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Winnebago Horizon, Revel Coaches Break Norm

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September 18, 2017 by   Leave a Comment

Winnebago Revel is designed specifically for outdoor enthusiasts

Winnebago Industries Inc. kicked off the 2017 Elkhart RV Open House today (Sept. 18) by unveiling two new 2018 motorhomes signaling at least a couple of the directions the Iowa-based RV builder is headed in terms of product development – an upscale Horizon Class A diesel pusher and a rugged Revel series of Class B “adventure” motorhomes.

The unveiling of these two new lines at the motorized and towable RV manufacturer’s County Road 6 exhibit followed an Aug. 21 private showing held in the shadow of Mile High Stadium in Denver, Colo., at which a handful of dealers and trade media representatives got a sneak preview of both product lines. “Our dealers were pretty blown away,” said Sam Jefson, public relations specialist for Winnebago, referring to the Dec. 21 private showing. “It was great to see their reaction and get their feedback on these new products first in Denver.”

The Revel Series Class B, a 4-wheel drive, off-road-style motorhome retailing for $140,000-$150,000 MSRP, is a customized up-fit of a Mercedes-Benz 3500 Diesel Sprinter equipped with an 188 HP, 3.0 L diesel engine. While it comes with a rear queen bed that raises to the ceiling to allow storage capacity beneath it for a single motorcycle or mountain bikes, the coach’s marine-style bathroom/shower has slide-in teakwood shelves that convert the entire bath into a large storage area when not in use.

“Our new Revel Class B has more storage than many Class A’s,” said Jefson at the Denver pre-show of the new B-van. “We had kayaks in here this week. Anyone with a passion to support their sport are among the people who we are targeting to buy the Revel.”

Horizon introduces modern design and bold styling in the diesel pusher category

A clamp-on style ladder that attaches to a roof rail around the entire coach facilitates tie-downs for kayaks or gear storage on the roof, which also features a 200-watt solar panel backed by inverter systems and batteries for extended dry camping. The Revel also has diesel-powered heat and water heater systems. “Probably the only time people will plug in (to an AC outlet) is when they are at home to keep the batteries topped off,” said Jefson. “Electricity generated by solar powers the fridge and an induction stove so you don’t have to have propane in this coach.”

Ultimately, though, the Revel should make its name as an off-road – or at least an off-the-beaten track – kind of a vehicle unlike 99.9% of the motorized recreational vehicles on the road today. “We’ve taken this where no Winnebago has ever been before,” blogger Peter Holcombe told RVBUSINESS.com. “We had these Revels up to over 12,000 feet in the mountains, on two-tracks, above tree line and went over rocks as big as watermelons.”

Also developed to stand out from the crowd and break through what Winnebago Director of Product Management Ryan Roske describes as a “sea of sameness” in today’s motorhome market is the $400,000-$430,000 MSRP Horizon Series Class A diesel pusher, a coach initially available in lengths of 40 and 42 feet that represents a return to a higher-end motorized price niche for Winnebago.

The Horizon is built on a hybrid Maxum chassis mated to an L9-543 cid Cummins engine. “We buy an XCL lower rail chassis from Freightliner and then we bring it in and bridge it together adding some width for strength to the full width of the coach,” said Roske. “Because we lower the rails instead of having them stacked, we gain more vertical storage than a raised chassis. That is our backbone for the Horizon, which ranges from 400 to 450 horsepower. If it’s a tag axle, it will be 450 horsepower.”

Roske emphasized that the Horizon is an overt attempt to break out of the norm with respect to design and engineering. “The Horizon Series is the result of our customers who said they continually see products that look the same,” said Roske. “They wanted something more contemporary in design. We have over two-years of development in this. We wanted to make sure it was right from the styling standpoint, but that the fit and finish and the functionality were well thought out. When somebody walks through this coach, they are not going to forget it was a Winnebago Horizon.”

Horizon interiors sport high-gloss laminates and radius doors as well as stainless steel and backlit translucent panels that, in Roske’s view, project the ambiance of a European yacht – an impression for which he partly credits European furniture supplier Technoform S.p.A. “The company we work with is based out of Italy,” said Roske, pointing out the high points of the Horizon 42Q model previewed in Denver. “Their lamination processes are all top-notch. Their tolerances are tight and that is a big plus working with them.”

Roske told RVBUSINESS.com that most high-gloss laminate panels, looking like décor wall panels, actually contain storage compartments with soft close doors and easy access pull-out shelf systems, which, along with the coach’s furniture, project the look of a high-end yacht.

Kitchens feature integrating dish drain gutters cut right into the actual Corian countertop and popup power strips for countertop appliances and USB charging. The 42Q had contemporary Briarwood finish cabinets for a clean, elegant look set off with in-ceiling, indirect LED lighting throughout the coach. Opaque glass and barn door-style sliding doors separated the bath from the bedroom.

“It’s sleek and contemporary,” said Roske. “The microwave is stored behind closed doors. There’s a drawer dishwasher and a removable hatch in the countertop that goes into a 13-gallon trash can below accessed from the outside so there’s never garbage in the kitchen.

“Rest Easy sofas and sectionals, in the case of this 42Q Horizon, have our power recliner and our pull-out ottomans,” he added. “The difference is the contemporary furniture is made by Villa International, a luxury furniture manufacturer for the RV and marine industries in California. All the Horizon motorhomes will be built in Winnebago’s Junction City, Ore., plant.”

The all-electric Horizon Series also features induction cook tops and an Aqua-Hot 400D, diesel-fueled, continuous hot water and hydronic heating systems – the only LP on board fuels a portable grill in the outside kitchen area.

Winnebago, meanwhile, stuck to a tried-and-true floorplan on the Horizon 42Q unveiled in Denver. “This rear bath has been a hit for five to seven years,” said Roske. “We’ve added a residential  refrigerator and multiplex wiring throughout the coach so we can configure switches like starting the generator while lying in bed. And the large rear bath has an optional stackable washer and dryer adjacent.”

Winnebago’s Intent Class A

In addition, Winnbago rolled out the Intent at Open House delivering the latest engineering and design principles in a full-featured Class A coach.

“The Intent is styled smartly, supremely functional and provides tremendous quality,” said Niles Whitehouse, director of product management. “This product is the result of many hours of listening to Winnebago dealers and consumers in order to see what an ideal RV experience could be. We then collected that input and gathered the best engineers, designers and craftsmen to set a new standard for what a Class A gas motorhome should be.”

A step into the cab will reveal enhanced visibility which can be attributed to narrow corner pillars and a large windshield. Other features include a Smart LP System that provides two easily removable 20 pound LP cylinders that can be refilled without driving the motorhome to a filling station and a standard tailgate package under a large patio awning offering a TV, refrigerator, countertop, sink/faucet, storage bin and drawer, pull-out extension table, towel holder and bottle opener.

The Intent is available in four floorplansm the 26M, 29L, 30R, and 31P.

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