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Old 08-02-2005, 09:48 AM   #1
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Freightliner recently introduced a FRED (FRont Engine Diesel) chassis for class A motorhomes. These are in the pipeline as of now. Tiffin is beginning production of the FRED based Allegro Bay and they have been seen on the assembly line down in Red Bay.

FRED will be a front engine, leaf spring chassis, simlar to the Workhorse W series. It'll have a Cummins 300 HP ISB engine with 600 ft-lb of torque and a push button Allison 2100 5 speed tranny, filled with Transynd. The wheel cut will be 55 degree and front and rear hydraulic ABS disc brakes with 15" rotors. It will come with an 80 gallon between the rails fuel tank and have 255/70R 22.5 tires, load range G. The GVWR will be upped to 26,000 lbs so that's an improvement over the W22 and W24 series but the GCWR remains at 30,000 lbs so if you decide to load it up, you'd better have a light toad. The front axle is 10K while the rear is rated at 17.5K so you do have a bit of latitude as far as shifting the cargo weight from front to rear. It'll have a 3 year, 50,000 mile warranty and can be serviced at any Freightliner dealer.

I did talk to a dealer who drove a prototype at Red Bay and the initial report is that it's surprisingly quiet for a front engine diesel. I don't know how high the doghouse is but I'm betting that it's pretty low otherwise I don't think it would be that quiet. According to the picture I have of the chassis it looks like they were able to drop it pretty far down into the chassis. Because it's an inline, and not a V, that would be much easier to do. Workhorse actually had to spread their frame rails by the engine in order to get the lower doghouse that they enjoy over the Ford chassis. This does result in the noise and heat being wisked underneath the chassis instead of intruding upon the driver. That would be the biggest drawback to a front engine diesel so if they eliminate that issue I believe that the chassis will have good success.

If I recall correctly (in other words don't quote my swiss cheese memory on this) it was purported to have a $7,000 upcharge over a gasser. That keeps it well out of diesel pusher territory and firmly in the market segment that would normally buy a gasser but wants the benefits of a diesel, extra torque, and greater carrying capacity. Judging by the tons of diesel powered pickup trucks out there I'd expect this to be a fairly popular item.

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Old 08-02-2005, 09:48 AM   #2
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Freightliner recently introduced a FRED (FRont Engine Diesel) chassis for class A motorhomes. These are in the pipeline as of now. Tiffin is beginning production of the FRED based Allegro Bay and they have been seen on the assembly line down in Red Bay.

FRED will be a front engine, leaf spring chassis, simlar to the Workhorse W series. It'll have a Cummins 300 HP ISB engine with 600 ft-lb of torque and a push button Allison 2100 5 speed tranny, filled with Transynd. The wheel cut will be 55 degree and front and rear hydraulic ABS disc brakes with 15" rotors. It will come with an 80 gallon between the rails fuel tank and have 255/70R 22.5 tires, load range G. The GVWR will be upped to 26,000 lbs so that's an improvement over the W22 and W24 series but the GCWR remains at 30,000 lbs so if you decide to load it up, you'd better have a light toad. The front axle is 10K while the rear is rated at 17.5K so you do have a bit of latitude as far as shifting the cargo weight from front to rear. It'll have a 3 year, 50,000 mile warranty and can be serviced at any Freightliner dealer.

I did talk to a dealer who drove a prototype at Red Bay and the initial report is that it's surprisingly quiet for a front engine diesel. I don't know how high the doghouse is but I'm betting that it's pretty low otherwise I don't think it would be that quiet. According to the picture I have of the chassis it looks like they were able to drop it pretty far down into the chassis. Because it's an inline, and not a V, that would be much easier to do. Workhorse actually had to spread their frame rails by the engine in order to get the lower doghouse that they enjoy over the Ford chassis. This does result in the noise and heat being wisked underneath the chassis instead of intruding upon the driver. That would be the biggest drawback to a front engine diesel so if they eliminate that issue I believe that the chassis will have good success.

If I recall correctly (in other words don't quote my swiss cheese memory on this) it was purported to have a $7,000 upcharge over a gasser. That keeps it well out of diesel pusher territory and firmly in the market segment that would normally buy a gasser but wants the benefits of a diesel, extra torque, and greater carrying capacity. Judging by the tons of diesel powered pickup trucks out there I'd expect this to be a fairly popular item.

