Tiffin’s Allegro-branded 34 PA gasser closes in on the panache of a diesel pusher with the optional LiquidSpring suspension upgrade
Close your eyes and ask someone to guide you into a Tiffin Open Road Allegro 34 PA for the first time. Open your eyes and you’ll swear that you’re inside a higher-end diesel pusher. Fortunately, gas-powered motorhomes no longer take a step back from the luxury and livability once only found in more expensive diesel pushers.
Add on the optional LiquidSpring Compressible Liquid Adaptive Suspension System (CLASS), upgrade for the Ford F-53 chassis right from the factory, and ride quality becomes comparable to entry-level diesel pushers with air springs. Affordability can be a major concern among motorhome enthusiasts and the cost delta between a gasser and pusher can be considerable. Combine the vast improvement in ride quality with Tiffin-style livability and owners of Class A gassers no longer have to feel like the buying experience is a compromise. As a matter of fact, it’s even a much more practical investment for those who don’t churn up the miles on an annual basis.
The Open Road Allegro 34 PA features a rock-solid floorplan, one that has proven to provide exceptional livability within the confines of 36 feet. Up front, the living area is designed to maximize open space. A dual-access bathroom is perfectly positioned and the rear bedroom offers plenty of headroom to make residents comfortable. Add in a number of niceties, mostly standard along with key optional features, and the 34 PA will actually live better than its size suggests.
Without a doubt, the LiquidSpring feature eats up a big chunk of the optional costs that drive the sticker price to more than $210,000. But at $13,995, the LiquidSpring suspension upgrade is a game changer when it comes to handling performance and driving comfort. Tiffin is the first company to offer this upgrade directly from the factory.
While the Ford chassis has a proven record for reliability, the stock suspension turns in a ride that is harsh and, at times, sloppy, especially for discriminating driving enthusiasts who enjoy tighter control and solid road feel without jarring one’s teeth. The LiquidSpring rear suspension is a five-link system that takes the place of the standard leaf springs and shocks, and uses sophisticated electronics to manage compressible liquid silicone via specially designed struts and control arms — improving stability while reducing road shock and vibrations.
Dashboard controls, via a proprietary panel, can be used to adjust ride quality while on the road. It’s possible to change the suspension dynamics manually, but we found the system does a good job of adjusting to road conditions without driver intervention.
Driving manners improve dramatically, especially when negotiating driveways (service stations) and making turns on undulating road surfaces. Body roll is squelched substantially and poor road conditions (something we’re constantly fighting these days) are mitigated to a point where driving pleasure emulates that of a diesel pusher.
The decision to offer the LiquidSpring suspension takes the appeal of a gasser to a higher level, but much of that positioning can be credited to Tiffin’s quest to inject luxury elements into its entire Ford-based line. Décor elements are stunning and the quality of the cabinetry has been a Tiffin trademark since the company’s inception. The Amber Glazed cabinetry upgrade ($870) adds to the luxurious look of the interior and should be a top-line option.
Simulated tile flooring throughout, ultraleather furniture treatment, window coverings and appliance choice make a residential-look statement. Add in the modern fireplace, large LED TVs and lighting elements, and livability for a couple or even two guests (short term only) is quickly established.
Up front, the cockpit high-backs can be turned to augment the living room. Since the test motorhome did not have the optional L-shaped couch arrangement, the cockpit chairs are instrumental for watching the TV, which is mounted above the fireplace. The look is nice, but watching TV from the couch can be a real neck strainer. The couch, though, is comfortable for lounging, and it converts into a bed with an air mattress.
Across from the couch is a conventional dinette with plush cushions; it’s capable of seating four adults in relative comfort. The dinette shares space in an extensive slideout with the galley, and with the opposing slide open, there’s enough space for occupants to move about freely. Two large drawers built into the dinette benches provide room to stash a number of easily accessible items.
This floorplan configuration allows for a large bank of overhead storage cabinets up front, leaving just enough space for a galley to satisfy the needs of those who prefer to cook in.
