Tiffin Motor Homes, an Alabama family business, has come a long way since it started producing RVs in 1972. The early models were about the size of mini-vans -- a far cry from Tiffin’s luxury line, the Zephyr. Nearly 45’ long, this Class A motor home is all about space.
Tiffin currently produces two models of the Zephyr: the 45LZ and the 45TZ. For each of those models, Tiffin offers two modifications for the living area. Each model has four slide-outs, which, when fully extended, nearly double the exterior width. With that kind of room, the Zephyr can sleep six in comfort.
The (Not-So) Basic Stats for 2013
The exterior width, with slide-outs tucked inside, is substantial, but not unwieldy, at 101 inches. Inside, the Zephyr provides ample headroom, with 7’ of interior height.
The statistic that fully establishes the Zephyr’s beefiness is the gross vehicle weight: 48,600 pounds. That tonnage includes a rugged Spartan K2 chassis.
Zephyr’s high performance engine is essential for moving that kind of weight. The 2013 version is an 11.9-liter Cummins diesel, which churns out an impressive 500 HP and 1,645 lbs./ft. of torque (at 1,200 rpm). The engine works with a 6-speed Allison (automatic) transmission. With that combination, the Zephyr is capable of towing up to 15,000 pounds.
The braking system is a match for the powerful engine. Like any proper big rig, the Zephyr has air brakes on each axle and a two-speed engine compression brake. There have been some problems, however, involving the braking interface with cruise control. In some cases, the cruise control would not disengage with brake application. Tiffin issued a recall for some 2013 and earlier Zephyrs to correct this problem.
The Luxury of Choice
Billing itself as the most luxurious member of the Tiffin line, Zephyr does not disappoint. This is obvious in the sumptuous interior appointments that come as standard equipment. The list includes a king-sized bed with dual controls; three large-screen TVs; surround-sound; an exterior entertainment center; an exterior shower; a half bath in addition to the master bath; high-end tile flooring; stainless steel kitchen appliances; an ice-maker; ceramic backsplashes; a rearview camera; and a GPS navigation system.
In an effort to tailor the Zephyr to individual tastes, Tiffin offers a dizzying number of choices. For example, the 2013 Zephyr offers six hardwood finishes for the cabinets, six fabric patterns for the furniture and six paint schemes for the exterior.
The Zephyr has loyal fans who applaud the luxury touches (if not the luxury price tag), the powerful engine and Tiffin’s responsiveness to customer complaints and interests. Do you have a Zephyr? Your comments and rating (below) would be most welcome!