Monaco and Holiday Rambler will have all-new 2015 motorhomes on display at the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) 51st Annual National RV Trade Show, running Tuesday (Dec. 3) through Thursday at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville.
According to a press release, motorhome will be on display in Booth No. 3000 in the North Wing. The public debut of the new models is scheduled at the Florida RV SuperShow in Tampa, Jan. 15 – 19.
The 2015 Monaco Dynasty features an all-new Roadmaster chassis – supported by Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. – which features a big bore Cummins engine.
A return to classic, traditional styling is apparent in the 2015 Dynasty as it continues its strong legacy as Monaco’s most luxurious motorhome. Everything from floorplans to features has been designed using the input from Monaco owners, making the new Dynasty a true reflection of luxury RV owners’ wants and needs. A limited number of 2015 Dynasty models will be produced in 2014.
Holiday Rambler will debut an exciting all-new concept design for its 2015 Vacationer Class A gas motorhome at the show. The Vacationer will feature floorplans with spacious bathrooms and well-utilized kitchen storage.
“The last few months have been incredibly exciting as we’ve watched our new 2015 models begin to take shape,” stated Mike Snell, President of Monaco and Holiday Rambler. “They represent a revival of both brands as we introduce bigger engines than ever before and incorporate feedback from our owners in the design process. These are truly products inspired by our owners inside and out.”
Editor’s Note: The following is a “Letter to Owners” from Mike Snell, president of Monaco and Holiday Rambler, that appeared in the company’s e-newsletter. Snell outlines the changes and the progress Monaco and Holiday Rambler have accomplished since being acquired by Allied Specialty Vehicle Inc., including a “Return to Power” with big bore engines built on an all-new Roadmaster chassis
Nearly five months ago, on May 16, Monaco and Holiday Rambler, along with Beaver and Safari, started a new journey under Allied Specialty Vehicles. The first part of that journey involved making some tough, but necessary decisions to ensure the continuation of the brands.
One of those decisions was moving production and service from Wakarusa, Ind., to Decatur. Much of the work force was given the option to transfer to Decatur. We also worked with the company who purchased our Wakarusa facility to transition some employees to their operations. With a strong local economy and thoughtful transition planning, the overall impact to the area has been minimal.
Another critical decision was to maintain distinct product DNA for each brand and to keep our engineering, design and product development teams intact. In order to do that, we opened a facility in Elkhart where our design teams have their own dedicated design area and shop. The entire team has been feverishly working over the last few months to bring you innovative, new features, great floorplans and stunning designs.
We believe in designing quality products that fulfill our owners’ needs and desires; therefore our design process is a true collaboration between our engineers and owners across all four brands. For the past few months, we’ve been gathering your feedback through focus groups and two extensive online surveys. Your responses were highly informative and some even surprising. We listened to those responses, and our design team made changes to key features to incorporate your input. In fact, any survey response that garnered a greater than 70% rating was automatically incorporated into our new products. When we say, ”a coach designed by you, for you,” we mean it.
Interestingly, despite owning different brands, most of you asked for the same features in a new coach design. The only slight difference being that Beaver owners asked for specific wood species and unique furniture/trim design. Otherwise, the responses were similar and have guided our design.
Many of you shared that you’d like more counter space and additional pantry storage in the kitchen area. You expressed your interest in having a smart steering wheel and a premium audio system. Many also indicated they prefer to keep the side exhaust. This is just a sampling of the great input we received from you that we’re applying in our new designs.
We’re excited to announce, based on your input, we’re making a “Return to Power.” For the past five years, engine restrictions kept us from offering big-bore engines, which limited our product offerings. Beginning with the 600-hp rollout in January, you’ll also start seeing 500-hp, 450-hp, 380-hp and 300-hp models. Watch closely over the next few weeks for more about our “Return to Power.”
Part of our 2015 product line will feature the all-new Roadmaster chassis. This gives us the ability to offer big-bore Cummins engines and a new world-class independent front suspension system. This is not an “off-the-shelf” standard rail chassis. Our engineers collaborated closely with Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. to offer a redesigned Roadmaster chassis with unique modifications and tuning that gives you the ride and handling you’re expecting from our brands.
We realize you’re anxious to see our new products, and we’re anxious to introduce them to you. But at the same time, we all know that crafting well-designed, high-quality products is not something you can rush. We’re creating products that are unique and special in the industry, not cookie-cutter. ASV has invested in our brands and is giving us the time and resources we need to create a stellar product line-up.
The Holiday Rambler towable division announced the addition of Tom Ewing as regional sales manager for the northeast and southeast territories.
