Technically, Freightliner didn't refer to it as a "recall", but a "campaign", but I had to take it to W. W. Williams Company in Phoenix and sit around for two hours this morning while they performed "Campaign TT8009EN", where they adjust the settings on the TCM because Allison and Cummings deceided that an adjustment was necessary. I figured that I better get it done before we leave for our 3,000 mile trip this summer. I didn't notice the transmission shifting any differently on the 20 mile drive home.
We took our first long trip in our new motorhome to San Diego last weekend. Our daughter, son-in-law and two granddaughters had a great time at SeaWorld and playing on Mission Beach. The weather was a perfect 76° on Saturday. The weather forecasters kept warning everybody about rain and high winds for Sunday and Monday, but it really wasn't bad. I was worried about driving our 35' motorhome across the desert after hearing the NAV in the Jeep give a warning saying "treacherous driving at mile 163", but this new motorhome handled the wind like it wasn't even there. Our old one would have been blown off the road!
We stayed at Campland on the Bay this time, and I'm glad we did. We drove through the park last summer and said to ourselves that it was too crowded and busy but we had a nice, wide pie-shaped space right on the bay this time so it was perfect. They have a very nice dog park and kids play area. We'll definitely go back there again, if we can make reservations far enough out to get a good space. I inquired about a space for the 4th of July and they said they're 95% sold out already.
Two years ago, when researching which motorhome to buy for our first RV, I told myself after reading everybody's comments about gas-vs-diesel that a gas RV would be sufficient for us. Boy, was I wrong! Peoples comments in the RV forums all said that if you just drive it around your home state for short weekends or one-week trips, then the gas coach would be fine, but if you live it in or drive it long distances, get a diesel pusher. Well, I couldn't justify spending $75,000 more just for a diesel pusher at the time, so I went with a brand-new 2014 Tiffin Allegro 35QBA. After putting over 10,000 miles on it in the first 18 months, I now know why people said to get a diesel pusher. Our new 2016 Tiffin Allegro RED 33AA does everything head-and-shoulders better than our gas RV did.
Just like we did with our 2014 Allegro motorhome (click here to view blog post), we went to Lake Pleasant this past weekend for a shakedown cruise to organize everything in the new motorhome. Good news...even though this one is slightly smaller, everything fit! Towed the Jeep behind it for the first time, you couldn't even tell it was back there. The diesel engine makes a huge difference in power over the gas engine in the last RV. And, it handles like a car because of the Freightliner chassis and air shocks. So far, we love this coach.
After our last big trip to Yellowstone, Seattle, Oregon and back (see blog post here), we decided that the 2014 Tiffin Allegro 35QBA gas-coach wasn't cutting it on the long distances that we're tending to travel and we started looking for a diesel pusher replacement. After looking at Thor Palazzo, Forest River Berkshire, Newmar Ventana LE, Fleetwood Excursion 33D, Winnebago Solei 36G and more, we decided to stick with Tiffin and traded our 2014 Allegro in for a new 2016 Tiffin Allegro RED 33AA (RED = Rear Engine Diesel). The deciding factor was an 80-mile test drive up to 2,500' high Sunset Point and back on I-17. The difference in handling and power was HUGE! Our gas coach takes that hill at 40 MPH with the engine revving way up to 5,000 RPM. The diesel coach took it easily at 55, even with the cruise control on! Plus, no swaying when passing or being passed by big semi trucks. I don't know which impressed me more, but I fell in love with this coach on this test drive. We made the trade today, transferring all our gear from the old coach to the new one. So far, it looks like everything will fit into the new one, even though it's 8" shorter. We'll be organizing everything in it this weekend in preparation for our next trip.
In addition to the Henderson Rear Trac Bar and Roadmaster Reflex Steering Stabilizer we had installed last month, Tiffin recommended doing a front end alignment, and that they would reimburse me $250 for it to be done. I thought that was very generous of Tiffin to do so after over a year and 9,000 miles on the motorhome. I just got it back from Purcells Tire in Phoenix and the steering is much tighter feeling now. The service tech that drove it from La Mesa RV down to Purcells commented that the steering was very loose, which is what I have thought all along. I'm actually looking forward to driving it to Seattle this summer, now!
We picked up the motorhome and Jeep from Camping World after leaving them there for a few days to install all the equipment needed to flat-tow the new 2015 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk and to have some additional suspension parts added to improve the handling of the motorhome.
1. The reason we chose the new 2015 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk is because it is one of the few SUVs that are flat-towable with an automatic transmission, and is relatively lightweight (about 4,100 lbs.). We wanted a vehicle that we could drive on paved roads plus take off-road once we get to camp. The Jeep hasn't disappointed us. We towed it from the 1,200 foot elevation of Phoenix, Arizona up to the 7,000 foot elevation of Williams, Arizona, without any problems. It towed just fine, and once we made camp, we drove it about 50 miles on the dirt roads to the Lava River Cave and to the top of 9,255 ft. Bill Williams Mountain. We're extremely happy with the way it handles.
List of the main equipment added for towing:
2. After putting about 7,000 miles on the Tiffin Allegro over the past year, we came to the conclusion that we'd like something to help with the handling, mainly during driving on freeways with big, heavy trucks passing us and blowing us all over the road. After researching many RV forums and talking with Tiffin and Camping World, we had the following equipment added to the motorhome:
We drove about 300 miles on June 20 & 21 with the new setup (and towing the new Jeep) and were very happy with the results. There was a noticeable improvement in keeping the motorhome going straight down the road. Before this equipment, it took both hands firmly grasping the steering wheel, constantly making corrections to keep the motorhome in its lane. Now, I can drive with just a couple fingers on the wheel which should make long drives a lot easier.
What better way to celebrate the one-year anniversary of owning our Allegro motorhome than by camping for 4 days/3 nights (March 12-15, 2015) at Lake Pleasant for our second Bill Luke Bass Days. It was exactly one year ago that we picked up our new motorhome and drove it straight to Lake Pleasant for it's inaugural camping trip at last year's Bass Days. We reserved two spots for us and Dave & Krista for this year, and have already reserved two spots for 2016. Last year we dry-camped in the dirt parking lot. This year we had water and 50 amp electric, right next to a big grassy area for the grandkids to play on. The view was great overlooking the lake and was easy walking distance to all the Bass Days festivities. Dave caught three fish that placed within their daily/hourly categories top 10 and won $300. Paul even sneaked in a little sailing in his Hobie Adventure Island sail-yak. It's so great to have the Pleasant Harbor RV Park only about 7 miles from our house. It has the best lake-views in the Phoenix area!
June 13-July 9, 2014
Took our first extended trip in our new Allegro RV from June 13th through July 9th, 2014. The trip was about 3,600 miles in total, going from our home near Phoenix, AZ to Los Angeles, up the coast to Seattle and back via Eastern Oregon, Idaho and Utah. Daughter Krista, her husband Dave and their daughters were with us most of the way (Dave flew back after a week to get back to work). Son Jason flew down to LA from Seattle to meet up with other son Kyle and his wife Crystal who drove up the coast in their car. Overall, it was a great trip. Didn't have any problems with the RV (unlike the other two trips we took in rented RVs). We LOVE our motorhome! Hope you enjoy the following posts with photos from along the way.
States We've Trekked To