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Old 08-29-2006, 05:54 AM   #1
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All right all you "good" people out there...it looks like I'm bitting the bullet. I've look at both the Winnebago Journey 38G and equivelant Tiffen product. I understand Tiffen has an excellent warrenty and Winne's are close. Tell me why I would want the Winnebago over the Tiffen Allegro Bus. Are there major differences in handleing, manufacturing are other issues that a first time buyer needs to know. Both units seem to be excellent coaches.

I'm open to suggestions...

thanks
jk
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Old 08-29-2006, 05:54 AM   #2
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All right all you "good" people out there...it looks like I'm bitting the bullet. I've look at both the Winnebago Journey 38G and equivelant Tiffen product. I understand Tiffen has an excellent warrenty and Winne's are close. Tell me why I would want the Winnebago over the Tiffen Allegro Bus. Are there major differences in handleing, manufacturing are other issues that a first time buyer needs to know. Both units seem to be excellent coaches.

I'm open to suggestions...

thanks
jk
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Old 08-29-2006, 06:04 AM   #3
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Few years back we came close to buying a Allegro Bus. It was great and had a good floor plan. It was also two feet longer than our current 36' Itasca Horizon.
The salesman at Lazy Days was always wanting to be with us as we looked at the bus. Before we got into serious negotiations and money changed hands, we decided to look at the bus once again with no one around except us two. This time the slids were in. What a difference. You could hardly get down the aisle to the bathroom with the slide closed. When the slide was out, there was tons of room because of the depth of the slide. This deep slide changed the situation when it was retracted and made for tight quarters.
Having said all that to say this: Look carefully when making comparisons. Sit down inside with the slides closed. Spend enough time inside to get a feel of either coach you might be leaning toward. Do this alone with you spouse so that you can frankly discuss the pros and cons of each product and not have a salesman steering you off topic.
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Old 08-29-2006, 06:24 AM   #4
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If you are asking which will give you the most or least amount of trouble, the answer is that it is a toss up. Any manufacturers products can be a problem.
The deciding factor , which has been pointed out, is which Manufacturers product do you and the better half like the best? Which floorplan,colorscheme etc. do you find the better fit for your needs?
Good Luck on your decision.
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Old 08-29-2006, 06:34 AM   #5
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JK:

Welcome to the forum . This is a great place to get answers and share your own RV experiences.

My opinions only: there is no simple answer to your question. In their price range, it seems both Winnebago and Tiffen make good products...and both will have their problems. Both manufacturers seem to provide good factory support. However, if you get a new coach and have problems that your dealer cannot handle, be prepared to travel to the factory for some fixes.

The Journey is Winne's entry level DP but it does have a lot of features for the money (that's why we got one). Tiffen's comparable coach, the Phaeton, is likely similar. Comparing the Journey to the Allegro Bus is not a fair comparison...the Vectra is more like the Bus.

Both of these rigs (Journey/Phaeton..and I believe Bus) are on the Freightliner chassis which has its strengths and weaknesses. If I was shopping for another rig, I'd drive something on a Spartan chassis for comparison. Some folks say the first motorhome is picked primarily due to floorplan and the second is picked primarily for its chassis. How it drives and handles will become very important, especially if you spend a lot of time behind the wheel.

You might also consider shopping for a nice, well maintained, used coach. There are many out there and it is a buyer's market. For the $$ you would spend for a new rig, you can up-scale your purchase...perhaps get a 2 yr old Vectra or Allegro Bus, for example. Plus, if you read these forums a lot, you will discover that new rigs seem to have lot of bugs and you can plan on spending the first year working those out. You may get lucky and only have minor issues but you may also not be so lucky. We decided to let the 'other guy' take that first year depreciation hit and work out the bugs. Some folks must have new, we were happy with gently used.

Finally, IMO, shop for a good dealer. Dealer support can be very important. Now if you plan to full time and be anywhere/everywhere, that may not be a big deal for you. However, if you will plan to get most of your service done at a dealer near 'home-base,' try to find a good one who can service the rig.

