RV Review: 2021 Tiffin Phaeton 40AH

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By Tony Barthel
We all have things that drive us crazy when it comes to RVs. Some want this, others want that. There’s a feature or tactic or whatever it is and you’ll find people who are absolutely passionate about never seeing it again. 

Count me in with swooshes and swirls on the outside of RVs, those stupid 17” ovens that are so common and… dinettes. That’s right. You read that correctly. Dinettes.

I mean, if you’re opening a restaurant or something, then, sure, dinettes kind of make sense – but I still think tables are better. I realize their purpose – but that doesn’t mean I have to like them. 

Before you dinette lovers start writing hate mail or say that you own a Tiffin with a dinette, let’s revisit the fact that Tiffin offers lots of choices. Not only are there different floor plans and chassis lengths, but you can configure your Tiffin in many different ways. 

No dinette

The Tiffin Phaeton 40AH Motorhome that I saw just happened to not have a dinette. Instead there was a desk-type arrangement with holes where you could route your power cables and such. Behind that was a televator with a massive flat-screen TV. Two dining room chairs finished out the package, and I could see working from this position on the road or sitting in the reclining chair on the other side of the coach just watching a movie or whatever. 

Heck, I would figure a way to connect my notebook “confuser” to that giant TV via HDMI and watch every Jimmy Buffett video I owned, followed by my whole collection of Three Stooges shorts. And my wife says I behave like a 12-year-old. Pshaw!

One of the things that struck me as I first stepped into the Phaeton, at least this one, is that I could get all the way to the back of the rig with the slide rooms in. That’s a plus for me, as I do like those quick stops on my way to wherever. 

Once those slide rooms are opened up the interior is wide open. The kitchen appears to be just a huge, solid surface countertop, but you can remove a panel to find the three-burner propane stovetop. There was also an absolutely enormous double bowl sink as well, under two additional slabs of the counter material. 

I was surprised to see a propane cooktop instead of induction, but I’m sure that’s an option that can be had, and not everybody has succumbed to the amazing power of induction cooking. 

Try it. You’ll love it. 

There’s no oven for me to complain about in this rig, that duty being the responsibility of the built-in very large convection microwave. I have no issue with this as an alternative to a proper propane oven. As long as I can bake… I’m good. 

Flushed with luxury

Moving back in the coach, there’s a huge bathroom and the rear bedroom slide makes it bigger. The shower is typically delightful in here and there is a Jack and Jill sink along with medicine cabinets and drawer space enough to make anyone happy. I hope. 

The toilet is back there on a permanent wall, of course, and sits really, really close to that wall such that, well, if you’re a big dude like me it’s a bit tight. If they had angled it slightly or moved it just a wee bit away from that wall it would be better. To me. You skinny folks probably won’t have an issue. 

Back in the back, we’ll all be happy with that huge king-sized bed with a bit of storage underneath and, oh, the cabinets! There are so many! Although the ones in the slide room on the road side of the coach are pretty shallow… But still. 

However, the only window in that bedroom is pretty small and that’s the fire escape. Unless you’re Twiggy you’re not getting through that window and, remember, you’re way up high. There is an optional escape system but it shouldn’t be optional – it should be standard in all motorhomes and fifth wheels. The standard emergency escape window in this bedroom would be worthless to me. 

If you’ve never been in one of these you might be surprised that there’s an optional safe in the very back of this. There’s also an optional washer and dryer and, again, more drawer and cabinet space. Even though the drawers and cabinets are technically in the closet here, they’re still finished out like the rest of the cabinets in the coach. Beautifully. 

When you spend this kind of money on a coach with this kind of reputation, you don’t come across places or features where the manufacturer has cut corners. Instead, you are pleasantly surprised by how well things are done.

One of the areas that this plays out particularly well is up on the ceiling where the three air conditioners, with heat pumps, aren’t visible to you. Instead they’re just up there keeping this bus cool and comfortable. You do see the various vents and such but not the units themselves. 

The ceilings of these really are very, very nice, and there’s even a stylish cover over the high-performance fan vents. 

Of course, the advantages of vehicles like these are that you’re able to carry 100 gallons of water without having to worry about the cargo-carrying capacity being breached. There’s storage upon storage in the basement of these coaches. 

Yes, as much of a fan of travel trailers as I am, there are absolute advantages to a Class A diesel pusher. 

One of the only things that surprised me in the model I saw was the carpeting in the slide rooms. Yeah, yeah, they’ve been putting carpet as sort of a “seal” in slide rooms forever. But I’m seeing more and more slide rooms with zero carpet, even in some pretty entry-level coaches. 

Considering how nice the flooring is otherwise, the carpeting was kind of off-putting to me. 

I have to admit that what really makes me smile is the styling of these big buses. Whoever was responsible for that evil glare created by the headlamp design is quite good at what they do. This is a really good-looking coach from the outside and a beautiful one on the inside. 

