Bristol, Ind.–based Renegade RV has introduced the Villagio, a luxury Class C motorhome built on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis. According to a press release, the new Villagio combines luxurious amenities, smart designs and first-class construction with the agility of an SUV.
Renegade’s design team drew inspiration from upscale yachts, incorporating stainless steel accents, plush bonded leather upholstery and Euro-style cabinetry. Smartly designed spaces accommodate high-end features while achieving maximum functionality in a compact-sized coach, according to Stacey Miller, Sprinter product manager.
“The Villagio is great motorhome for young families or retired couples that want a smaller, more maneuverable coach without giving up high-end amenities,” Miller said.
The Villagio is based on an aerodynamic Sprinter chassis built on an all-steel, lightweight frame powered by a Mercedes-Benz Turbo diesel engine delivering power and fuel economy. The shorter wheel base allows for easy mobility even in tight spaces.
Villagio is available in two floorplans: the 24RBS featuring a rear corner bed and roomy 9-foot slideout containing a jackknife sofa and wardrobe/pantry; and the 25TBS featuring rear twin beds that convert to a large single bed and a slideout containing a sofa. Additional floorplans are being developed by Renegade.
“The Villagio product is a great addition to our current lineup of recreational vehicles – the IKON, Explorer and the traditional Classic product lines,” stated Mike Lanciotti, CEO.
A number of exclusive dealers will carry the Villagio Class C product. Visit www.RenegadeRV.com for more information.
Class B motorhome builder Roadtrek Motorhomes Inc. has introduced the CS-Adventurous built on the fuel-efficient Mercedes Benz Sprinter van.
“We had the avid RVer and camper top-of-mind when we designed this exciting new model,” said Jim Hammill, president of the Kitchener, Ontario-based company, in a press release. “We made sure it had ample capacity for lengthy trips, both dry camping and otherwise – ample fresh water, propane and storage. We incorporated a very advanced hydronic heating system to make spending time in the van as comfortable as home.”
• Large galley with 7 cubic-foot fridge, raised convection/microwave oven, hot and cold filtered drinking water dispenser and loads of storage space.
• Hydronic heating system with in-floor radiant comfort heating, supplementary heat in the bathroom, hot water, vehicle and engine preheating in cold weather, and use of engine heat for coach heating and hot water to save propane.
• Front seating in luxurious captain seats that are separate from primary rear sleeping area to avoid making the bed every night and allow two people to rise and retire at different times. The van also features two separate living areas.
• Rear power sofa converts to large twin beds or king-size bed.
• Ample water, propane, storage and battery capacity for dry camping and trips.
• Abundant 12-volt power outlets for electronic devices.
The CS is also available with Roadtrek’s E-trek electric and environmental package for even greater independence and capability while dry camping for extended periods, all while being environmentally conscious. The CS-Adventurous is manufactured using high levels of environmentally conscious recycled and e-certified materials.
Roadtrek said it has begun production of the CS and its dealer network is prepared to take orders immediately.
Jayco Inc. will introduce to dealers the all-new, entry-level Redhawk Class C motorhome during this week’s Elkhart County RV Open House at its campus in Middlebury, Ind.
The new Redhawk’s floorplans range from 26 feet to 32 feet in length, providing a “high-quality motorhome in a compact style,” according to a press release. Standard equipment includes a booth dinette with laminate top, three-burner range with range hood, 8-cubic-foot refrigerator and a microwave. Ample living space offers “elegant touches” such as Washington Glazed Maple cabinetry, pleated night shades throughout and brushed nickel cabinet hardware.
The 2013 Redhawk also features several available family-friendly components, including TV hookups with recept and coax, exterior storage compartments, in-dash radio and an electric slideout for more interior room.
