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Old 02-25-2008, 02:39 PM   #1
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Well we have three months before we can retire. We sold the house last August. We've been looking and reading and thought for sure we knew we were going to get a new Tiffin Phaeton to begin the next stage of our life. Everything we'd heard and read pointed us to Tiffin.
But and this is a big BUT.
I waited until we were near purchasing before I joined RV Consumers Group. Just got my packet today and popped the CD in and EEKKK. Everything I read puts the whole Tiffin line as snowbirds at best and all the Phaetons at no more than three stars. We had our heart set on a new Phaeton but now I'm not so sure. I certainly don't want to purchase something we'll regret before we have a real chance to use it.
I really don't know what to do at this point. I thought the Tiffin line was right up at the top as far as a full-timers coach but that's not what I'm reading. Should I disregard what RVCG says and go for a Phaeton anyway?
I need some input from people who own or have owned a Phaeton or other Tiffin RV.
Our other option is looking at a coach that is rated for full-time.
RVCG rates the Country Coach Inspire very high and suitable for full-timing but we are certainly knocked out of purchasing a new one and Nanc had her heart set on a new we could order as we wanted.
So here's my second question. Should we stick with what RVCG says as far as ratings go and only look at full-time coachs or not?

Thanks for any help

Rex
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Old 02-25-2008, 02:39 PM   #2
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Well we have three months before we can retire. We sold the house last August. We've been looking and reading and thought for sure we knew we were going to get a new Tiffin Phaeton to begin the next stage of our life. Everything we'd heard and read pointed us to Tiffin.
But and this is a big BUT.
I waited until we were near purchasing before I joined RV Consumers Group. Just got my packet today and popped the CD in and EEKKK. Everything I read puts the whole Tiffin line as snowbirds at best and all the Phaetons at no more than three stars. We had our heart set on a new Phaeton but now I'm not so sure. I certainly don't want to purchase something we'll regret before we have a real chance to use it.
I really don't know what to do at this point. I thought the Tiffin line was right up at the top as far as a full-timers coach but that's not what I'm reading. Should I disregard what RVCG says and go for a Phaeton anyway?
I need some input from people who own or have owned a Phaeton or other Tiffin RV.
Our other option is looking at a coach that is rated for full-time.
RVCG rates the Country Coach Inspire very high and suitable for full-timing but we are certainly knocked out of purchasing a new one and Nanc had her heart set on a new we could order as we wanted.
So here's my second question. Should we stick with what RVCG says as far as ratings go and only look at full-time coachs or not?

Thanks for any help

Rex
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Old 02-26-2008, 06:04 AM   #3
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I knew RVCG had safety ratings for RVs, but I was unaware RVCG rated RVs for full-timing. Do they say why the Phaeton is unsatisfactory for fulltiming?

We have been full-timing for almost 2 years (with one year of vacation and weekend use prior to going full-time) in a Tiffin Allegro Bay gasser and at 27,000 miles, it is holding up very well. We would not own any coach other than a Tiffin. Tiffin's dedication to customer service is legenary. We have had very few problems with our coach.

We read and hear about about quite a few who are full-timing in Phaetons. Scroll down to the Tiffin Owners' Forum and take a look there.

One minor caution for the 40' Phaetons is to check the cargo carrying capacity. The 36' is pretty good at almost 3000 lb (if I remember correctly) and the 42' has a tag axle that takes the CCC to something in the neighborhood of 9000 lbs. The 40 footers are on the same chassis as the 36' and therefore may be a little low on CCC for full-timing.
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Old 02-26-2008, 06:19 AM   #4
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First of all, I think you could 'full time' in most any class A coach depending on what you want and need. We could certainly full time in our current rig. Tiffin certainly has a great reputation for customer service as does Winnebago, IMO. I think you should develop your list of 'must-haves' and 'really would like to haves' and then look for a coach that you can afford that best meets your needs.

These are some things I would consider if I was selecting a full timing rig:

1. will I spend much time in colder areas? Frankly, some rigs don't have a lot of insulation and are difficult to heat.

2. will I spend a lot of time driving vs. less driving and staying longer in one place? If you will be moving a lot, place more emphasis on chassis (how well does it ride and handle?) Do you want independent front suspension (IFS), do you want at least 400 hp, a tag axle?

3. what will you carry? If you will want to have a lot of stuff, get a rig with higher CCC. As noted above, some rigs are already heavy and don't have a lot of cargo capacity.

4. what floorplan trips your switch? Do you want a bigger shower vs. a bigger kitchen. Front TV vs. TV in living area? Dining booth vs. table and chairs? Most folks say you should spend enough time in any coach (while shopping) thinking about how you cook, how you dress, etc, trying to visualize what it would be like to 'live' in that box with slides.

There is a lot to consider. However, it looks like you already want a DP which, IMO, is the better choice for full timing.

Some folks want new and are willing to pay the huge first year depreciation and spend at least a year to 18 months working the bugs out of a new coach. Some will be happy with a well-cared-for used rig. If I was looking, I'd look at some high-end used rigs...Country Coach Allure, Newmar Mountain Aire, American Coach (Eagle, Dream, Tradition)...certainly all good choices.

There are a lot of great choices out there. Good luck with your search.
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Old 02-26-2008, 06:44 AM   #5
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The RV Consumers Group is NOT the Consumer Reports of RVs.

The RV Consumers Group compiles all of it's data from RV product brochures by plugging that data into a spreadsheet.

