Alabama coach builder Tiffin Motor Homes Inc. has introduced the first U.S. motorhome on Freightliner Custom Chassis LLC’s new front-engine diesel platform – a newly released chassis positioned to capitalize on the burgeoning U.S. demand for diesel power at all levels.
The new diesel-powered Freightliner chassis is available in three 34- to 38-foot floorplans in Tiffin’s Allegro Bay lineup, a prototype of which was shown by the Red Bay, Ala., company to more than 50 dealers July 20-22 at the Marriott Shoals Hotel & Spa, South Florence, Ala.
Previously, the Allegro Bay was available only as a gas-fueled coach.
“We are very confident that as our customers become interested in moving from our high-end gas models into diesel, they will find this Allegro Bay very attractive,” said Tiffin General manager Tim Tiffin, adding that the company expects to manufacture 100 to150 Allegro Bays mounted on the front-engine diesel rail in the ’06 model year.
The 22,000-26,000-pound GVWR chassis – nicknamed FRED by Freightliner – features 300-hp 5.9 liter Cummins ISB engines and Allison 5-speed transmissions.
“Gas prices have gotten so high and we’ve pushed the limits of the GVW’s on gas-powered chassis,” reports Gary Poole, Freightliner’s RV product manager. “A front-end diesel gives Tiffin the opportunity to build a coach with more equivalent pulling power, better mileage and better resale value.”
Although the retail price has not been established, Tiffin said the diesel Allegro Bay will be priced “slightly” above the gas-fueled Allegro Bay, which starts at $116,522.