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2007 Allegro Bus 42QRP

Road Test, Review and In-Depth Inspection
Article Date: July, 2006


The Road Test

After having previously driven a 2006 42QDP on a Freightliner chassis, I decided to compare this 2007 42QRP on a Spartan chassis by test driving it. The various mechanical differences were detailed earlier in this review but those were static tests. Naturally, the power and performance was identical. And it should be given that they both use the same Cummins 400 ISL and are of identical weights and GVW ratings. I found that they both rode well and handled well. Most people would be hard pressed to tell the difference and would be pleased with either chassis. While Freightliner advertises a 56 degree wheel cut and Spartan advertises a 55 degree wheel cut I found no difference in turning radius. Unless you want to get out and measure with a very accurate ruler, for all practical purposes they are identical and very maneuverable. I found them to turn sharper than my 40' 276" wheelbase Allegro Bus with 50 degree wheel cut.

One of my biggest questions was brakes. The Freightliner uses front disc brakes while the Spartan uses front drums. Spartan does use wider 5" wide brake shoes compared to the 4" used on Freightliner drum brake front axles though so the only way to tell the difference was to get out there and stomp on them. I found that the stopping power was identical when stopping from 45 MPH. Once I got the coach up to 77 MPH I did find that the Freightliner's front discs did have a slightly better stopping power. Not substantial, but definitely noticeable.

I also found the Spartan's Tuthill IFS and steering system to have a better feel than Freightliner's ZF system with TRW steering box. The Spartan just seemed to be "less numb" when feeling the road, yet it did an excellent job of not providing vibration and kick-back when on rough pavement. I was also able to test them both in some respectable side winds. While both coaches tracked nice and straight during side gusts, the Spartan didn't lean as far as the Freightliner and always gave a more solid feeling.

The few things I found that I didn't like on this road test were very minor. I noticed that the Jake brake rocker switch was a standard rocker switch on the side switch panel. While it is located to the far right in the last row, you'll either have to look at it or else feel around on the switches to get to that position. The 2006 42QDP on a Freightliner (as well as my own 2004 40DP) had a paddle type switch for the Jake brake. This keeps it from blending in with the other switches and it's real easy to find it in a hurry without taking your eyes off the road. If this were my coach I'd order a replacement Freightliner switch and put it in instead.

On the Tiffin end of things, the color rear view monitor was nice and sharp and the side mounted cameras automatically switched it when activated by the turn signals. I didn't particularly care for the monitor location though. In my 2004 it's located in the section of the dash over the center console. On the 2006/2007 models the monitor is moved closer to the driver. I found that when I was holding the steering wheel at the 10 and 2 O' clock positions my right hand would mask the left half of the monitor from view unless I lowered my hand down to a lower location of the wheel. I use the rear view monitor all the time when overtaking so that part didn't appeal to me. I also noticed that you have to lean forward to reach the switch to adjust the mirrors, then lean back to see what you just did. On our 2004 I can reach the mirror controls without leaning forward. This lets me make minor adjustments and instantly see the results without having to bob back and forth. My suggestion would be to place the controls on the spacious side console.

Also, it was hot when we drove. The temps were 103 degrees and the humidity was through the roof so it was not very comfortable. When the 10KW Onan generator was fired up, it didn't take long at all for the three 13,500 BTU air conditioners to cool the coach down and keep it there. These units had the vertical fans and I found them to be much better at cooling than my 15,000 BTU Dometic Penguins. The ducted air conditioners also removed the intake vents from the ceiling. This took away the sound normally associated with rooftop A/C units and was a serious improvement that resulted in a much quieter cooling system. Speaking of generators, most RV generators are "in-phase" meaning that you only get 120 volts. This is done to provide maximum power in any one area of the breaker panel. However, the larger 10KW Onan in the 42QRP has plenty of capacity. This generator is wired for 120/240 split phase. So, if you do order the optional stackable washer-dryer you can run the dryer (which requires 240 volts AC) from the generator as well as 50 amp shore power. You can also wire in a separate outlet to power your house in the event of a power failure at home.

I did love the Spartan's electronic warning and information display. The Freightliner display is impossible to see in sunlight. Sure, you can get a new white LCD display to replace it but they get pretty bright when driving at night. Plus, the information it displays is fairly useless. The Spartan had an excellent amber backlit display that could easily be seen. When scrolling through the menus I found all sorts of information that I never had before, such as turbo boost, turbo inlet air temperature, miles to empty, and a host of other customizable menus. This display is a real winner.

One last thing - regarding tire sizes. Spartan normally supplies the Mountain Master GT chassis with Michelin 295/80R22.5 tires. Because the Allegro Bus has been using 275/R8022.5 tires all these years, the wheel wells are not large enough to accommodate them. There has been a ton of misinformation floating around the web stating that these tires won't allow you to carry enough weight and your front axle rating needs to be reduced so you should buy another brand. Well, this is false. The tires that are on the Spartan chassis 42QRP are Michelin XZA3 275/R8022.5 load range H. Each tire is rated for 7,160 lbs at 120 PSI. Therefore, the tires can handle 14,320 lbs. The front axle weight rating is 14,300 lbs so the tires are not undersized. In fact they are 20 lbs oversized. It is true that a larger 295 series tire would have more load carrying capacity. This would allow you to carry the same load as the 275's but at a lower tire pressure. Supposedly this would give you a smoother ride but after this road test I have to say that these 275's pumped up give an excellent ride. I can "hear" the tar strips a bit more due to the higher pressure carried in them over the 12,000 lb front end and 105 PSI tires on my 2004 Bus but I couldn't "feel" them so it doesn't affect the ride.


The 2007 Allegro Bus line does offer quite a few improvements. With the exception of the Spartan chassis, there were no radical changes this year. But, a list of 45 changes all added up to make the 2007 Allegro Bus a very attractive coach. That, coupled with the new 42QRP floor plan availability should help keep the Allegro Bus at the top of the list of many prospective RV Buyers.


Tiffin Motorhomes
(256) 356-8661

King's Campers
(800) 818-5464

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