Fleetwood RV has embarked on a new frontier — literally — with the introduction of this nicely equipped diesel pusher.
By Lazelle Jones
The Fleetwood RV division of REV Recreation Group has found another niche in the world of motorized RVs. The all-new Frontier diesel-pusher motorhome was scheduled to arrive on dealer lots around the time readers see this review. Fleetwood RV plans to introduce four Frontier floor plans ranging from 33 feet to 36 feet in length. The 34GT and the 36SS are the first two in production, both with triple slideout rooms. They will be followed by 33-foot and 35-foot versions equipped with double or triple slideouts, which were being designed and tested as this was written.
The Frontier is intended to attract the attention of those who may be sitting on the fence, thinking, “Do I want a Type A gas coach, or should I spend a little more and go with a diesel pusher?” The base manufacturer’s suggested retail price of the 34GT may help the fence-sitter opt for this diesel platform. The 34GT base model starts a bit above $300,000, but it is packed from front to rear, top to bottom, and side to side with standard appointments. Only a few options are offered.
The Frontier features a bus-style front entry. I found the coach to be well configured, filled with functionality, and quite comfortable.
All four Frontier floor plans will incorporate the Freightliner XCR raised-rail chassis, which is powered by a 6.7-liter Cummins diesel engine matched to an Allison 2500 six-speed automatic transmission. The 34GT has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 32,400 pounds. Each new Freightliner XCR chassis arrives by truck from South Carolina and first travels to MORryde in Indiana, where Fleetwood’s exclusive Freedom Sport Foundation is added. This all-steel structure, specifically designed for each Fleetwood Type A diesel floor plan, creates a bridging platform that provides enhanced handling and basement storage. It also gives the coach a flat interior floor from front to rear. That means no step up to the rear bedroom, because the diesel engine below the floor does not protrude upward into this space.
The walls, floor, and roof include structural aluminum members, block-foam insulation, and exterior fiberglass, all of which is sandwiched together and vacuum laminated. The walk-on roof is crowned to promote runoff and accommodates the central ducting for the roof air conditioners.
Below the Frontier’s massive foundation, cargo bays yield 135 cubic feet of storage. A coach-wide, pass-through bay has doors that open from the center, permitting access to the optional glide-out storage tray inside. The bay walls are lined with Ozite, and the floor is FRP, a low-maintenance product that helps the bay stand up to the rigors of RV life while also making it easy to clean out the interior. The bays are insulated and heated, including those that house the holding tanks.
Fleetwood designers have configured the Frontier’s holding tanks to take full advantage of the space up and around the structural members of the chassis and the Freedom Sport platform. The coach incorporates REV RV Group’s exclusive “wedge-block” holding tank design, which allows for larger holding tank capacities (gray water, 65 gallons; black water, 45 gallons). This design also facilitates draining and flushing when it’s time for tank emptying. The fresh-water tank holds 96 gallons and is located to take advantage of the coach’s interior temperature and insulation values.
This segues to a discussion of the heating system Fleetwood has incorporated as standard equipment in this all-new coach. Like diesel motorhomes priced $100,000 higher, the Frontier includes the Aqua-Hot 250D hydronic heating system. This diesel-fired, closed-loop, boiler-type system features several heating zones and quietly delivers up to 40,000 Btu of warmth throughout the house portion of the motorhome; one zone heats the basement compartments. The system also provides continuous domestic hot water.
Another notable feature: The Frontier is all-electric, which means no propane is used or needed onboard. At the heart of the 50-amp electrical system are four deep-cycle batteries that deliver 12-volt-DC power to a 2,000-watt inverter that in turn supplies 120-volt AC to entertainment circuits, the refrigerator, and a few other select outlets. The power receptacles are residential, just like 15-amp circuits found at home.
All components that make up the entertainment systems, be they inside the coach or outside in the patio area, are powered from the house batteries through the inverter, shore power, or generator. Fleetwood representatives emphasize that the Magnum inverter is a pure sine wave inverter, which means anything that is powered on 120-volt AC through the inverter will operate very much as it does on residential power. And when you arrive at your favorite RV resort and plug into shore power, the transition from coach to shore is transparent. Customers can add an optional power reel to retract the 50-amp 30-foot shore power cable.
The onboard 6,000-watt Onan Quiet Diesel auxiliary generator uses the main diesel tank as its fuel source. The generator is very important to the electrical operation of the coach, especially when powering the two centrally ducted 13,500-Btu roof air conditioners. (Two optional 15,000-Btu air conditioners can be selected instead.) These units require 50-amp shore power or the generator for operation. The auxiliary gen set comes with an auto-start function; if the voltage on the four house batteries drops below a set number, the generator automatically starts and returns the batteries to a fully charged state.
The A/C units are centrally ducted through the roof structure and can operate independently — perhaps to cool only the rear bedroom at night, for example. Dual-zone climate control provides the opportunity to set different temperatures in different areas of the coach.
The Frontier features full-body exterior paint and graphics (four layers of Sikkens automotive paint are used), with four color combinations to choose from: Granite, Ironman, Loyalty, and Morning Coffee. Four base colors are applied, followed by three coats of clear; after sanding, two more coats of clear are added. A fully automatic, 20-foot, legless patio awning comes standard. It incorporates a feature especially appreciated when strong winds buffet the motorhome: An automatic motion sensor retracts the awning into its housing when a preprogrammed degree of motion is sensed in various parts of the awning structure.
The patio area comes standard with an entertainment system that includes an LED TV and sound bar. On the driver’s side is a centralized station for servicing the holding tanks.
