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Old 05-05-2016, 01:44 PM   #1
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Hi everyone I have been trying to find someone out there who has something to say positive about the Fred engines. We are supposed to be putting a bid on a Tiffin Allegro Bay and all I have heard are negatives regarding engine noise and less torque than a pusher. The reason we are considering one is a salesman told us that some people love FRED's and also that they are better than a gas when choosing between the two. I really don't want to make a mistake.

Quick history on needs..... We have a class C it is too small, we are looking for a used RV like 08 or 09, going this summer 2 months through the mountains in the Northwest region, would like to buy a toad to put on the back , cannot afford a diesel pusher, close to retirement but not there yet, we have two daughters ready to go to college but still love going with us in the RV, and last... would like to get an RV that will last us several years before we can retire and possibly upgrade. Husband is a retired fire captain and I am a teacher which allows us to go in the Summers.

I am reaching out to anybody out there. We have worked our way to a Tiffin Allegro Bay as we like the floor plan. Should we reconsider and get a gas and if so what can anybody out there recommend in terms of a reliable brand/model. Thanks in advance. Desperate.

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Old 05-05-2016, 01:57 PM   #2
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I'm not an expert but hear negatives and positives about "FRED" same as Diesel vs Gas. We all have different views and opinions. What I would do in your case is check it out and see if you can drive one. The noise level may be acceptable and make sure it is capable of pulling your toad. The diesel engine on the FRED is probably a smaller one than the traditional pushers. You said this will be an interim unit until retirement in a couple of years.
I don't know what your budget is but have seen some good pricing for used diesel pushers, trading in and changing RV can be more expensive than getting your "retirement" rv now. Just one opinion. You may like the FRED and who knows. Good Luck in your search, someone who knows much more than me on FRED should chime in.

2004 GB 3750DS Bellagio 38ft DP Freightliner XC , CAT 3126E Allison 6 spd. 2015 Cherokee Trail hawk toad.
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Old 05-05-2016, 02:58 PM   #3
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I have some experience with the Allegro Bay FRED. My parents have one, after a couple other gas class A motorhome so, and other RVs. I've spent some time traveling in it, and they have run it across country, currently somewhere in a multi month trip. They are very happy with it. I think the key is to not compare it to a pusher. It does not have the large engine and fancy chassis of the pushers, but also does not have the weight.

Economy seems to be good. They are doing a little better than they did with their last Workhorse 8.1 Allegro.

Power - it has noticeably more power than the gas class As. Again, it isn't a 10 liter engine with over 1000 ft/lbs of toque, but it is stronger than a v10. I find it funny how may people immediately say the FREDs are no good because they don't have the power of a large engine pusher, but would agree that if you were getting a 5th wheel you should get the diesel for the pickup. If you have experienced the difference between a big block pickup and a diesel pickup, the power difference is the same. This sized diesel has a lot more torque than the gasser. For my parents first retirement trip, they still had the 8.1 and while they could pull up the mountain passes in the northwest with the toad, they felt it was really hard on it. With the FRED, they don't go any faster up the hills (I think this is mostly their decision) but the rig isn't working nearly as hard. It slows down some, but pulls without feeling like it is being hurt.

Noise - I was worried when they go it about noise. Funny thing, it really isn't any louder than a gasser. At idle it is, and maybe at slow speeds, but at interstate speeds, I can't say it was an issue at all. Interestingly, when pulling a hard hill or hard headwind, it is quieter. The fan on the 8.1, when the engine started working real hard was very loud, much louder than the FRED is. I've got a couple thousand miles riding/driving in it now, and no longer worry about it. Is it louder than a pusher, most likely, but it isn't any worse than a big block gasser.

Assuming it will do what you want, I think the FRED is an excellent platform, and would not hesitate to get one. I wouldn't get my F250 without a diesel, The difference is noticeable. Also, you might be able to find them in a shorter length, if that is important to you. My next class A will be diesel powered, but won't be 40 foot long.
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Old 05-05-2016, 03:23 PM   #4
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A bunch of FRED owners posted their praise here:
Why V10 gasser?

They are all/only available on the used market and in my shopping they will have a $5,000-$10,000 premium over an identical gas powered model.

They single best "rule of thumb" about the gas v Diesel I've ever read is:
Drive more/camp less = advantage Diesel
Camp more/drive less = advantage gas.

This is expecially true for two reasons:
The new F53 has a 6speed transmission and better engine tune than ever before...
Many new models from many makers are blurring the gas/Diesel line...like with king sized beds, bath and a halfs, washer/dryers, dishwashers, etc.