Built to deliver power, the 2013 Redhawk’s standard heavy-duty 6.8 liter Ford Triton V-10, 305-hp chassis includes a 130-amp alternator, 5,000 pound hitch, 55-gallon fuel tank and Hellwig helper springs. Redhawk’s aerodynamic fiberglass front cap design reduces drag, helping to increase gas mileage. The front-end chassis design allows for increased airflow, increased GVWR and a revised suspension system to deliver solid handling.
Other notable features include 84-inch ceiling height, an electric entry step system, a chassis vibration isolation system and a large pass-through rear storage on select units. Other construction features include the Tuffshell vacuum-bonded laminated sidewalls with a welded aluminum frame core, tackless carpeting with padding throughout unit and rubber body mounts with Hellwig helper springs for a smooth ride.
The new Redhawk also comes with Jayco’s Co-Pilot Warranty, offering the original purchaser a two-year warranty against defects in materials and workmanship.
Host Industries Inc., a niche builder of high-end custom truck campers and 4-wheel drive Class C coaches, is looking to leverage an unsolicited demand for its products in the international market that surfaced during the past year.
“People found us,” stated Randall Pozzi, general manager for the Bent, Ore.-based company. “It’s because our products are unique and we are able to custom-build to meet their needs. We’ve been approached by dealers and consumers alike.”
Pozzi reported that Host shipped four units in 2011 to individual buyers in Australia, China and Germany. But he said the company is looking to expand its overseas presence this year to bolster domestic sales.
“Like everyone in the industry, it’s been tough for the past few years, especially being in such a specialized, upper-end market,” Pozzi said. “We’re beginning to see that market come back, but we also are looking to capitalize on that experience we gained shipping those units overseas. We have a few deals in the works and are hoping to build our international sales.”
Pozzi said that one of the challenges is being knowledgeable in the varying codes that are required by different countries. “Lots of items change for overseas shipment, like voltage, wiring, receptacles, LP gas, tail lights, TVs and antennas,” he said.
The 11-year-old company, founded by Jim Hogue and Frank Storch whose fathers pioneered the legendary Beaver brand, built its name on high-quality construction and the ability to accommodate custom requests by buyers.
All of Host’s campers feature multiple slides and 8-foot-wide floors, along with roomy, comfortable interiors. Motor coaches, which are not part of Host’s international plans at this point, are built on Ford F550 crew cab chassis and are designed to handle most terrains.
Pozzi reported that 2013 models would offer several new luxury amenities while also addressing a growing demand for “green” products.
As part of its new lineup, Host is including an all-LED lighting package, insulated windows with Solar Cool glass, pleated shades for better insulation and either a 145-watt or 290-watt solar power system.
Keying in on the trend toward residential amenities, Host has added an upgraded stereo, including a 10-inch subwoofer with a built-in amplifier, and an outside entertainment center featuring a 12-volt, 22-inch flat screen TV with a built-in DVD. Host’s standard camper furnace is now 30,000 Btu.
Interiors will feature four fabrics, four selections of ultra-leather, two countertop colors and two flooring options. Two cabinet colors will also be offered with three door-style options.
“Whether you’re retired and live in your RV most of the year, or you use it for short trips and vacations, you deserve the high quality, durable construction and creature comforts of a Host RV,” said Pozzi. “We may not be the biggest in the industry, but we are definitely among the best.”
For more information, visit www.hostcampers.com or call 541-330-2328.
Elkhart, Ind.-based Nexus RV had a “coming out” of sorts earlier this month when the young minimotorhome builder displayed its two new lines, a Viper “B-Plus” Class C and a more conventional Phantom C-body, for the first time at a retail venue during the 43rd Annual Pennsylvania RV and Camping Show, Sept. 12-18 at the Giant Center in Hershey.
Although Nexus is a factory-direct manufacturer to the retail consumer, Donati reports Nexus is currently marketing rental units to U.S. dealers.
