Originally Posted by smlranger
Not sure about the earlier models of Allures, but our 2007 has most of those things; air leveling, Aqua Hot, built-in surge protector, heated tile floors, stacked W/D, 3 roof AC/heat pumps. My ISL has a 2 stage Jake brake. The Allure only has one air bag per wheel position, six total. We looked at an Intrigue when he got this coach and we saw no real difference in the interior appointments... both had the medium cherry wood and both were nice. While I would have preferred either the ISM or the 500hp CAT, the 425 ISL on the Allure seems plenty powerful and perhaps a bit less thirsty for fuel.
We also looked at some high end Monaco, AC Eagle, and Newmar Essex and Mountain Aires and decided, at least in our view, the CC's were more 'tastefully' decorated than the others. Some of those looked like the designers were trying to over decorate with sashes, mirrors, and other bling that we just did not like.
I'll add a bit more info in regards to the 04 era Allure. But first, Don nailed the importance of understanding that model years can make a large difference in how different models were trimmed. Both in stock OEM, or with added options.
Our 04 Allure 40', Tag, ISL370 'High Cascade' was optioned out with many items that blur the line between the Intrigue. But even with options, our Allure has the following items that keep it 'down the food chain' from the Intrigue and above.
->Hydro Hot, only one electric element in this unit. It keeps the water hot to support non diesel operation of the unit overnight for the as mentioned two zoned heating. Also supports washing dishes with hot water, and you can take one 'navy shower' with enough hot water. It also can keep the engine pre-heated if that loop is turned on. The Intrigue and above, have a second electric element, that can usually keep up with full a full shower demand. (Some owners say two people with about 5 mins separation can get full showers. Some say the second person really should plan on using the diesel option to ensure adequate hot water. I suspect much of this depends upon the length of the showers
->The Intrigue could be had with the BIG CAT option, the Allures were topped out with the ISL. And to separate it from the Intrigue's stock ISL, the Allure of 04 had the ISL370 vs ISL400. (Though from talking and looking at the spec's on Insite with our Cummins shop. This was more of a 'marketing fudge' of the specs. As the ISL370 has 'ranges' that are broader then the ISL400. As you look at the HP spec on Insite, it has a 370-400 range. While the 04 ISL400 same line has no range, but lists 400. Yes, their is a slight differences in the HP curve, but oddly the Torque curve almost lays on top of each other as you go up the RPM scale. It appears that Monaco was the one that put the pressure on Cummins to 'badge' the ISL370, so they could sale an option to 'ISL400'. Every person I've talked to that has had the upgrade ECM flash to ISL400 - could not detect a difference in either performance or MPG.) Note: All my info is based upon 'CAPS' ISL, not 'VGT' ISL's. The 04 model year, you can find either engine under the rear lid.
->Our 04 Allure has the same heated floor system. (very nice to have)
->Trim materials were I feel a bit better in the Intrigue, when looking at say the cloth couches as comparisons. But the Allures materials were fine.
->Yes to built in surge protectors, the same units as used up the food chain.
->One big difference, and the item I really miss the most between this specific Allure and the higher food chains - is the front slide on the Onan Generator. It was I believe 05 model year, that CC stopped the game of not providing the slide in the Allure as further 'down the good chain' from the higher models. (I bought this coach anyways, due to the High Cascade model having the large non slide galley, it's larger than other CC unit I've walked thru - regardless of how high up the good chain. And the DW wanted counter and cabinet space. The non slide besides helping with less potential plumbing problems (I said potential, as I feel that CC did a pretty good job on their sliding galleys. But still a factor that sliding plumbing is at more risk the non sliding for future problems.), the non slide picks up a good 4-5" of top end cabinet space. We've added shelves to the top of these cabinets, that gives us another 5-7" (we did different spaces in different cabinets) for items not used often.
The quality of the woodwork in the cabinets, the hardware used, etc. - were no difference as you climbed the food chain above the Allure. (I do not know about the Inspire's 04, as we were looking for a Tag unit only.). With the exception that as you went into the Magna/Affinity lines, you got more 'glitz'. (Not saying that in a negative way, but we really like the simple look, more then say stain glass, or mirrored ceilings, extra crystal cabinets, etc. This a personal thing, that only each person can decide on what they like.)
I had settled on the Intrigue 42', 2 drivers side or third slide in bedroom, with BIG CAT. 2004-2006 (but with a pre 2006 smog change engine) as our 'sweet spot' in the Country Coach line up, and at the budget range we wished to spend. Steve Wilson had seen on our 'Must Have' vs 'Nice to Have' punch list, the Large Galley request. He showed me the Allure High Cascade model that had just come in on consignment, and dang if the that Large Galley did not push us down to a 40' with ISL
! We gave up a 1/2 of the third bay storage, the second element on the Hydro Hot, and what I really miss is the BIG CAT. Not so much for power while driving, though I admit for long hill climbs and emergency acceleration times, I'd like about 5-10% more power than the ISL produces. It was the 3 Stage Jake vs 2 Stage Jake that I really miss. It's simple math, that the extra braking HP of the much bigger CAT engine, is going to be higher than the 8.9 ISL produces. So I will find myself on some large switch back downhill runs, dropping down into 3rd, and one time 2nd, in 2 Stage High Compression Braking. The heavier but with BIG CAT 3 Stage Jake, can do this with ease in either 3rd or 4th gears, depending upon desired speed.
And as Affinity Bob said in another thread. Many owners try to rationalize why 'their coach' is the 'better coach', I suppose it is human nature. It all comes down to choices, and how much you 'want to spend' vs 'are able to spend' - and again, that comes down to personal decisions.
One thing for sure, CC over the years and models - has something for everyone!! Not perfect coaches, and specific years and models did have problems. But overall, they've earned a good reputation at the upper end of the manufacturers available.
Best to all,