At $430,000 that’s $71,500 a wheel … but what a way to roll!
By Gary Tischer
What you don’t see is one of the differences that sets the Tiffin Allegro Breeze apart from other motorhomes. When a company makes 12 motorhomes a day, and has been in the business since 1972, it has some sway in the industry … for instance, Tiffin worked directly with Cummins to manufacture a special powerplant for its Breeze.
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The Breeze is an A-Class motorhome built from the ground up with a specially designed Powerglide chassis to accommodate the rear-mounted Cummins V8 diesel engine. This large motorhome has no trouble keeping pace with the highway traffic or towing a 3500kg trailer. If you are towing a van, better move over if you see the Breeze coming up behind you.
Although built in the USA, the Breeze has had a good amount of Aussie input with certain components added for local conditions and ease of service. Tiffin listens to its customer and dealer feedback. The Australian, Queensland-based dealer regularly travels to the factory to oversee units bound for our shores, as well as to assist with ongoing development of the Breeze. It’s not an arrangement where we just take what we’re offered. Colour schemes have been modified and, of course, it’s now a right-hand-drive vehicle.
With an overall length of 10.1m it will be shorter your average 4WD/caravan combination but it is a bit higher at 3.6m – so don’t think of parking in multi-story car parks. When you arrive at your destination, levelling the Breeze is literally a breeze as the air suspension automatically levels the motorhome with the touch of a button on the computerised levelling panel. Marketing material states that Tiffin wants you to enjoy roughing it smoothly, and the air suspension definitely makes it smoother whether driving or stopped.
If you are looking at getting away from it all, the Breeze can take you places and let you stay off-grid for more than a few days with its 5kVa Cummins diesel generator, 430Ah of batteries and 400W of solar on the roof. Fresh water is plentiful with 265 litres on board and available hot due to the electric/gas hot water system. Stay cool and get warm with two Dometic reverse-cycle ducted air-conditioning systems. There is also a 5kW diesel heater. Comfort in spades.
One of the many advantages of a rear-mounted engine is that the entry door is at the front of the vehicle. Walk up the stairs into the Breeze, and there is a great feeling of spaciousness. The interior ceiling height of nearly 2m helps with the open feeling, as do the two slide-outs on either side of the living area.
The plush driver and passenger seats easily swivel around to face the living area. There is enough comfortable seating for 10 adults while stationary and seatbelts for six while driving. The two leatherette lounges can be adjusted to provide beds for four. This means that a family of up to six can tour and sleep in comfort.
Storage is aplenty with the cabinets providing space for all those essential and non-essential items. There are so many storage spots though, you may need to make an inventory to help find things again. Don’t expect laminates on the cabinetry as all the doors and drawer fronts are made from solid hardwood.
In Australia, most people prefer lighter-coloured timbers and décor, so don’t expect some of the darker colours you may see on US websites. The US market may soon enjoy some of the results of Aussie input on both interior and outer colours. There are three choices of cabinet doors and drawer fronts.
The kitchen is well appointed with a three-burner gas stove, a convection microwave with exterior extraction vent and a 216-litre fridge to keep everything cold.
The sink is a double-bowl stainless-steel unit with bench-matching covers providing more bench space when the sink is not in use. The splashbacks are coloured glass with the hinged stove cover being tempered glass. The bench space and food preparation area may be on the small side.
A mirrored door separates the living space from the bathroom and toilet, while another door separates the bedroom, which has a queen-size bed with storage underneath. More storage comes in the form of dual wardrobes and banks of drawers and a large wardrobe at the foot of the bed houses the 2.5kg washing machine.
The shower is large with a skylight providing plenty of ventilation and daylight and the toilet is across the hall; it includes a vanity basin, medicine cabinet and under-basin storage.
There are too many inclusions to list here but some that caught my attention were the drop-down TV in the bedroom, the large number of power points and the inclusion of USB chargers. The Bose speakers throughout were great as were the audio/visual systems. The battery management system with its flow diagram was particularly well laid out and useful.
The Breeze is a striking-looking vehicle with six full-body paint options. The huge one-piece tinted windscreen provides panoramic views for the occupants as it takes up around half of the slightly angled front of the Breeze. There is an electric awning that covers the entry area and another large electric awning that runs along about two-thirds of the kerb side – these are operated from the inside of the vehicle. The steps drop down automatically when the door opens, if required.
Outside living is complemented by an external rinse hose/shower to wash off that sand before heading inside. A 32-inch exterior TV is mounted on the kerbside slide-out for watching those important sporting events. There is a digital TV antenna and a satellite dish on the roof so you will never need to miss a grand final again!
Due to the chassis design, there is a huge amount of storage space under the living area. The underfloor areas are cavernous enough to carry surfboards and many other large items you are likely to want to take with you. The load capacity is 2000kg – so no need to weigh everything before you pack it in.
The lockable storage compartments have self-closing doors with gas struts. If you are looking for something in the storage areas at night, the sensor lights will turn on for you. All the systems (with associated wiring and plumbing) are readily accessed from the side hatches for ease of maintenance. Both the inside and outside of the Breeze provide a great combination of luxury and practicality.
The Breeze comes from a well-established family company that focuses on the quality of the build and the customer experience. If you are looking for luxury and great design, the Tiffin Breeze could be the vehicle for you.
• Very spacious A-Class motorhome
• Luxurious without compromise
• Too many inclusions to list
• Huge amount of living space and storage space
• Bench space in kitchen limited
• Luxury comes at a cost
Exterior length: 10.1m
Exterior width: 2.41m
Gross Vehicle Mass: 10,655kg
Engine: Cummins ISV 5.0
Peak HP: 205kW @ 3200rpm
Peak Torque (Nm): 760Nm @ 1600rpm
Price as tested: $430,000 on-road