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Old 12-22-2017, 06:26 PM   #1
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Freightliner FRED handling?

I've posted this on another RV forum, and I'd like to hear opinions and experiences here:

We currently have a 27-foot 2007 class-C Ford E450 motorhome, pulling a Honda CRV.

The Ford chassis really needed a LOT of upgrades to drive well.
We added:
* heavy-duty sway bars on the front and rear,
* air-bags on the front and rear
* a rear trac-bar
* front steering stabilizer
* custom high-caster alignment
* Koni FSD shock absorbers

The result is a motorhome that is incredibly easy to drive. We have almost no sway, pull, push, etc. Even towing, it's about as easy to drive as our Dodge Caravan. All of the upgrades were worth every penny. Even extended 8-hour hauls are a breeze.

MY QUESTION:

We are looking at a used Tiffin Allegro on a Freightliner/Cummins 300 FRED platform. Does this platforms require any significant after-market upgrades to be easily drivable? Or are they pretty good as-is?

I don't mind doing whatever upgrades I need to do to make my coach safe and easy to drive, but I'd like to know if there are any drivers out there who can clue me in.

As always, thanks so much!!!
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Old 12-23-2017, 07:27 AM   #2
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fred was only made 2-3 years. I've talked to two owners and they both wouldn't by another one. engine heat and noise main complaint. if you want a diesel look for an Allegro Red 33 or if you look for gas don't get anything older than 2012 ca/sa. the v10 in a mh is a 3 valve where your e450 is a 2 valve. the mh v10 does seem to have more power. Dave
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Old 12-23-2017, 11:01 AM   #3
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You might want to look at Super Cs on Freightliner M2 chassis. Look at Jayco Seneca, Dynamax, Renegade Valencia (might be too new for you) or used Verona etc.

My M2 handles amazingly well and out of 5 RVs, 2 class C, 1 gas class A, 2 Diesel pushers and now this Super C and around 1 mil miles, this one is turning out to be my favorite.
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Old 12-24-2017, 06:06 AM   #4
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No complaints on ours except possibly a little more power would be nice pulling our tow vehicle in mountains. Gearing down ahead of time helps a lot. Noise is not that big of an issue but descending and climbing steep hills about like a gas powered RV. The Freightliner Chassis is a little stiff on bumpy roads but with the extra weight in the front tracks well and is not pushed by trucks on the interstate. Fuel efficiency is good with the Cummins ISB. Tiffin makes a solid and reliable RV. I guess if money was not a consideration I go with a DP and air ride. We are parked a lot serving as camp hosts so the most important things to us are liveability and reliability of the RV. If you plan on being on the road a lot test drive the FRED and judge for your self. Good luck and happy camping.
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Old 12-24-2017, 07:12 AM   #5
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Engine heat was a problem in mine. Helped some when I followed another thread and added insulation and a better seal. The 300 Cummins is not IMHO the most reliable engine. No air brakes, but handled OK. More power than a gasser, you will find it drives well as far as power. As said above, extra weight on steer axle improves handling.
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Old 12-24-2017, 08:43 AM   #6
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Good luck and happy camping.
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Originally Posted by Grn_Mtn_Boy View Post
As said above, extra weight on steer axle improves handling.
Thanks so much for your helpful responses.

I have a follow-up question about weight. Do you find you have enough CCC?

If the GCVW is 26000 and the UVW is 19380 and I have a 3400 toad, me and the wife I'm looking at about 2800 pounds to play with in terms of cargo/water/etc. Does that seem consistent with your experience?

Also, where can I learn about basic DIY maintenance for this engine/chassis? I'm pretty familiar with the Ford chassis, but the FRED/Cummins thing is all new to me
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Old 12-24-2017, 11:33 AM   #7
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The 300 Cummins is not IMHO the most reliable engine.
What issues did you find with it?
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Old 12-24-2017, 06:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deprived View Post
Thanks so much for your helpful responses.

I have a follow-up question about weight. Do you find you have enough CCC?

If the GCVW is 26000 and the UVW is 19380 and I have a 3400 toad, me and the wife I'm looking at about 2800 pounds to play with in terms of cargo/water/etc. Does that seem consistent with your experience?

