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Old 10-05-2013, 01:57 AM   #1
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Ride quality on 36 vs 40 phaeton

We are in the research stage of RV ownership. We've owned small weekender campers, and rented class C MH the past 2 summers.
Our goal at this point is to travel, more than park, with the flexibility to stay in various sites. I have used this forum and found an abundance of knowledge and experience.
I was considering a super C but travel comfort and cab noise are a factor.
I'm now looking at Tiffin Phaeton 36 or 40. Either new or lightly used within 2 yrs old. I think the 36 would give us more flexibility when travelling.
From what I read, longer DP ride quality is better than shorter. Both are priced closely and i think carrying and towing capacity is similar. Thanks in advance for any comments or experience on the 36 vs 40 driving quality.
We have a dealer locally.

New guy researching Tiffin.

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Old 10-05-2013, 06:45 AM   #2
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We have our second 36 foot Class A on order. I don’t doubt that the ride might be better on the 40 foot but one of several considerations for us is a 36 foot RV will fit in our driveway for loading and unloading. We don’t store our RV in our driveway but it is usually there at least 1 day before and 1 day after most trips. In our case, a 40 foot RV would extend illegally into the roadway. Then there is also the issue of RV park access but there are plenty of RV parks. I only have 1 driveway and I want it to fit.

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Old 10-05-2013, 06:54 AM   #3
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Bigger is better, I went from a 23 ft to a 35 then to a 39 then 40. Every time I moved up the handleing got better. I could not tell any difference in turning from the 35 to 40, the extra room is much more liveable if I could I would go for 42 or 43ft. If you will be on the road for an extended time I would go for the larger unit.
07 Itasca Ellipse 40fd, 2014 Honda CRV, greyhound lab mix, pit pointer mix(RIP bessie) , shar pei mix, stupid cat, wife
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Old 10-05-2013, 08:22 AM   #4
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The old saying Beauty in the eye of the Beholder, we have had both 40 and now 36 QSH which measures around 37 ands love it. Plenty of room for 2 and does handle great. I agree with easier to get in and out. Pulling Jeep Commander and at 65 do not even feel the strain. Measure twice, cut once
Will say I am sold on Tiffin
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Old 10-05-2013, 10:10 AM   #5
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Yes. I agree. Measure twice and cut once. I read on this forum somewhere that you should try and buy your last MH, first. We have had experience with boats and we did just that. Buying what we wanted from the start and enjoying it for years.
That's why this forum is a great place to start.
Thanks for the prompt replies.
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Old 10-05-2013, 07:23 PM   #6
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Haven't driven a 40 ft, but we bought a 36 simply because more potential places to park it. Drives and handles great, BTW.
Roger & Mary
2017 Winnebago Navion 24V
2014 Tiffin Phaeton 36GH (Sold)
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Old 10-06-2013, 05:41 PM   #7
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Just purchased 07 Phaeton QSH36 this past week and drove it 800milesn home from Florida and couldn't be happier with the ride and performance.
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Old 10-06-2013, 06:01 PM   #8
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I agree with the previous posts! If our 36QSH rode any better, I would have to hire a driver to keep me awake! Practically no noise from road or engine, handles great, excellent mirror and camera coverage. I think you will be happy.

Now, that said, I do think the tag axle coaches will handle just a bit better and do ride better. Less wind sway (although ours is not at all bad) and better tracking. Don't think you could go wrong with either!

2012 Tiffin Phaeton 36QSH Diesel Pusher, TireTraker TPMS, Safe-T-Plus, BrakeMaster, '08 Honda CRV, Protect-a-Tow
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Old 10-10-2013, 03:19 PM   #9
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So glad to read this. We just bought of first MH, Phaeton 40' and are picking it up next week at the dealership. My thoughts were just that....too late in life to be upgrading later. Go for the gusto first time around and enjoy it!
Alan & Shirley, Huntington Beach, Ca
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Old 10-15-2013, 11:52 AM   #10
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As far as the ride, I'd try to drive both. I don't believe that there is a significant difference between the ride of a 36' vs a 40' but the extra wheelbase might make it a bit smoother. The 36' is likely a bit lighter but they both use the same engine so the 36' will give you a bit more performance (although it's pretty trivial (1000 lbs more or less on a 30,000 lbs mh is not going to make a huge difference but it's still there)

As far as turning radius, there should be a noticeable advantage to the 36' - it's just physics; they both have the same wheel cut but the 36' has a wheelbase that's over 3 feet shorter. If you want real world examples, we had a 99 36.5' Tradewinds on a Freightliner XC chassis on now have an 03 40.5' Phaeton on a Freightliner chassis. I believe the 99 also had a 'smaller' wheel cut than the 03 (45 vs 50 or something like that) but in the 40', I cannot make the turn around on a nearby street without going on the grass or making multi-point turn and I could easily do it in the 36'. I could also back the 36' into our driveway and I don't think there's anyway I could to it in the 40' (I've never tried actually tried since it would stick out too much past the end our driveway but based on the amount of space I need to make a corner, I do not believe I'd be able to make it in the 40').

As far as towing and carrying capacity, they are likely both on the same chassis so the same for each (the 36' is likely a bit lighter so you'd probably have a bit of extra CCC).

Livability of the floorplan is certainly where the 40' has the advantage. While the 36' might be suitable, it's giving up 4' on the larger one and that space has to go somewhere. You may or may not want it but the 40' will give you more living space.
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Old 10-18-2013, 09:27 AM   #11
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The biggest advantage with the 40 is that you will have more inside and underneath storage. You can never have too much storage.
Jim Preston (CW4)
US Army (Ret)
Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Ass & DAV2011 Zephyr
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Old 10-18-2013, 11:19 AM   #12
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2014 Phaeton specifications comparison: http://www.tiffinmotorhomes.com/pdfs...aetonSpecs.pdf
Bob, Sherron & Kinsey (Goldendoodle)
2017 Tiffin Phaeton 40QBH
2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited
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Old 10-18-2013, 06:47 PM   #13
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36 versus 40

Our first diesel pusher was a 40 footer (09 Fleetwood Discovery 40X). Loved it except for the 350 engine. Just not powerful enough to get us over the mountain passes at better than 40mph. Our friends would say "What's your hurry? You're retired, right?" This just wasn't cutting it for me.
So we got the 2014 Phaeton 36GH. 380hp and more torque. Compared to the 40 footer it drives like a sportscar! Very responsive.
Granted, less length equals less storage underneath but I took a good look at the extra stuff we used to take and realized all that wasn't necessary.
This is a great size for two people. It's beautiful, comfortable and a lot of contemporary options that appeal to my wife.
I've promised her that this is our last MH. We think we saved the best for last.
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Old 10-18-2013, 08:28 PM   #14
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2013 Phaeton 40', after owning a 35' Fleetwood with Cat power, my 380 up Cummings doesn't stack up, the Cat was a better engine, in my opinion. However I would not give up the extra room, top and bottom that Phaeton gives me

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