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Old 06-29-2010, 09:02 AM   #1
ready2roam's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 75
Look to purchase 2006 Tiffin Phaeton

We're looking to purchase a 2006 Tiffin Phaeton 40 QDH. It looks in good shape but I'd appreciate any information on special things I should be looking for, things that have gone wrong or even right.

In addition, the GVWR is 32000 (I've read enough to know not to exceed that) but does anyone know the 'wet' weight (fuel and water but no personal gear)? Also I'll be pulling a 3500 lb dinghy, will I have trouble with the 350 CAT diesel or will there be enough power?

Finally, at 2006, is that old enough to be able to avoid the diesel fuel issues (special diesel fuel) that I've heard about?

Thanks for all your help and information,

On the road and roamin'
with 2010 Ventana 3961, 2008 Toyota Prius, 2012 Demco Kar Kaddy
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Old 06-29-2010, 06:03 PM   #2
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Location: Lake Mary, Fl.
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We had an 07 Phaeton with the same engine as the 06. No special requirements for diesel fuel...if you mean ultra low sulfur fuel. Pulled our Jeep Liberty so 12K+ miles with two trips to some southwestern states.

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Old 06-29-2010, 07:02 PM   #3
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Location: Auburn, CA, Havasu, AZ & Mulege, BCS
Posts: 5,338
Ready- the bigger engines are fun (zoom, zoom!), but not necessary. Alpines come w/330hp (same as the 350hp) ISC engines, or 400hp ISL's. The latter may accelerate faster, but the 330 guys get there in about the same time and w/more fuel left in the tank.

ULSD started w/engines produced in 2007 & later, so that generally means 2008 model year motorhomes. The 08/09 rigs don't have any noticeable issues w/fuel, since essentially all U.S. diesel is ULSD nowadays. I even travel to Baja and run MexDiesel for a while. The catalytic clean cycle burns out the soot I accumulate on Mexican fuel and I keep on trukin.

Some of the earlier diesels (say 98 to 03-ish) may have an issue w/the ULSD and seals, like in lift pumps, but once those seals or components are replaced, they are back in biz and don't know the difference.
Baja-tested '08 2-slide 36'
Alpine: The Ultimate DIY'er Project
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Old 06-29-2010, 09:14 PM   #4
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Pensacola, Florida
Posts: 5,173
I have 32,000+ miles on my unit. I'm showing around 350 hours on the generator. I pulled a 4700 lb Saturn Outlook out to Seattle and back to Pensacola last summer with no issues in mountains. I wasn't the fastest kid on the block, nor was I the slowest. I've also run through the Smokies and Cumberland mountains without issue. Take your time (you're there to see sights) and enjoy the trip. I'm now pulling a 5900 lb GMC Sierra. Can't really tell an significant difference from the Outlook.

You have plenty of room for your junk, er, I mean stuff. We don't pack particularly light, or heavy. We carry what ever we think we might use and then some. DW always takes to many groceries. My rear axle weight is usually around 19,000 lbs (20,000 max) and my front generally runs about 11,200 (12,000 max). Most critical place to watch for weight is the right rear. That is where all your batteries, washer/dryer, clothes dresser, and bathroom are located.

Inspect, or have inspected, the driver's side slide motors, gears, connecting rods and bolts. Make sure the connecting rods are not wallowed out at the bolts. If they are, have them trimmed, re-drilled and proper bolts with correct washers replaced before you even think about buying. Otherwise it can be a real PIA on the road when you slides won't work. My experience is that they would go out, but not come in. Make sure the unit has had all required maintenance. Some of the '06s came with G rated tires (mine did) others came with the H rated tires. You want the H rated if possible. They can run at a little lower pressure to help smooth the ride and have a little extra safety factor. Check the slide seals all the way around each slide. We found that on ours the seals on the bottom of all four slides did not touch the slide. It was a bit drafty and difficult to heat and cool. After the seals were replaced (under warranty) the interior is much more comfortable. Having the unit in the direct sun with a heat index of 105 will challenge the A/C units and make it difficult to keep as cool as I like inside. The units with the Atwood leveling jack seem to have more problems than the ones with HWH jacks. Neither system is perfect. Make sure the awnings & toppers are tight and do not flap when traveling.

We got rid of the the DS couch and replaced it with a lounge chair and computer desk. We did not find the couch to be very comfortable and we never used the hide-a-bed. We also replaced the factory dinning chairs with some that human beings can comfortably sit on. We have the Sleep Number king bed which like. We bought a Sleep Number I 10 for the house because we liked the one in the coach so well. After we bought the one for house, I went to Bed, Bath & Beyond and purchased their 3" foam topper pad (around $300) for the one in the coach. It's a well worth it upgrade.

Our '06 is our first motorhome, and probably our last. It has all of what we consider the necessities and some of the nice to haves. We bought it because we believed (still do) that it would be a comfortable, well equipped and reliable coach for many, many years. I have added some protection and comfort add ons over the years. I wouldn't be without a good surge protector (I have a Surge Guard but the Progress Unit comes highly recommended). I also carry a Power Master Voltage Regulator (booster). It's nice to have the few times you might need it. I recently replaced the King Dome semi automatic satellite dish (PIA IMHO) with the Winegard Traveler for Dish. It's wonderful.

The Splendide washer/dryer combo has preformed flawlessly running almost constantly when we're out in the coach. Loaded lightly it cleans and drys very well. The Norcold 4 door refrigerator has function almost without problem. We had to replace the two exhaust vent fans last summer. We have had no problem with the manual toilet in the unit. I replaced the Interstate 2200 chassis batteries with Lifeline AGMs a few months ago.

We're leaving in the coach Thursday to enjoy the 4th weekend at the beach. Come join us.
Travel well, travel safe,
2006 Tiffin Phaeton - 2011 Cadillac SRX
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Old 07-02-2010, 12:25 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the information. I'll keep the forum informed as to how it goes.
On the road and roamin'
with 2010 Ventana 3961, 2008 Toyota Prius, 2012 Demco Kar Kaddy
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