“Tom brings a wealth of knowledge to the HR sales team and will be an asset to the dealer network” noted Matt Buckman, director of sales for Holiday Rambler towables, in a press release. “Tom’s unique experience blends extensive wholesale knowledge with front-line retail success as the former owner of Ewing’s Outpost RV.”
Battlecreek, Mich.-based Ewing Motorhome and Trailer Sales, where Ewing got his start in the industry, was a longtime Holiday Rambler dealer. Besides growing up in the RV business, Ewing also had successful stints building territories across the U.S. for many of today’s well-known RV brands.
Ewing resides in Syracuse, Ind., and will be working out of HR’s Elkhart towable manufacturing facility. He can be reached at (574) 215-1279 or (574) 389-4038 and can be emailed at email@example.com.
Newly acquired by Allied Specialty Vehicles (ASV), Trail-Lite by R-Vision and Holiday Rambler towable divisions will display their entire brand portfolio at the upcoming Elkhart County RV Open House, Sept. 17-19 in northern Indiana.
According to a press release, the companies will show product at 53111 County Road 15 on the southwest corner of CR 6 and CR 15. The site sits on the main corridor that bridges the multitude of manufacturer displays, providing dealers with easy and convenient access.
“The Open House event provides an outstanding venue to reintroduce the Trail-Lite and Holiday Rambler towable brands to the RV dealer network as an ASV company,” said Matt Buckman, director of sales for Trail-Lite and Holiday Rambler Towables. “Our simplified business approach focuses on product, people and process. We invite anyone traveling the CR6 corridor to invest an hour of their day to experience our products, people and plan for success.”
Trail-Lite offers a series of light, laminated travel trailers under the Trek, Crossover and Sport brands, while Holiday Rambler towable lines include Traveler, Ultra, Aluma-Lite travel trailers and Alumascape and Presidential fifth-wheels.
Production is based in Elkhart, Ind., and Harrisburg, Ore.
While Allied Specialty Vehicles is leaving Wakarusa, Ind., it’s leaving on a high note, giving Hello Gorgeous! more than charity founders Mike and Kim Becker expected.
As reported by The Elkhart Truth, the Beckers and others affiliated with Hello Gorgeous! went to the Monaco/Holiday Rambler office expecting to have their nearly 20-year-old Holiday Rambler presented to them with a makeover. “They had thought they were getting their bus with a makeover, which they needed it,” said Ashley Krieg, an Elkhart businesswoman who volunteers with the charity, donates to it and was on hand Friday, July 12.
Kim Becker said their motorhome had suffered water damage and was showing enough wear she didn’t think she could drive it safely on long trips, but a company representative contacted them and arranged to fix it up.
When the employees rolled out “Hope,” the refurbished Endeavour motorhome, Becker said, “They brought it out and it was beautiful and gorgeous and I couldn’t have asked for more … and then they said come on, you have to get back on stage.
“All of a sudden here comes this second bus with our logo on it and I started to sob. It was just completely overwhelming.”
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Holiday Rambler, a division of Allied Specialty Vehicles (ASV), presented a new 2012 Ambassador motorcoach to Hello Gorgeous! of Hope Inc., a South Bend, Ind.-based organization that provides complimentary, professional makeovers and cosmetic education to women battling cancer.
In addition, ASV also completely refurbished the organization’s well-traveled vintage Holiday Rambler “Gorgeous! Endeavor” mobile day spa, according to a press release.
In a ceremony on July 12 at the current manufacturing facility In Wakarusa, Ind., Holiday Rambler presented Hello Gorgeous! with not only its refurbished Endeavor motorhome, but surprised the nonprofit with a new 2012 Ambassador. Both of the units had their own “makeover” at the Wakarusa facility and “are a testament to the dedication of Holiday Rambler’s employees whose hard work will be seen and felt for years to come by this worthwhile organization and those it benefits,” the release stated.
Additionally, one of Holiday Rambler’s own employees who is battling cancer was surprised with a Hello Gorgeous! makeover.
Holiday Rambler has a strong heritage of motorhome manufacturing in Indiana, including Elkhart County. As such, the company saw this as an opportunity to not only give back to a worthy cause, but especially to help one of its dedicated employees.
“I can’t think of a better way to support one of our much-deserving employees and an incredibly worthy cause at the same time,” said Mike Snell, president of Holiday Rambler. “Hello Gorgeous! uplifts women who are meeting one of life’s greatest challenges and we commend their efforts.”
Nearly 300 Holiday Rambler diesel pusher motorhomes from across the country converged on the Elkhart Country Fairgrounds in Goshen, Ind., this week for the 2013 Maintenance Session hosted by the Ramblin’ Pushers Chapter 419.
