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Post Info TOPIC: Newmar vs. Tiffin


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Newmar vs. Tiffin


In October, my wife & I are going to be in Elkhart, IN, for a few days and plan to tour the Newmar Plant.  Also, my daughter recently moved to Tuscaloosa, AL, and is working at the University of Alabama where we plan to visit her next Spring.  Red Bay, where Tiffin is located, is about two hours North.   So, I have a few questions:

1.  Has anyone done the Factory tour for Newmar or Tiffin?

2.  If so, what was opinion?

3.  Did it have an impact in you purchasing either a DP Newmar or DP Tiffin?

4.  If you purchased one of these DPs, your thoughts regarding the quality of Newmar vs. Tiffin, and which gives you the "biggest bang for your buck"?  

5.  Finally, while we're in Elkhart, are there any other Factories/Manufacturers we should consider visiting which produce quality DPs?

Thanks for any information you can provide!



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Tim & Cindy



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Please share what you see! Both of those are on our possible list, and we'd sure like to visit the factories.

We went to the Heartland Rally in June, and got to tour their factories as part of that. They don't make any motorized vehicles, but the tour itself was quite interesting. That's the center of the RV manufacturing world, so there are quite a few plants to tour. You could probably spend a month there, just taking tours. While you're there, be sure to take in the Amish country. Hint: go hungry!

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my short list was Newmar, Tiffin and Winnie... didn't tour any factories but read every review I could find...

What it finally came down to was floor plan and price... I rank all three of these brands as in the top tier but if you are going to live in it you need a "perfect" floorplan... we ended up in a used four yr old Tiffin and have lived in her for 6 months with no regrets yet...

Good luck in your purchase.

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We didn't tour the factories either but researched for months. Our list was close to heydukes. Our first choice had to be the floor plan we could live in (read it and heard it from others and it IS true) and then we chose as much quality as we could afford. We chose an older Newmar and we have been very happy with it.
Read and take in as much info as you can and then go for it!

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Thanks,

I've also been told to visit "American Coach" while in the area ... but they look more like the "luxury" type of DP ...

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Tim & Cindy



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I toured the Winnebago plant in Forest City, IA last year. Came away extremely impressed. They create most of the coach parts right at the factory and then maintain those molds/dies for decades afterwards if a replacement part is needed. Saw them making a new roof panel for an old Rialta while we were there!

We also got to talk to Bob Olsen, the CEO. He considered Newmar and Tiffin to be their peers in terms of quality and company reliability (i.e. the small handful of RV manufacturers that made it thru the recession without going bankrupt). Biggest difference he seemed to mention between Tiffin and WGO was chassis and serviceability across the country.

Not sure how true that is for DPs, but if the construction quality of the coach and floorplans/features are about the same between these top-tier mfrs, then the final comparison point should be how easily serviced (# of servicing dealers) the chassis and engine will be across the country.



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Tim, I was one who thought you might look into the AC factory on your trip. Just which Tiffin product are you looking into mostly? Pha or Bus?

Eric



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TheBreeze wrote:

Tim, I was one who thought you might look into the AC factory on your trip. Just which Tiffin product are you looking into mostly? Pha or Bus?

Eric


 Actually, I'm looking at both Models ... but willing to look at AC if the right Model/Price comes along. 



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Tim & Cindy



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There are many choices, and many opinions these days. One of- if not THE MOST- professional opinions, we think, are by JD Gallant's company.  JD started an RV rating system years ago  - http://rv.org/ - which does not take advertisements from manufacturers. biggrin

So they determine their ratings - from 0 to 100 - independently and based on facts - not marketing.   We paid a flat membership fee (<$150), and have a one-year year access to an online database of makes, models, etc back to 2000.  We log in,  select the year, manufacturer and model number and pull up a score. He also wrote a book about HOW to buy an RV so we have that book also.

There are many manufacturers - TODAY - putting RV's on the road that should NOT be sold - let alone driven.  Yet buyers pay more attention to the color, the mirrors and the floorplans, ignoring their wheelbase-to-length ratio and other critical safety factors.  no

We suggest you check into his information BEFORE you buy ... but from the research I have done - for the most part - TIFFIN will be your highest rated rig of the 3 you mention. Tiffin also has a user group - read some of their comments. yawn  No RV is perfect, and a brand new one will have issues just like a used one will.  Your best "bang" will be a high-quality, well cared for USED-not new- 4or5 star rig.

