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Old 08-29-2011, 11:15 PM   #1
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Peak Chassis Video (okay it's a Power Glide)

I seem to recognize our famous chassis being used on Allegro Bus motorhomes in their latest video. I was able to get a good look at it (chassis display) at the last two Pomona California RV Shows. Gary Jone's website still shows the Power Glide he designed (www.jonesandsonchassis.com), but Tiffin now has a video out on it. VERY familiar.

Tiffin Motorhomes - Power Glide Chassis - YouTube
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Old 08-30-2011, 06:55 AM   #2
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Wonder if the WRV bankruptcy sold the patent/IP for the Peak chassis? Wouldn't surprise me if Tiffen bought the rights and simply renamed it Powerglide. Would have been a smart move for anyone, given the advantages it provides.

Also, given the similarity with Powerglide, I wonder if that means the Tiffen factory could repair a Peak chassis, if the need should arise?
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Old 08-30-2011, 08:41 AM   #3
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With an independent front suspension, I bet that coach handles very nice Looks like Tiffen has a winner.
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Old 08-30-2011, 05:01 PM   #4
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WRV had or was working on patents for the SmartBeds, but the Peak chassis was more protected by the concept of "trade secrets," i.e. don't think WRV had any patents on it. Jones designed the Peak per WRV's requirements, and also designed the PowerGlide. When Jones severed relationship w/WRV in ~2003, WRV's engineering dept took over the further refinement of the chassis, and mods needed over time to adapt changes as they came about.

Since Jones had the prior knowledge of the Peak, and had pursued other major changes (IFS, tag axle, etc. which WRV never entertained) independently, its no wonder the PG looks and spec's out like the Peak. E.g., the PG uses the same type of radiator as the 08-09 SE's (which I think is now more or less standard), while incorporating previous niceties from the Peak like Vansco multiplexing, RH Shepperd steering, Actia gauge cluster, c-channel Huck bolted frame, etc. I checked out Harold Borland's new 36' Allegro/P.G. 9Harold had an Alpine before) and its a heckuva nice rig. There were a few fit issues which Tiffin will likely smooth out under warranty, and there are also some nicer-than-WRV accoutrements in the way they finish out the chassis.
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Old 09-01-2011, 12:27 AM   #5
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eMike:

You'll also enjoy the addition of electrical raceways inside BOTH chassis rails. Makes working on them and upgrading them a LOT easier.
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Old 09-03-2011, 10:29 PM   #6
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Agree with the comments. However, if you look at the chassis, the Tiffin Powerglide has mounted the frame lower in the rear for the engine, so it settles down a little in floor height in the bedroom for the longer coaches.

Now if Tiffin would do three things Alpine did better, in my opinion -- better floor plans, better quality cabinetry, and the same size holding tanks. Also, it looks to me like when you get used to the horsepower/weight ratio of Alpines vs. Tiffins, they could use a little more power in some of their coaches. A 425 Cummins with today's emissions in a 43'? I have friends with a 40' Navigator tag axle with 500 CATs in them, and 42' Navigator with a 525 CAT. When 34 and 36' Alpines had the 425 Cummins (or 400 ISLs, pre-emissions), it makes the Tiffins look a little underpowered.
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Old 09-06-2011, 11:49 PM   #7
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OF:

You're right. The chassis on display for the show wasn't a tag, but the engineer did mention they were still working on engine height reduction and what to do with all the service items. The California RV Show is next month, I'll scope it out a bit better.

I agree on the floor plans. I fell in love with the 40FDTS about four years prior to purchase. I love the big bedroom walking areas.

The Allegro Bus is suffering a bit from too much glitz. The woodwork appliques, rosettes and carved valances are a bit much in places. The valances are also a sharp hazard on many lower windows. If they didn't look so "manufactured" or perhaps more handmade, I'd be okay with the woodwork. I swear some of the work looks like plastic molds.

However, of the current line-up of highline coaches, the Allegro Bus is sweet, and competitively priced. Happily, my Alpine is in good condition and can be easily remodeled or upgraded as needed. It still draws people's attention and questions like, "Is that new?" Great design.
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Old 09-07-2011, 11:11 PM   #8
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TakePride-

Glad you and I are on the same page on this one. I think the Allegro Bus has too much glitz and a little of the plastic-mold look from cheaper cabinetry than our natural cherry, finished to look like real lumber. I haven't looked too closely at the cabinet door faces on the new Allegros but they do look a little like veneer or vinyl-wrapped MDF, or embossed MDF rather than cherry or walnut lumber, and that would save a lot of costs. Could be wrong on that, but I will look more closely next time I go into one of their coaches.

On the currently line up of coaches. I would agree with the Allegro Bus as being better than the competition for the price. But they don't have the overall design and floor plan of the Alpines, especially the mid-doors, in my opinion, and I still think many are underpowered compared to what we're used to.

Having said that, if our Alpine was totalled in some way, I would look next at the Allegro Bus, if I were buying new, to see what I could make work.
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Old 09-09-2011, 12:46 AM   #9
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I'm pretty sure all the cabinets are solid-wood doors and face frames, likely veneered plywood cabinets. I'll check them again next month at the CA RV Show. However, I think a lot of the fancy wood-craving is either molded or the finish makes it look fake. That was a downfall of Country Coach, too. Appliques look cheap.

I know they are still having problems selling coaches. I saw several marked down 25% as the starting point for negotiations. A friend had them down 30% on a 2011 Phaeton, just on a casual conversation.

I've met Bob Tiffin several times over the past few years. He actually remembered I have an Alpine, saying they are "great" coaches. He seems genuinely interested in building a product that is top-notch and he does listen to input from buyers. I'm certain his visibility has salvaged his company from the bad economy. However, I've never had the gall/guts to give him a straight-forward critique of the Buses' shortcomings (like appliques and froo-froo). Maybe I'll work up the nerve by October...
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