Good luck with your decision. Hope you get what you want and have a great time on the road. And, come back and tell us what you got and share your experiences with us.
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Old 08-29-2006, 06:50 AM   #6
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Hi jk and welcome

When we shopped for our coach, the three final contenders were Dutch Star, Allegro Bus and Horizon/Vectra. I think any one of them would have been a good choice but we liked the Winnebago product due to:

- IFS front end (might have been an option on the Bus)

- floor plan - we did NOT want a dash TV but liked the side TV of the Horizon/Vectra

- all wiring and plumbing was neat and looked like there was a master plan involved instead of it being a haphazard afterthought placed after the interior was designed

- wiring, plumbing, and parts diagrams available on-line

- use of circuit breakers for 12V house systems instead of fuse blocks scattered all over the coach

- the "Once Place" center with all controls nicely clustered

- The EMS - not even available on the Bus if I remember correctly

- woodwork quality very high

- fit and finish generally very good

- central basement door locking system - not available on the Dutch Star as I recall

- only Winnebago is a "true manufacturer" of many of the components (extrusions, tanks, shower stalls, front and end caps, wiring harnesses, etc). The Bus in particular looked like some of the interior was adaptation of marine & other vendor-sourced parts. Their interior doorway grab handle was designed for a boat and is not nearly as functional as the 3'+ long assist handle on our Horizon

- as doc mentioned, our layout is very useable even with the slides retracted

One thing that bothered me about the Tiffin product was business continuity - what happens when Bob Tiffin disappears from the scene? He has always been a valuable resource for appealing or escalating repair problems.

As far as handling, the Bus and Horizon/Vectra are on Freightliner chassis. THe IFS Bus and Horizon/Vectra chassis are probably identical for all practical purposes so handling should be the same. Newmar uses Spartan chassis which also have an excellent reputation. Since I haven't driven a Dutch Star (never got to that point) can't comment.

I can say that our coach with the IFS is extremely well-behaved and we can usually steer it with two or three fingers. The IFS front end really makes a difference when the roads are rough and almost eliminates 'bump-steer' (having the steering wheel jerked when going over a bump.)

It was a tough choice for us. You need to decide what your priorities are and then compare brands/models on a point-by-point basis.

The one thing that I wish we had on the coach was a 150 gallon fuel tank - that would have given us more fueling options up here in Alaska and Canada.
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Old 08-29-2006, 06:51 AM   #7
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That's a VERY GOOD post Gary....

As one who is enduring both the depreciation AND the bugs I can attest to those statements.

Tiffin and Winnebago both make quality products...Tiffin is headquartered in Red Bay,AL and Winnebago is in Forest City, IA.

I tend to buy for floorplan first,then power/chassis second,then storage third...
Even in ranking the choices, each variable MUST be satisfied.

I traded up to my current coach from an '06 Vectra....
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Old 08-29-2006, 11:43 AM   #8
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The Journey doesn't line up against the bus. It lines up against the Phaeton. The Bus comes standard with the 400 ISL, IFS, side radiator, and a bunch of upgrades over the Phaeton. You can get the Bus on either a FL or Spartan chassis. The choice is yours and they cost the same. As of this year, the Bus is only available in quad slide 40' floorplans and quad slide 42' floorplans with a tag axle chassis.

The Phaeton is available in up to 40' lengths although a new 42' Phaeton is being built as we speak at the factory. It will be on a Spartan tag axle chassis with a 55 degree wheel cut solid front axle and a 350 Cummins. It's an expected $25K upcharge over the 40' Phaeton and should be at the dealers after this December.
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Old 08-29-2006, 01:35 PM   #9
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NICE!!
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Old 08-29-2006, 03:11 PM   #10
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jk,

You could always do like we did...bought a Winnebago product (Itasca Meridian) from a Tiffen dealer, when we went to look at an used Dutch Star!

True story! A lot of good points above. We spent about 5 months looking. Looked at RV shows comparing different makes and models and spent a day at Lazydays in Sefner, FL. Need to look at both slides in and out. What can't you do with slides in. The 4 slide Gulfstreams looked great with slides out, but once slides were in, the floor was not level, and it was a balancing act to move through the coach!

Spend a lot of time looking, because you will spend a lot more time in it once you own it.
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Old 08-31-2006, 07:16 AM   #11
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Sorry guys,
I've looked at so many of these things over the past 2 years they soon start to run together. I meant to say the Phaeton from Tiffen.

All have very good points. If and when Bob T passes, and God forgive any time soon, I think his ghost will still be around to pester the sales and service people in Red Bay. I don't beleive he will ever retire. He seems to be one of the true honest people in this world.

