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Old 01-22-2014, 11:00 PM   #1
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Anthem vs Allegro Bus

I just paid a deposit on a 2015 Anthem! Now I wait several months for delivery. Took me a year to make my decision. Thought someone might enjoy the fruits of my research... my opinions.

Lets Start with the Tiffin Bus (45LP). My favorite floor plan, most square footage, largest TV's, air leveling (works great), 60 degree turning cut (amazing), electric grid radiant heat that heats under the drivers feet. Tiffin now claims that their insulation is superior to Entegra as of this year.

I just sold my 2010 Tiffin for a fair price and had four buyers lined up, with cash in hand. I assume there must be a strong demand for used Tiffin products. Bob Tiffin and his company absolutely took care of every issue I had with my coach and I can't say enough about their service, even beyond the "official" warranty was out. Truly a pleasure to do business with Tiffin. Also I must mention Lazy Days and their absolutely fantastic customer service. I never had to wait.

The Anthem (44--SL, DLQ, B). The SL has much to small bathroom counter space to suit the ladies, but does have two large couches. Couldn't sell my wife on it. The B is great but the TV/fireplace takes up much of the drivers side slide leaving room only for a dinette, no recliner or couch. Does have bathroom counter space. The DLQ (the one I bought) is the only remaining choice. The passenger side couch is to small. With the slides closed the rear bedroom is inaccessible for anyone over 200 pounds. Why doesn't Entegra place the mid-coach TV and fireplace on the wall as with the SL and open up space? I'm sure there is a good reason.

In general the Anthem, compared to the Allegro Bus, has smaller TV's, 55 degree turning cut, no air leveling, and no floor heat under drivers feet (would be a simple fix to just run a loop under the driver because the tube is right there anyway). The factory service is up to a six month wait for both the Entegra and Tiffin.

So why did I buy what seems the Anthem? I went to both factories and the Entegra factory quality and attention to detail was outstanding. The thickness of the walls, floors, front and rear caps, and roof is impressive. Entegra impressed me with its insulation, frame strength, and solid construction.

Driving the Anthem it was quieter than any other coach I test drove. I felt the "luxury level" greatly exceeded the competition. And I am a fan of the Spartan chassis - had one on my 2000 London Air.

In short I chose the Anthem even though it didn't have the "wish list" or floor plan I wanted. I think they are both great coaches, and I'm really glad I took the time to visit the factory before making a decision.

Please, someone respond and convince me I made the right choice. I know there is no "right" choice. But its always nice to have others agree with me. My wife does, what can I say?
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Old 01-23-2014, 12:26 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trose View Post
I just paid a deposit on a 2015 Anthem! Now I wait several months for delivery. Took me a year to make my decision. Thought someone might enjoy the fruits of my research... my opinions.

Lets Start with the Tiffin Bus (45LP). My favorite floor plan, most square footage, largest TV's, air leveling (works great), 60 degree turning cut (amazing), electric grid radiant heat that heats under the drivers feet. Tiffin now claims that their insulation is superior to Entegra as of this year.

I just sold my 2010 Tiffin for a fair price and had four buyers lined up, with cash in hand. I assume there must be a strong demand for used Tiffin products. Bob Tiffin and his company absolutely took care of every issue I had with my coach and I can't say enough about their service, even beyond the "official" warranty was out. Truly a pleasure to do business with Tiffin. Also I must mention Lazy Days and their absolutely fantastic customer service. I never had to wait.

The Anthem (44--SL, DLQ, B). The SL has much to small bathroom counter space to suit the ladies, but does have two large couches. Couldn't sell my wife on it. The B is great but the TV/fireplace takes up much of the drivers side slide leaving room only for a dinette, no recliner or couch. Does have bathroom counter space. The DLQ (the one I bought) is the only remaining choice. The passenger side couch is to small. With the slides closed the rear bedroom is inaccessible for anyone over 200 pounds. Why doesn't Entegra place the mid-coach TV and fireplace on the wall as with the SL and open up space? I'm sure there is a good reason.