The RV Consumers Group has not ever actually tested an RV.

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Old 02-26-2008, 06:45 AM   #6
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">So here's my second question. Should we stick with what RVCG says as far as ratings go and only look at full-time coachs or not? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Absolutely not!

When I first started research on my MH, I read all of RVCG's info.

I soon came to the conclusion that RVCG is not the best or only basis for making a decision.

I believe RVCG is just one more piece of information to read.

RVCG does not test RVs. All of their ratings are based on their "calculations" and opinions.

I soon lost interest in their ratings and bought my Dutch Star based on my research and talking to other owners. I never looked at RVCG to see what their opinion of my MH is.

There are countless folks fulltiming in rigs rated unacceptable by RVCG.

You will receive much better info from other owners.

Select a rig you like and enjoy.

This is pretty much the same reply I posted SKP forum.
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Old 02-26-2008, 07:11 AM   #7
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Phaeton </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
If you like the Phaeton and think you would be happy living in it,go for it. Just make sure the ccc is enough. We've seen people fulltime in all kinds of rigs and are very happy.

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Old 02-26-2008, 04:19 PM   #8
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Thanks all, everyone has more than supported what I already suspected. Take everything I read with a grain of salt. We've been looking at different rigs for nearly two years first waiting to sell the house and then going back and forth between FW and MH finally deciding on a MH then going to shows and every RV dealer we could get to in a days ride. We had finally settled on a Phaeton after comparing them with other MH and checking them out on the internet. But I had to see what RVCG said about them because a lot of people hold they pretty high.

They only rate the '07 and back to '02 Phaeton 35', 36', QSH and QDH 40' and the 42'. They rate the Reliability("is generated from consumer satisfaction pools and staff evaluations") at 72 and the Valve("will give you an idea of how much this model will depreciate as it ages") at 73 (but they don't explain where they come up with those numbers) and the Hwy Control at 81. The Hwy Control is based on length versus wheel base.
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Old 02-26-2008, 05:08 PM   #9
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Buy a Prevost , you will have lots,lots of CCC.
But a Tiffen is a great m/h , 36 Phaeton QSH with 4 slides 2008 model is by far a great buy. hands down. for full timing and For the price of $223,000 MSRP. I myself have been thinking on that myself, and trade my THOR class A 2006 32 in for it.
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Old 02-26-2008, 06:27 PM   #10
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Yes Tiffin is up there but you have 5 different classes of vehicle within Tiffin.

Starts at:
Allegro
Allegro Bay
Phaeton
Allegro Bus
Zephyr

You could say Phaeton is entry to the Diesel (excluding the Fred which can be found on Entry Allegro).

So it could be normal that they give it a 3. Look at Top of Tiffin, the Zephyr and see what they give for rating.

On a side note, the Allegro Bus now comes in 36 feet and that is a step up from Phaeton. Look at that one also.

Good luck
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Old 02-26-2008, 08:06 PM   #11
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The RV Consumers Group says my current MH sucks but they have never tested any MH's. Because of time commitments on a few occasions we have driven ~ 500 miles in ~ 8 hours with out any problems. They compile unsupported opinions from empirical data that is meaningless. If I were buying today Tiffin would be high on my list.

<span class="ev_code_RED">ENJOY THE RIDE.</span>
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Old 02-27-2008, 06:10 AM   #12
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Rather than look at what some non-RVing pencil pushers have to say, check out what the RV Dealers Association has to say. The RVDA is made up of RV dealers who know the industry and the product.

First of all, the 2007 dealer survey shows Tiffin to be above the other brands as far as quality and reliabilty, support, design, etc. All of the dealers voted Tiffin as the #1 manufacturer for the 4th year in a row. They also highly recommend Tiffin to other dealers (not in their territory of course ) over other brands.



Also, look what the customers have to say. Either Tiffin does an excellent job of snowing potential buyers or else a great number of the RV buying public seems to have found out how good they are. Seeing as how Tiffin enjoys a great number of repeat buyers I tend to think it not a snow job. The Phaeton is the #1 selling diesel pusher and the Allegro Bus is #3. Overall Tiffin sales are 13.4% up in an industry that is 7.7% down. Can all those buyers and RV dealers be wrong?

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Old 02-27-2008, 06:47 AM   #13
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Rex&nancy;

You have received a lot of good information. I did not see where you took any factory tours. I would suggest you do that as it is a great experience watching the coaches being built. I know Tiffin has a great reputation. Winnebago also makes a great coach and they have many satisfied owners. I have a question on the graphs Cruzer posted as Winnebago was included with All Others in the graph. Perhaps if they were separated out they may have been closer to Tiffin?

Don
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Old 03-01-2008, 06:57 AM   #14
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Rex&nancy,

We do not, as of now, full-time in our Phaeton. We have on several occasions spent several weeks at a time in it. We carry all of "our stuff" to be comfortable and pull a fairly heavy tow. Since we do not boondock I only keep about 1/3 tank of water. That gives me close to an extra 500 pounds I can carry. I also add back in the another 200 pounds for the 2 people we are not carrying.

We have camped from hot, south Florida in July, to cold, Red Bay & Tennessee in the low 20s. The A/Cs have kept us cool and the heaters warm. The heat pumps will work down into the mid to lower 40's. If it is going to drop down below 40 anytime during the night, switch over to gas heat before going to bed.

I don't know what RVDA problem is with the Phaeton, I sure enjoy mine.
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