“We are committed factory-direct,” says Donati, a former Gulf Stream Coach Inc. executive who welcomed out-of-towners last week (Sept. 19-25) during Elkhart County’s 4th Annual RV Open House Week. “Our assembly line is our showroom. But we are investigating a non-USA dealership network, specifically in Quebec in Montreal, the French speaking provinces. We have some contacts in those markets that are showing a big interest in carrying our product.”
Nexus showed 29-foot Vipers with cabover entertainment centers mounted on Ford E-450 cutaway chassis; Nexus is building exclusively on Ford cutaway chassis at this point. The Elkhart firm also showed three different Phantom models, including a 31-footer with full body paint and a 32-foot bunk bed model, both featuring over-the-cab sleeping accommodations.
The more aerodynamic and expensive B-Plus Viper, with Corian countertops and a few more amenities, sports an MSRP of $103,000. However, the unit on display at Hershey, fully loaded with full body paint, was selling in the mid-$80,000’s.
Of equal interest to those cruising the Hershey Show was a familiar face working the display, Brian Shea, the former president of Nappanee, Ind.-based Gulf Stream’s Motorhome Division. Donati, who with Nexus Vice President Dave Middleton owns half the company, says Shea acts as a consultant for the company and is one of seven other investors behind Nexus along with a steel supplier, a West Coast rental dealer and four other individuals outside the industry.
Realizing that competitors might use it against them as a factory-direct company, Donati says Nexus now has service agreements with more than 100 service centers throughout the country. “So, we have actually made it part of our presentation to the customer that we have the best service network of any dealership in the country,” he told RVBUSINESS.com. “We have over 100 service centers in every state, and we are adding service centers all the time.
“What we are finding more than anything else is that our business model is attractive to a customer,” adds Donati. “So far, we’re eclipsing 70 units sold. Our first unit went offline in April. We had bumps along the way, I don’t want to pretend that we didn’t. But against our business plan, we are about where we thought we would be, and we were pretty aggressive with our goals.”
MVP RV Inc. announced today (Nov. 24) that it will be introducing a new line of Class C motorhomes under the name Tahoe at the upcoming 48th Annual National RV trade Show in Louisville, Ky. , Nov. 30 to Dec. 2.
MVP’s booth is No. 5523.
“We had a clear vision for this product,” John Millis, Tahoe product development manager, stated in a news release. “We wanted to build an affordable Class C with an upscale look and feel.”
Tahoe comes on a Ford E350 or E450 chassis with hardwood raised-panel cabinet doors, full extension metal drawer guides, Onan generator, keyless entry, iPod /MP3 ready, fabric ceiling, high gloss gel coat fiberglass and aluminum running boards.
“The timing of this product introduction could not be better for us,” added Millis. “We have a new state-of-the-art, 23-acre production facility located in the heart of the country’s largest Class C market. The Tahoe line is a natural progression for our company, and should be very well accepted by both our dealers and consumers.”
According to the latest Statistical Survey Report (year to date through September, 2010) the Class C retail market is running ahead of last year by over 17% for the 11 Western states.
The all new Tahoe line will be unveiling two floor plans in Louisville. The 230 QB features a wrap around U-shaped dinette, corner queen bed, and large mirrored double door wardrobe. The 310 QBS features a wrap around U- shaped dinette/sofa slide out, 32-inch flat screen TV and rear walk around queen bed. MSRP for the 2011 Tahoe starts at $62,300.
MVP RV inc. builds travel trailers under the brand names Coast and Summit, fifth-wheels under the brand names Jazz and Destiny, and toy haulers under the brand names Vortex and Envy. For more information about MVP RV’s products, go to www.mvprv.com
Louise Johnson was unhurt by a fire which engulfed her Dodge during the automotive demolition derby Oct. 18 at the Southern California Fair in Perris, enabling her to drive in the subsequent motorhome demolition derby.
While Johnson may be remembered for the fire in the earlier demolition derby, her participation in the subsequent crash-fest made her the first female to drive in a motorhome demolition derby in California, according to The Valley News, Fallbrook.
