> SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE! 

Freightliner Custom Chassis LLC’s new 26,000-pound GVWR front-engine diesel chassis will be incorporated into three 2006 floorplans in Gulf Stream Coach Inc.’s formerly all gas Crescendo Class A motorhome line.
The diesel-powered Crescendo, shown here, and Tiffin Inc.’s new front-diesel Allegro Bay debuted at the Pennsylvania RV and Camping Show that concluded Sunday (Sept. 18) at the Giant Center and Hersheypark in Hershey, Pa.
Freightliner representatives said several other major manufacturers are expected to offer products on their front-engine chassis – being marketed as FRED by the company – at the upcoming Louisville Show.
Gulf Stream will offer the front-end diesel chassis standard in three new triple-slideout Crescendo floorplans in lengths of 35 to 37 feet with a retail base price of $140,000.
Additionally, the front-engine diesel chassis, powered by a 300-hp Cummins ISB 5.9 liter diesel engine, will be marketed as a “check-off” option on four Sun Voyager Class A floorplans that previously featured gas-only power plants.
Freightliner executives say the front-end diesel chassis provides more power, greater fuel efficiency and better durability than a similar gasoline chassis.
Claude Donati, national sales manager for the Nappanee, Ind., manufacturer, said this new chassis reduces further the distinction between high-end, gasoline-powered chassis and those with diesel engines.
“This goes down that path a little further,” Donati said.
FRED also allows Gulf Stream to offer previously unavailable floorplans because the engine doesn’t protrude into the back of the coach. “There are limitations floorplan-wise, when you have the engine in the rear,” Donati said.
He also noted that the Sun Voyager’s gas floorplans can be adapted to FRED without modification. “We don’t have to re-engineer the caps or do anything crazy to get this product into our lineup,” he said.
The diesel option on the Sun Voyager adds $24,000 to the unit’s base retail price.
Red Bay, Ala.-based Tiffin for 2006 is offering FRED in three 34- to 38-foot floorplans in its Allegro Bay series that previously featured only gas-powered floorplans.
“We know that there is a low-end diesel market,” said Tiffin General Manager Tim Tiffin. “We are offering the customer a lot of value, a lot of power and a strong GVWR.”