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Old 12-28-2010, 07:06 PM   #15
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I would lean towards the Newmar. I had the same dilemma several years ago, what it boiled down for us was "bang for bucks". The Newmar MSRP was a bit more than the Tiffin, but it had more standard equipment than the Tiffin, the Tiffin could not be optioned up to the same equipment level that the Newmar had. You could get the Tiffin close to the Newmar equipment, but when you did you were paying considerably more for it than the Newmar which still had more "stuff". What I mean is things like the generator, Newmar 8 KW - Tiffin 7.5KW, Newmar 2 AC with Heat Pump Standard - Tiffin 2 AC heat pump was an option, Newmar larger tank capacities than Tiffin, Newmar has larger towing capacity and larger GVW, Newmar had 350HP ISBXT 760ftlb torque engine - Tiffin had 330HP ISB 600ftlb torque, and the list went on.

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Old 12-28-2010, 07:39 PM   #16
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Oh my Spike & Gary you have both brought up very good points, and another point that I've been pondering, the refrig in a Newmar is bigger than the Tiffin, and a big fridg is more important than even a king bed (queen will do, as I am the queen lol ).
Ok, on my way to Tucson tomorrow to check out the Newmar dealer again (the only Newmar dealer in AZ). I also like the 350hp or the 330 and so does hubby.
Now about this chassis thing, plz help us? What is the difference between the Spartan, Frieghtliner, Workhorse?

Again all this is helping us make a final decision. Thank you
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Old 12-28-2010, 08:06 PM   #17
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After reading all the problems with the Norcold refers, I don't think I would chose one for that reason.
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Old 12-28-2010, 08:23 PM   #18
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After reading all the problems with the Norcold refers, I don't think I would chose one for that reason.
Unless she gets it optioned out with a res. fridge.

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Old 12-28-2010, 09:25 PM   #19
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I'd recommend that residential refrigerator!
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Old 12-29-2010, 07:33 AM   #20
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Hi phxmtngirl,
The difference between the chassis's mentioned should not be part of your decision making process. They are all made by good companies with authorized service centers located around the country. Workhorse usually carries a gas engine. Spartan and Freightliner carry a diesel engine. Other than that focus on the floor plan and livability of the coach.

The chassis specs one might consider are:
GVWR - Gross Vehicle Weight Rating
GCWR - Gross Combined Weight Rating
UVW - Unloaded Vehicle Weight
GAWR - Gross Axle Weight Rating
NCC - Net Carrying Capacity

In general terms, the maximum weight allowed for different tasks is:
GCWR - GVWR = The amount of weight one can tow.
GCWR = How much a coach and towed vehicle can weigh.
NCC = The amount of people and stuff that can be put into the coach. This includes: people, personal belongings, food, fresh water, waste water, LP gas, tongue weight of a towed vehicle, etc.
GAWR = How much weight can be put on an axle. This has to do with how one places their "stuff". After loading the coach with everything you will take on your adventures, have the coach weighed (all four corners is best). This will tell you about the weigh each wheel is carrying. From this one sets the tire PSI and can reposition (if necessary) cargo placed in the coach.

A plug for Newmar. You'll find the above mentioned specs allow for a considerable amount of weight for the owner to use as they see fit.

All this may be more than you wanted to know, but I tried to keep it a brief as possible.
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Old 12-29-2010, 09:52 AM   #21
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No Gary that is not too much info, it is what I wanted to know. It's yucky here today, and for the rest of the week, so next week we are going to make the drive to Tucson to check out Newmar's.
I have to say this forum has been the most helpful, and nice regarding this question, we do appreciate all your answers and time.
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Old 12-29-2010, 10:18 AM   #22
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I was going to buy a new Tiffin Bus but when my wife looked at it someone had swapped the furniture and the chair and it didn't match the couch. I didn't notice, but she did. So she looked at the Newmar and the interior did it. Case closed.

They are both great coaches but you can't beat them Amish cabinets.
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Old 12-29-2010, 04:32 PM   #23
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Hi phxmtngirl,
This is another plug for Newmar. Newmar diesel coaches have a feature called Comfort Drive (CD). All their diesel powered coaches have had this feature since 2008. The bottom line is that it is computerized steering. A computer monitors driver input a "zillion" time a second. When it detects a pattern (like holding the steering wheel off center due to consistent cross winds) the computer will recenter the steering wheel and relieve the driver of having to put forth the extra effort to hold the coach straight. CD is also a great safety feature in case of a steer axle tire failure. The driver will not need to fight to keep the coach straight. CD will help make this an easy maneuver to the shoulder of the road. Lastly, CD also helps when backing the coach. Just get the coach aligned straight with the site and let go of the steering wheel. CD will keep the coach backing straight.