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Old 08-02-2005, 02:07 PM   #3
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">but the GCWR remains at 6,000 lbs so if you decide to load it up, you'd better have a light toad. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
MARK: Please "fix" this typo, inquiring minds want to know
And do you know which floorplans Tiffen will offer?
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Old 08-02-2005, 03:59 PM   #4
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Well I don't know about others, but Air Force maintenance personnel have already used the acronym "FRED"; however it refers to the C5 and it stands for "Fu***** Ridicules Economic Disaster". Hope Tiffin has better luck with this unit.

Fred(Sorry not the same Fred)
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Old 08-02-2005, 05:29 PM   #5
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Thanks for being my SpelChekr Ed. There is a fair difference between 6,000 and 30,000.

I don't know exactly which floor plans the Fred will use but it is supposed to be more than one. My guess would be the 34XB, 37DB, and maybe even the 38TB. Again, that's just my guess though.

And Fred, I don't think that the C5 Fred is quite the same as the Freightliner Fred. (Hmmm, can you use 3 Freds in the same sentence? I guess so, cuz I just did. Doesn't make it real easy to understand though, huh? ) If nothing else the GVW differencve between the C5 and the Allegro Bay has to be seriously different.

As a footnote, I did receieve a sale flyer from a Winnebago dealer today that listed a 2006 Winnebago Adventurer front engine diesel on sale. Apparently this chassis will be making the rounds.
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Old 08-03-2005, 02:59 AM   #6
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But, can you imagine the heat generated from the dog house with a FRED?
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Old 08-03-2005, 03:18 AM   #7
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I wonder if an exhaust brake will be available.
I'm thinking you cant put one on a 2100 tranny?
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Old 08-03-2005, 06:50 PM   #8
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In 1991 Mahlon Miller (Newmar) produce some rigs with a FRED and the first slideouts on class A's. Bad, bad idea! Noise, heat smell etc. Then he got together with John S over at Spartan an bought 3 pusher chasis from them. The 2 40 footers were built as prototype LondonAires with 4 speed Allisons and a 14 ft slide; the 3rd was a 38FT Kountry Star with LondonAire cabinets and a 3060 6 Speed Allison and a 12 ft slide. Both had 8.3 Cummins. That firt 38 footer was bought by myself in spring 1992. FYI, Steve
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Old 08-03-2005, 07:57 PM   #9
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Remember that a FRED in reverse is a DERF!
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Old 08-04-2005, 03:54 AM   #10
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by DriVer:
Remember that a FRED in reverse is a DERF! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


Gee Mike, I didn't know you had an Itasca. You must have been looking at the FRED literature in one of those many mirrors.

Does DERF stand for Diesel Engine Right in Front?
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Old 08-04-2005, 07:04 AM   #11
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OK now, you boys play nice!
Seriously though, perhaps this will cause International to stick one of their inline diesels into a new W-26!!
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Old 08-04-2005, 08:34 AM   #12
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Workhorse's recent aquisition by Navistar/International certainly makes that an easy thing to do. If I was Workhorse I'd start planning it now, while at the same time keeping an eye on Freightliner's FRED sales to see if it's being accepted. Presonally, the FRED concept isn't for me, but I can see the merit in it for a number of RVers as long as it's "user friendly" in the cockpit.
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Old 08-05-2005, 05:18 AM   #13
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Cruzer:
Personally, the FRED concept isn't for me, but I can see the merit in it for a number of RVers as long as it's "user friendly" in the cockpit. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>About "FRED" .... Workhorse has already been there and has done that. I'm surprised that no one has mentioned it so far but from 1999-2003 you could get a Workhorse P-32 with a 6.5L V-8 Turbo Diesel L65, 195hp @ 3400rpm, 430 lb/ft torque @ 1800rpm. The turbo gave 10 psi boost at 1700rpm.

So! This engine didn't work out very well in over all sales statistics. It was tried and it was found to be not in favor with the buying public. If there is demand for the engine "type" or technology I'm sure that we might see it in future builds on Workhorse chassis.

Preceding Workhorse with this technology, John Deere had a FRED as well.

With FL coming in with an ISB this might be something to look at. International's line up of diesel engines isn't a short list either. WCC is buying Cummins for its R-Series so there is a a lot of confidence in the Cummins name by WCC.

It will be interesting to see how all of this will work out.
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Old 08-05-2005, 07:29 AM   #14
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Well, the Chevy 6.5L was a pretty crappy engine, so it is not surprising it didn't sell well in the P32. If they had tried it with the Durotech MAYBE it would have had a chance.

But personally I think a front diesel will flop. Not enough advantages to outweigh the noise and heat problems of a front engine.
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