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 > FRED -- Pros and Cons?

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oregonblondie

Pacific Northwest

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Posted: 08/27/07 09:37pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm considering purchasing a new-to-me 2007 Allegro FRED. Unit has about 11,000 miles on it and I think we have worked out a fair deal. I'd like to know the pros and cons to the FRED. Any advise for me? Thanks in advance

driveby

Vancouver BC Canada

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Posted: 08/27/07 10:47pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There are precious few actual FRED owners here. doing a search up above may get you some good info. Probably more opinion then actual owner commentary.


2008 Itasca Sunova 35J Class A
1997 TJ Sahara, hard and soft tops and AC
Held together via Roadmaster Falcon 2 tow bar and stopped by US Gear Unified Brake system.


DanaMc

Matthews, NC

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Posted: 08/27/07 10:59pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'd be very interested in your observations on the unit you are purchasing. Have you driven it? How is the noise factor? That is my biggest complaint with my Workhorse gasser. What is the economy supposed to be like?

I hope my next unit will be a diesel for the power and improved fuel mileage.


DanaMc
Matthews, NC
2003 Southwind 32VS



nerdofparadise

San Leandro, California.

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Posted: 08/28/07 12:50am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The only advice I have is enjoy the unit. If there are any specific questions that you may have please PM me.


nerdofparadise
2006 Tiffin Allegro Bay 34XB FRED.
It's not what you have in your life, but whom you have in your life.


KOG

Winterville GA

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Posted: 08/28/07 03:09am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Pro: diesels are efficient at part load, will get much better mileage in city traffic. Will probably last longer than any gas engine currently available. No plug wire and exhaust manifold issues in most cases. Little power loss at high altitudes and can be run at full rated power full time. Will come with a durable (if expensive) transmission. Possible higher resale.

Cons: Noise (not nearly as bad as they used to be), weight (can overload front axle (1100lbs vs. 600lbs for engine alone, transmission, batteries also heavier), initial cost, routine service cost, fueling mess, propane generator, loss of storage space to driveshaft down middle of frame (compared to a pusher).


Many people would be better served by a gas UFO than by a FRED. And since neither of these chassis is air ride, the best chassis will remain a DP with full air ride. So a 2-3 year old air ride DP for the same money will remain a better coach than a new FRED or UFO IMO.

dontay

Mims, Florida

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Posted: 08/28/07 04:35am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The noise factor with a FRED is a wash compared to a gasser EXCEPT when downshifting is required to climb a hill. Then the issue is fan noise, not the engine. On level cruise ours is about the same as our F450 pickup with the V-10 was. But our V-10 had a very quiet fan which was barely audible when it kicked in. I do not know if they use the same fan in the MH chassis with the V-10. I don't know what the Chevy engine uses, either.
At the current time there is an issue with the hose from the turbo to the Charge Air Cooler. The clamp is too weak and the hose blows off under load. This leaves the coach disabled. While Freightliner has chosen not to issue a recall it affects every FRED and a redesigned tube and clamp kit is being installed when owners request it. If you are purchasing the MH it should be for the floorplan and not the drivetrain since you drive it for 10% of the time at most. But if you like the FRED you are looking at you should insist that the seller get the upgrade done on the turbo hose before you buy. It may not be done for free to a second owner. (If they don't have enough class to issue a recall they probably won't take responsibility for anyone but the original owner either.)
I would not get a diesel for fuel economy. Few people ever drive enough miles to pay for the extra cost of a diesel and the extra maint. with the small increase in mileage they get from the engine. But above a certain weight a gas engine will really struggle. Our V-10 rig outfitted for Alaska with the Jeep on a steel car trailer weighed about 19,000 lbs. It had a 4.88 axle and 6-spd manual. It seemed to me that we were running at about the max weight for comfortable performance. That is merging into traffic, climbing steep grades (Monarch Pass), etc. I'm sure it could pull a rig at 30,000 lbs but it would really struggle and would not be comfortable to drive. Ours was the old 2-valve V-10 and not the newer 3-valve. That would make a huge difference.
Our FRED weighs 22,000 lbs and we tow a 3500 lb Jeep 4-down. It does a good job and is not stressed at all. But we really bought it for the floorplan and the fit and finish and not for the Cummins. But we liked it and they were ready to deal so we wound up with the FRED instead of a V-10.
We are getting about 9 - 9.5 mpg. Our best tank was 10.0 and the worst was about 8. The engine only has 5000 miles on it but the mpg's will not jump up to 14 as some fruitloops are claiming for this rig.
We like it a lot so far.


