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Old 06-22-2010, 02:11 PM   #1
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I have read "Choosing Gasoline or Diesel Powered" posts on the subject. Very helpful, we are going to own a diesel. We are getting ready to move from 5th Wheel to a 32-35 ft Used Diesel (Probably 2002-2007). Now, I would refine the question, to DP vs FRED. Would appreciate the voices of experience to read more about differences (pro/con, minor). In this rig size, these are mostly 300-330 HP engines.

Yes, I like

engine noise in back, rather than front and basement storage of a DP and air suspension. Another way to ask this question, am I likely going to be happy doing 10,000 miles plus per year in a Gulfstream Cresendo 36 FRED or an Allegro Bay TGA34 FRED compared to DP of the same size?? Thanks in advance! Vince

Vince & Patricia, Carson City, NV, FMCA, RVMutants#130
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Old 06-22-2010, 03:02 PM   #2
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From what I have read the FRED is quieter than a gasser but not as quiet as a rear pusher. That's kind of a general statement but the engine in a DP is a long way away from the drivers seat and a diesel FRED does not turn as many rpm compared to a gasser. I believe the FRED has leaf suspension in the rear and spring independent front suspension (IFS)in the front on the Tiffin. The ride wont be as good as an air suspension but the IFS will handle a little better than the straight axle on most coaches which tend to wander somewhat.

How happy you will be in a FRED is impossible to answer. There are thousands of folks with gasser MH's that couldn't be happier. There are folks that have moved from a gasser to a DP or FRED and couldn't be happier. There's advantages and disadvantages with a DP and FRED. One thing I will say is that if a FRED in in your future go with the TIFFIN. Also, the Cummins ISB is a great engine that keeps on getting better as it evolves.

Dawn and Mark

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Old 06-22-2010, 06:30 PM   #3
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We have a FRED (07 35TSB Allegro Bay) and we have been very pleased with it - spend 6 months per year traveling with it. When we bought the FRED we compared it to a gasser identical floor plan and felt the FRED was hands down better handling and quieter. It is not however a DP. There is no air ride suspension, no pass thru storage, and the engine is in front. Whether you would be happy can only be answered by you. Good luck.
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Old 06-22-2010, 09:20 PM   #4
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The only disadvantage to a DP, IMHO, is loss of bedroom space, now an extra large closet, especially with a rear mounted radiator.
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Old 06-23-2010, 04:01 PM   #5
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Tiffin over the Gulfstream by a mile.
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Old 06-26-2010, 08:35 AM   #6
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FREDs are nice and they have their place. But they are not a DP. Whether or not you'll be happy driving a FRED versus a pusher is something only you can answer. It's sounds like you have a handle on what the FRED is so that's a start. It's pretty much a gasser chassis with slight improvements here and there, but still retaining the basic characteristics of a front engine gasser chassis. The biggest difference is the engine. The Cummins ISB diesel has greater torque. Now, both the gasser and FRED will get you up the grades just fine but the gasser will need to rev in order to find it's power while the FRED can lope along at a lower RPM. That's where the biggest difference in engine noise occurs. When cruising the FRED is running lower revs so the noise is less. When climbing grades it'll have less noise as well because the gasser will be screaming. When you stand outside the coach as it's idling, the FRED will be noisier.

You do get better fuel economy with the FRED and longer service intervals. The only real downside is that the FRED costs more than a gasser. However, when you are looking at the used market that won't be as big of an issue as it was when the unit was purchased new.

Tiffin has dropped the FRED as of this year. There are plenty of happy FRED owners out there but they bought them in earlier years. They haven't been selling that well lately for a number of reasons. For one, the new emissions that showed up on the 2008 model year boosted the price. With the introduction of the entry level Allegro RED rear pusher the price differntial between a FRED and DP wasn't that large any more. With the latest EPA-2010 emissions regs coming into place there was another huge hike to all diesel engine'd chassis and that pretty much was the final nail in the coffin for the FRED. It's too bad because it was a nice unit. It's just that the market outpaced it and it no longer had a masrket segment to fit into.

However, don't let that affect your decision to buy a used FRED. Try it. If you like it buy it. If you feel you'd rather have a DP, then don't buy it. I wouldn't let the 10,000 mile thing affect your decision either. You can either be just as happy or unhappy at 5K as at 10K.
Mark & Leann Quasius
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2007 Allegro Bus 42QRP (Sold)
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Old 06-26-2010, 08:45 AM   #7
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The Fred and DP both have their upsides. I owned an Allegro Bay 35TSB with a Fred. We travelled almost 8,000 miles and I traded it for a Bounder 38F DP. The Fred was relatively quiet when cruising at highway speeds. It won't shift into 6th gear until you reach almost 65 mph. It handled very well in crosswinds. The ride was okay and there was some heat from the engine in the front. The DP is totally quiet at all speeds and shifts more effeciently. It doesn't handle as well in crosswinds because of the weight in the front end being less than the Fred. The ride was much better and there was no heat from the engine. I wouldn't have been as satisified travelling across country in the Fred as the DP. Just my opinion, and I really thought the Fred was what I wanted.
Danny, Marla & Anni our cat
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Old 06-26-2010, 10:07 PM   #8
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Last year when we went shopping for a better motor home the first coach we drove was a FRED. My wife and I both drove and liked it. Then we looked at about a dozen DP coaches, drove them, bought one. For me a huge disadvantage of the Fred was no pass through basement storage. IMHO that we cause a problem for us on a long trip. We also much preferred the motor to be way in the back for comfort when driving. We also much preferred air ride to springs.

If you do look at DPs it is my humble opinion that you need to get up to a minimum of 36' to get the chassis length long enough to handle the way I like it. And I like gliding down the highway like riding on a cloud. Short DPs can cause white knuckles especially in emergency situations. BTW we started out not wanting anything over 30 ft. We ended up with 42'. I am not sorry.

Bob & Barbara
2002 Country Coach Affinity
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