufacturer is meeting customer demands and adding in more amenities and features. Those features, etc., add extra weight, so much weight that the single axle is not enough to hold it all.

The tag axle relieves the drive axle of that pressure, helping your new motorhome perform better and last longer. The extra hand allows you to carry more gear, tow a toy, and make sure you are stocked up with needed supplies for some time.

Some people disagree with the added stability argument. They feel that if you balance everything just right, a single axle is all that you need. We do not agree with that viewpoint as on longer coaches it is hard to maintain a great balance and cut down on rear overhang.

Plus with the extra shocks, you should get a smoother ride over bumpy roads. The bumps, dips, and other road issues are easier to handle because the ride is smoother. Also, you never have to worry if you are going to be overweight with your gear, etc. With the 5 to 10 extra tons you can carry you are never at risk of overloading the rig.

Tag Axle Motorhome Pros and Cons


There are certain advantages to owning an RV with a tag axle but there may be more negatives than positives. However, those negatives do not necessarily outweigh the positives. It will just dep[end on your RV situation.


  • Carry up to 20,000 extra pounds of amenities, etc.
  • Get more stability especially when it is windy
  • Receive a smoother ride due to the extra shock absorption
  • Have more living space inside your RV
  • Your coach will be longer giving you more freedom of movement and privacy
  • Get a better interior layout for better living on the road
  • Have their own set of brakes for better stopping power
  • Saves on u-joint wear and tear
  • Increased rear support


  • Harder to fit in many RV campgrounds, the rig is too long
  • Pay extra at the toll booths because your rig is over 40 feet in length
  • Tire costs are higher
  • Shock costs are higher
  • Cost more in fuel and you may experience lower fuel mileage
  • The rig will cost a lot more
  • If not retractable, the rig is harder to pull out of a jam when the drive axle wheels get stuck
  • Navigating curves, hills, and corners may be a lot more difficult

The biggest negatives will come in terms of costs. Everything about an RV with a tag axle will be more expensive. Part of that extra cost is due to all the extra features the rig will have.

Best Tag Axle Motorhome

We are not trying to escape this issue but the idea of the best is relative and very subjective. What some people like, others don’t so the best is going to be the one that fits your needs and performs up to your expectations.

With that said, there are some very fine quality tag axle RVs worth considering as a candidate for the one you think is the best. Here are a few of them to whet your appetite:

1. Monaco Coach - the chassis is made by Freightliner, a company that knows heavy duty and long chassis. This RV comes with state-of-the-art innovation as well as the best craftsmanship Freightliner can provide.

This coach comes with the B Series Roadmaster chassis and it holds a top Cummins engine. The automatic four-point dual hydraulic leveling system is excellent and provides you with top-class service.

Then the I-Beam construction gives the coach added strength so you can haul more and store more gear and supplies without worry. Also, the huck bolt system adds even more strength to the rig helping it to last longer.

Then the ultra steer system on the tag axle allows you to maneuver better and be more precise in your maneuvering. The top-quality components are too numerous to mention here but suffice it to say this is one great tag wheel RV you can cunt on.

2. Newmar Dutch Star - This Class A RV comes with a Cummins engine that produces 450 HP. More than enough power to get over those steep hills. Plus, there is a 105-gallon freshwater tank and a fuel tank that holds roughly 37 gallons. Your fuel stops should be fewer than with a regular RV.

Everything about this tag axle RV spells luxury as the interior is second to none with different options available for furniture. You get to choose how your chairs will look and no matter which furniture items you choose, they won’t compromise the 5/8 inch flooring holding them.

It is like driving your home to a new location and not even feeling like you are on wheels. This tag axle RV is that good.

3. Winnebago Tour Coach - made by the granddaddy of all RV manufacturers, this is another top-of-the-line Class A vehicle. It does carry a 3-year warranty, 2 years better than #2 but its freshwater tank is about 20 gallons less. The fuel capacity is the same at about 37 gallons.

The Cummins turbocharged ISL 8.9L 450-hp diesel engine provides all the power you will need when you hit the road for a new spot to explore and enjoy. The cab seats will make you feel like you are at a massage parlor and not driving a heavy RV down the road.

Those seats include power lumbar support, heated massage, footrests, recline, swivel, and adjustable armrests, and more. Luxury at its finest.

Why is it Called Tag Axle?


This axle is given that label because it is placed behind the drive axle. It tags along for the ride adding support to the drive axle making sure it can perform well. This addition helps the drive axle handle more weight and keeping its lifespan longer due to less stress on its metal components.

Plus, it helps relieve the workload that a single axle RV must endure. When the axle is by itself it must bear the burden of driving, stopping, shock-absorbing and more duties. The tag axle helps with breaking, shock-absorbing making handling a lot easier because your RV is more stable.

With the rear chassis support, you should have less damage to the rear of your RV as the tag axle helps keep the back end lifted up when going over rough terrain.

How Much Does a Tag Axle Weigh?

This may be a question you need to ask a mechanic. During our research, all we found were people talking about the weight capacity of the axle or the weight limits placed on axles by different states.

One thing is for sure, it is made of steel or iron so it will be heavy, too heavy for you to lift on your own. So the answer may lie with the mechanics who have to work on the axle or the engineers who designed it.

But if you are not sure of the weight limit your tag axle can carry, the easiest way to figure that out is by measuring the diameter of the axle. A 1 1/2 inch to a 1 3/4 inch diameter means the axle can only handle up to 2000 pounds.

A 5-inch diameter means that the axle can handle up to 10,000 pounds. While a 3-inch diameter handles between 6,000 and 7.200 pounds.

Some Final Words

If you are all about status, then an RV with a tag axle will help you move up in the RV world status-wise. This axle is on those RVs that will cost you a lot of money. The reason they cost you a lot of money is that there are more features and amenities inside. It is up to you to decide if a tag axle is for you.

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