Celebrating 50 years, this esteemed company has branched out into the diesel-powered Super C market, filling the new model with features and amenities akin to those found in the brand’s luxury Type A motorhome lineup.
By Mark Quasius, F333630
Tiffin Motorhomes is well known for its Type A motorhomes. In fact, 2023 marks the company’s 50th anniversary. Last year, Tiffin launched a diesel-powered Super C coach to meet the growing demand in that market. The Allegro Bay model name was resurrected from an earlier line of upscale front-engine Type A motorhomes and assigned to this Super C model, which is built on a Freightliner chassis.
The Allegro Bay Super C features construction similar to that used to create Tiffin’s diesel pusher Type A motorhomes. Pinch-rolled sidewalls are built with structural aluminum frame members, and thermal foam insulation is sandwiched between the outer fiberglass and interior wallboard. The welded steel floor framing rests upon the chassis frame rails and is fitted with 1.5-inch thermal-foam insulation board and then topped off with engineered-wood subflooring. Aluminum roof trusses support the one-piece molded fiberglass roof, which is gel coated, stuffed with 5.25 inches of formed insulation, and vacuum bonded. One-piece molded gel-coat fiber-glass front and rear caps complete the structure. The basement storage compartments are made of welded steel for structural integrity. Rust-protective undercoating is standard.
The Allegro Bay is built on Freightliner’s 279-inch-wheelbase S2RV chassis. This chassis is a derivative of the M2 business-class chassis but is designed for a recreational vehicle and features ride improvements and weight distribution that deliver better handling and a smoother drive. The coach is powered by a Cummins B6.7-liter diesel engine that outputs 360 horsepower and 800 pound-feet of torque.
An Allison 3000 MH six-speed automatic transmission delivers power to the 21,000-pound-capacity rear axle, which is equipped with Freightliner’s Airliner air-ride suspension. The 12,000-pound-rated front axle offers a 55-degree wheel cut and is fitted with taper leaf springs and Sachs custom-tuned shocks. An HWH automatic hydraulic leveling system simplifies setup at camp.
The chassis has a 33,000-pound gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) and a 45,000-pound gross combination weight rating (GCWR). The unloaded vehicle weight (UVW) is 27,175 pounds, which results in a respectable 5,825-pound occupant and cargo carrying capacity (OCCC). The trailer hitch is rated at 12,000 pounds, which means the owner should be able to tow a wide variety of vehicles or trailers without any issues.
Michelin XZE2 LT275/80R 22.5 15-ply tires on aluminum wheels, a 100-gallon diesel fuel tank, and a 10-gallon DEF tank are standard. The DEF tank fill is in the driver’s-side entry steps, which makes it easy to replenish the tank at truck stop pumps. The diesel fuel tank is at the rear of the coach and has a high-mounted driver-side fill to prevent messy air-pocket burps when refueling. This rear fuel tank design was implemented to offer better weight distribution for an improved ride and is common to all Freightliner S2RV chassis.
The Allegro Bay is available in seven different paint schemes. The coach I reviewed sported the Frosted Granite selection. To celebrate Tiffin’s 50th anniversary, a special design is available; it features gold accents and blends a stylized “50” into the swirls on the sides and rear of the unit. Every coach is painted with four base-coat colors and then finished off with three layers of polyurethane clear coat to create an attractive deep shine. For fur-ther protection, a layer of high-performance film is added to the front of the coach and other areas.
The cab entry steps are made of molded fiberglass and topped with attractive stainless-steel tread plates to provide a nonslip surface. A Girard power awning with LED lighting covers the patio area. Girard slideout toppers come standard. Tinted frameless windows are used throughout the coach. A rear roof ladder is standard equipment. If they prefer, buyers can opt for the Lippert On-The-Go telescoping ladder, which hangs on brackets at the rear of the coach but compresses to store in the basement, leaving a clean, uncluttered appearance on the rear cap when the ladder isn’t needed.
