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Old 03-20-2007, 01:36 PM   #1
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For you Grand Star fans considering the FRED.





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Old 03-20-2007, 05:35 PM   #2
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Dirk,

Do the front & rear axles have Panhard rods (aka "track bars")?

I'm surprised that they're showing a solid-front-axle FRED; doesn't it have optional IFS?
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Old 03-21-2007, 02:08 AM   #3
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I'll check today.
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Old 03-21-2007, 05:59 AM   #4
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FRED only comes with a solid front axle. It has no rear track bar. However, unlike the gasser owners, the Allegro Bay FRED owners don't feel the need for one so apparently the chassis is able to minimize tail wag in other ways. I know the FRED is extremely well reeieved by those who buy it so they must be doing something right. The spec sheet for the FRED chassis is in the RV Tech Library at This Link.
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Old 03-21-2007, 06:16 AM   #5
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Mark is correct on the solid front axle and track bars.

Newmar has not added a track bar to the Grand Star on display.
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Old 03-22-2007, 04:30 AM   #6
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The FL FRED is intended and designed as an entry level diesel chassis, so no IFS and no air suspension either. Only the 5.9L Cummins engine is offered and no Allison 3000MH either - FRED uses the 1000/2000 series Allison.

Early reports are all favorable, though. Looks like a winner if it catches on with enough buyers. And the price difference vs an XC chassis makes it worthwhile.
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Old 03-22-2007, 04:04 PM   #7
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It's a very solid chassis for it's intended purpose, and the price is very right. I've talked to folks with FREDs that claim 11 - 12 mpg, that's not to hard to take on an "entry level coach". As others would say (the Fred is dead) not by a long shot!
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Old 03-23-2007, 03:15 AM   #8
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As others would say (the Fred is dead) not by a long shot! Big Wink
Hard to predict the market success for FRED - a product may be an excellent one and still fail in the market. FRED has to be close to a gas chassis in price and also stay substantially below the higher end XC pusher chassis. The target market is a fairly narrow price range, which limits the sales volume. It is also applicable only to a fairly narrow motorhome weight range, since gas will do well at the lower end and heavier rigs will need (and justify) the more expensive XC chassis.

I'm pulling for both FRED and the Workhorse UFO chassis to bring more capability to the lower end of the motorhome market, but so far neither has been fully embraced by the coach builders. So far only a few coaches are being offered on each of those excellent chassis.
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Old 03-23-2007, 04:58 AM   #9
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FRED has been a huge success for Tiffin. The Allegro Bay 37' quad slide with W25.5 chassis stickers at $137,060 while the 26K FRED chassis under the same coach is $146,790 so there's roughly a $10K sticker price hike (about 7,500 net) for the FRED. In fact, it was such a success that they've made the FRED available under the entry level Allegro and they now have 4 Allegro Bay floorplans and 4 Allegro floorplans available. A 34' triple slide Allegro stickers at 105,189 with the W22 and 118,349 with the FRED. That puts the economy of the FRED's diesel well within reach of entry level buyers.

I predict that Newmar will also add to the success of the FRED chassis. It has too much good stuff going for it to not be widely accepted.

I too would like to see the UFO adopted by more manufacturers. A UFO with a Cummins ISB would be one thing that could threaten the popularity of the FRED. But, that would depend upon the price point it comes in at. The FRED is firmly entrenched in gasser price ranges. There's a pretty good gap between your typical gasser and diesel pusher. If the UFO-diesel is priced closer to the DP end of the spectrum then I think it'll be a hard sell and the FRED is safe. If it's priced down by the FRED's level, then it'll give the FRED a run for the money saleswise, mainly because of it's rear engine advantage.

Does anyone have any pricing info on UFO based coaches compared to similar level front engined coaches?
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Old 03-23-2007, 04:31 PM   #10
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The pricing of the UFO chassis MH's by the manufacturers is what I am waiting for. Hopefully in the next few months we will see the them begin to release the new models and we will know.

The comparisons will be very interesting as the new diesel engines will be in all coaches as inventory has run out.

When at the Tampa show I did not see and Allegro Bay on a gas chassis
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Old 03-23-2007, 05:27 PM   #11
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The Grand Star at $181k may be a tough sale!
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Old 03-23-2007, 07:32 PM   #12
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The Grand Star at $181k may be a tough sale!
It will be a tough sell for me, especially at 37ft instead of 39.
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