Common, albeit practical, components grace the galley structure to include a three-burner stove, double-basin sink, high-rise faucet and microwave convection oven, all surrounded by a decent selection of cabinets and drawers. The upgraded solid-surface counter adds a big touch of class, and should be a must-have option for anyone buying a motorhome in this price range. Adjacent to the galley, a double-door refrigerator with freezer below is well-placed for the kitchen dwellers. It’s powered by an optional 2,000-watt inverter tied to four 6-volt batteries (on a sliding platform for easy service), which also allows for the use of the microwave and entertainment equipment when disconnected from hookups.
Well-placed windows in the living room, and especially the wide one over the galley counter, provide exceptional natural lighting, which exudes a very cheery atmosphere. The backdrop is stylish and the pattern is carried into the bathroom. A vast number of flush-mounted ceiling lights keeps the interior bright when the sun goes down — and the lights are controlled from a large screen mounted outside the bathroom, connected to multiplex switching in other strategic locations. This touch screen also controls HVAC systems and the patio awning, and monitors the holding- and freshwater-tank levels.
The bathroom design is one of the most versatile in the business because it offers access via solid doors from the hallway and bedroom. Packed inside a relatively compact space, making it feel much bigger than it actually is, are all the elements needed for a well-equipped bathroom, and then some.
Toward the front, a large shower stall with sliding glass doors is supplemented by good-quality fixtures and a skylight with a cover. There’s a recessed area for shampoo and soap; bottles stay put when on the road. A porcelain toilet is positioned near the hallway wall — which may be tight for some people — and a rear cubbyhole with a lift-up door leads to reading material. Counterspace restraints require the use of a single sink, but there are still enough cabinets and drawers to house necessary toiletries and bath items, and louvered doors lead to an optional stacking washer and dryer.
Glazed cabinetry, overhead storage, large windows, versatile bathroom access, LiquidSpring suspension, paint job
L-shaped couch option not selected, view to TV in living room, space around toilet, wasted space in power-cord compartment
Slides three and four in the rear really open up the bedroom and bathroom; the left slide extends into most of the bathroom and houses the cabinet structure for the bedroom. It’s a versatile design that really works well. A king bed with memory foam mattress occupies most of the floor space in the bedroom, but the dedicated slideout helps with physical dimensions and visual aesthetics. The bed platform lifts to expose a generous storage area, and there’s enough room to make the bed without strain. Small nightstands on each side of the bed are fitted with 120-volt AC and USB charging stations. Power provisions and a hose cutout in the overhead cabinet are earmarked for those who need to run a CPAP machine and keep it out of the way.
Overall, the bedroom is comfortable, and the extensive use of cabinets, the wardrobe and drawers make it easy to store enough clothes for extensive trips — and built into the storage ensemble is a laundry hold. The TV on the articulating arm keeps it flat against the rear wall when not in use for visual acuity, and there are plenty of windows for ambient lighting and airflow, but the rear wall is begging for a picture or other type of art.
Tiffin has always been known for its extra touches that enhance livability and comfort, like the gravity fill for the freshwater tank, and it offers the right selection of options that make sense for owners in this level motorhome. For example, items like the Winegard ConnecT Wi-Fi extender, central vacuum, prewire for a rooftop satellite dish, solar prep and the generator upgrade to 7 kW are practical additions for contemporary-minded owners. That thinking extends to the cockpit, where all the controls are within ergonomic reach, including the panels for the HWH hydraulic leveling jacks and LiquidSpring suspension. The touch screen for the stereo/navigation is big enough for thick fingers and the monitor for the backup camera also has side-view capabilities. To prevent upholstery damage, the rocker switch for the driver’s-side slideout in the living room is set in the seat back to remind owners to reset the position (if needed) before retracting the slide. And, of course, we’d be remiss not to mention the Tiffin trademark floor-level window on the wall next to the passenger seat. While it provides a nice view to the outside for Fido, the more functional reason for its existence is to offer a view to the curb or other obstacles.
