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Spend the money to get a diesel, and it absolutely MUST have an Allison transmission. The Allison makes more difference than another 100HP in the engine and it will last.

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Spend the money, maybe, maybe not. Diesel is not a bad thing, but if your use is limited and you aren't in the mountains you really don't need it. Now, If you want to go over 36 feet and you are planning on a significant load and you HAVE the money, diesel is a good thing. I agree. Might even go that way in the future, but there are significant costs, new or used. Base cost is 50% to double the cost of a gasser. Fuel economy is probably better, you will have a rear engine, air brakes and suspension and leveling.

One VERY inportant thing, look at the manufacturers laod sheet, usually glued to the inside of the closet inthe master suite. This tells you the GVWR and CGVWR. It also lists weight of vehicle fuel, water, LP gas, and the empty vehicle weight. Read carefully and do the match. there are rigs out there that are loaded before you get in to them! Rigs that when loaded allow you no additional capacity to tow, or that don't allow you to carry full water if you have 4 adults.

My rig is built on a Ford F-550 with a V-10. I tow a Jeep Liberty and have no difficulty with hills. I have traveled with 5 shooters all our gear and full tanks, towing the jeep and no troubles.

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Gman,

With regard to the washer-dryer. I wouldn't bother. talk to a lot of RVers. I did and those with the W-D rarely if ever used them. Reasons, Small and slow also unless you are hooked up you won't have the water or grey storage to handle the load. Anywhere you are actually hooked up will have a laundry.

38 feet is a good size, but borders on BIG. We have a 32 and already have had difficulty in many campgrounds finding a site.

Any chance you will be at either the NC Recon next week or at the FB3gun? If so, look me up. glad to show you mine (RV) and answer questions. Been in RV since 1965, although more than a few years away from, but in interim spent 10 plus on boat, similar life style, just a lot more expensive.

Jim

Hey Jim,

Thanks for the offer, but I won't be that far east for quite some time. The RV's we looked at with the washer/dryer were in the 37-38ft range and had a grey water tank of around 60gal if I remember correctly. I think she was thinking about that because we likely would be at places with no hookups (at least for a while each trip). Generally speaking, I'm thinking we'd be more likely to be at places where there aren't a lot of other folks....and likely out West more than anywhere else (why diesel for the mountains makes sense).

Yeah, now that we're living on an island I keep joking about a boat, but the wife is more interested in an RV so we can travel with the dogs in style. The nice thing is she's decided there is room in the budget for a "toy". The other idea she keeps mentioning is a new Vette so either way I'm not gonna complain I can probably sneak a motorcyle or smaller boat in if it winds up being he Vette :P

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Bart, if you decide you want to trade her off let me know.....

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Mine's shockingly good, but I believe Chris has the upgraded model from mine. I'll take 2nd in line if Howard doesn't want her!

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One VERY inportant thing, look at the manufacturers laod sheet, usually glued to the inside of the closet inthe master suite. This tells you the GVWR and CGVWR. It also lists weight of vehicle fuel, water, LP gas, and the empty vehicle weight. Read carefully and do the match. there are rigs out there that are loaded before you get in to them! Rigs that when loaded allow you no additional capacity to tow, or that don't allow you to carry full water if you have 4 adults.

+1..........

Definitely pay attention to the load capacities of ANYTHING you buy. I have an F-350w/diesel, flatbed, dually, 4*4. It is my work truck (concrete contractor) so it was perfect for a tow-behind RV trailer set-up. It's been everywhere (the trailer) in the western U.S. 30,000+mi.........But, not without some issues. Most of trailer type are severely lacking in the suspension/tire area. I have had broken leaf springs, which have been upgraded to 4-leaf from 3.... Tires, from 205/15 to 225/15 with the heavy rating. Per the sticker with the capacity rating, my trailer was at near max while dry with original stuff ......!!!!!

Other than dealing with that i've not had any problems else where.......BTW, It's a Fleetwood/Prowler 26H with slide out.

Edited by D.carden

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Bart, if you decide you want to trade her off let me know.....

Well, it IS her birthday today...lol...but she's not quite old enough for trade in time just yet :roflol:

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When we rode/raced MX more we had a 31' class C Funmover. It was built on a E450 chassis with a V10. It would move...loaded and pulling an 8x16 enclosed trailer with 7 motorcycles it still managed to hit the 97mph shutoff. A couple of things I learned:

  • I was told, so take it with a grain of salt, that RVs built on the Ford 450 chassis had full length frame rails while those built on the 350 chassis had extensions welded on and were not as strong.
  • My 31' Funmover was at the weight limit for the rear tires BEFORE I loaded anything in it! I went with the hghest rated, best tires I could find, but that rig had rims that only fit "light truck" tires. I would strongly suggest one that used real truck tires. I had 3 blowouts with mine (speed may have been a factor).
  • I got 6 mpg with the V10 at 80, 5.5 when pulling a trailer.
  • Auto levelling systems are cool...me putting blocks under the tires was a PITA.
  • My class C E450 really did feel just like driving a full size van. I drove a class A that felt much bigger.
  • Everyone remembers that the rear wheels turn a shorter arc when turning tight but many forget that all that body extending rearward past the rear wheels also swings out much farther than you might think.
  • Mine had an air compressor installed in what had been one of the underside copmpartments...well worth it. I also bought a 12 (20?) ton hydraulic/pneumatic jack that made tire changes easy with the air compressor.

