Editor’s Note: To view a video on Monaco’s ‘Return To Power’ click here or scroll down the right side of the RVBUSINESS.com home page.
Six months after acquiring the Monaco and Holiday Rambler motorhome lines from Navistar International Corp., Allied Specialty Vehicles Inc.’s (ASV) motorized RV operations — now doing business as the Allied Recreation Group (ARG) instead of Fleetwood RV Inc. — is preparing to roll out its first motorhome at the Recreation Vehicle Industry’s Association’s (RVIA) 51st Annual National RV Trade Show, Dec. 3-5 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville.
And while its designed to signal the company’s future product directions, the all-new, top-end, $620,000 (retail) 2015 Dynasty, based on extensive surveys of veteran Dynasty owners, embraces some of the design and engineering elements that once made the Dynasty one of the industry’s most popular diesel pusher brands, reports Mike Snell, president of the Monaco and Holiday Rambler brands.
Snell said consumers are to get their first look at the new Dynasty at the “Monaco 2015 Return to Power Preview Rally” taking place Jan. 7-9 at the Camping Resort at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, with dealer deliveries in the first quarter of the year.
“Now, as you can see from the videos, we’re going back to the golden years, you know, the sweet looking, subtle, seamless fiberglass Monaco designs,” Snell told RVBUSINESS.com. “Essentially, we’re going back to our roots. That’s really kind of the theme here. Interiors are elegant and warm and include the most well-thought-out kitchen and bathroom in any motorhome we’ve ever produced. There’s not a kitchen in the industry that a woman’s going to like better than this one.”
At the same time, Snell and other ARG spokesmen claim their new 45-foot Dynasty is also living proof that ASV’s personnel, including 52 dedicated design and engineering staffers now stationed on Indiana 19 across from ARG’s towable RV operations on the west side of Elkhart, are committed to developing coaches that are distinct from those designed at the company’s Decatur, Ind., headquarters for the American Coach and Fleetwood brands.
“These four brands stand on their own and have separate product development and sales teams, but they share manufacturing facilities as well as parts and service organizations in Decatur,” reported Steve Hileman, director of marketing for ASV’s motorized division. “Fleetwood RV Inc. technically no longer exists. It’s now Allied Recreation Group, although the Fleetwood RV brand still exists, not unlike the Chevrolet brand exists under General Motors.”
One example of unique R&D is the Dynasty’s proprietary Roadmaster chassis, a “bridge” platform equipped with a standard 500-hp or optional 600-hp Cummins power plant that’s co-engineered by ASV’s ARG division and South Carolina-based Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. (FCCC). It includes an independent front suspension, side exhaust and shocks tuned to simulate the ride of a traditional Monaco Roadmaster chassis.
“The all-new Roadmaster is a collaboration with Freightliner and Monaco that’s actually a modular bridge-style chassis not unlike what you’ve seen on a Liberty chassis at American Coach, but unique at that,” Hileman explained. “There are some exclusive components that we’ve worked with Freightliner to design especially for this new Roadmaster, which includes custom-tuned shocks specifically for Roadmaster volumetric airbags that will give the coach a more stable ride and a little more aggressive turn-in, which is what legacy (long-term) customers were used to with the Roadmaster — a little firmer ride.”
Monaco is inviting show attendees to stop by the company’s Louisville exhibit next week to see what ASV’s emerging ARG unit has got in mind with its back-to-the-future Dynasty as well as a work-in-progress, the 36-foot Holiday Rambler Vacationer gas A-body that will retail for about $135,000.
“A lot of our dealers and owners thought that by moving our production facility down to Decatur, we would just have cloned products,” added Snell. “When you see this Dynasty, you’ll see that we held to our word and that this product is totally different than any product that’s been built down in Decatur.
“And it clearly shows the characteristics and features that Monaco has always been known for and successful for in the past,” he continued. “I am so proud of this coach – I mean I am. It’s been a great collaboration between our owners, our separate engineering and design team up in Elkhart and the production team in Decatur. They did a great job, and it’s a great way to relaunch the Dynasty brand into the marketplace.”