I’d order mine with induction cooking since there’s such a large generator (10.0 kW) and a 2,000-watt pure sine wave inverter with plenty of battery power to back that up. And I’d have to just choose different interior colors because, well, I don’t want what my friend has. 

But, yeah. I can understand the popularity of these. And you can still get them with Bob and Terry Tiffin’s signature on ’em. For now. 

These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. We receive no money or other financial benefits from these reviews. They are intended only as a brief overview of the vehicle, not a comprehensive critique, which would require a thorough inspection and/or test drive.

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Paul S Goldberg
1 month ago

We like to keep our stuff a long time. Previous coach we had for 8 years traded for our 2012 Phaeton in 2012. We have lived in it pretty much full time ever since. Store it only for overseas travel. We cross the country coast to coast every year and have decided we will not replace this one as we are getting a bit long in the tooth. Love the new coaches and would really like to get a bath and a half but the cost seems a bit outrageous for an extra throne which is the only upgrade we really would like. The coach was really well built. It has had a serious collision and after the reconstruction it is as good as before. I seriously doubt that Thor will destroy the value Tiffin brings to its coach owners, that would be throwing away a lot of good will they paid for.

Rosie S.
1 month ago

Gotta’ love an article that starts out with what the author generally loathes in an RV…off-putting to say the least. His personal negative opinions of dinettes and “swirls and swooshes” seems irrelevant and unnecessary.

Drew
1 month ago
Reply to  Rosie S.

I agree, that’s why most rv’s have a dinette option. Why have only an office table that’s good for only that? And I like my swooshes too BTW. I get a belly full of Tony sometimes.

Michael
1 month ago

Inside photos, please.

Larry
1 month ago

Our 2009 Tiffin Phaeton 42QBH is still amazing to us. The solid wood everything all over the coach has a staying power. I bought it used and the people at Tiffin have treated us very well over the years when we needed them. We haven’t needed much but they have always been there. Currently we are on a three week trip and it is handling the unexpected cold weather very well.

rich
1 month ago

As I have commented before, these reviews would be greatly enhanced if they included the MSRP.

Larry
1 month ago
Reply to  rich

The MSRP is found on the fact sheet above along with the engine, horsepower, etc… $347,553… seriously people… read before complaining…

Standish Marks
1 month ago
Reply to  Larry

10,000 Kw Generator? WOW…proofread before publishing….

Admin
Kim Christiansen (@imkimc)
1 month ago
Reply to  Standish Marks

It’s used to power small cities… hah! Should have been 10.0 kw. Fixed now.

-Kim

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
1 month ago

Thanks, Kim! I think Tony is incommunicado at the moment, and I hadn’t gone to the website to double-check what he really meant when this comment came in. (And when I proofed it, it went right over my head. 😯 ) –Diane at RVtravel.com

Ron L.
1 month ago

UVW of 12,758 lbs??? I don’t think so….. maybe the front axle.

Jesse W Crouse
1 month ago

Our Tiffin 2006 Phaeton 40QSH layout and color scheme suits us to a T. Considering the recent sale to Thor the value of our coach went up due to Thor’s reputation for ruining a good product and company.

Tom Saroch
1 month ago
Reply to  Jesse W Crouse

I was a loyal Tiffin customer , have owned a few of Bobs great products. The last few years since his kids have gotten more involved all the changes haven’t been all positive. But when he sold out to Thor. I’m done, I’ll run my present Tiffin till it’s no longer a good deal for me, but I sure as hell won’t consider a new one ever again. In fact ,I was planning some up grades at the factory. Nope, never again will I support or spend money on a Tiffin product unless I have no other choice. Bunk House, here I come for service & up grades.

Nanci
1 month ago

We absolutely love our Tiffin Phaeton 40AH. Love the quality of the woodwork and the cabinets, the layout, the pull out island and our propane stove too! Yup, we have the table, chairs and workstation model and like the additional storage and ease of getting in and out. Like the double sinks in bathroom too. HATE the cheap carpet. Finally put plastic mat over kitchen area carpet. Not enough windows in bedroom. There is currently a Tiffin model with an optional fire escape panel and steps available in the bedroom. So far, so good on service. Only time will tell.

Glen Cowgill
1 month ago

What is the fuel capacity and what engine and transmission. Important things in a Motor Home.

Diane Mc
1 month ago
Reply to  Glen Cowgill

In the box with the pricing, etc. L9 Cummins 380, no fuel capacity though. I agree, needs to be more on the technical stuff. Anyone can make a “pretty” coach, but what about what you need to get you where you are going, safely & problem free (well mostly, nothing is ever problem free. How about nothing major).

Ron L.
1 month ago
Reply to  Glen Cowgill

100 gallons fuel capacity with the Cummins ISL 8.9L 380hp 1150 lbs torque diesel engine and the Allison MH3000 Automatic Transmission.