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Old 12-28-2015, 08:04 PM   #1
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Question Berkshire 34QS Vs Allegro Red 33AA as full timer

Hello,
First time posting long time looking

We are looking for a replacement of our Class C Solera 24R within the next 2-3 years. I know it seems like a long time to be shopping, but we have plans to relocate to Florida from Texas as full timers. So, I'm researching the heck out of the next unit we buy as it will need to be one that will suit our needs full time.

I know your probably wondering why a 35 footer? Well we still plan to use it similar to the way we do our current MH. We do not have a toad & would like to get by without one. I may be crazy but the 25 footer that we have now will go and do everything we need and hope the 35 footer will do close to the same. We do plan to have a versa haul with a medium sized scooter on the hitch. Plus for the rare times we need a car we can rent one for about $60 in most of the places we go.


As far as I can see these two units have a lot shared, i.e Chassis, Engine & Transmission, Size & layout.

Pricing for the Berkshire new is $159k and Allegro @ $189
Are there any features that I am just not seeing for the price difference, or is there quality that I'm missing?

Other than just pricing, some "items" that are causing me to lean towards the 34QS, are 12'5 hight vs 12'10 on the 33AA. Also dual pane frameless windows on the 34QS.
The items that have me wondering about the Allegro 33AA is 8k generator vs 6k on the 34QS. And the Quiet Ducted Roof air system on the 33AA seems like a better system.

Learning from our Current MH, "Solera 24R the generator is rarely used, but is used a couple times each trip. Also the fact that on our 24R the single pane windows are a huge factor and has us seeking a campsite with 90% shade in summer. Will the dual pane windows make a huge improvement? Will we need the generator while going down the road in a class A or will the dash air keep us cool like our current rig?

Tiffin seems to have a huge following and there has to be something I'm missing. I currently own Forest River and have never owned a Tiffin so I hope this forum can help me out. Its almost like when you have researched something so much and you just need to know something that wasn't written by the Mfg.

Thank you
Phil
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Old 12-29-2015, 03:04 AM   #2
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Hello and We are glad to have you join us here and we look forward to reading of your adventures and experiences. I am sure you will enjoy our website and forums. Good luck, stay safe and keep us posted.
Enjoy the hunt!
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Old 12-29-2015, 05:47 AM   #3
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The Tiffin is a better built coach in my opinion. They use a better quality product to build with. If I were searching for a motorhome I would definitely look at Tiffin's like we did but would not even consider a Forest River product. I've had too many issues with them in the past.
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Old 12-29-2015, 06:36 AM   #4
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And so it begins .....

I have a Berkshire 400QL (2015) and love it. Well built with many quality items. I love the tile floor.

I was so impressed with Forest River at the Goshen rally, I decided I would never own another product other than Forest River. The folks in the Berkshire division go above and beyond customer service.


So, I don't know how many Berkshire owners are members of IRV2, but I'm guessing you'll hear from both.

Good luck in your search.

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Old 12-29-2015, 06:52 AM   #5
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I had a FR Solera and traded for a FW Excursion and now have an Entegra Anthem. Granted, the Anthem is not in the same price level as what you are looking at new ... you might want to consider a higher end used diesel that is built for full timing. Maybe get into the 40-45ft range. After you start full timing, you will want the extra space and you will also want to tow. I used to rent when we had the Solera and the Excursion .... towing your own car is well worth the extra time to hook up and unhook. Especially if you have a problem on the highway ... or someone gets sick and you need to take them to the doctor ... stuff you don't always think of. Anyway ... I enjoyed my Solera for it's size, but wouldn't trade our Entegra for the world! Both Forest River and Tiffen make a good unit. Do not get a FW Excursion (2013 +) the older Excursions are fine, the newer ones are not. In my Opinion.
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Old 12-29-2015, 08:30 AM   #6
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If you look at the two units side by side, I think you will realize that the Tiffin is better built and actually a better value. The single pane windows that Tiffin uses are actually constructed with 1/4" glass. They don't do bad in cold weather and they are almost as quiet as dual pane.

However, your best bet, since you want to fulltime, is neither model. You need more basement storage than the 33AA offers. You would be far better off with a 36' Phaeton. A new one is much higher than your budget probably allows but a 2-3 year old unit would serve you well and would cost somewhere in the range you stated.
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Old 12-29-2015, 06:52 PM   #7
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Once you realize you cannot full time in 36 foot diesel coach without a toad, then you should be looking at at least a 40 footer. But sounds like you got plenty of time to figure that out. :-)
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Old 12-30-2015, 05:48 PM   #8
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Once you realize you cannot full time in 36 foot diesel coach without a toad, then you should be looking at at least a 40 footer. But sounds like you got plenty of time to figure that out. :-)
Interesting statement & much appreciated info for sure. A little history on myself I actually lived in a 2003 Montana 2995RL 5th wheel for 3 years, with no space issues.
I even built giant scale R/C airplanes in that thing. It had a queen bed and an rv style tiny fridge, 1 a/c no heat pump, 2 slides and not much exterior storage. I did keep a 6x10 wells cargo trailer to store lawn equipment and such.