The overhead TV in the cockpit seems like a redundancy, but some owners like to watch their favorite programs while working in the kitchen or sitting on the rear dinette cushion. There are four TVs in this plan, including the one outside, so those who enjoy the tube should be happy campers.
Outside, the Sunlit Sand full-body paint contrasts beautifully with the aluminum wheels, creating a handsome profile. Gracing the lower portion of the body is the usual array of lateral-door storage compartments. The chassis configuration prevents the use of huge pass-through compartments commonly found on pushers and all but packrats can stash enough supplies. Designers used exterior space thoughtfully, and even in compartments partially filled with items like batteries and accessory hardware, cubbyholes are provided to include enough room for supplies; for example, flat patio chairs can be stashed in one of the rearward lockers. One door serves as service access to the water tank and exterior-mounted monitor sensors and another leads to the utility bay, where the hookup components are laid out without crowding. It’s all part of the function without frustration mantra followed by Tiffin over the years. A large compartment is devoted to the power cord and surge protector, which has a bunch of wasteful space if the area remains unloaded because of possible interference with the power cord.
The fuel filler is positioned in the very rear so pumps on either side of the lane can be utilized. Access to the hydraulic pump, hoses and fittings is very good, as is the breaker box for the 12-volt DC appliances and accessories. A hitch receiver and wiring receptacle are ready to go.
Overall, a strong case can be made for buying this gasser versus a diesel pusher. The LiquidSpring suspension changes the handling and driving comfort paradigm dramatically, making it a much easier decision to make for buyers looking for pusher-style luxury without the extra expense and depreciation over time. Those who travel extensively, and who plan on racking up much more than the average 6,000 miles a year, can amortize the additional cost of a diesel drivetrain with less trepidation. Engine noise notwithstanding, the Ford chassis is durable and easy to drive. Add the LiquidSpring suspension to Tiffin’s legacy of a quality build and customer support, and this motorhome is slated for the Open Road with diesel-pusher fanfare.
Model Ford F-53
Engine 6.8-liter V-10
SAE Hp 320 @ 4,250 rpm
Torque 460 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Axle Ratio 6.17:1
Front Tires 255/80R22.5
Rear Tires 255/80R22.5
Suspension Front I-Beam, leaf spring;
Fuel Capacity 80 gal
Warranty 3 years, 36,000 miles bumper-to-bumper; 5 years, 60,000 miles drivetrain
Exterior Length 36′ 1″
Exterior Width 8′ 5″
Exterior Height with A/C 12′ 10″
Interior Width 8′
Interior Height 7′
Construction Tubular aluminum frame,
laminated panels with foam insulation and thermal wrap, one-piece fiberglass roof
Freshwater Capacity 70 gal
Black-water Capacity 50 gal
Gray-water Capacity 66 gal
Water-heater Capacity 10 gal
Propane Capacity 24 gal
Air Conditioner (2) 15,000/13,500 Btu
with heat pumps
Furnace 30,000 Btu
Refrigerator 21 cu-ft
Inverter/Charger 2,000 watts/100 amps
Battery (1) 12-volt chassis, (4) 6-volt house
AC Generator 7 kW
MSRP as Tested $210,172.75
Warranty 1-year limited; 5-year delamination; 10- year construction
(Water and water heater, fuel, propane tanks full; no supplies or passengers)
Total 23,085 lbs
GAWR, Front/Rear 9,000 lbs/17,500 lbs
GVWR/GCWR 26,000 lbs/30,000 lbs
ROCCC 2,915 lbs (deduct weight of
passengers for net cargo capacity)
GAWR Gross Axle Weight Rating
GVWR Gross Vehicle Weight Rating
GCWR Gross Combination Weight Rating
ROCCC Realistic Occupant and Cargo Carrying Capacity (full water, no passengers)