The interior of the Frontier 34GT is certain to please discerning RVers. The walk-through begins at the front of the coach, as one enters via the bus-style main entry door. The stairwell incorporates four steps that lead up to the landing, where a visually inspiring venue awaits. From the front living area back to the rear bedroom, hand-laid Tarkett composite residential flooring provides a classy look and easy cleaning. Three decor packages and four cabinetry selections are available. The 7-foot-high ceilings are covered in soft-touch vinyl, and LED lighting runs throughout. The Frontier’s appointments and amenities invite occupants to enjoy the luxury motor coach lifestyle. A nice touch, especially for long spells in the coach, is the central vacuum system.
As noted, the 34GT incorporates three slideouts, which dramatically increase the usable living area. The passenger side of the motorhome hosts a single slideout that measures 273 inches long and 24 inches deep. The front portion of it houses an oversized bench-style dinette that measures 80 inches by 40 inches and is flanked by an expansive window. Below the window, a 50-inch LED television is concealed in a cabinet but at the touch of a button raises up and out for viewing. It is across the aisle from an 82-inch sofa sleeper, which is housed in a slideout behind the driver’s seat. The sofa converts to a queen-size bed. If desired, buyers can opt for a motion power lounge with twin recliners in place of the sofa. Next to the sofa on a perpendicular wall, an electric fireplace provides warmth and ambience; a cabinet with glass-panel doors hangs above it.
Aft of the dinette is the galley, which can accommodate chefs of all expertise levels. The stainless-steel farmhouse-style sink measures 21 inches by 13.5 inches by 6.5 inches. A long, rectangular window provides those at the sink a view of the outdoors. The sink is surrounded by a solid-surface countertop, as is the adjacent recessed two-burner induction cooktop. An attractive glass-tile backsplash adds a nice touch. A 1,000-watt, 1.6-cubic-foot microwave-convection oven is positioned above the cooktop; aft of that is an 18.7-cubic-foot residential stainless-steel refrigerator with ice maker. The galley also features a floor-to-ceiling pantry with four adjustable pull-out shelves, along with another tall storage cabinet on the street side of the kitchen area.
Opposite the galley is the residential-style bath. For privacy, it can be closed off with a pocket door. The fiberglass shower measures 38 inches by 30 inches and is equipped with a glass door, a skylight, a designer showerhead, and a corner seat. A porcelain toilet is positioned between the shower and a vanity sink and cabinet. The bath area includes a large, mirrored medicine cabinet.
The Frontier 34GT’s rear bedroom features an 82-inch-long dresser with a 32-inch LED TV above it. This dresser is the rearmost component of the full-wall passenger-side slideout. Opposite the dresser, in the coach’s third slideout, is the head of a king-size bed, which measures 72 inches by 80 inches. Fleetwood designers have added room around three sides of the bed, which makes it easier to maneuver in the bedroom and to make the bed. Above the head of the bed, a dedicated console is provided for CPAP storage. Across the rear of the coach is a full-length wardrobe; this area comes prepped for a stackable washer/dryer as well.
Back up front, another sleeping option deserves mention: REV’s Hide-A-Loft electric drop-down bed, which tucks up against the interior ceiling in the cockpit area. Touch a switch, and the bed lowers, becoming instantly available. This option comes with a 32-inch digital LED television for those sleeping here. A ladder is provided to access the bed.
The 34GT sleeps up to seven, which may be particularly appealing to families or those embarking on long trips.
Additional features include a 10-inch cockpit dash radio with modern functions. When parked, RVers may appreciate the coach’s automatic hydraulic leveling system, which operates at the push of a button. The bedside remote generator start provides a convenient way to turn on the generator from the rear of the RV after a day of travel. For enhanced connectivity, an optional package includes the WiFiRanger SkyPro, a cellular booster, and a 300-watt solar panel. The Mobileye collision avoidance system is another available option.
RVers who are contemplating the gas-versus-diesel motorhome question will want to be on the lookout for the new Fleetwood Frontier 34GT, 36SS, and additional floor plans that will be released soon.
Specifications | Fleetwood Frontier 34GT
REV Recreation Group – Fleetwood RV, 1031 U.S. 224 E., Decatur, IN 46733; (800) 322-8216; www.fleetwoodrv.com
Freightliner Custom Chassis XCR
Cummins 6.7-liter ISB; 340 horsepower at 700 pound-feet torque
Allison 2500, six speed
Meritor air drum with ABS
Freightliner Custom Chassis – Rear V-Ride
Sachs Tuned Shocks
chassis — (2) 12-volt heavy-duty; house — (4) 6-volt deep-cycle
Onan 6,000-watt Quiet Diesel
35 feet 4 inches
102 inches (slideouts retracted)
12 feet 10 inches
GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT RATING (GVWR)
GROSS AXLE WEIGHT RATING (GAWR)
front — 12,400 pounds; rear — 20,000 pounds
GROSS COMBINATION WEIGHT RATING (GCWR)
OCCUPANT & CARGO CARRYING CAPACITY (OCCC)
7,200 pounds (pilot 34GT model)
FRESH WATER CAPACITY
HOLDING TANK CAPACITIES
gray water — 65 gallons;
black water — 45 gallons
100 gallons; 13 gallons DEF
on demand; Aqua-Hot 250D hydronic heating
Aqua-Hot 250D hydronic heating
(2) 13,500-Btu, standard; (2) 15,000-Btu, optional
18.7-cubic-foot double-door residential with ice maker
coach — 1 year/15,000 miles, limited;
structural — 3 years/45,000 miles, limited
BASE SUGGESTED RETAIL PRICE