The first-time RV owners say Tiffin Allegro Bay and Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation are an unbeatable combination.
GAFFNEY, S.C.–Needing a reliable RV with outstanding power and performance, Arthur and Elizabeth McLaughlin decided upon a Tiffin Allegro Bay 35 TSB motorhome built on a Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation (FCCC) FRont End Diesel (FRED) chassis. The couple, who travel frequently to visit their two children and four grandchildren, credit the FRED chassis for making the ride smooth every time they travel.
"The Tiffin motorhome has been a great investment for us, and when you pair the quality of the Tiffin with the performance and durability of the FRED chassis, it's an unbeatable combination," Arthur McLaughlin said. "The FRED chassis is extremely maneuverable, very quiet and offers a significant amount of power."
Arthur McLaughlin, a Massachusetts state police officer, and Elizabeth, a retired nurse, said durability and fuel economy were essential elements of their decision to purchase a FRED chassis. Arthur McLaughlin said his motorhome gets 10.1 miles per gallon with the diesel-powered chassis, even when towing a 4,000-pound car through the Rocky Mountains.
Plus, he does not need to worry about oil changes and other maintenance required to keep a gas engine running smoothly, allowing for more frequent trips without needing repeated service. Diesel engines require up to five times fewer oil changes, have 50 percent fewer moving parts to maintain and, on average, last three times longer than gas engines.
Equipped with a 340-horsepower Cummins 6.7-liter engine and an Allison MH 6-speed transmission, the McLaughlins' motorhome easily maintains speed as it powers up the steep mountains of New England, where the McLaughlins spend the majority of their weekends. The couple has also traveled to South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana.
"We engineered our FRED chassis to provide customers the option of a front-engine diesel chassis with premium features over a typical gas chassis," said Jonathon Randall, director of sales and marketing for FCCC. "Reduced engine noise, better performance, excellent maneuverability, increased fuel economy and a higher carrying capacity were all features that customers, just like Mr. McLaughlin, wanted and we delivered on their needs."
The McLaughlins say these features have turned them into lifelong customers. "I would easily purchase another FRED," he said.
Before purchasing their first motorhome, the McLaughlins wondered whether noise would be an issue with a front-end diesel. However, after test driving both a diesel pusher and the FRED chassis model, the McLaughlins' decision was easy. In fact, the ride is so quiet the couple says they often only hear the tires rolling on the pavement.
Arthur McLaughlin said he test drove other front-engine gas models but didn't find any with the same acceleration power and maneuverability as the FCCC FRED chassis.
Being first-time RV owners, maneuverability of the 35-foot vehicle had been an initial concern, but the FRED chassis easily addressed that issue. Arthur McLaughlin said the 55-degree wheel cut has far exceeded his expectations and maneuverability has been excellent, even when towing his car. As someone who is known to miss a few turns, he said this makes life a lot easier.
When the McLaughlins aren't taking weekend trips up and down the East Coast, they are traveling the country to see their family. Since purchasing their motorhome in June 2007, the couple has traveled more than 16,000 miles. They typically take a two- or three-week trip every year and travel on the weekends to visit family and friends. This year, they are looking forward to spending time out west visiting the Continental Divide and the Grand Canyon. Their ultimate goal is to visit every national park in the country while enjoying the road trip on their FRED chassis.
Both of their children are in military families and have been stationed all over the U.S. Their daughter Christine Chesarek, a former U.S. Navy nurse married to a U.S. Marine, currently resides in Temecula, Calif. Their son Brian, a member of the U.S. Coast Guard, lives in Kodiak, Alaska.
During the past 18 months, Brian and Christine have been stationed in places such as Mobile, Ala., Clearwater, Fla., and Quantico, Va. Thanks to their reliable FRED chassis, the McLaughlins have been able to visit their children in all these locations.
"We didn't want to be strangers to our grandchildren. We wanted to visit our children for extended periods of time without imposing on the family, and an RV is the perfect way to do that," Arthur McLaughlin said. "We have been flying to Alaska, but once I'm able to retire in a few years, I'm certain the RV will be making its way to Kodiak."
"The McLaughlins' story speaks volumes about our commitment to customers and the exceptional performance of the FRED product," Randall said. "By continuing to focus on quality and service to our customers, we can ensure that every FRED chassis owner has a similar, positive experience to share."
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