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FMCA: Rain Subsides and Retro Brands Thrive

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August 16, 2014 by   Leave a Comment

Dry weather and a clear forecast in the vicinity of the Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center in Redmond, Ore., spelled good new for organizers, attendees and exhibitors on Friday (Aug.16), the third day of the Family Motor Coach Association’s (FMCA) Aug. 13-16 Family Reunion & Motorhome Showcase.

“It’s great to see that the rain has given way to warmer, dryer conditions today,” said Robbin Gould, editor of Family Motor Coaching Magazine. “The walkways and main areas are filled with people and it seems to be drawing everyone out for special events. Our seminars have also been well-attended so far, with several sessions filled to capacity.”

FMCA, the Cincinatti, Ohio-based club, is the only U.S. organization convening national-scale consumer get-togethers this year — in Perry, Ga., and Redmond — since Camping World Inc. and its Good Sam Enterprises LLC sister division took the year off before resuming a national consumer event schedule next year.

FMCA members check out Winnebago's Brave.

FMCA members check out Winnebago’s Brave.

Highly visible among the displays in this — our second Redmond report — was the relaunch of Winnebago Industries Inc.’s Brave Class A of the 1960s and ‘70s, a reprise of an iconic coach featuring a distinctive front cap with its signature “brow,” retro interior styling and two versatile floorplans with inventive color schemes like Good Vibration with Cherry Cola cherry cabinets and a price that “fits the budget of a young, traveling family” at $99,000.

But this Brave, available in two floorplans on a Ford F53 chassis powered by a Triton V10 engine and featuring a StudioLoft bed, GPS navigation system, rear camera monitor in the cab, obviously isn’t just a museum piece.

London Aire interior on display at FMCA's Redmond event.

London Aire interior on display at FMCA’s Redmond event.

Also getting its first inspection by the general public at the Newmar display was the 2015 London Aire Class A diesel pusher, a line that has not been in production since 2007 when it was Newmar’s highest priced coach. “The London Aire has a unique interior design, like nothing else out there,” said John Sammut, vice president of sales and marketing. “We’re really excited to bring back this legacy model.”

The 45-foot London Aire is available in five floorplans — three quad-slides and two with full-wall slides — and is equipped with a600-hp Cummins 15-liter ISX engine, the largest power plant available in today’s production Class As, on a Freightliner SLR chassis equipped with a tag axle, independent front suspension and Comfort Drive steering.

Priced beneath the King Aire and Essex lines, all three of which now sport 600-hp engines, the new London Aire retails for $619,820 with a full-wall slide, bath-and-a-half floorplan featuring elegant dark maple-accented interiors, polished solid-surface countertops, porcelain floor tile and a featured ceiling that masks the air conditioning vents. The London Aire also comes with a Sony Table digital entertainment control system with 46-inch Sony LED TV in the living area and bedroom.

Newmar, based in Nappanee, Ind., also upgraded its existing Mountain Aire. “The 2015 Mountain Aire is completely redone from the chassis up,” Sammut said, adding that it now sports a larger 450 hp engine and is a longer 45-foot body plus all-new front and rear caps and a complete interior redesign.

Meanwhile, Newmar’s Dutch Star line now features integrated awnings. “The Dutch Star took off in early 2014 and is growing by leaps and bounds,” Sammut said. “And with integrated awnings it has only accelerated the growth of that product.”

By Ty Adams for RVBusiness.

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