FMCA Redmond Rally Opens to Crowds, Rain

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August 15, 2014 by   Comments Off on FMCA Redmond Rally Opens to Crowds, Rain

FMCA attendees.

FMCA rally attendees check out the trade show out of the rain in Redmond, Wash.

Intermittent rain marked the first opening two days of the Family Motor Coach Association’s (FMCA) 90th Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase, Aug. 13-16 at the Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center, but that didn’t seem to slow things down at FMCA’s national rally – the fifth at the popular Redmond, Ore., venue.

The rains seemed somewhat inconsistent with the theme of the rally for which 1,500 family coaches were pre-registered: “High Desert Sunrise.”

An official coach count will follow, FMCA Executive Director Jerry Yeatts told on Thursday (Aug. 14). “So much for this being a dry part of the state,” said Yeatts. “I guess we should have called it ‘dry desert sunrise’ instead of ‘high desert sunrise.’ But everybody seems to be taking the rain in stride.”

Nevertheless, several manufacturers reported solid display attendance and encouraging initial sales amid a decent year in general.

A few products worth knowing about, based on an initial tour of the event:

Marathon Coach interior

Marathon Coach interior

• Attendees lined up for the show’s priciest exhibit, an H3-45 Prevost bus conversion from Marathon Coach of Coburg, Ore., retailing for $2.1 million with a bath-and-a-half floorplan, two 50-inch 3D-ready TVs, wood and travertine floors, four wardrobes, telescopic air pocket doors and a salon fireplace, among other features.

Company representative Dave Bash said recent company sales are solid with current production holding at a unit per month. “The H3-45 is the most recent creation, so it’s the only one we’re selling at the moment,” he said.

• Also drawing consumer attention was Miami, Okla.-based Newell Coach Corp.’s latest debut — a Model 1519 with a $1.73 million price tag featuring a bath-and-a-half layout, heated and cooled driver/co-pilot chairs (the co-pilot also gets a massage feature), an Eaton Vorad collision avoidance system, three LG televisions (two of which are 3D ready) and full ceramic tile floors, among others.

• The redesigned Phaeton holds center stage in the Tiffin Motorhomes Inc. display, specifically the 40AH quad-slide, $311,750 floorplan complete with all-new front and rear caps, the trademark Extraordinaire AC System, porcelain tile floors, triple vision camera system, residential refrigerator and adjustable foot pedals.

Tiffin National Sales Manager Jerry Williamson said the 40AH on display had already sold and display and that traffic was holding steady. “We’ve been very fortunate in terms of steady sales the last few years and that’s continued this year,” he said. “We’re building 12 a day and the market has been good, so we can’t complain.”

• Allied Recreation Group’s (ARG) Monaco RV exhibit included a newly released high-end 2015 Dynasty Class A motorhome floorplan, the quad-slide 45 Palace available with an optional slideout-housed entertainment center facing a sofa as well as an additional TV above the cockpit. The $620,000 Dynasty, debuting last winter, was the first of the Monaco brands to be reintroduced since the Allied Specialty Vehicle Inc., ARG’s parent, purchased the Monaco and Holiday Rambler brands from Navistar Inc. in 2012.

Decatur, Ind.-based ARG is also reintroducing a $234,000 (retail) Holiday Rambler Ambassador in Redmond — a model 38DBT floorplan about which details will follow.

“The Dynasty is doing well so far this year,” said Monaco RV President Mike Snell. “So far we’ve retailed three of the first four units we’ve put in the field. And the key thing about both the Dynasty and Ambassador is the two slideouts in the living room, which really expand the space. At the price point of the Ambassador, nobody else is offering that, or the same amount of space.”

Holiday Rambler Diplomat and Endeavor models are planned for re-release in the near future.

By Ty Adams for RVBusiness.

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