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Old 07-04-2009, 10:53 AM   #1
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FRED or Gas?

Economics will play (as always) a role in what we pick when we buy later this year. Would current owners of both types of motorhomes please tell us what you like/don't like about each of these models. We are focusing on either Allegro/Allegro Bay or Newmar's models. Thanks for your inputs.
Jeff & Suzanne
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Old 07-04-2009, 11:06 AM   #2
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I tried a 37 foot Tipple E Commander with a Fred. It was sluggish - poor acceleration and the engine brake didn't offer much drag. It was new and not broken in.
In comparison - I have a 35 foot Triple E Commander on the Workhorse chassis - 8.1 GM. It goes like a scared rabbit - great acceleration. It doesn’t have an engine or exhaust brake so you must downshift on steep or long hills. I would definitely not recommend a Fred.
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Old 07-04-2009, 06:30 PM   #3
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Most people with a FRED love it, but a 37 footer is probably beyond it's performance envelope. If you stick with a 32-35 footer you should be happy.

The main advantage of a Fred over gas in an otherwise identical rig would be fuel economy. You should see 10-10.5 mpg and no gas engine is going to deliver that in that size rig.
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Old 07-05-2009, 09:48 AM   #4
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Quite simply. Compare side by side. Drive a Workhorse (8.1 gas) and a Fred - same size or model coach. Try accelerating onto a freeway and try passing. You will answer your own questions.
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Old 07-05-2009, 10:06 AM   #5
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It is hard to be general when speaking of power, but diesel engines aren't known for acceleration especially when not in the peak torque range. My 5.9 Cummins is not great at acceleration but comes into its own when cruising at 60+ MPH. I have plenty of acceleration there and I feel that gas engines don't.
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Old 07-05-2009, 10:18 AM   #6
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FRED is simply not the only choice any more.

For 2009 Workhorse has released its own version of front diesel engine powered motorhome chassis called the W18D, W20D and the W22D.

I have recently seen a 2009 Damon Avanti on the dealer's lot in Myrtle Beach at Camping World which is powered by a Navistar MaxxForce5 engine.

Four Winds has introduced the 2009 Serrano which is built on the W20D which uses the MaxxForce7 engine.

By the 2010 model year it is expected that Workhorse will no longer have the 8.1L engine as an option. There maybe a limited number of these however I expect that supply to be exhausted.
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Old 07-05-2009, 04:26 PM   #7
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Driver,
Are you suggesting there will be no more gas chassis Workhorses? Or that the 8.1L will be replaced with another gas engine?
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Old 07-05-2009, 04:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RV Roamer [Gary] View Post
Are you suggesting there will be no more gas chassis Workhorses? Or that the 8.1L will be replaced with another gas engine?
Gary, The talk is currently about a small block V8 techno-mill replacing the BIG block 8.1L engine. Look for something in the low 6L range perhaps a 6.3L supercharged mill with lots of HP and moderate torque. GM has an entire series of these engines called the LS series of engines.

More info here:

As I write this, write off the 8.1L Vortec.

Without a crystal ball in this matter it is difficult to see a future for the 8.1L engine and the Press has so much told us that in several articles available on the Net.

If anyone wants to get a BIG block gas burner now would be the time to do it.
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Old 07-05-2009, 04:52 PM   #9
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It is the big block that makes the gas Workhorse chassis as good as it is - mated with the Alison transmission.
My W22 cruses at 60-65mph all day with reserve to pop up to 80mph (only in extreme circumstances). The only benefit of Diesel is its ability to pull more weight.
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Old 07-05-2009, 04:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
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The only benefit of Diesel is its ability to pull more weight.
That echos my relatively brief experience and the research I did before purchase. I think your decision can be guided by your priorities. What will the diesel do that the gasser won't given your type of RVing?

My Triton V10 gasser has yet to be a limiting factor - I have driven it through the mountains, rain or shine and haven't been anywhere near its limits. Full disclosure -- I am not towing anything at this point. You will be happy with either one, I suspect.
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Old 07-05-2009, 06:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
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The only benefit of Diesel is its ability to pull more weight.
JCM, A FRED has a GCWR or 30,000 pounds which is comparable to Workhorse gassers including the UFO.

In the Class 6 weight range, front diesel does not exhibit a superiority in combination weight ratings over similarly equipped gas models of the same GCWR weight rating.

When you step up to the 28,000 to 30,000+ RDP model those vehicles are often seen capable of towing 10K toads. (more weight)

In support of the OP's original question, I would say that an Allegro Bay, gas Workhorse W24 will do a better job than a FRED and would give an owner a better sense of satisfaction in terms in any number of system comparisons I would venture other than possibly MPG ratings.
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Old 07-06-2009, 07:50 PM   #12
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There is little doubt in my mind that a W24 will outperform a FRED in a 36-38 foot coach. Great chassis, the W24!
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Old 07-06-2009, 07:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
The talk is currently about a small block V8 techno-mill replacing the BIG block 8.1L engine. Look for something in the low 6L range perhaps a 6.3L supercharged mill with lots of HP and moderate torque. GM has an entire series of these engines called the LS series of engines.
Thanks for the link. I knew about the LS1 and LS4 but didn't realize there were so many engines in the LS family. Looks like there are at least a couple that could readily replace the 8.1L in a motorhome chassis.
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Old 07-06-2009, 10:23 PM   #14
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I'm not familiar with the Newmars, and the specs for the 2010 Tiffins aren't out yet; but the 2009 Tiffin Allegro FRED is a 24,000 lb GVWR chassis with a 300 hp Cummins engine while the 2009 Allergo Bay FRED is a 26,000 lb GVWR chassis with a 340 hp Cummins.

All the Allegros are also available on the Workhorse W22 chassis while the Allegro Bay 34XB is available on the W22 and the Allegro Bay 35TSB is available on the W24.

Since the Workhorse W25.5 is no longer available, the 37' and 38' Allegro Bays are only available on the 26,000 lb GVWR FRED or the 26,000 lb GVWR Ford chassis because they are too heavy for the W22 or the W24.

FWIW, I am very happy with my W24, but everyone I have ever talked to with a FRED loves it.
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