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G-Man, I have owned everything from a tent to a 33' Class A motor home, I now own a 27' 5th wheel and love it, I have read your other posts and know that you are not that interested in 5th wheels. The one big difference between trailers and motor homes is IMHO, in a motor home your vacation starts as soon as you leave and pulling a trailer vacation starts when you get to your destination. That is the only thing that I like better about a motor home. When you own a motor home you have another vehicle to maintain and buy tabs for and insurance is alot more money, these are just a few of the reasons that I have stuck with a trailer. I hope this helps your process, good luck and GO RVing. :cheers:

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G-man

My parents bought a 38' Allegro Bay from Tiffin in 05. Ordered from the factory with what they thought they wanted. They took a short trip first to get used to it, and then went across country for a 30 day trip. They loved it, but the camper had some electrical problems that Tiffin couldn't resolve to Dad's satisfaction. They also weren't completely satisfied with the front engine gas burner. Dad did a lot of research on different manufacturers and RVS, and eventually decided to go back with another Tiffin product. They ended up with a 40' Phaeton, which is the entry into the deisel pusher line. The first big trip for the Phaeton was for their 40th wedding anniversery, and they stayed gone for 40 days. They were much happier with Phaeton. It handles, drives and tows so much better than the Bay and has much more storage, especially with the basement, which is not available on the front engine units. They pulled a Tahoe 4x4 with both campers, and were much more satisfied with the Phaeton. I also remeber that the Bay had combo W/D unit, while the Phaeton has a stacked unit. They really preferred the stack to the combo. And just for the record, I very seldom stay in hotels that are anywhere as nice or as comfortable as the RV. If you've got any questions about Tiffin, PM me, they're made about 30 miles away, and support our local economy.

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G-man

My parents bought a 38' Allegro Bay from Tiffin in 05. Ordered from the factory with what they thought they wanted. They took a short trip first to get used to it, and then went across country for a 30 day trip. They loved it, but the camper had some electrical problems that Tiffin couldn't resolve to Dad's satisfaction. They also weren't completely satisfied with the front engine gas burner. Dad did a lot of research on different manufacturers and RVS, and eventually decided to go back with another Tiffin product. They ended up with a 40' Phaeton, which is the entry into the deisel pusher line. The first big trip for the Phaeton was for their 40th wedding anniversery, and they stayed gone for 40 days. They were much happier with Phaeton. It handles, drives and tows so much better than the Bay and has much more storage, especially with the basement, which is not available on the front engine units. They pulled a Tahoe 4x4 with both campers, and were much more satisfied with the Phaeton. I also remeber that the Bay had combo W/D unit, while the Phaeton has a stacked unit. They really preferred the stack to the combo. And just for the record, I very seldom stay in hotels that are anywhere as nice or as comfortable as the RV. If you've got any questions about Tiffin, PM me, they're made about 30 miles away, and support our local economy.

Thanks Matt. Not sure about an '05, but the current Allegro Bay models I looked at all had a Cummins diesel 340hp (around 650lb/ft of torque) with an Allison tranny, but were front engined. I think it would tow just fine, but the lack of basement would be an issue. They did have stacked w/d units in some versions (an option, I'm sure). The Phaeton seems to be much nicer and we might consider a used one if it's really nice and only a couple of years old...seem to be quite a few on the market now. At anything near list that's probably more than Momma wants to spend, but I can definitely see how it's a better unit overall. R,

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G-man

My parents bought a 38' Allegro Bay from Tiffin in 05. Ordered from the factory with what they thought they wanted. They took a short trip first to get used to it, and then went across country for a 30 day trip. They loved it, but the camper had some electrical problems that Tiffin couldn't resolve to Dad's satisfaction. They also weren't completely satisfied with the front engine gas burner. Dad did a lot of research on different manufacturers and RVS, and eventually decided to go back with another Tiffin product. They ended up with a 40' Phaeton, which is the entry into the deisel pusher line. The first big trip for the Phaeton was for their 40th wedding anniversery, and they stayed gone for 40 days. They were much happier with Phaeton. It handles, drives and tows so much better than the Bay and has much more storage, especially with the basement, which is not available on the front engine units. They pulled a Tahoe 4x4 with both campers, and were much more satisfied with the Phaeton. I also remeber that the Bay had combo W/D unit, while the Phaeton has a stacked unit. They really preferred the stack to the combo. And just for the record, I very seldom stay in hotels that are anywhere as nice or as comfortable as the RV. If you've got any questions about Tiffin, PM me, they're made about 30 miles away, and support our local economy.

Thanks Matt. Not sure about an '05, but the current Allegro Bay models I looked at all had a Cummins diesel 340hp (around 650lb/ft of torque) with an Allison tranny, but were front engined. I think it would tow just fine, but the lack of basement would be an issue. They did have stacked w/d units in some versions (an option, I'm sure). The Phaeton seems to be much nicer and we might consider a used one if it's really nice and only a couple of years old...seem to be quite a few on the market now. At anything near list that's probably more than Momma wants to spend, but I can definitely see how it's a better unit overall. R,

They must have changed the line up recently, because I think the Bay was only offered as a gas when we got ours. I remember it was on a workhorse chassis. Also, it wasn't that the Bay didn't have the power, I think that was fine, but more that it handled differently. I don't know why exactly, but that's what I remember Dad complaining about. Also, the noise from the front engine got aggravating at times.

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