The Allegro Bay 38 AB floor plan incorporates three slideouts and is capable of sleeping up to eight people. The review coach was finished in the Soft Suede interior decor, one of two available choices, with Sandstone cabinetry and woodwork and the Trail Ultraleather upholstery color option. The Sea Grass matte-finish luxury vinyl tile floor is durable and attractive, with a wood look that complements the interior décor. LED lighting and slow-rise day and night roller shades are used throughout the coach, and all furniture is upholstered with Ultraleather material.
The cockpit features two comfortable fully adjustable captain’s chairs, dash fans, and a good old-fashioned pull cord for the air horn to make you feel like a trucker. The in-dash entertainment center offers the usual AM/FM radio features as well as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, dual USB ports, and in-dash GPS navigation. A color monitor displays the view from the rearview or automated side-view cameras. Various rocker switches operate the power windows, door locks, and other features.
The cab-over bunk area pro-vides sleeping room for up to two (300-pound weight limit). Privacy shades make it possible to block light from entering the front window. The bunk floor and mattress are hinged to allow part of them to be raised when not in use, affording more headroom when moving between the cockpit area and the coach interior.
The Allegro Bay 38 AB has a pair of slideouts in the living area. The street-side slideout holds a 20-cubic-foot residential refrigerator, a dinette, and seating. The review coach was equipped with the standard booth-style dinette, which converts to sleeping space by lowering the solid-surface table. The dinette seats are hinged to provide access to the handy storage space underneath. An optional dinette bar or computer workstation with chairs is available as well.
This model comes standard with a sofa bed, but the test unit was equipped with optional theater-seat recliners, complete with cup holders. The seating faces the 50-inch 4K LED TV, which resides in the opposing slideout and is located behind an air-coil sofa bed. The TV is installed on a power lift and can be stowed away when coach occupants want to enjoy the view out the window. When raised, the TV can easily be viewed from anywhere in the main living area.
Adjacent to the air-coil sleeper sofa is the main galley counter, which features a pull-out cabinet extension. The solid-surface countertop includes a pair of hinged covers that fold back to expose the cooktop. The cooktop’s covers can also be lifted off and removed. The review unit was equipped with the all-electric option package. So, rather than the standard three-burner propane cooktop, it included a two-burner induction cooktop. The overhead cabinetry holds a convection-microwave oven with air-fry mode.
Immediately to the right of the slideout portion of the galley is another work area. It houses a large double-basin stainless-steel sink that has a tall faucet with a pull-down sprayer. Additional cabinets beneath and above this area provide storage space.
The midship bathroom is next in line. The split-bath design includes doors that close to make it a private area. The street side contains a 28.5-inch-by-40.5-inch molded fiberglass shower enclosure with sliding glass doors. On the curb side is an enclosed room with a gravity-flush toilet, a vanity with a recessed solid-surface sink basin, overhead storage cabinets, a mirrored medicine cabinet, and a ceiling vent fan. The door for this room can swing open 90 degrees and latch to the opposite wall to separate this space from the front living area. The rear of the bath also can be closed off from the bedroom via a sliding door.
The bedroom occupies the rear of the coach. It comes standard with a 72-inch-by-80-inch king bed with a memory-foam mattress; a 60-inch-by-80-inch queen bed is an available option. The bed lifts up to provide access to a storage area under-neath. A rear exit is another option. Nightstands, large overhead cabinetry, and electrical outlets are all located in the curbside rear slideout.
Opposite the bed is the wardrobe area, which incorporates cabinets on either side of a center section of drawers. Directly above the center drawers is a cabinet equipped to handle the bedroom entertainment system components and the mounted 32-inch 4K LED TV. The wardrobe doors slide to provide access to the cabinets. These cabinets are also prepped for a washer and dryer pair. Of course, adding these appliances diminishes the wardrobe space.
As noted, the review coach included the all-electric package. This eliminates the on-board propane tank, and in addition to replacing the standard cooktop, it swaps out the 35,000-Btu furnace and the Truma on-demand water heater in favor of an Aqua-Hot 250D hydronic heating system that serves both functions.