We have taken the Newmar factory tour - and we love the Elkhart-Nappanee, IN area. Have not yet been to Tiffin, but would not consider a Winnie in any shape or form.  Yes, Winnebago has been in the business for years, but their quality rating - as per JD Gallant, does not compare to Tiffin or Newmar.  Winnie owners may think otherwise, but JD makes his ratings based on design, engineering & service records.

So WHY do so many Class A RV manufacturers still produce new RV's today- in 2011- with TOO much rear end behind the rear axle when they KNOW it causes safety issues ???  confuseconfuseconfuse

As per the owner of Newmar, when we asked him that exact question, "because the shorter chassis is less expensive and buyers want more space for a cheaper price".  disbelief evileye  It's a simple $$$ factor. hmm That's why so many RV owners have to add on after-market equipment like steer-safe.   Newmar realized that and now have a new feature in their 2012 models that help the poor steering issue. Not sure what/how Tiffin addresses it, but it shouldn't be an issue in the first place, IMHO.

We know RVers who love their Newmars, and have purchased more than 1. Yet others who have owned both Newmar and Tiffin say Newmars are fancier and pricier, yet not better built than their Tiffins. Tiffin also has owners on their 2nd or 3rd rig.  Tiffin's Allegro models have been out for years .... and you still see many on the road or in campgrounds today, worn and aged-looking, but still running strong.

Most of the Tiffin models we have searched on rv.org rate higher (4.5 stars out of a possible 5 vs. 3 stars) compared to Newmar. 

Check out www.rv.org for more details on how to make a tough choice ... then have fun touring RV's.  

And...in case you are not aware of this great place .... Houston, TX has a nice used RV dealer many people we know of have been very happy with ..... my Mom sold her Country Coach thru them very successfully .... www.pplmotorhomes.com

What ever you choose, make sure you get a thorough written mechanical check out before closing the deal on a used RV.  smile

As a final note, Mom now is in a Dynamax Dynaquest 26' - down from a 36' Country Coach. At almost 80 she travels 8 months a year - by herself - and is lovin life.  The DQ compares to Tiffin and Newmar. I suggest you tour the DynaMax factory while in Elkhart.  They build on a Freightliner chassis with a small truck on the front end, the coach attached and the 36' model would work well for 2 people. Definitely NOT a box-on-wheels look.  As a former truck driver, we LOVE the look, feel and handling of the "DQ" over any typical Class A on the road.

The only negative to a DQ ? It's so unique-looking EVERYONE in the campground wants a tour ...hmm



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Tim and Cindy,

While we have never done a factory tour of any brand or type of RV, Jo and I did a couple of pretty good test drives of two different Phaetons.  In our research for the type of RV we wanted, we looked at both motorhomes and fifth wheels.  Specifically, as far as motorhomes were concerned, we were impressed with 40' and 42' Phaeton models.

We had the good fortune of dealing with a good dealership that allowed us to do some pretty fair test drives of the two models we were considering.  Below is a link to a thread that I started here on the forums, in which I asked about motorhomes and then later in the thread went back and gave an update describing what we did and what we liked.

In short, of the two Phaetons we drove, we preferred the 42' because of the floorplan, and the extra "tag" axle really made a difference in the "feel" of driving the coach.  It seemed a LOT more stable than the 40' with a single rear axle.

Our first test drive (with the 40') was roughly 85 to 90 miles.  The second one (with the 42') was somewhere around 200 miles round trip.  (It was from Oklahoma City, down I-35 to the Arbuckle Mountains, and back.)

If you want to read the entire thread, it has some darn good information that was provided to me.  If you only want a sort of review of our experience, then just look for my specific posts.  Also, ask the dealers you are visiting with and ask if you can take similar test drives.

Terry and Jo's Phaeton experiences.

Terry



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Thanks Terry,

I enjoyed the dialogue on the forum you posted. The only thing we've owned are motorized recreational vehicles, although we've "tent" camped many times in our younger years and, we both feel comfortable driving motorhomes. However, probably like your wife, I'll need to ensure my wife is comfortable driving a large Class A vs. the Motorhomes we've owned before (Class C). The Phaeton or Bus is right at the top of our search and on another post, I've been encouraged to tour American Coach in Decatur, IN. At least time is on our side since the earliest we'll move in our coach is Fall 2012.



-- Edited by Jake62 on Monday 29th of August 2011 06:42:36 AM

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Tim & Cindy



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Have you looked at Monaco rigs? They should be in the same price range as the other coaches.

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