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Old 02-02-2014, 09:52 PM   #1
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2013 Fleetwood Discovery 40x VS 2014 Tiffin Phaeton 36GH

Hello All, we have decided to trade in our 2005 Winnebago Journey 39k. We have come across the above two different motorhomes. I don't have any experience with either Fleetwood or Tiffin so I am wondering what the thoughts of the forum are? Both units are brand new. The fleetwood is approx. $30000 less. What the build quality of each? Is Tiffin better than Fleetwood? Both have the same engine, transmission and chassis: the 380hp cummins in a freightliner chassis. Obviously one is longer.
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Old 02-03-2014, 12:51 AM   #2
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Fleetwood builds a great coach. That being said, Tiffin is known for their great level of customer service. I have always heard the stories of being able to talk to the owner of the company. I am now on my third RV. Of the three, Fleetwood has been the best and I am extremely happy with their customer service and warrantee. It also has the best build quality of the three I have owned. I have never owned a Tiffin but I have looked at them and they also have a great build quality. I would go with the floor plan that best suites your needs. I would also buy from the dealer I felt most comfortable with as they are the ones you will be most likely be dealing with for warranty and service in the future.
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Old 02-03-2014, 07:59 AM   #3
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IMHO, the Phaeton is a whole class above the Discovery. Tiffin does a great job with storage and you will find that you have more storage interior and exterior than the Fleetwood product.

I'm a little surprised at the comparison, however. Comparing a 1 year old 40 ft coach with a brand new 36 ft coach. Seems like that Discovery should be a lot less. You can generally buy a new Phaeton at 25% off MSRP - especially if you do a factory order (which I highly recommend).

If you like the 36GH, I can probably answer any question you may have.
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Old 02-03-2014, 08:22 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by luvlabs View Post
IMHO, the Phaeton is a whole class above the Discovery. Tiffin does a great job with storage and you will find that you have more storage interior and exterior than the Fleetwood product.

I'm a little surprised at the comparison, however. Comparing a 1 year old 40 ft coach with a brand new 36 ft coach. Seems like that Discovery should be a lot less. You can generally buy a new Phaeton at 25% off MSRP - especially if you do a factory order (which I highly recommend).

If you like the 36GH, I can probably answer any question you may have.
IMHO Tiffin maybe have a slight edge but a class above isn't true. Our 40x Providence has more storage than our current neighbor's 36 Phaeton I know because we have examined both. I would check NADA book on the Discovery. We love the 40x floorplan. I would go with the floorplan you like, it is your home temporary or permanent.
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Old 02-03-2014, 08:32 AM   #5
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You'll get a lot of opinions here...and since I am a Discovery owner (Fleetwood), you known my bias already. Both are superb RVs in my opinion.

The chassis are the same. Done with that.

The styles (interior design) are very different. For me personally, the T's aren't my style. But they sell a ton of them so apparently a lot of people like them.

Tiffin owners, in my observation, are wild about their coaches and feel like they get good treatment when they go to the factory to get repairs. Fleetwood owners tend to be the same. So both brands stand behind their products when there is a problem. So then the question becomes...what's the likelihood of having a problem big enough to count?

I would advise reading through this forum, and others, keeping a keen eye on the number of problems that T and D owners report. Both are popular brands with thousands on the road, but I suspect that there may be more T's out there--I read they have 39 build bays at their factory, so it may be difficult to fully appreciate the relative problem rate because more RVs means more overall problems with then simply by probability. To my eye, it seems that T may lack a bit on the side of QC when delivering new RV's, but then bend over backwards to satisfy the customer with excellent repairs. I read of fewer problems with D owners, suggesting possibly better QC at the build.

For me though, the decision was made based on floor plan and styling. I would have considered a T if they had a bunkhouse model that I liked, but Fleetwood's Discovery 40G was perfect for us. And yes, I am working out build bugs too...
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Old 02-03-2014, 08:33 AM   #6
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BTW NADA 2013 Discovery 185,000 low 221,810 high
2014 Phaeton new less 25% 223,366
So if your price is around 191,810 that falls about right. IMHO
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Old 02-03-2014, 08:45 AM   #7
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Deucenut, sorry but I misread your post both units are band new. the price I gave is for a used Discovery but if you get the price quoted it would be a good deal IMHO
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Old 02-03-2014, 11:07 AM   #8
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The discovery is a hold-over. Still brand new. The tiffin is technically used. The dealership sold it, the owner drove it home, scared himself silly with it, called the dealership as soon as he got home and returned it the next day....so as a result, the tiffin has a steep discount. But the discovery is still less than the Tiffin. While the tiffin is technically used, the owner never slept in it or loaded it...so it's like it's new. As for storage, I actually thought the discovery had more storage. Two reasons for that, it's 40' long, tiffin is 36'9". And the tiffin had a dishwasher, while the discovery didn't and had two drawers instead. We thought the kitchen storage in the tiffin was horrible. No where at all to put pots and pans!!

