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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!
Class of 2015!Tim & Cindy
David, kb0zke1993 Foretravel U300 40'
Build number 4371
RV fulltimer class of 2011 - March!On the Road to Retirement...zeetraveler.blogspot.com
Lynne & furry co-pilot, Milliehttp://winnieviews.blogspot.com'08 Winnebago View 24H'03 Chevy Tracker ZR2
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?
2011 American Coach Tradition 42P
VIP Factory Delivery
2000 Jeep GC
Honda GoldWing GL1800
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.
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.
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.
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. 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 ???
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". It's a simple $$$ factor. 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.
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 ...
Terry & Candace RVingFT@Gmail.com
1994 Allegro Grand American DP
Working FT as mobile hearing technicians
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 and Jo2010 Mobile Suites 38TKSB32008 Ford F450 2010 Ford F150 as Tag-along or Scout Two minor works in progess....pictures taken over the years and a webblog:Our photos on PhotobucketIgnoring the Barking Dogs - Terry's Blog
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.
2008 Monaco Diplomat pushed by 2007 Jeep @ Marysville, California
-- USAF Retired -- Full-timing since December 2007 - Part-Timing since July 2011http://travelingrvweather.blogspot.com/