In general the Anthem, compared to the Allegro Bus, has smaller TV's, 55 degree turning cut, no air leveling, and no floor heat under drivers feet (would be a simple fix to just run a loop under the driver because the tube is right there anyway). The factory service is up to a six month wait for both the Entegra and Tiffin.

So why did I buy what seems the Anthem? I went to both factories and the Entegra factory quality and attention to detail was outstanding. The thickness of the walls, floors, front and rear caps, and roof is impressive. Entegra impressed me with its insulation, frame strength, and solid construction.

Driving the Anthem it was quieter than any other coach I test drove. I felt the "luxury level" greatly exceeded the competition. And I am a fan of the Spartan chassis - had one on my 2000 London Air.

In short I chose the Anthem even though it didn't have the "wish list" or floor plan I wanted. I think they are both great coaches, and I'm really glad I took the time to visit the factory before making a decision.

Please, someone respond and convince me I made the right choice. I know there is no "right" choice. But its always nice to have others agree with me. My wife does, what can I say?
Buying a production coach is a series of compromises. In order to get everything you want, you have to go with a custom builder and sell your first born. Don't have kids, so that option is out. Like you, the wife and I looked at a bunch of coaches and narrowed it down to Tiffin, American Coach, Newmar, and Entegra. Each had its own advantages and disadvantages.

Newmar and American Coach are both offering full side slide outs which offer some attractive interior options. But, I just couldn't get the thought of all that unsupported roof over the slide. A lot of bling in the Newmar, for a price. Newmar has changed to the Freightliner chassis and, to me, that was done strictly to cut costs. It is a good chassis - I just think Spartan is a better one.

Tiffin had some nice interior options but neither the wife or I fell in love with the cabinetry - not the quality - the style. Looked at a Zephyr and the dual vanity sinks were a little bizarre and the wife did not care for the large corian sinks in the galley. I know they have had some quality issues in the recent past, but they do stand behind their products.

Ultimately, We chose a Cornerstone for a lot of reasons

1) Bang for the Buck - Really hard to argue. The closest coach to the CS is the King Aire and I was not ready to part with an additional $300,000

2) Insulation - I don't know if Tiffin's claims about 2015 are correct, but from what I have seen, Entegra wins this one hands down.

3) Chassis - Spartan K3 with 600HP Cummins. In my opinion, and it is only my opinion, you have to get a Prevost to do better. Driving this coach was a delight.

4) Workmanship - All these coaches were nice, but the Entegra's just seemed to go one step up. Newmar seems to want to varnish everything with a high gloss finish. On the King Aire, the finish was so shiny, it looked like the cabinet doors were made of plastic. Well built, just not my style.

5) Customer Service - This is the biggest one. We talked to many Entegra owners and we got virtually zero negatives. Yes, everyone has some issues, but it appears that the guys in Middlebury are willing to go the extra mile.

This will be our first coach (yes, I know, we jumped in BIG) I spent nearly 2 years aggravating salesmen and factory reps with, sometimes, uncomfortable questions. Crawled around every coach I could get near and talked to bunch of owners. Considered robbing several banks along the way - gave up on that plan early.

I can't tell you that you made the best choice for yourself. That you will discover in time, just like I will. However, I am pretty confident in my decision and after meeting with a lot of Entegra owners in Tampa at the show, I feel like we will be hanging with a pretty nice group of folks. Looking forward to sitting with some of them down the road and having a nice "cold frosty beverage."
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Old 01-23-2014, 04:06 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Crippsfl View Post

Tiffin had some nice interior options but neither the wife or I fell in love with the cabinetry - not the quality - the style.

We also like Tiffin products but felt the same about their cabinetry, well built but not our favorite style. I also agree with Entegra staff customer relations, unsurpassable !
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Old 01-23-2014, 04:35 AM   #4
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I share your thoughts, Cripps. If there is anything I don't like about the Entegras, it would be floorplan issues. Nearly everything else is great. I wish Entegra would copy Tiffin's 45 foot floorplan.