“It’s not a rally, it’s a maintenance session — and there’s a big difference,” said Cris Bootle, the club’s maintenance session coordinator. “Rallies are more social, and although we do have a lot of social interaction, this program is geared toward hands-on technical seminars covering maintenance and service for the coaches.
“We’re all (Class A) diesel pushers,” she added. “Our chapter is the Holiday Rambler Diesel Pusher Chapter 419, and we get together here once a year to learn about our coaches, maintain our coaches and learn how we can fix them.”
Highlighting this year’s session is a celebration of the 60th anniversary of Holiday Rambler – now manufactured by Chicago-based Navistar RV — plus recognition of sponsoring dealer Veurink’s RV Center’s 50th year as a Holiday Rambler dealer.
While the first of the 283 coaches arrived May 1, the fairgrounds session began May 3 and will continue through May 8. Some 111 seminars and roundtable discussions are held during the nearly week-long program, including some designed specifically for the “co-pilot,” including driving classes and activities geared for participating women.
However, it’s the technical seminars presented by dealers, service sponsors, vendors and fellow members that really draw Holiday Rambler owners from throughout the country. Almost three dozen states are represented this week at the fairgrounds on the southeast side of Goshen in Elkhart County, including 77 first-timers who have never attended a maintenance session before.
“We also have dealers and vendors here,” added Bootle, “so we have a lot of sales going on. There’s a lot to see and do, and we just have a great time.”
In addition to Veurink’s RV Center, Grand Rapids, Mich., dealers staging displays at the expansive site included Alliance Coach, Wildwood, Fla., and Paul Evert’s RV Country, a three-store retailer based in Fresno, Calif.
“The event’s been very, very good,” said Thor Nordby with Paul Evert’s RV Country. “Everyone here is a diesel owner, and the new floorplans from Holiday Rambler have been generating a lot of interest. And, since everyone here is pretty stationary for five or six days, traffic through the new units has been fairly constant.”
“This is the biggest annual event for this chapter,” said Hugh Skidmore, chairman of the seminar host committee. “We all have similar objectives — to maintain these motorcoaches as we roll down the road.”
The 2013 model year may well be one of the more impressive cycles in terms of market-ready and eye-catching new RVs from the North American recreational vehicle business. For that reason, however, the RVBusiness staff faced an intimidating task in selecting one unit over and above the rest this week (Nov. 27-29) at the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky., to best exemplify the industry’s 2013 lineup as our “Best of Show” designee.
In other words, there were no units so novel or preposterously different — no reinvention of the wheel, so to speak — that the show buzz dictated their selection.
So, we had to really step back and choose a unit that we felt best symbolized the general progressive sophistication of the industry’s product design, a unit that projects the overall spit-and-polish of the North American RV industry. And, long story short, we rather quickly reached a consensus on a fifth-wheel unit that is not only impressive for its design and elegant looks, but also for the revered high-line brand name it is reintroducing to the market after a hiatus of several years: the 32- to 40-foot Holiday Rambler Presidential fifth-wheel from Elkhart, Ind.-based Navistar Towables.
“Presidential is a venerable name in the business,” noted Matt Buckman, director of sales and product development for the Navistar division. “It is the name that most personifies Holiday Rambler in the towable market over the years. It’s been off the market for the past several years and we are reintroducing the Presidential back to its glory in the business as a luxury high-end fifth-wheel. We worked to refine the premium feel and look.”
Indeed, the Holiday Rambler Presidential brand harkens back to a day when Holiday Rambler was a towable leader and a signature brand of Richard Klingler’s privately held Holiday Rambler Corp. in Wakarusa, Ind., long before the brand was marketed by Harley-Davidson Inc. and, now, global truck-and-engine-builder Navistar International Corp.
But it’s not just the name that made the difference for us with regard to the Presidential, which, with MSRPs of $79,000 to $125,000, retails for much less than pre-recessionary, luxury class high-lines. As one of an elite group of chic new U.S.-built fifth-wheels led by Keystone’s Montana, Jayco’s Pinnacle, Heartland’s Cyclone, Gulf Stream’s Canyon Trail, CrossRoads’ Rushmore, Dutchmen’s Voltage, Evergreen’s Bay Hill, DRV’s Mobile Suites and Forest River’s Trilogy, among others, however, Navistar has done a lot of things right with its reprise of the Presidential fifth-wheel.
“We went to five Holiday Rambler RV Owners Club rallies and sat down with existing Presidential owners to find out what amenities and design elements they wanted to see in the new Presidential,” explained Craig Swisher, vice president, operations, for Navistar Towables. “You can see evidence of their influence throughout the coach, even in details like a rubber glove dispenser in our outside utility center/docking station and in the storage drawers under the bed in the front bedroom so that you don’t have to lift the bed up to access everything underneath.”
