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Old 10-27-2020, 09:07 AM   #1
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Selecting Options on 2021 Open Road Allegro

We are seriously considering ordering a new Open Road Allegro 32 SA this week and are uncertain about a few of the options. For those of you with a Tiffin, if you have advice on any of the following, I'd appreciate your input:

(1) Booth dinette vs. the optional dinette with computer workstation. I've always liked the booth format, but my wife is intrigued by the workstation and the little storage areas in that setup. I'm also concerned about securing loose chairs while traveling.

(2) Central vacuum. We've never had a coach with this option and I tend to think of it as another appliance that could fail at some time and/or require more maintenance. Any big advantage over just using a shop vac upon the end of your trip?

(3) Solar panel(s) or solar panel prep. Will likely get a solar panel just to increase the ability to boondock in certain situations. How often do you use it, or is always active and available for your needs?

Thanks for any input on these choices.
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Old 10-27-2020, 09:51 AM   #2
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Central Vac and solar prep

2. I have full tile (tile in bedroom option for Newmar) and the central vac. It makes clean up so easy I sweep the coach several times each day. We travel with too dogs and at this point I’d say it’s a must. Mine is Dirt Devil (Tiffin probably uses the same, and it is not only a reliable brand and seemingly robust, it is easily accessed for bag changes (which I still haven’t had to do in four months of off and on use) and if it ever fails, it would be easily replaced.

3. I’d definitely get solar prep even if you don’t plan on installing solar right now. Great for future use if things change. I don’t know about Tiffin’s solar option, but Newmar’s is under sized and over priced for what you get. Worth checking their specs and pricing it on your own, in which case your solar prep would be very handy. With Newmar, solar prep is only around $250.

As for #1, no idea on Tiffin options, but our chairs do slide around a bit so we secure them or put them on the bed while driving. It’s a non-issue for us and I like the table and chairs set up.
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Old 10-27-2020, 11:18 AM   #3
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Vacuum - not a big deal from an appliance perspective. That is not the problem. The issue is storage. The built-in still requires the hose and fixtures to store in a handy location. I did not think that was helpful for us. Give it a toss up.

Dinette - no brainer - get the dinette - gives you two forward facing seatbelt locations. The chair concept does give you the feeling of more space, but having chairs to store is not helpful. Might have a different perspective if I worked from the road, but suspect I'd have same dislike for the concept. TD for chairs

At a minimum - get the solar prewired - have them upgrade to larger gauge wire as well. It's not expensive and gets you past the most difficult part of a solar install. Solar has value, but to really use it, the grid needs to be significant. Most solar elements are not always compatible with capacity upgrade. Best to get it right at one pass. You might be better off to wait unless you really know future plans. TU for prep

Do upgrade to a pure sine wave inverter. Modified sine wave is not best for your residential refrigerator and some other electronics. You can make MSW work if you are tight for $$$s and use FHU RV sites a majority of the time. Best is a Hybrid converter, but they are expensive. TU for PSW

Good luck with your new coach.
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Old 10-27-2020, 11:35 AM   #4
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Thanks to both of you. Helpful input!
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Old 10-27-2020, 12:07 PM   #5
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I’m sure it varies by manufacturer, but my central vac has a floor inlet just like the one on my house. Its about in the center of the coach so I just sweep to the center from both ends, kick open the floor inlet and sweep the stuff in. Also it cleans the broom with a couple swipes.

Between dirt getting tracked in, dog hair, and just general detritus, it makes cleanup easy, even enjoyable, and I also don’t resist trips to the beach any more. Sand in the coach used to really bug me, as did dogs with coats full of dirt. Between central vac and no carpet, life is much easier and less stressful.

The only time I use the hose kit is when I cleaning compartments. There’s a plug in for the hose next to the unit in a center basement compartment, and enough hose to snake through the pass thru storage, so I can vac all compartments and no longer have to bring my portable Milwaukee battery op shop vac. Saves space, keeps it simple.

So I’d check with Tiffin and see what they offer. My guess is they didn’t reinvent the wheel. That’s a nice floor plan BTW - I really like a “walk through” bathroom - it allows the bedroom to be private with the bathroom available to the living room, and also allows the bedroom/bath to be a private suite for showering and dressing. Very functional in a coach this size.

If you do get the solar pre-wire (I definitely would) feel free to PM me on solar experience and suggestions. We have the RV solar thing well sorted out from controllers and inverters to panels. I use residential panels which makes wiring easier, provides more power, but complicates the system a bit.

Just depends on what you want out of it. Newmar’s prewire is 6ga which is way overkill for residential panels, but might be barely sufficient for a large 12v system.

Dirt Devil system - Kitchen floor inlet, and basement unit with hose outlet (propped open for the pic):
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Old 10-27-2020, 12:24 PM   #6
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Just to throw my 2 cents worth in here, we did not opt for the vacuum option and honestly don't miss it. With a small handheld vac and Swiffer, we keep the place plenty clean and don't have associated storage/weight considerations to deal with. We chose the dinette and I much prefer its look and functionality to a booth arrangement; but this one is really a matter of personal preference/choice. You do lose the seatbelts and under-booth storage if those are important to you. Finally, I did get the solar prep, but have not added solar. On my 34PA, my concern is a possible weight increase with the panels and effect on GAWR, especially on the front. Might still do it in the future if I wrestle that concern to the ground. Per the previous poster's comment though, do get heavier gauge cable than standard if you get it. Mine's not thick enough, so that if I do go the solar route, I think I'll have to go to a higher voltage to reduce amps going down the line. Don't really want to have to pull new wires down to the battery area. Hope this helps.
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Old 10-27-2020, 12:59 PM   #7
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The central vacuum dilemma sounds like one of those things where it’s hard to go back if you’ve ever gotten used to one, but hard to appreciate if you’ve always lived without one. So, we’ll see what happens with that choice.

