New Great West Vans owner David DeBraga recently relocated from St. Andrews, Manitoba, to nearby Winnipeg after he bought the company in April from Martin H. Guertz, who was retiring.
It was a natural move because DeBraga owned another company that built running boards, doors and other fiberglass components for the transportation industry.
”Great West was one of our customers,” DeBraga said, sitting inside an elegant redesigned Legend SE Class B motorhome at the Louisville Show. ”The previous owner wanted to retire so we decided to buy the company and move it to Winnipeg.”
Great West now is housed in the same factory as DeBraga’s other company — Sterling Group — while continuing to build Class B motorhomes on the 11,500-pound GVWR Mercedes Benz Sprinter 3500 chassis powered by a high-mileage 188-hp diesel engine.
The New Great West camper van lineup — Legend, Legend SE and Legend EX — all have new exterior ground effects and redesigned interiors. ”We had an interior designer come in and go through all our color schemes,” Debraga said. ”We plan to keep technology and quality really high.”
Features in the 22-foot 9-inch Legend and upgraded Legend SE include solid wood cabinets, side screen doors, recessed LED lighting, Avonite countertops, laminate ”hardwood” floors and rear under-bed storage.
The Legend EX is built on a 24-foot 6-inch extended Sprinter chassis and offers additional seating options along with a hydronic heating and hot water system and an 85-watt solar panel. Base MSRPs run from $1165,000 for a Legend to $133,00 for a Legend EX.
A runner-up for RVBusiness magazine’s ”Best of Show” during the recent Louisville Show, the new 22-foot Pursuit B-plus style Class C motorhome from Pleasure-way Industries Ltd., Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, is the company’s first offering outside the camper van market. ”This is a new venture,” said Vice President Dean Rumple. ”It’s a big thing for us.” Initially offered with two floorplans — one with a cabover entertainment center, the other with a trundle bed arrangement — the Pursuit is built on a 12,500-pound Ford E-350 cutaway chassis powered by a 305-hp 6.8L V10 engine. Amenities include a stylish modern interior featuring Corian countertops and standup showers, LED lighting, ultraleather furniture, rear U-shaped lounge and maple cabinet doors. The Pursuit is built with molded one-piece fiberglass front and rear caps, fiberglass sidewalls bonded to a steel superstructure with a multiplex control system. The coach is also equipped with the RV|ID ”Smart RV” system featuring a web portal for each motorhome that can monitor inventory, service needs and even the location of the coach as it travels the country. ”Kids can log into their own portal and watch mom and dad tool around the country,” Rumple said.
Jackson Center Ohio-based Airstream Inc. announced that its Interstate Class B motorhome model will be available in Canada beginning in the spring 2013. The Airstream Interstate, built on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis, claimed the spot of No. 1 selling B-van model in the U.S. for 2011 and through September 2012 according to Statistical Surveys Inc.
The Interstate boasts over 50 best-in-class features that distinguish it in the marketplace, according to a press release. As a result, the Interstate has experienced tremendous growth in the US market, commanding 17% market share through the first nine months of 2012. Interstate sales are up 72% year-over-year in the United States, leading Airstream to discuss opportunities for expansion in Canada.
“The Interstate offers a unique blend of luxury, design and performance that we are confident will do well in the Canadian marketplace,” said Airstream President and CEO Bob Wheeler. “We see tremendous possibility in this region and look forward to a very active spring, when our Canadian customers can hit the open road in the Interstate for the first time.”
Airstream plans to meet with potential Canadian dealers at the 50th annual National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky., Nov. 27-29. At the show, the company will also debut a new nine-seat option for the Interstate, at the request of many dealers.
“As a result of our success in the United States, we have had several inquiries from both dealer and retail customers from Canada,” said Airstream General Manager Tim Garner. “We believe the combination of best in class product with progressive dealer programs will drive similar success in Canada and we look forward to discussing these opportunities with Canadian dealers in Louisville.”
For more information and dealership locations in Canada visit www.airstream.com .
Pleasure-Way Industries Ltd. will receive the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) Quality Circle Award for 2012 during a ceremony on Nov. 26, just prior to the National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky.
According to a press release, Pleasure-Way received marks well above the 80% qualifying percentage and was rated the top motorized manufacturer in North America for a third consecutive year in the 19th Annual Dealer Satisfaction Index Survey, administered by RVDA.
“We sincerely appreciate all the effort our dealer partners put forth,” said Dean Rumpel, CEO of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based Pleasure-Way. “We take care to find and maintain an excellent dealer network. We believe this prestigious award speaks volumes for us as a company. It is especially gratifying to be recognized as top manufacturer in the industry. We are proud to be regarded so highly in our field. This award reinforces our core company values of hard work, superior quality, excellence in manufacturing and top-notch customer service.”
