NEWS IN FOCUS
Tiffin Shows First Class C in 25 Years at FRVTA
Tiffin Motorhomes Inc. rolled out its new Wayfarer, a Class C coach built on Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis, during Tuesday’s (Jan. 17) “Industry Day” at the Florida RV SuperShow in Tampa.
Hosted by the Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA) at the Florida State Fairgrounds, the 32nd annual SuperShow opens to the public beginning today and runs through Sunday. Given a favorable weather forecast and positive consumer sentiment, officials said they hope to make a run at a record 70,000 attendees.
Many of those attendees will get an opportunity to see one of the two Wayfarer units on display. With a “typically equipped” MSRP of $138,000, the Wayfarer makes its debut with a single floorplan, the two-slideout 24QW, although other configurations are planned. Company executives reported that the Wayfarer represents Tiffin’s first Class C entry since 1992.
The reason for dipping down into a smaller Class C is simple, said Andy Baer, national sales manager for Tiffin, a Red Bay, Ala.-based builder of Class A motorhomes since 1972. The company wants to make sure it’s offering a Tiffin product for its current customers who are downsizing while also providing an entry point for those who could become lifelong customers.
The Wayfarer is being built at Tiffin’s new production complex, which includes a 300,000-square-foot main facility as well as a 30,000-square-foot paint building located in Winfield, Ala. The community rolled out the red carpet for Tiffin, according to Baer and Bobby White, general manager of the Winfield operations. Winfield is about 45 miles southeast of Red Bay, which allowed Tiffin to tap into not only a new labor supply, but one filled with skilled workers looking for employment after a recent closing of a coal-mining operation.
White said they currently have about 90 employees, but that is expected to grow to 150 once dealer orders begin rolling in. He added that it has taken Tiffin the last seven months to renovate the former BFGoodrich facilities to have them ready for two production lines as well as supporting operations such as cabinetry and other systems.
Coming in at 25 feet, 2 1/2 inches long with an 11,030-pound GVWR, Wayfarer’s 24QW configuration features a curbside galley, rear bedroom with a 60-by-74-inch queen bed set inside a rear-facing slide, along with a streetside bathroom and living area with either a dinette or 70-inch sofa housed in the unit’s second slideout.
The living area features a 32-inch television while the professionally designed interior decor package features a kitchen backsplash, solid-surface countertops and premium fabrics and vinyls. The cab area includes an in-dash entertainment system and integrated rear view camera. The kitchen offers a two-burner cooktop with tempered glass-covered, microwave convection oven, LED under cabinet lighting and a two-door, 6-cubic-foot refrigerator.
Notable items among the systems are a standard 3.2kw Onan diesel generator, 1,000-watt inverter, 32-gallon freshwater tank, 27-gallon black water tank, 33-gallon gray water tank, 6-gallon electric water heater, house water filter system and 12-volt pad heaters on the black and gray tanks.
The unit sits on the 170-inch wheelbase Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis, paired with the 3.0L 6-cylinder turbo-diesel engine with 5-speed automatic tip shift transmission. Also standard is the Active Safety Plus Package — which includes multi-function steering and heated adjustable mirrors — and the Driver Assistance Package with lane-keeping assist, collision prevention assist and high beam assist. Stainless-steel wheel liners and a 5,000-pound rated hitch and seven-pin connector also are noteworthy.
As for the exterior, full-body paint exterior is available in three color schemes — and there’s 54 cubic feet of outside storage.
Baer singled out the slideout material as being an innovation that will capture a lot of people’s attention.
“The slideouts are seamless and they are made using a closed-cell core foam material; there really isn’t any metal in the slideouts. They’re all radius-edged and they’re really light. That’s unique,” Baer explained. “We’ve done the seamless slides on our big coaches but they have a metal superstructure to add support. We’ve gone with this core material because it’s so light but it’s also super strong. It’s incredibly strong; it’s like the hull of the boat.”
“We’ll eliminate a lot of potential leaks by taking out all the seams. It’s big for us; we’re really proud of it,” White added.