“It didn’t turn out to be much of a show,” Johnson said. “My motorhome died after the first hit.”
Johnson utilized number 42 for both her car and the motorhome. She also uses that number for other demolition derbies.
The number was chosen based on the Douglas Adams novel “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” in which a computer determines that 42 is the answer to the ultimate question which itself then has to be determined.
Both of Johnson’s parents have been involved in motorcycle and off-road racing, and her father also rides vehicles with number 42.
Like Adams, Johnson was born in England. She grew up in Huntington Beach, where she graduated from Ocean View High School, and now lives in Long Beach.
Johnson, now 25, was 22 when she obtained her driver’s license.
“I’ve actually been to therapy in the past for driving phobia. Most of my life I’ve been terrified of driving. I’ve only had my license for a couple of years,” she said.
Demolition derbies, in which crashes are expected, has served as suitable therapy.
“It’s teaching me to confront my fears,” Johnson said. “It’s OK to crash. It’s not something to be afraid of.”
Johnson’s demolition derby career began as a spectator watching friend Dan Pachella of Signal Hill compete in events.
“He’s the one who really got me into this,” she said. “He sponsors me. He gives me all my cars and then I do the work on them.”
Johnson builds her own cars and has been doing so since her initial demolition derby.
“Dan’s teaching me. I’ve learned how to weld. I can put together a motor pretty well,” Johnson said. “I work on the cars. I don’t just show up to drive them.”
Johnson’s only street vehicle is a classic car, specifically a 1964 Mercury Comet, and she also works on that automobile.
Irwindale Speedway had a demolition derby for women on Sept. 20, 2008, and Pachella invited Johnson to participate.
Johnson made her demolition derby driving debut that night, although she was disqualified.
Despite the result, Johnson wanted to continue participating in demolition derbies and was a regular at Irwindale’s 2009 competitions.
The first motorhome demolition derby ever held in California took place July 26 at the Orange County Fair in Costa Mesa. Pachella was one of six drivers in that contest and Johnson was a spectator.
Johnson has contracts with both Beach Cities Towing, which sponsored the Costa Mesa motorhome demolition derby, and Sunnyside Racing, the promoters of the both the Costa Mesa and Perris events.
“I told them whatever I have to do, I wanted to be in the next one,” Johnson said.
In the automotive demolition derby Oct. 18, Johnson was one of three remaining drivers before her 1977 Dodge Monaco caught fire.
Johnson first noticed the fire when she saw flames coming through the floor.
“That’s the first time I’ve ever been on fire,” she said.
She was able to escape the vehicle without injury and settled for third place in that event.
The fire didn’t deter Johnson from future demolition derbies, including the one later that evening.
She spent part of the interval in the back of the on-site ambulance and was asked if she wanted to be taken to the hospital, but she expressed her preference to drive in the motorhome demolition derby.
Revenge is a dish best served when you car’s not on fire, and Johnson joined five men in the motorhome demolition derby, which involved six Class C (approximately 15-foot-long) recreational vehicles.
Johnson also drove a Dodge in that derby – briefly. “It cranked a couple of times but would not start, and then it wouldn’t even crank,” she said.
She plans to drive in subsequent motorhome demolition derbies. “We’re going to spend some more time on it this time,” she said.
Oct. 31 fell on a Saturday this year, so Toyota Speedway at Irwindale, as it is currently called, held a Night of Destruction and Halloween Celebration.
Johnson and Pachella finished second in the Trains race, which involves three cars welded together racing around a figure eight course and a brakeman in the third car complementing the front-car driver.
Johnson also competed in the trailer race that night, but her camper came off the trailer early and her car eventually became stuck on top of Rebeca Velasco’s trailer.
Professionally, Johnson is a funeral director and embalmer in Costa Mesa; she joined the mortuary six years ago out of high school.
“I love what I do, but this definitely takes the edge off,” she said of her stock car driving.