ISO9000 Certified Retiree
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2006 Allegro Bay 34XB with Freightliner FRED chassis, 2000 Jeep Cherokee 4x4

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The Texan

Wellton, AZ

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Posted: 08/28/07 08:01am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My question to you is, why did the original owner get rid of his FRED is it a lemon or what I would talk to the previous owner or I would walk on a unit that new with the low miles and an in demand type chassis.


Bob & Betsy(FishNFanatic) - USN Aviation Ret'd '78 & LEO Ret'd '03 & "Oath Keeper Forever"
'05 HR Endeavor 40PRQ, 400 Cummins-Pulling our '11 Silverado LT, Ex Cab 6.2L NHT 4x4, w/ the Rzr or ACE or a Quad riding in back.
Where the wheels are stopped today


Roger Kneeland

Valparaiso,IN

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Posted: 08/28/07 08:31am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

"dontay"

Thanks for the excellent post! Thoughtful observations without emotional rants. Your comments about "driving 10% of the time", so worry about the floor plan first are right on !

Roger


Roger & Gail
2000 Pace Arrow Vision 36B V10
2001 Chevy Tracker 4Dr
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Valparaiso IN

fishboat1

southern ca, SW Riverside County

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Posted: 08/28/07 09:49am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Cons: Noise (not nearly as bad as they used to be), weight (can overload front axle (1100lbs vs. 600lbs for engine alone, transmission, batteries also heavier), initial cost, routine service cost, fueling mess, propane generator, loss of storage space to driveshaft down middle of frame (compared to a pusher).

Quote by KOG
------------------------
Front axle is rated for 10000 pounds. No way that it can be overloaded. Rear axle rated for 17500 pounds. My loaded coach weighs a little under 23000 pounds with a GVWR of 26000 pounds and a GCWR of 30000 pounds. Plenty of capacity.

I don't understand what you mean by fueling mess.

Starting with the 2007 models Tiffin FRED's come with 6.0 Onan quiet diesel generators.

Initial cost and service as with any diesel is more expensive.

I do get over 9 MPG.

_______________

I did receive a recall from Freightliner yesterday regarding the plumbing from the turbo to the charged air cooler. They will resolve the problem as soon as parts arrive.

I agree with The Texan in regard to finding out why the origional owner is selling the coach so soon.

Tiffin sells a lot of FREDS and the response of owners is mostly positive.


Mike H

2007 Allegro Bay 34XB FRED
2002 Dodge Dakota 4 wheel drive Toad 4.7 v8
Four Winns fishing boat

MSPUSMC

Massachusetts

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Posted: 08/28/07 01:25pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We took delivery of an Allegro Bay 35 TSB FRED in June. It came with the 6.7 Cummins (340 HP). Fit and finish is great. We're not full timers so storage is not an issue. We still have plenty of empty cabinets inside the coach and haven't come close to filling the luggage bays. We use the coach to visit our children, family, friends, and for vacation. It has leaf springs and shocks(no air bags, so the ride is not as smooth as a diesel pusher. Cruising down the road at 60-63 mph, the engine noise is minimal. When the engine brake comes on (love the engine brake) or it down shifts to climb a steep grade the noise increases. However, it is no where near as noisy as my old Detroit diesel. We purchased the 35 TSB for the floor plan. I wanted a diesel because we plan to spend a lot of time in the New England mountains and out west in the Rockies. I did not want to spend the extra money for a diesel pusher and I wanted to keep the RV as simple as possible. I didn't want compressors, computers, hydraulic lines, and engine in the rear. We tow my wife's Saab on a tow dolly with no effort. So far this coach has exceeded my expectations and Tiffin Motor Homes has been great to deal with.

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