He added, “Without the commitment of our valuable and skilled employees, who really are the cornerstone of our company, we wouldn’t be able to achieve our goals of producing only the highest quality motorhomes.”
Rumpel noted that the Pleasure-Way would be displaying a 22-foot model in its new Class C B-plus style Pursuit line at the Louisville Show.
Roadtrek Motorhomes Inc. has introduced the new RS E-Trek Class B motorhome, built on the Mercedes Sprinter chassis and incorporating the latest technology into Roadtrek’s best-selling RS platform.
“Roadtrek’s design incorporates technology that will give the owner greater ability to be independent, have full capability to dry camp for extended periods, all while being environmentally conscious,” said Jim Hammill, president of Kitchener, Ontario-based Roadtrek. “There has never been an RV like this, and we are extremely pleased to offer this new product. The introduction of this model is industry leading, environmentally responsible, all electric, all with no loss of functionality.”
The E-Trek was built using the most environmentally conscious materials that are e-certified, and are manufactured using high levels of recycled materials. Features include:
• Mercedes Sprinter Van (170-inch wheelbase), with Bluetec technology, and bio-diesel fuel capability.
• Propane-free operation.
• New Interior styling, including touring captains seats in second row.
• New exterior styling, full-body paint and tone-on-tone colors.
• 250-watt solar charging.
• EFOY fuel cell generator option.
• Engine generation using additional engine generator/alternator.
• 2500-watt Inverter.
• Surge protection and power monitoring.
• Optional lithium Ion batteries.
Andy Weller, Roadtrek’s co-chairman and CEO stated, “This unit utilizes the latest electrical capabilities available to achieve the environmental improvements and camping independence that our customers have been demanding. Our Engineering team has worked extremely hard to create something not just new, but actually a much different and easier product to use for the consumer.”
Roadtrek has begun manufacturing of the E-Trek and is taking orders through its dealer network.
Canadian builder Pleasure-Way Industries Ltd. announced the launch of it first B-Plus style Class C motorhome, the Pleasure-Way Pursuit.
According to a press release, the coach is built on Ford E350 dual rear-wheel cutaway chassis and offers several “special features,” including its 22-foot length.
“Building a B-plus was the next natural progression for us,” said Dean Rumpel, CEO of Saskatoon-based Pleasure-Way. “We received a lot of feedback from customers who love what we do but wished the Class B motorhome was just a little larger. The Pursuit is going to meet the needs of the consumer who doesn’t want to go up to a 24-foot motorhome but wants a little more than a traditional Class B.”
He added, “Aside from spaciousness and efficiency, one of our focuses in building the Pursuit was to produce a stunning interior with extraordinary features that you don’t normally see in a B-Plus motorhome.”
The Pursuit is constructed with a full steel cage that is welded together along with a one-piece seamless fiberglass roof. All fiberglass is bonded directly to the steel which eliminates the need for additional screws and moldings. Full-body paint completes the exterior of the Pursuit.
The interior of the coach is set off by use of rich hardwood maple throughout, including the fluted molding, custom solid wood cabinet doors and hand-fitted crown moldings. “You feel as if you have entered into a high end Class A motorhome,” said Rumpel.
Rich ultraleather encompasses the rear lounge and is lined with three inches of memory foam. The spacious bathroom showcases a beautiful Corian and glass curved corner shower and also features a skylight, maple cabinetry with crown moldings, a Corian vanity with matching Corian backsplash, porcelain toilet and a stainless steel sink complete with a waterfall single lever faucet.
Other standards on the Pursuit include multiplex wiring, which simplifies the electrical switches to three convenient panels, an Onan 4kw generator, a 13,500 Btu roof air conditioner, 32-inch LED TV, Blu-Ray player with built in Wi-Fi, Clarion in-dash navigation with Bluetooth, iPod and USB connections and a backup camera. Also standard are a 6-cubic-foot double door refrigerator with stainless steel front, LED lighting, unique computer work station, multiposition opening skylights with screen and shade, power day and night roller shades and a 12-foot power awning.
With an estimated 13-15 miles per gallon highway, the Pursuit is fuel efficient and easy to drive. Fully loaded, it retails for $103,870.
For more information contact John Mattern at (800) 364-0189 or visit www.pleasureway.com.
Daimler AG announced its plans to increase the number of Mercedes-Benz Sprinter commercial van dealers in U.S. by 27% to as many as 250, according to a report by Nitrobahn.
The vehicle, which is a popular platform for RV builders, was introduced by the automobile manufacturer’s U.S. commercial van manufacturing unit two years ago. Before that, the Sprinter was sold by Dodge and Freightliner from 2001 to 2009. The announcement was made by Claus Tritt, vice president of Daimler Vans USA.