The coach has 50-amp AC electrical service and comes with a power cord reel. An 8,000-watt Onan diesel-powered generator provides an alternate source of 120-volt power. In addition to automatically switching between the shore power and generator power sources, the automatic transfer switch provides low-voltage and surge protection.
The 12-volt-DC power system utilizes four 6-volt extended-cycle AGM batteries; a pair of 12-volt LiFePo4 lithium-ion batteries is available as an optional upgrade. A 2,000-watt true sine wave inverter supplies 120-volt-AC power to various receptacles, the residential fridge, and the entertainment system. It also provides battery charging for the 12-volt system. The Allegro Bay review unit was equipped with an optional solar package, which includes three 200-watt solar panels and a charge controller.
To help occupants keep their cool in warm weather, a pair of 15,000-Btu air conditioners with heat pumps comes standard on the Allegro Bay. The fresh-water tank holds a generous 150 gallons and is equipped with a whole-house water filter. The coach has a 70-gallon gray-water tank and a 45-gallon black-water tank with a built-in flush attachment. The coach is prewired for an external satellite dish and cable TV. The review unit was equipped with the optional in-motion satellite dome antenna plus the optional Wi-Fi and cellular boosters. An optional central vacuum system eases cleaning tasks by directing dust and dirt into a bagged basement container.
Tiffin did a great job of putting Type A motorhome quality into a Type C package. But the Allegro Bay isn’t just a downsized Type A coach —it’s a whole different experience. The drive of a Super C is unlike that of a motorhome with a flat bus-style front. The Allegro Bay is less sensitive to winds and bow wakes from 18-wheelers, making for a less stressful drive. The psychological effect of having a large hood out front makes for more natural driving and adds a bit more safety in the event of an accident.
When it comes to storage space, it’s hard to beat a large diesel pusher with cavernous pass-through compartments, but the Allegro Bay does have a good amount of basement storage as well as a smaller pass-through area for longer items at the rear of the coach, so you’ll be able to bring plenty of cargo along.
The 38 AB is really well designed, making excellent use of available space. The furniture and décor are first-rate and deliver the feeling that you are in a house rather than an RV. All that and a favorable price point make the Allegro Bay a good choice.
This review details the features of a 2023 Allegro Bay. The 2024 Allegro Bay likely will incorporate several updates.
SPECIFICATIONS | TIFFIN ALLEGRO BAY 38 AB
Tiffin Motorhomes, 105 Second St. N.W., Red Bay, AL 35582; (256) 356-8661; www.tiffinallegrobay.com
2023 Allegro Bay
Cummins B6.7-liter; 360 horsepower at 2,600 rpm; 800 pound-feet torque at 1,800 rpm
Allison 3000 MH 6-speed automatic with lock-up torque converter
full air brake system with automatic slack adjusters
front — taper leaf, custom-tuned Sachs shock absorbers;
rear — Freightliner Airliner with manual dump valve
chassis — (2) 12-volt flooded lead-acid;
house — (4) 6-volt extended-cycle AGM; (2) lithium-ion, optional
39 feet 4 inches
13 feet 3 inches
6 feet 10.5 inches
GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT RATING (GVWR)
GROSS COMBINATION WEIGHT RATING (GCWR)
GROSS AXLE WEIGHT RATING (GAWR)
front — 12,000 pounds;
rear — 21,000 pounds
OCCUPANT AND CARGO CARRYING CAPACITY (OCCC)
HOLDING TANK CAPACITIES
fresh water — 150 gallons;
gray water — 70 gallons;
black water — 45 gallons
Truma AquaGo instant; Aqua-Hot 250D (with all-electric coach)
35,000-Btu ducted furnace; Aqua-Hot 250D (with all-electric coach)
(2) 15,000-Btu with heat pumps
20-cubic-foot stainless-steel residential
coach — 1 year/12,000 miles, limited; 5 years/50,000 miles delamination, limited; 10 years/50,000 miles construction, limited
MANUFACTURER’S BASE SUGGESTED RETAIL PRICE
PRICE AS REVIEWED