Most of you are right about floor plans being extremely important. I'm big, 300#+ and need to manuver to back while slides are in sometimes. Good point about sile room when closed. This is also one reason the dinnette was not an option but needed a table and chair.

ps...dog is not the better half. I'm single and Abby the mini dachs that loves to ride looking out the front window while sitting in in an elevated passenger seat. Safety net installed.

As far as used equipement goes, in todays market it looks like I can get into a new unit for almost the same price as a one year old unit. I've checked and double checked the used rv market and the used units are in my opinion overpriced. Maybe some people got into these rigs without investigating prices and paid MSRP or something. Not sure what but I'm lost on haw to find a good year old unit that is worth the inflated price. Any ideas on where to find these "deals" on used units please let me know either by private msg or post it.

Though I will not be full time, folks will not see me around the house very much as I plan to use the unit in my work travel in lieu of air travel. I'm tired of getting sick everytime I fly.

Yep, floor plan was a #1 priority, service a #1b priority, interior comfort a #1c priority, and depenability the #1d priority. Engine type was a #1e I guess or higher.

Beleive it or not outside color is actuallu a #1 priority also. It's not pride but by George if I'm paying $$$$$$$$$$$$$ then it's going to be MY COLOR!!!.

I will NOT SETTLE for anything less than what I want. If it's not on the lot then they can order it. If it can't be ordered then it can't be bought! (there)

Thanks for all the comments, I still have 30 days before a final decision HAS to be made.
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Old 08-31-2006, 08:02 AM   #12
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JK:

Check your private messages.
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Old 08-31-2006, 08:47 AM   #13
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jk, a little tip:
Walk through Camping World's web site and look at various A & E awning color choices... when you order a Winnie, all those different colors are available to be put on your coach, but they don't publicize that fact. Just get the colors written down when your sales order is created. Also, I'd definitely recommend the dual pane windows and coach side window awnings on the slides.

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Old 09-03-2006, 04:23 AM   #14
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As far as reputation and service goes. IMHO Tiffin and Winne are equal.

My must-have list was:
80" bed - I am 6'4" tall
Fiberglass roof
Basement Central Air
EMS system
Double insulated windows

Only Winne gave me all I wanted. It was a no brainer.
Buying Itasca, I got at no extra charge the automatic awning and full body paint. Now both of those would be on my must-have list.

I also liked the way Winne puts a totally enclosed steel cage around the front cockpit. Not sure if Tiffin does this or not. But even my TV is totally enclosed in steel frame.
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Old 09-04-2006, 12:31 PM   #15
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My opionion I think you should buy a winnebago product...I just purchased one and had several problems with the paint on the nose and side and winnebago and CDI have ask me to come back to resolve the issue...my dealer, winnebago and CDI are paying for my travel...and I did not have to argue with anyone...great service..great product...good luck..

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Old 09-04-2006, 03:49 PM   #16
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Peter, I was in Forest City several months ago with my previous coach which was an '06 Vectra.
Be sure and get Dave Nagle talking about huntung,he and EVERYONE there are a great bunch of folks..
When I was there several months ago I was told their best painter was a little blond headed young lady....better than the guys!!
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Old 09-05-2006, 05:05 AM   #17
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Not sure how many people will say Tiffin on the Winnebago forum....

My views?

Customer Service: A draw...
Value: Winnebago
Insulation for Winter or Summer: Tiffin
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Old 09-10-2006, 02:24 PM   #18
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I too am comparing the Itasca and the Phaeton. My biggest plus for the Phaeton is the great storeage. I am afraid those basement air units take up too much room for me.
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Old 09-10-2006, 02:58 PM   #19
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by FrontRangeRVer:
Not sure how many people will say Tiffin on the Winnebago forum....
... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yeah, maybe we need a separate Tiffin forum category
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Old 09-11-2006, 03:33 AM   #20
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by FrontRangeRVer:
Not sure how many people will say Tiffin on the Winnebago forum.... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Even the folks at Winnebago have told me they expect pro and con posts here about their product, so I'd think they'd even understand when someone says "Tiffin" or even "Newmar" on the Winnebago forum as they're both in the running when choosing a coach in these price points.

About that Tiffin forum.....Cruzer.....Time out in the corner for 5 minutes!!
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