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Old 07-07-2014, 01:39 PM   #1
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Short Bus Owners, What's Your Experience?

Hello all,

Doing a ton of research in the quest for my next, newer (probably not brand new) diesel pusher.

I started searching in the TAG + 42 feet range until someone suggested to me that I consider going 40 foot and under and tidy up the suspension with some koni shocks, sway bars, and a henderson something or another.

So I started looking and there are a lot of really great floorplans in the say... the allegro red or phaeton, monaco, holiday rambler, winni.

So I've looked into some 36 38 foot models and it looks promising, plus it wouldn't hurt my feelings to have less beast over more beast.

So therefore I wanted to hear some stories from shorter bus owners.

Any thoughts on the shorter units? Between 30 and 38 feet?
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Old 07-07-2014, 01:51 PM   #2
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I have an Allegro RED 38QBA with about 22K on it now. It runs 39' (why they call it a 38 is anyone's guess) and I think that it's great. It goes down the road just fine and I have driven it on two 2800 mile round trips down the east coast with our toad. It has enough power for me and gets great mileage. I haven't driven a tag axle so I cannot compare it to that. What it does have is easily as much storage as a 44' side radiator tag. I don't need granite counters and marble floors, but it does have the nice AV systems and the large generator, heat pumps and 4 slides, so for us it has all the amenities that we want, just not as fast or as flashy.
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Old 07-07-2014, 02:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PushedAround View Post
I have an Allegro RED 38QBA with about 22K on it now. It runs 39' (why they call it a 38 is anyone's guess) and I think that it's great. It goes down the road just fine and I have driven it on two 2800 mile round trips down the east coast with our toad. It has enough power for me and gets great mileage. I haven't driven a tag axle so I cannot compare it to that. What it does have is easily as much storage as a 44' side radiator tag. I don't need granite counters and marble floors, but it does have the nice AV systems and the large generator, heat pumps and 4 slides, so for us it has all the amenities that we want, just not as fast or as flashy.
I've been spying those myself. How do the A/C's hold up in the heat? And how does it tow? Fine I imagine.
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Old 07-07-2014, 03:33 PM   #4
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Jay, it tows just fine, but I would have to think that it has less power than your Revolution. It is 4500 lbs lighter but only can tow 5K, so you'd have to consider it more carefully. For us it's fine and we love the bunkhouse because it gives us an amazing amount of storage in what would otherwise be space not well used. Like other Tiffins, it has very large tanks and huge cabinets, but if I wasn't so enamored with having the bunks for my office equipment and all of the dog stuff, I probably would have moved a little more upscale to the Phaeton.

One other item, the heat in the winter is fine, and the A/C seems good, but we have not been out in temps above 95 degrees yet.
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Old 07-07-2014, 04:50 PM   #5
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understood. Well our care weighs in at about 3200 lbs, plus I load it with another 300 lbs of gear. I was actualy spying the 33a floorplan and thinking about going even shorter. the only downside is that it only has 80 cubic feet of storage space below. ugh. Where as you have about 150 cubic feet of basement storage. And like you, I would use the bunks for mega storage.
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Old 07-07-2014, 04:51 PM   #6
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and I really like the phaeton 36, but only a queen size bed, everything else perfect.

See we are trying to get that tv into a good spot so we can watch from the same sitting spot. sounds silly, but it's true.
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Old 07-07-2014, 05:04 PM   #7
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As you look at shorter coaches, be aware of the wheelbase and how much overhang there is behind the rear axle. The 34-36-footers are built on a shorter wheelbase chassis but the manufacturers try to maintain lots of storage by adding space behind the axle. The more overhang behind the rear axle, the less stable they are to drive.
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Old 07-07-2014, 05:07 PM   #8
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As you look at shorter coaches, be aware of the wheelbase and how much overhang there is behind the rear axle. The 34-36-footers are built on a shorter wheelbase chassis but the manufacturers try to maintain lots of storage by adding space behind the axle. The more overhang behind the rear axle, the less stable they are to drive.
True, that's why the 38s seem to do well because they are on a very long chassis and have less rear overhang.
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Old 07-07-2014, 05:17 PM   #9
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interesting, thanks for the tip! I was unaware.
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Old 07-07-2014, 08:23 PM   #10
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Had a 2013 Tiffin 38QRA Jay. Loved the look and floor plan, but after several cross country road trips the battle to maintain control in moderate crosswinds was not worth it. Yes, we could have spent mega-$$$$ chasing a handling fix, but one drive in a 35+mph x-wind in a tag-axle spartan chassis mh was all it took. We now drive a 2014 Entegra 42DLQ!
No comparison in the ride or driver fatigue reduction! ANDnwe absolutely love the floor plan.
The tiffin seemed to have better storage for its size, but we really like our new Entegra.
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Old 07-08-2014, 09:40 AM   #11
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I have a 38 foot allegro bus. I do not have problems in the wind. If there are extremely strong cross winds I feel them but it is not enough of a problem for me to stop and wait them out. If I were to get another unit I would probably go with a 40 ft quad slide to get more kitchen and living room space. WE have lived in ours for 5 months and will probably spend most of this year in it. Like I said I might go with 40 just to get a bit of extra space. It is not a big enough problem for me to even consider looking for another unit though.
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Old 07-08-2014, 10:41 AM   #12
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We have a true 38' .

Without slides we have wall length that provides a long couch and a long galley counter.

If we had slides, we would need a 40' rig to achieve those rwo goals due to space required for the slide mechanism.

Wind is seldom a problem. Crossing north Dakota and an event in Palm Springs are two occasions where wind affected the rig at 31,000 pounds.
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Old 07-08-2014, 11:04 AM   #13
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Jay, just be sure that after owning a 40 ft coach that you will be happy going smaller.
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Old 07-08-2014, 12:31 PM   #14
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We have the new Forest River Legacy DP and it is 36'6" with a shorter wheel base of 208". I think it is a a great driving coach and typically drive with one hand.

I think the key is being properly loaded (balanced and not overweight) having a 4 corner weighing done and having the proper tire pressure.

I don't believe all the hype about all these fine coaches under 38 feet not handling well. Most of these handling issues your hear about are self induced from the above steps not being done or even simpler most people have a tendency to oversteer which in any long vehicle whether truck boat or airplane can have dramatic effect.
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