Trose, you forgot to mention the 2 year warranty, a major plus for Entegra. And why would you need floor heat for the driver when the dash heat can easily heat that area?
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Old 01-23-2014, 05:26 AM   #5
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Trose, Welcome to the forum and the Entegra family. Thank you for posting your thoughts. I have to agree with everything you and Crippsfl had to say. We owned the earlier version of the Entegra and we stayed with what we knew worked. We have been in snowy weather while wearing T shirts inside with no drafts. When it came time to upgrade, we made a trip to the factory to see if the quality of the "new" company was as good....it was better! We watched this forum for about 2 months, no major complaints about the Entegra, just a few "how to's" but everyone was raving about the quality and ride, so we placed our order. We did not shop other manufactures, we stayed with what we knew as almost a perfect MH. I am sure we both made the right choice, I know I don't have any second thoughts.

Also glad to hear that you have had good service from LD. We also ordered from them as well mainly for the service. We are local, only 125 miles south, so we can schedule our service needs after Snowbird season. So far, we have been treated as well as anyone could ask for during the purchase.
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Old 01-23-2014, 05:32 AM   #6
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I'm setting here in Minnesota this morning and it's -15. To me, if you require floor heat in the drivers area you are too far north, turn around and go south. Just saying.
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Old 01-23-2014, 06:20 AM   #7
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Trose,

Think second guessing after pulling the trigger is something most of us feel. You've researched the coaches closely, worked the compromises, and made a great selection. I'd add a couple of thoughts:
- Entegra is expanding their service functionality, increasing availability of service appointments.
- That said, the CS folks will work closely with a servicing outfit to work through any issues you have (and LD appears to be a great choice for that with most if in FL).
- As Marc offered, and as I sit here in my 1.3 year old coach, I still have almost a year of warrantee left...a real good feeling as I get ready for a westward bound trip of close to 9000 miles.
- I kinda question the insulation assertion...if true, I'd expect to see some type of R-value statements on their website...couldn't find any.
- We have the salon TV, and while it takes some space, my only issue is they could have place cabinets on either side of the fireplace for additional storage.
- I think we'd all like to see some additional floor plans.
- Can't speak to air leveling, but I am extremely pleased with the ride of my MM Spartan chassis, as well as the serviceability and the customer service. Been to the factory, but very comfortable with the CS guys working with Cummins Coach Care, and other services around the country to get any work done that you need.

Welcome to the Entegra family...great bunch of pretty happy owners, a great coach, and supported by outstanding CS.
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Old 01-23-2014, 06:28 AM   #8
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I'm setting here in Minnesota this morning and it's -15. To me, if you require floor heat in the drivers area you are too far north, turn around and go south. Just saying.
When I mentioned that "Cold Frosty Beverage" I had something else entirely in mind!!
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Old 01-23-2014, 06:40 AM   #9
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You made the right choice. We too compared the Anthem to the Allegro Bus. First we test drove and carefully went through an Aspire, because there was no Anthem available to look at within a several hundred mile radius. We then headed to another dealer who had just gotten in a new Allegro Bus. All of the salesmen were busy when we got there, so they unlocked the unit for us and let us go through on our own. Yes, the interior is important, but the main reason for choosing a motorhome should not be about what you see. In all honesty, the interior was not any more/less impressive than the Aspire we looked at. But here's what sold us on the Anthem... we finished our tour inside the Allegro and headed outside, my husband and I each opened and closed a basement door and looked at each other, you could immediately feel that the doors were not as solid or as well built as the Aspire. We knew what our decision was and left.

P.S. We had done research online, combing through websites, blogs, etc. prior to our site visits. Prices were comparable.
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Old 01-23-2014, 10:01 AM   #10
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The 44DLQ is an excellent choice in my opinion, but then I might be prejudice. I owned two Tiffin buses. The last one was a 2011, but as far as quality and insulation Entegra wins hands down in my opinion. I have read several threads on the Tiffin forums and the Tiffin 2013&2014 are having several problems including windshields coming loose and cracking. If you don't have a good frame work under a mh you can patch it when things start breaking and cracking, but you can never totally fix the problem I.e. Tiffin side walls cracking, roof radius cracking etc. Bob Tiffin is a great guy, their mh's are pretty, but we got tired of spending half our time in Red Bay. There are a lot of loyal Tiffin owners, but a lot less than there used to be once a better alternative came along. Noel
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