Also, where can I learn about basic DIY maintenance for this engine/chassis? I'm pretty familiar with the Ford chassis, but the FRED/Cummins thing is all new to me
We stay out for months at a time and fill the storage compartments. We don't dry camp much so I don't fill the fresh water tank more than about a third for travel and very little in the holding tanks which I am sure helps with weight. You should have a Cummins and Allison manual with the docs that come with the RV as well as a wiring manual if you plan to do your own maintenance. Personally I service the Onan generator and grease the Chassis but let a Cummins shop do the yearly oil and fuel filter change. When we purchased ours I had an Allison shop change the transmission fluid and a trip to the Freightliner factory for a good going over for a fresh start. They may catch something I would have overlooked and for peace of mind. For most DIY tasks that I am not familiar with I look in the manuals and for several videos before starting.
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Old 12-25-2017, 08:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deprived View Post
Thanks so much for your helpful responses.

I have a follow-up question about weight. Do you find you have enough CCC?

If the GCVW is 26000 and the UVW is 19380 and I have a 3400 toad, me and the wife I'm looking at about 2800 pounds to play with in terms of cargo/water/etc. Does that seem consistent with your experience?

Also, where can I learn about basic DIY maintenance for this engine/chassis? I'm pretty familiar with the Ford chassis, but the FRED/Cummins thing is all new to me
Your toad doesn't play into any weight calculations unless you are towing on a dolly. Even then, only the tongue weight would have any effect. 4 down has no impact on your CCC.
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Old 09-19-2018, 01:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deprived View Post
I've posted this on another RV forum, and I'd like to hear opinions and experiences here:

We currently have a 27-foot 2007 class-C Ford E450 motorhome, pulling a Honda CRV.

The Ford chassis really needed a LOT of upgrades to drive well.
We added:
* heavy-duty sway bars on the front and rear,
* air-bags on the front and rear
* a rear trac-bar
* front steering stabilizer
* custom high-caster alignment
* Koni FSD shock absorbers

The result is a motorhome that is incredibly easy to drive. We have almost no sway, pull, push, etc. Even towing, it's about as easy to drive as our Dodge Caravan. All of the upgrades were worth every penny. Even extended 8-hour hauls are a breeze.

MY QUESTION:

We are looking at a used Tiffin Allegro on a Freightliner/Cummins 300 FRED platform. Does this platforms require any significant after-market upgrades to be easily drivable? Or are they pretty good as-is?

I don't mind doing whatever upgrades I need to do to make my coach safe and easy to drive, but I'd like to know if there are any drivers out there who can clue me in.

As always, thanks so much!!!
I have an 08 Allegro Bay, replaced the shocks with Bilstein and added Sumo springs to the front this spring and with the positive results, I plan to install The Sumo springs on the rear this winter. I am very pleased with the ride and handling, no sway, is not affected by semi's. for a coach not on air ride, I am very pleased.
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Old 09-20-2018, 11:30 AM   #11
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I have an 08 Allegro Bay, replaced the shocks with Bilstein and added Sumo springs to the front this spring and with the positive results, I plan to install The Sumo springs on the rear this winter. I am very pleased with the ride and handling, no sway, is not affected by semi's. for a coach not on air ride, I am very pleased.
Is yours on the Workhorse chassis or the Freightliner? Also, what engine does your rig have?

THANKS!!
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Old 09-20-2018, 01:05 PM   #12
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There are a lot of discussions about RV handling on this and other forums. It seems that it is a very subjective topic, what is good to one person is unacceptable to another. I have owned a 2004 and currently own a 2009 Ford E450 and have made no changes, both handled pretty well. In fact, in comparison to the class A gas units I have driven the E450 is like an SUV. In particular the body lean when cornering is almost nothing compared to a Class A gas.

If I were in your shoes and considering that unit I would try to arrange for a relatively lengthy test drive. Maybe offer some gas (diesel) money if you don't buy it so the seller is less inclined to keep it short. Other people's opinions can't replace your own feelings about how it drives.
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Old 09-20-2018, 04:34 PM   #13
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I'm a new owner of a 2008 Allegro Bay 35TSB. Drove it home from Texas to Olympia, WA and never thought twice about the steering. With the motor up front and the longer wheelbase I don't know of anyone that has added some kind of steering assist to a FRED. They also don't have the porpoise issues of a rear engine.

There are pros and cons to front/rear engine diesels. Yes they CAN be louder when the fan is running - more often in hot temps than cooler temps. On the other hand, they are more efficient because they aren't dragging 30HP out of the motor to run a rear (or side) fan.
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Old 09-21-2018, 02:22 PM   #14
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