I drove a CD equipped coach. It's a good thing I had no check book with me or I would have bought it right there on the spot. With one finger and very little effort I could do all the maneuvers normally done with a coach. This means I could focus on where the coach was going and not on keeping it going there. Only let hubby test drive a CD coach once you have approved the floor plan.
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Old 12-29-2010, 05:13 PM   #24
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Hmmmmm, Gary, now you've got me thinkin' Newmar for my "someday" DP.

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Old 12-29-2010, 09:49 PM   #25
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phxmtngirl - I would take neither. IMHO 36' is the minimum length to get the right ratio of chassis length and house length for good all around handling. Many people own shorter DPs and will say they love their coaches. BUT in my experience a longer chassis means a much less twitchy drive down the freeway. Both Tiffen and Newmar make good midrange coaches. The two that get the best marks when evaluated are the Newmar Dutch Star and the Tiffen Allegro bus.

What I have found after 30 years of motor home trips and being friendly with hundreds of RVers is that there are many makers of coaches that people use and enjoy. I have talked in depth with members of our small RV club and what I have found is that most owners like their RVs. None of the ones in our RV club have had repeated problems. There are many many makers of RVs besides Tiffen and Newmar that would likely make a good motor home for you to own. Holiday Rambler, Winnebago, Monaco, Fleetwood, American Coach, Travel Supreme, Beaver, come quickly to mind.

If you put the actual model in this post I will look up the CCCs, chassis length and so on for you.
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Old 12-30-2010, 08:13 AM   #26
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Gary, thank you again for the info, you are pushing us to the Newmar.
Bob, you are right, we have narrowed it down to:
Newmar - Ventana 3433 or 3434 OR Dutch Star 3734
Tiffin - Allergo Bus 36' QSP OR Phaeton 36' PSH.
Now you both are going to say go w/the bigger one.
I have to tell you a odd thing here. We are currently in a 34' Allergo, and we do not even come close to our GCWR. I know hard to believe but most of our weight is in hubby's tools, and food, not in "stuff". We don't even have all the closets or drawers filled in the coach. When we left that previous life, I literally got rid of everything. But..... I do understand that over time weight is very important. We are planning that this coach purchase will be our 10+ year coach. We have no kids or grandkids, we have cats (3).
Another amazing thing is our current coach is we have been offered exactly what we paid for it. It's a good coach, we just want a DP (power baby power) lol.
So your continued comments regarding these 4 please send on, I really enjoy learning from you all, and again Gary your pushing me on the Newmar lol.
Happy Camping & Happy New Year
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Old 12-30-2010, 08:42 AM   #27
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Hi phxmtngirl,
This is another plug for Newmar. Newmar diesel coaches have a feature called Comfort Drive (CD). All their diesel powered coaches have had this feature since 2008. The bottom line is that it is computerized steering. A computer monitors driver input a "zillion" time a second. When it detects a pattern (like holding the steering wheel off center due to consistent cross winds) the computer will recenter the steering wheel and relieve the driver of having to put forth the extra effort to hold the coach straight. CD is also a great safety feature in case of a steer axle tire failure. The driver will not need to fight to keep the coach straight. CD will help make this an easy maneuver to the shoulder of the road. Lastly, CD also helps when backing the coach. Just get the coach aligned straight with the site and let go of the steering wheel. CD will keep the coach backing straight.

I drove a CD equipped coach. It's a good thing I had no check book with me or I would have bought it right there on the spot. With one finger and very little effort I could do all the maneuvers normally done with a coach. This means I could focus on where the coach was going and not on keeping it going there. Only let hubby test drive a CD coach once you have approved the floor plan.
I can attest to Gary's statement about Comfort Drive. It is actually pretty amazing how the computer helps you drive the coach. It even will adjust to the crown of the road if needed. Get on the Newmar website and see the demonstration of Comfort Drive. What is presented is true to how it really is. Although this is the first coach we have owned, this feature alone would be a deciding factor for me, most other things being equal, if we ever bought another one.

We have been to the Newmar factory to see coaches being assembled. The attention to detail is impressive, and the comment about the Amish cabinetry and workmanship is very true. The woodwork is very high quality and there are former Newmar employees who have started woodworking businesses near the factory who can build additional pieces of furniture or window casements, etc. in the same finish and stain as the original. They do a wonderful job. We were told by Mr. Miller, who owns Newmar, that 85% of the factory workers are Amish. I believe it. I personally saw a lot of people arriving to work at the factory at 5:30am riding bicycles. How they do that in January is beyond my comprehension.

And, visiting northern Indiana and experiencing the Amish countryside and culture is very refreshing.

Good luck on your decision.

Don
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Old 12-30-2010, 04:19 PM   #28
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Hi phxmtngirl,
I admit to pushing. However, if it gets to dragging you kicking and screaming, let me know.
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