Other aspects of the Presidential drawing praise from RVB:
• A unique chassis engineered by Navistar and built by Lippert including a custom rounded, welded front end affording tighter turning radiuses, an unusual aerodynamic front cap and incredible outside storage.
• A standard MOR/ryde RE 4000 suspension with an optional MOR/ryde IS independent suspension with hydraulic disc brakes.
• Aluminum-framed, full-body painted sidewalls featuring an additional foam insulation layer all the way around, creating an extra sound and temperature barrier.
• Elegant interiors with stained maple cabinetry, an island kitchen and padded, radius living area ceilings providing 8 feet, 11 inches of headroom. “There’s no wasted space,” said Buckman, adding that interiors feature a custom kitchen that looks like a luxury hotel, a bathroom with tiered countertops and a 60-inch-tall, two-person shower plus a multi-level living area housing a 46-inch LED TV and Lane residential furniture. “It feels like a high-end diesel motorhome when you walk in there,” Swisher said.
Again, however, it wasn’t any one thing — but the entire package — that led to our naming Navistar’s impressive Holiday Rambler Presidential as our “2013 Best of Show.” Also capturing our attention was:
• Canadian builder Pleasure-Way Industries Ltd.’s first B-Plus style Class C motorhome, the Pleasure-Way Pursuit, built on Ford E350 dual rear-wheel cutaway chassis with a number of “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.”
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.
The interior of the coach is set off by the use of rich hardwood maple throughout, including the fluted molding, custom solid wood cabinet doors and hand-fitted crown moldings. Rich ultraleather encompasses the rear lounge, while 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.
• Airstream’s newest concept trailer, the Land Yacht, featuring a high-luster teak and white wood inlay boat deck flooring, LED panel lighting elements, Corian solid surfaces and plush Ultraleather. The unit, capable of sleeping up to five people, has a bedroom in the front, a bathroom amidships and a rear social space, which includes a galley that can be hidden when not in use. The Land Yacht’s powered bed lift reveals access to hidden storage. The contemporary look was created by Tecnoform’s engineering department in partnership with Mauro Micheli, the long-time designer for Riva Yachts.
Holiday Rambler will be showing an all-new Presidential luxury fifth-wheel to dealers at next week’s Elkhart County RV Open House in northern Indiana.
“This product is being brought back to market at the request of current owners and Holiday Rambler RV Owners Club members,” said Matt Buckman, director of sales for the Navistar RV Towable Division, in a press release. “In fact, we spent time at four club rallies this spring with existing owners going over every detail of what they wanted to see in their next Presidential. This is going to be the most consumer-driven luxury fifth-wheel on the market.”
The new Presidential boasts premium construction techniques, including thicker, better insulated sidewalls that are solid vacuum bonded from top to bottom with no metal skirting – just like a diesel pusher motorhome. A unique proprietary chassis design creates industry leading exterior storage, including another motorhome style feature – rear pass-thru storage.
The 40-footer on display will have the MOR-Ryde independent suspension with hydraulic disc brakes, automatic leveling, generator, frameless dual pane windows, and full-body paint. The interior features slideouts over eight feet tall, arched padded ceilings with recessed L.E.D. lighting, quartz countertops, a 6o-inch residential shower, dishwasher, stack washer/dryer and Lane brand residential furniture.
The Presidential will launch with four floorplans from 32 to 40 foot lengths. For additional information please call Andrea Ritsema at (574) 389-4037.
Navistar RV’s towable division will host an open house Sept. 18-20 at its newly opened production facility at the corner of Nappanee St. and Hively in Elkhart, Ind., as part of the Elkhart County 4th Annual RV Open House Week.
According to a press release, the 200,000-square-foot facility is located at the site of the former Roadmaster Custom Chassis plant, and will allow for separate production lines for fifth-wheels along with laminated and stick-and-tin travel trailers.
In conjunction with the opening of the new plant, Navistar Towables will be introducing new, reengineered Trail Lite and Holiday Rambler products. Trail Lite products will be showing a completely refreshed look which includes Trek, a new lightweight family of towables targeted for the price-conscious consumer.
Holiday Rambler is reintroducing its flagship Presidential Luxury fifth-wheel during the event. Designed with the input of current owners, it features “a new chassis design, premium construction methodology and unsurpassed storage capabilities,” according to the company. In addition, the venerable Aluma-Lite will be enhancing its brand by adding market-driven floorplans and product features.
For additional information please call Andrea Ritsema at 574-389-4037.