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Old 01-13-2019, 09:09 AM   #1
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Comparison Bus vs Dutch Star

Hi Newmar owners !
Looking for objective experience comparing the 40" non tag Tiffin Bus to the 40" Tandem DS. Please include your impression regarding chassis differences of Freightliner vs Spartan on the DS and Powerglide vs Freightliner on the Bus.

I know the 40' bus will be non tag and most likely may not have as good of ride quality.
How much storage space is lost with the tag ?

TIA
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:23 AM   #2
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Quality of components used
Insulation
Basement doors that will latch
Newmar factory service

....& the list goes on & on

BTW: I'm partial to Spartan
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:52 AM   #3
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Best way to answer this is my history. Drove a Tiffin for 12 years tag and non-tag. traded for a 40' tag Newmar and drove it for 18,000 miles. Just traded for a Newmar Dutch Star 4369 and did not even consider going back to a Tiffin.
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:55 AM   #4
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Forgot to mention I've had both spartan and freightliner and couldn't really tell that much difference. Never had a powerglide.
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Old 01-13-2019, 10:32 AM   #5
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Hi - We meet some of your criteria so I'll give you my thoughts. We have owned 9 RV's over the years (been at it for a while, not that I'm getting old or anything like that). Prior to the current DS we had 4 Tiffins. The first two were gas coaches as we had not yet gone fulltime. They were good coaches and as the reputation goes we were backed well by Tiffin as far as issues. The next two were diesels, a Phaeton on a Freightliner and a Bus on a Powerglide.

Tiffin has changed over the years and simply is not the company that Bob established and nurtured so well. Some of the changes are the result of owners abusing the system and some due to the generational (and values) changes taking place internally at Tiffin.
More specific to your question, the Powerglide chassis is a good chassis and a step above the Freightliner in terms of ride and overall quality. The Spartan is tops and is the only chassis that I'd consider in the future. (BTW- they haven't made a Bus on a Freightliner for some time unless you want to look used at a limited amount of 45 footers that had the 600 hp on a Freightliner).
Our Bus was a 40AP and I often refer to it as the coach from hell. I don't believe that it is indicative of Tiffin in general but QA has slipped to the point where these coaches do get built and sent out. Our current DS is a 4369. Ride, comfort and storage is comparable between the two. You do lose about 3 feet in the basement with the tag and that's why we went to the 43.
Overall quality of build is much better in the Newmar and backing for the "working out the kinks" has been excellent and on a par with Tiffin. Plus when the DS is 4 years old I can still go to Nappanee for needed service and with Tiffin after 10 years they totally kiss you goodbye.
Newmar comes up short on some items such as the electronics in the DS, but overall it is a superior coach and unless something were to change I'd not go back to the Tiffin Bus.
Everyone has their own thoughts and needs so go with what you like. My advice is to seriously look at the DS. If basement storage is an issue for you consider the 43 foot models.



Tom
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Old 01-13-2019, 10:48 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies all. And Tom thanks fotr the detailed report.

More feedback regarding road handling and road surface / rough road capability's please ?
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Old 01-13-2019, 11:10 AM   #7
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Hi Pete - The Freightliner was under a 40 foot Phaeton. It handled well but rode like a bread truck. This was a 2013 model and I have been told that ride quality has improved since then but can't give a first person report on that. Freightliner builds a good chassis that meets the specs. (That's part of my gripe about FL, more later).
The Powerglide was a definite step up under a 2016 40 foot Bus. The problem was that we had multiple issues as it aged (as much as a chassis can age in two years). There were issues with air lines that were damaged by the welders during the build and a rear suspension that failed and then an idler bracket that fatigued and broke.

As mentioned previously the spartan is a really superior chassis. It is heftier than the others (reference the "built to meet a spec" comment above) and exceeds in most every way. The ride quality is excellent and road noise level is also excellent. Some tire noise makes it into the cockpit on certain roads but still better than any other I've driven. And a big plus - don't forget Comfort Steer. I assumed that it was some sort of advertising garbage. It is not. It makes driving a large coach so much easier.


It's going to be a big jump from the 32 SA to a DS or a Bus but you will surely enjoy it. Good luck with your decision. Look closely at how the two brands do plumbing, electrical wiring and all the construction that doesn't show and the decision will be easy.


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Old 01-13-2019, 11:12 AM   #8
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"Peter"......Ricci gave you a GREAT and honest opinion.

I've never owned a Tiffin product, but came close. When we were looking in 2014 for a new coach, we narrowed our search down to the Allegro Bus and Dutch Star.

-I thought the paint (at that time) was better on the Bus.

-You do lose a lot of storage on the DS with the tag.

-Tiffin puts 3 A/C's and a 10K generator on the Bus, Newmar refuses.

-The PowerGlide is a nice chassis and I like the service bay in the back for filters and such.

With that said, there were no dealers reasonably closed to where we lived. We were definitely locked on a 40' coach, with a tag axle. Other things like side radiators and engines and such were the same. (I do believe you can get a larger motor in a 43 Bus).

We ended up buying the Dutch Star. Fast forward to last year and we were ready for an upgrade. When we bought our Dutch Star, it was the last year before a make over. They made numerous changes after 2014.

After being a DS owner for awhile, I learned that you could pretty much custom order a coach the way you wanted it. No engine changes, but everything else can be changed. This time we designed and optioned a coach just the way we wanted it. I don't believe Tiffin allows that level of customization.

I thought that my 2014 DS rode a little rough on the Freightliner chassis. I installed new shocks, adjusted tires and made it into a reasonable ride. I feel my 2019 is a much better ride, right out of the box. Much smoother and quieter. I'm still a big custom shock fan and already changed the front shocks to Koni's. Will test them next week on the way to Quartzsite.
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Old 01-13-2019, 11:56 AM   #9
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Thank you both Tom and Don. Yes this will be a major upgrade from my 32 SA . The Sa continues to serve me well after the suspension changes. I will have to decide between the 4002 and 4018 floor plan. Then pick and choose between the incredible option list.
Don curious why did you choose the 4018 over the 02 ?

Thanks !
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Old 01-13-2019, 12:02 PM   #10
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Here's a link to the same discussion from a few days ago:

http://www.irv2.com/forums/f106/40-t...on-426409.html

With the tag you will get extra weight capacity, maybe better stability (however our 40' non tag Power Glide is very stable) and you will lose at least two storage bays.
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Old 01-13-2019, 01:12 PM   #11
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It's not really a fair comparison for stability and CCC between any tag vs non-tag.
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Old 01-13-2019, 01:37 PM   #12
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We just prefer it laid out that way, kitchen on the patio side.
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Old 01-13-2019, 01:59 PM   #13
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Hi DS Don - Tiffin puts 3 units on the roof because you'd die from the heat in the summer if it just had two. The insulation does not compare to Newmar or Entegra.


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Old 01-13-2019, 03:58 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricci View Post
Hi DS Don - Tiffin puts 3 units on the roof because you'd die from the heat in the summer if it just had two. The insulation does not compare to Newmar or Entegra.
Tom
With all due respect, that's not true at all. I have been in 100+ temps and only ran two units. The third unit is nice to be able to move zones around and have a spare in case one goes down.
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