When we purchased our 2015 Forest River Solera 24R our goal was to travel and see a few of our favorite states 1 week at a time. But within the next 2-3 years plan on purchasing a deeded RV lot in florida for our full time home. It may last a few years or 20 who knows.
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Old 12-30-2015, 06:27 PM   #9
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I suggest that a used park model would be a cost saver over a new MH that would deteriorate if it is not on the road.
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Old 12-31-2015, 05:00 AM   #10
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Interesting statement & much appreciated info for sure. A little history on myself I actually lived in a 2003 Montana 2995RL 5th wheel for 3 years, with no space issues.
I even built giant scale R/C airplanes in that thing. It had a queen bed and an rv style tiny fridge, 1 a/c no heat pump, 2 slides and not much exterior storage. I did keep a 6x10 wells cargo trailer to store lawn equipment and such.

When we purchased our 2015 Forest River Solera 24R our goal was to travel and see a few of our favorite states 1 week at a time. But within the next 2-3 years plan on purchasing a deeded RV lot in florida for our full time home. It may last a few years or 20 who knows.
Well, I really didn't mean to indicate you couldn't live full time in a 35 footer. Main point being that I think not having a toad would be near impossible with that size rig. I assume when you lived in the fifth wheel you drove your truck any place you needed to go anytime you wanted. Grocery store, movies, doctor, downtown.

I also fly giant scale RC planes with the largest being 96 inch wingspan. When I got my first 32 foot class C, I had visions of carrying at least one plane with me while traveling. I quickly learned that I could carry one only if I didn't carry anything else in the storage.

Now it sounds like you are planning on buying a lot and staying in one place rather than doing any traveling. A storage building on your lot may help. I have a 10 by 12 storage / shop just for my planes. :-)

I just couldn't imagine having to put everything away, bring in the slides etc. Every time I wanted to go someplace that the scooter wouldn't be good for.

Anyway, just something to think about as you make your long term plans.

BTW, what DFW field do you fly at?
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Old 12-31-2015, 07:59 AM   #11
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We have had our 2011 Berkshire for five years. Very, very few issues and those that have been encountered were quickly fixed by either the dealer or Forest River. Many were fixed free of charge after the warranty had expired.

If you are considering a Tiffin I would strongly recommend that you join and read the Tiffin RV Network Forum. Likewise, for your Berkshire consideration, join the Forest River Owners Group. Both will provide you with comparisons. Be aware that Forest River's customer service has gone way up over the last six or seven years. My impression of Tiffin's service is that it has gone in the opposite direction. When you read of someone spending over 100 days in Red Bay, Alabama, for repairs it doesn't equate to good customer service.
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Old 12-31-2015, 08:12 AM   #12
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We have had our 2011 Berkshire for five years. Very, very few issues and those that have been encountered were quickly fixed by either the dealer or Forest River. Many were fixed free of charge after the warranty had expired.

If you are considering a Tiffin I would strongly recommend that you join and read the Tiffin RV Network Forum. Likewise, for your Berkshire consideration, join the Forest River Owners Group. Both will provide you with comparisons. Be aware that Forest River's customer service has gone way up over the last six or seven years. My impression of Tiffin's service is that it has gone in the opposite direction. When you read of someone spending over 100 days in Red Bay, Alabama, for repairs it doesn't equate to good customer service.
Careful what you say about Tiffin Service. People in warranty who chose to go to Redbay stay an average of less than a week. People who are not in warranty might be a bit longer depending on how extensive the repairs that are needed. Tiffin also has three long term recalls that have been going on for coaches built between 2008 and 2012.
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Old 12-31-2015, 08:30 AM   #13
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Careful what you say about Tiffin Service. People in warranty who chose to go to Redbay stay an average of less than a week. People who are not in warranty might be a bit longer depending on how extensive the repairs that are needed. Tiffin also has three long term recalls that have been going on for coaches built between 2008 and 2012.
I don't disagree with your comment, however, if you are one of those who gets a rig that requires extensive repairs, is Red Bay, AL, where you want to spend your retirement? I understand that Tiffin has an extremely loyal following and that has to be admired. The wisdom of that loyalty has to be questioned when you read about one person having their roof repaired/replaced three times or someone else spending over 100 days in Red Bay.

Any of us can get a lemon from any manufacturer out there. That is a sad reality of our hobby or lifestyle. How the manufacturer responds to that reality is a huge issue. I have seen Forest River step up numerous times to make things right. Their rallies have techs roaming the grounds fixing things well out of warranty. I find that solution to be admirable and way too rare.
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Old 12-31-2015, 09:28 AM   #14
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My brother in law spent the first summer in Red Bay after he got his new rig. He jokes that he staying there so long he got elected mayor.

I'm not saying Tiffin is bad either, just that I know it happens.
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