- We just drove it to San Diego last weekend for its first long-trip. We towed our 2015 Jeep Cherokee and had the coach full with 4 adults and 2 kids. I remember driving on stretches of I-8 between Phoenix and Yuma last year where the gas coach downshifted to 3rd gear and revved up to 5,000 RPM on every slight hill along the way. And, I mean SLIGHT hills. Just going over an overpass would cause it to downshift abruptly. The diesel pusher very rarely downshifted unless is was a major hill, such as the long passes going to and from San Diego. Maximum speed going up the pass was 45 MPG for about 10 minutes. Other than that, it held 55-65 easily the entire way. I was able to drive almost the entire way with cruise control on. With the gas coach, I had to manually turn it off if I saw any kind of a hill coming up and build up my momentum to make it to the top of the hill without sounding like the engine was going to explode.
- The diesel is so quiet compared to the gas coach. You can listen to the radio and hold a normal conversation between the passenger and driver in a regular voice.
- Another advantage of the new diesel pusher over the gas coach is the way it drives. I added a front steering stabilizer and rear trac bar to the gas coach to try to get it to handle better. While those helped, they didn't begin to make up for the problem of the lightweight Ford chassis vs the heavyweight Freightliner chassis. I would get sore shoulders driving the gas coach just 200 miles because of constantly adjusting the steering wheel to keep the coach from wandering in its lane. The new diesel pusher is more like driving a luxury car vs driving an old VW Beetle. You can take your hands off the wheel for several seconds without it running off the road. I find myself driving with two fingers on the steering wheel now. The gas coach you had white knuckles from holding on to the steering wheel so tightly!
- The air shocks are another thing that makes a huge difference. The ride on the new coach is so smooth!
- The diesel has an air brake system, which, until you've driven an RV with and without it, you'd never know what you're missing. It's great to apply it when going down hills, such as the long pass going to and from San Diego. It kept our downhill speed in the 45 MPH range without hardly touching the brake pedal going down that mountain pass.
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.
Thanks to our son-in-law's local hunting knowledge, we stayed at a beautiful spot in the pine forests about 30 miles south of Williams, Arizona for 3 nights during Labor Day weekend. Dave had found this gorgeous camping spot overlooking Pine Flat meadow (click the following link to view in a Google map: http://bit.ly/1lF5cHS). We met up with another 4 families for this picture-perfect camping spot. Everyone else had quads, ATVs, sand rails, etc. which we took for rides throughout the forest service roads all the way to Sycamore Point (about 25 miles) looking down on the beautiful canyons north of Sedona. We made friends with a couple of very tame horses that visited us in the camp each evening. The dogs all had fun running around together, leash-free!
Pam and I decided to spend our last night at the Grand Canyon Railway RV Park in Williams to avoid the heavy Labor Day traffic going back down I-17 to Phoenix. It's a nice RV park located right next to the depot for the steam train to the Grand Canyon with paved pull-thru spots (but no shade). It was sure nice to have internet, cell-phone service, electricity, running water and sewer hookups after 3 nights of roughing it dry-camping (if you can call sleeping in a 35' motorhome "roughing it", haha)!
Overall, it was a great experience. We now see what the appeal is to dry-camping that I read so much about. We'll be going back there again!
San Diego, August, 2014
We took a last-minute trip to San Diego this week to escape the Phoenix heat for a few days. We couldn't get five nights in a row in any of the RV parks by the bay or ocean, so we settled for two nights at Ranchos Los Coches RV Park in Lakeside and three nights Chula Vista RV Park located right on the San Diego bay.
The Rancho Los Coches park was nice because it was located in a tree-filled, pretty little valley in the mountains about 25 miles east of San Diego. All the spots had a nice distance and varying elevations between them, however, the park was overrun with ants and we couldn't wait to get out of there after they invaded our RV the second night. We had to make a quick trip to WalMart at 10pm for ant traps and ant spray (which didn't do any good).
We were pleasantly surprised with how nice the Chula Vista RV Park was. It's about 8 miles south of Downtown San Diego, so the location isn't the most convenient to all the places we normally like to visit while in San Diego (Point Loma Seafoods, Mission Bay/Beach, La Jolla, Carlsbad, Oceanside), but the park itself made up for it with it's lush landscaping, spotless grounds and great atmosphere. We had an interior location about 4 spots away from the outside fence so we could see the bay between the other RVs. A short walk led to a beautiful park that's right next to the RV park where you could walk or ride bikes for miles on paved sidewalks along the bay and marina (see enclosed photos). I would go back to this park again!
While here, we checked out Campland On The Bay and neighboring Mission Bay RV Resort for future San Diego trips. We did not care for either of them. Campland On The Bay was crowded, dirty and noisy. Mission Bay RV Resort was cleaner-looking, but, it was basically just a paved parking lot for RVs. The location of both parks were great, though, being located right on Mission Bay.
Checked out a couple of RV parks in Oceanside for future trips. Both were typical RV parks, but Paradise by the Sea has a walking trail that you can take to the beach. Across the street was Oceanside RV park, which appeared a little nicer, but you'd have to cross the busy South Coast Highway to get to the beach from it.
South Carlsbad State Beach would be a great place to stay for a few days, but it's strictly dry-camping (no water, sewer or electric). The views are spectacular overlooking the beach right from your camping spot.
Seattle 2014 RV Trip
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.
For our second camping trip in the new RV, we headed east from Phoenix about 200 miles to The Islander RV Resort on Lake Havasu. We've never been to this part of Arizona before, but we'll definitely be back again. It was beautiful - clear, aqua-colored water and green palm trees set against the rugged mountains made for a beautiful setting for our campsite right next to the lake. We got there on the final day of the "Desert Storm Poker Run & Shootout"performance boat race so there were lots of hot boats to watch! Once the crowds thinned out, we had a nice, relaxing couple of days exploring the Lake Havasu area. I would highly recommend The Islander RV Resort to anyone looking for a great place to stay on Lake Havasu. They deserve the "10" rating they got from Good Sam Club members.
Had a great four days dry-camping at the Lake Pleasant, AZ Bass Days for our inaugural voyage in our new Allegro motorhome. Son-in-law Dave came in third place one day with his 4.33 lb. bass and won $100. We had so much fun, we pre-booked next year's spots to be right on the grass and closer to the lake.
Picking up our brand new 2014 Tiffin Allegro 35QBA on March 13, 2014 from LaMesa RV in Phoenix. I know our granddaughters are going to enjoy it as much as we are!
States We've Trekked To