The solar discussion has been helpful. I know we will get the prep at a minimum.
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Old 10-27-2020, 01:01 PM   #8
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Now I just need to get a return phone call from my local dealer. Apparently Tiffin is introducing a price increase for any orders placed after November 1st.
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Old 10-27-2020, 01:23 PM   #9
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Just curious, which chassis have you selected, 22K or 24K? Also, if you would choose to go the solar route, would you opt for a 4-battery setup now if available vs. the two that are standard? Four would be nice to have if you are going to be boondocking, regardless if you have the solar or not. Normally if a residential fridge is an option as is the case on the 32SA, then there's also the opportunity for 4-batteries.
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Old 10-27-2020, 01:29 PM   #10
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We just upgraded to a 2016 32SA and are loving it. My thoughts on your questions:

Central vac - definitely! Easy to use, works well, much nicer than dragging a vac up from the basement, works much better than a broom.

Booth vs table. Wife wanted booth, I wanted table and chairs. The coach we found had a booth... works well, the table could be a little wider.

One issue - getting out can be fun. The pleather cushions do not slide! Instinct is to put a hand on the table and lever oneself up and out. Probably not good for the long-term health of the table. We’re working on developing better habits. Would definitely prefer table and chairs.

Solar pre-wire - ours has it, will probably never use it. My understanding is that Tiffin uses 10 gauge wire which is much too small for most decent capacity installations. But, the prewire does give you a conduit through which to run your own properly sized wire. Saves you from the anxiety of drilling a hole in the roof!

Enjoy! The 32SA is a great coach.

Regards,

Randy
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Old 10-27-2020, 02:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike8253 View Post
Just curious, which chassis have you selected, 22K or 24K? Also, if you would choose to go the solar route, would you opt for a 4-battery setup now if available vs. the two that are standard? Four would be nice to have if you are going to be boondocking, regardless if you have the solar or not. Normally if a residential fridge is an option as is the case on the 32SA, then there's also the opportunity for 4-batteries.
Ordering the 24K chassis for sure. This will have the residential fridge with the 4 batteries. Planning to get at least the solar prep, possibly with the two panels from the factory.
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Old 10-27-2020, 02:39 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by groswald View Post
We just upgraded to a 2016 32SA and are loving it. My thoughts on your questions:

Central vac - definitely! Easy to use, works well, much nicer than dragging a vac up from the basement, works much better than a broom.

Booth vs table. Wife wanted booth, I wanted table and chairs. The coach we found had a booth... works well, the table could be a little wider.

One issue - getting out can be fun. The pleather cushions do not slide! Instinct is to put a hand on the table and lever oneself up and out. Probably not good for the long-term health of the table. We’re working on developing better habits. Would definitely prefer table and chairs.

Solar pre-wire - ours has it, will probably never use it. My understanding is that Tiffin uses 10 gauge wire which is much too small for most decent capacity installations. But, the prewire does give you a conduit through which to run your own properly sized wire. Saves you from the anxiety of drilling a hole in the roof!

Enjoy! The 32SA is a great coach.

Regards,

Randy
I am still partial to the booth style dinette, but I think my wife is outvoting me in favor of the work table and chairs. Honestly, I think either would work well. Looks like the vacuum will not make the list. I will need to transfer my straw broom from the Palazzo!
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Old 10-27-2020, 02:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by groswald View Post
We just upgraded to a 2016 32SA and are loving it. My thoughts on your questions:

Central vac - definitely! Easy to use, works well, much nicer than dragging a vac up from the basement, works much better than a broom.

Booth vs table. Wife wanted booth, I wanted table and chairs. The coach we found had a booth... works well, the table could be a little wider.

One issue - getting out can be fun. The pleather cushions do not slide! Instinct is to put a hand on the table and lever oneself up and out. Probably not good for the long-term health of the table. We’re working on developing better habits. Would definitely prefer table and chairs.

Solar pre-wire - ours has it, will probably never use it. My understanding is that Tiffin uses 10 gauge wire which is much too small for most decent capacity installations. But, the prewire does give you a conduit through which to run your own properly sized wire. Saves you from the anxiety of drilling a hole in the roof!

Enjoy! The 32SA is a great coach.

Regards,

Randy
In case you change your mind Randy, 10ga is more than sufficient for more residential solar than will fit on your roof. I ran 1890w (6 315w LG panels in two strings of three) through 16ga. It ran my air conditioner. For a 12v system with 10ga I think you’d be stuck at the small battery charger level, which still has its merits.
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Old 10-27-2020, 02:49 PM   #14
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I did ask our salesman about the upcoming November price increase and he reported that it would probably be in the $5-6,000 range for this model. Sounds like about 3% of MSRP to me. My understanding is that the increase is across the board for Tiffin models, but I can’t confirm that.
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