Tritt said that the company plans to have their dealers in places and markets where there are customers with a need. “About 197 Mercedes-Benz and Freightliner dealers are all set to sell the Sprinter model in the United States. Our plan is to increase the number between 230 and 250 in the course of time,” he said.
He said that as part of its efforts to improve customer experience the company wants the dealers to understand how to handle commercial customers. For this, the company will train the dealers and “set them up right,” he added.
“Sprinter is a separate franchise from Mercedes-Benz passenger cars and Freightliner and hence its dealers need to meet specific requirements. Other than preparing staff to sell and service the commercial van, dealers must have a dedicated salesman and display area for the Sprinter, either in the showroom area or an outdoor setting,” Tritt said.
He also said that for servicing the vehicle, the new dealerships will have two dedicated Sprinter-trained technicians, two vehicle lifts and an alignment rack. For proper servicing existing dealerships will have to raise ceilings and expand entryways to accommodate the Sprinter.
Roadtrek Motorhomes Inc. has introduced its lowest priced, fully-equipped midsize Class B motorhome, designed to be environmentally sensible by eliminating the use of propane.
According to a press release, the new Ranger RT camper van’s lower weight and smaller engine allow for a lighter chassis, all of which lead to better fuel efficiency. Weight is further reduced through carrying of a portable 110-volt generator that can be used only when needed.
Energy sources are simplified to just electricity and gasoline. By excluding propane, Roadtrek said the van’s systems are greatly simplified for easier operation and less maintenance, and burning of fossil fuels is reduced to help the environment.
When not connected to an external power source, RVers can run the 110/12-volt refrigerator, 110-volt stove, 110-volt microwave oven and 110-volt water heater with the dual large capacity auxiliary batteries through an improved electrical system with a 1250-watt power inverter. The power-efficient, compressor-driven Norcold refrigerator provides cooling without propane. The unit is also thermostatically controlled to eliminate frozen produce when the temperature drops at night.
A propane option including tank, stove and furnace is available for those who require ample space heating or extensive stove use while dry camping. A built-in generator is available for those who want one but prefer not to carry a portable one. Respect for the environment is further exhibited by use of water-based exterior paint and reduced use of wood resources.
The Ranger RT, with MSRP’s starting at $72,800, is currently in production.
For additional information, visit www.roadtrek.com/PR or call 888-ROADTREK (762-3873) or email@example.com.
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada-based Class B builder Roadtrek Motorhomes Inc. has introduced the N6-Active, a new category of “activity vehicle,” according to a press release.
The N6-Active, which debuted at last week’s National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky., offers several different applications: an SUV that gets up to 18 mpg and is equipped with a refrigerator, sink, microwave and exterior shower; a minivan that can tow 9,000 pounds; a people hauler that consumers won’t be embarrassed to drive; and an RV people can drive every day.
“It’s a great alternative to a large SUV, crossover, or minivan for an active family,” said Jeff Hanemaayer, co-chairman of Roadtrek.
The N6 is built on the new Nissan NV 2500 series van. At 20 feet, 1 inch long, it’s based on the same platform as Nissan’s Titan full-size pickup truck. With more legroom, elbow room and headroom than an SUV or minivan, Roadtrek said it has more than enough space for seven people including an easily to accessible third row that is big enough for two adults or three children.
In addition, four captain seats swivel to surround an expandable table that can be set up in two different locations. There’s also a built-in kitchenette for on-the-road meals and a pop-up roof allows full standing height inside and sleeping for two adults or kids. The third row seat reclines to a full-length double bed and families can sleep a fifth person across the two front seats on the optional folding mattress.
The N6 is well equipped with the latest audio, video, navigation and phone electronics and support for today’s tablets. And because the N6 meets the definition of an RV, Roadtrek said the interest incurred to finance its purchase can be tax deductible as a second residence.
Roadtrek reported that the N6 was well-received by dealers in Louisville. “We sold 14 the first day of the show,” said Hanemaayer.
Base MSRP is $67,470. The N6 is now in production and will be seen on the first dealers’ lots this month. For additional information, visit www.roadtrek.com/PR or call 888-ROADTREK (762-3873) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada-based Roadtrek Motorhomes Inc. announced that it will be displaying product as part of Elkhart County’s 4th Annual RV Open House Week, running Sept. 19-23.
According to a press release, the manufacturer will be showing its line of Sprinter- and GM-based Class B motorhomes at a site on C.R. 6, 1 ½ miles east of Cassopolis Street in Elkhart.
Roadtrek reported that the company continues to dominate the Class B segment with 50% market share through July, according to data from Statistical Surveys Inc.
For more information on Roadtrek’s open house, contact Paul Cassidy, vice president of sales, at email@example.com, visit www.roadtrek.com/PR or call 888-ROADTREK (762-3873).