So another question I had is: how many of those with dishwashers ACTUALLY use them!? Lol. Or are they like ovens, just sit there and never get used? We are leaning towards the discovery as I think we like the floor plan a bit more and the storage is better. But I've always heard good things about the tiffin name....being that it's almost 4 feet shorter than the discovery with the same power plant, I would imagine the tiffin would be quicker and better on fuel...
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Old 02-03-2014, 11:43 AM   #9
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Quicker and better MPG. Probably not! A DP at 37' vs 40 ft. with the same diesel power, the speed and mileage would be minute IMO. Regarding the dishwasher, we use it a lot as well as the washer and dryer. After all, it is our home six months out of the year. Both the Discovery and Phaeton are similar level coaches. Bet the CCC capacity is greater on the Discovery. One needs to browse the owners forums to see what people are saying about their coaches. I have several friends with Phaeton's and Discovery's both like their coaches. The Discovery is new and under warranty, the Tiffin is used, just a thought. From my research on the owners forum I believe there is a QC issue past and present at Red Bay. However, having owned two FW products over the last seven years one might call me biased? My direct experience, having purchased a new Providence in 2012, FW handled the vendor and house related warranty issues both at the dealer and once in the field with extreme professionalism far beyond expectations. Best of luck in your search it's a lot of fun!
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Old 02-03-2014, 11:51 AM   #10
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We use our dishwasher several times a week, but not every day. Quite often I just hand wash. Yes I wash since my DW does all the cooking.

I would never choose a Fleetwood over a Tiffin. Sorry, just ain't happening. Try looking at a 40 foot Tiffin that has not been sold and compare it against a 40 foot Fleetwood. You will find the Tiffin is considerable higher priced. There is a reason for that! You just get more.

Also most people that are buying coaches in this range are NOT looking for bunk room models. That is a small specialized market. You will not find many coaches in this quality range set up that way. These coaches are made for retired couples for the most part.

The adage entertain 6, dine 4 and sleep 2 is very appropriate for these price point coaches.
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Old 02-03-2014, 12:22 PM   #11
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Try looking at a 40 foot Tiffin that has not been sold and compare it against a 40 foot Fleetwood. You will find the Tiffin is considerable higher priced. There is a reason for that! You just get more. Also most people that are buying coaches in this range are NOT looking for bunk room models. That is a small specialized market. You will not find many coaches in this quality range set up that way. These coaches are made for retired couples for the most part. The adage entertain 6, dine 4 and sleep 2 is very appropriate for these price point coaches.
I'd counter that opinion a bit. We own a 2010 40G Fleetwood bunkhouse and have two small kids. We found - on our travels - more and more folks just like us who are younger and buying these bigger rigs for family travel. For sure, we're still very much in the minority, but there's more and more of "us" out there! :-)

I'd also add that we've feel we can comfortably entertain/dine/sleep many more than you list. Of course, the best part is that with this model Fleetwood, we can put the kids to bed in their own 'room' and keep the party going! ;-)
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Old 02-03-2014, 12:25 PM   #12
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The discovery 40x doesn't have bunk beds. I'm not sure you get more with tiffin....the phaeton and the discovery are at the same place in their respective lines...the discovery had the smart wheel, the phaeton didn't. That's just one example. I found discovery had a lot of things that were standard while they were options on the phaeton.
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Old 02-03-2014, 12:35 PM   #13
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Hi,

Gee why didn't you consider another Winnebago Journey as they are fine coaches. Winnebago also has a great supportive staff and in my estimation builds a great coach.

There is a 2014 Journey here in the campground I am at and it surely looks like a beauty and even has a tag axle. I haven't talked to the owner yet but I guess they like it.

Back to your original question I would check out ther Tiffin and Fleetwood forums and they may answer your questions. I would go for the Winnebago first but then consider Tiffin second but really don't know about either.

Good luck!

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Old 02-03-2014, 12:38 PM   #14
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I'm in the same situation as Herman. 2 adults and 2 kids and love the bunkhouse. But the question was about which to choose, Tiffin or Fleetwood. Never owned a Tiffin so my experience is only with Fleetwood. We are on our second Fleetwood, a 2013 Discovery 40G we purchased new last March. We love it and the way it lives. My opinion is that Fleetwood needs to improve their quality control before shipping the units out. We had a long list of items that needed fixing and had a lot of back and forth to the dealer and a trip to the factory too. I know many people consider a long punch list as standard for a new MH but many of the problems were obvious had someone only gone through and tried everything to make sure it worked. We really do like the Discovery 40G, just not the time we wasted getting it working properly. Hopefully Fleetwood pays better attention to QC than they did last year.
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