Best luck
Kim and Steve, Mustang LCDR (Ret), '07 Damon Outlaw #1193
I have seen gross intolerance shown in support of tolerance, Samuel Coleridge
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Old 05-05-2016, 07:09 PM   #5
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I agree with above posts points, plus the diesel engine may last longer than it's gas counterpart of same size.

If after your research you end up deciding on getting a FRED, and age is not critical, I would suggest considering the Newmar Grand Star. There are a couple real nice ones out there on RV Trader around 2008 years. They have a nice floor plan too. Good luck to you, let us know what happens.

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Old 05-05-2016, 07:25 PM   #6
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Drive more/Camp less = Advantage Diesel.

Drive Less/ Camp More = Advantage Diesel.

Any questions?
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Old 05-05-2016, 08:47 PM   #7
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I have a 2008 38ft safari simba FRED. It's on a freightliner chassis with 300hp cummins and Allison trans. It does a good job towing our jeep. It's not a diesel pusher but I have no complaints. It will cruise at 70 mph all day long with ease.
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Old 05-05-2016, 11:28 PM   #8
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See videos/blog posts on Gone With the Wynn's. The had a Monaco Vesta a few years ago. Nice looking rig...

1996 Country Coach Intrigue 😜
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Old 05-06-2016, 02:30 PM   #9
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I think 3pedal summed it up pretty well. It's not a pusher chassis, so don't try to compare. It's essentially a gas chassis that has a diesel engine instead.

Any front engine rig will be noisier (to the driver & passenger) than any rear engine. Makes no difference whether it is gas or diesel.

The engine torque & HP needs to be sufficient for the coach weight. Just because one engine is smaller than another doesn't make it bad. The Cummins ISB in a FRED chassis is smaller than the Cummins ISL in my pusher, but the coaches built on that chassis are only 2/3 the weight. And my ISL is smaller than the ISX in a still larger coach. So what?
Gary Brinck
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Old 05-06-2016, 02:46 PM   #10
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If I had to choose between a gasser and a Fred, I'd go for the Fred.
Have you considered stepping back a few more years and looking for a pusher of close to equal price? That's what I'd really do.
2005 Newmar Dutch Star 4024
Pulling my 2012 Malibu w/Blue OX & Patriot brake unit
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Old 05-06-2016, 06:43 PM   #11
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I agree. Again, take a look at those Newmar Grand Stars from 2008 on RV Trader.

2008 Newmar Grand Star 3750, Orland FL - - RVtrader.com

2008 Newmar GRANDSTAR 38, Idaho Falls ID - - RVtrader.com

2008 Newmar Grand Star 3750, Gordonville TX - - RVtrader.com

2008 Newmar Grand Star 3750, Great Bend KS - - RVtrader.com

2008 Newmar Grand Star 3750, NEW CASTLE PA - - RVtrader.com

Best Regards,
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Old 05-06-2016, 07:14 PM   #12
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My brother owns a Fred and I have used it when I was in between coaches also researched them when looking for a new coach. I have been a diesel mechanic for over 25 years and a Motorhome nut for even longer. The Fred will have a 5.9 or a 6.7 Cummins engine in it on the allegro depending on the year. Cummins changed over to the 6.7 on the 2007's mid year however the manufacturers kept using the 5.9 well into 2008 and possibly later depending on how many they had stockpiled. Many, many pushers use the same engine. Usually the cheaper models have them but not always. So the argument that the Fred will not have the "big" motor that is in the pushers is not necessarily true. I have seen some coaches well past entry level with a Cummins ISB. Cummins stopped making the ISC 8.3 that a lot of in between coaches used. Now you can only get the ISB 6.7 or the next step is the isl 9 because of that and the expense jump I see more coaches with the ISB 6.7. Caterpillar is just getting back into on road engines none in motor homes yet. Yes you can buy a pusher with up to a isx Cummins and the price and weight of the coach goes up as does the cost. The Fred will be lighter in weight so the power to weight ratio is better than a 45' triple axel coach with say an isl Cummins. The fuel mileage on the Fred is excellent. My brothers fred gets 10 mpg towing a 16' aluminum boat and he has a heavy foot. My 40' 32,000# pusher with a Cummins isl gets 7.5 mpg not towing. The Fred keeps up with my coach on hills also so the power is there. The Fred does not have air brakes nor does it have air suspension. Not as comfortable to drive as a pusher but not scary or uncomfortable by any means. Less complicated parts = less maintenance, expense and weight. The cabin noise when driving is not bad at all. I would say less than a v-10 gasser and less heat I might add. I seriously considered the allegro bay when shopping for my latest coach but I found that I could get a pusher for not much more money and the same model year. I would definetly go with a Fred over a gasser, just get the floor plan you want.

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