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.
Monaco RV LLC’s Holiday Rambler division has partnered with Las Vegas dealer Johnnie Walker RV’s to carry the builder’s motorhome lines.
According to a press release, the two companies share an impressive heritage as Holiday Rambler currently in its 58th year while Johnnie Walker is marking its 48th anniversary.
“Johnnie Walker RV fits our ideal criteria for a dealer to thrive in this competitive market. Quality people, friendly environment and first-rate customer service are the reasons for our selection of this fine organization,” said Scott Jacobson, national sales manager for Holiday Rambler.
West Walker, general manager of Johnnie Walker RV’s, noted, “With the addition of Michael Walker, we are now a fourth generation, family owned RV Dealer. My grandfather set the bar and we just kept doing the right thing for our customers.”
Johnnie Walker RV’s is a full service dealership, offering a service department staffed by factory-trained technicians. The dealership also has an extensive parts department and body shop.
“We now have three locations to serve locals and visitors to the Las Vegas area,” said West Walker. “Holiday Rambler motorhomes give us great floorplan options and value at each price point.”
Monaco RV LLC announced that R.V. World of Nokomis as a new dealer partner carrying the Holiday Rambler brand of motorhomes.
Located at 2110 N. Tamiami Trail in Nokomis, Fla., the family owned and operated dealership was founded in 1977 and has grown to become one of the largest new and used RV dealerships in Southwest Florida, according to a news release.
“Our sales team looked at many manufacturers, and we choose the Holiday Rambler brand because of it offers more unique floorplans and models than other brands,” this according to Matt Gerzen, owner of RV World of Nokomis. “The Holiday Rambler brand has an extensive customer base along with a strong, iconic name in the industry. We are excited to offer the quality products of Holiday Rambler to its established loyal customer base, as well as introduce the Holiday Rambler brand to new RV customers.”
“Holiday Rambler and RV World of Nokomis are a perfect fit,” stated Scott Jacobson, national sales manager of Holiday Rambler. “Both have a rich, well-established history spanning many decades and the deep-rooted philosophy that customer always comes first. We are extremely happy to be joining forces with RV World to bring our mutual customer the very best in family friendly, affordable RV’s on the market.”
R.V. World of Nokomis is a full-service dealership, offering a 16-bay service department that employs RVIA/RVDA Certified technicians. The dealership also has an extensive Parts Department and Body Shop. For more information about R.V. World of Nokomis, visit www.rvworldinc.com or call (800) 262-2182.
For more information about Holiday Rambler products, visit www.holidayrambler.com or (800) 245-4778.
Monaco RV LLC today (March 8) announced the debut of the new Holiday Rambler Aluma-Lite 31SFD Class C.
This small–in-stature model is a crossover of a Class C and Class A floorplan, according to a news release. The expansive 23-foot full wall slideout floorplan provides the roominess of a Class A layout by enormously enlarging the living, kitchen and bedroom space. The slide also provides a private bath, with dual private entrances through bedroom or hall, an option usually only found in Class A models.
“No other manufacturer is offering this type of crossover, with a Class A floorplan on a Class C chassis,” said Scott Jacobson, national sales manager for Holiday Rambler. “The Aluma-Lite 31SFD is part of Holiday Rambler’s new direction, as we develop floorplans with more functional spaces in smaller, less expensive models.”
The family friendly, easy to maneuver Holiday Rambler Aluma-Lite 31SFD is built on the Ford E-Series Chassis with E450 engine. For improved fuel economy, the Aluma-Lite front cap is aerodynamically designed to reduce wind turbulence and drag. The battery access is built into the entryway for easy maintenance, along with a 5,000-pound hitch for towing.
Along with the large slideout, the Aluma-Lite 31SFD is also built with large size features. A king-size 51-gallon fresh water tank allows for extended camping capabilities, a critical component with today’s RVers. The extra-large exterior bay stores all equipment in a central, convenient location. Entry into the Aluma-Lite is made easy with an extra-wide entrance door.
Inside, Class A-style features make the Aluma-Lite feel spacious. The full wall slideout allows for an expansive kitchen boasting a booth dinette with a pop-up 26-inch TV with lift in a dinette console, making it storable when not in use. MSRP: $86,993.
For more details on the Aluma-Lite Class C, along with information on Holiday Rambler’s full line of products, please visit www.holidayrambler.com.
Monaco RVLLC announced Chesapeake RV Solutions as a new dealer partner carrying the Holiday Rambler brand of motorhomes.
Located at 3360 Battlefield Blvd. South, in Chesapeake, Va., the family owned and operated dealership will exclusively carry Holiday Rambler motorized products, according to a news release.
Chesapeake RV Solutions was founded by Tim and Jacqueline Loen in 2003. Tim, a retired Navy SEAL and Jacqueline, a former homemaker, had made camping trips a regular part of their yearly routine. They set out to open a business in which they could share their enjoyment of the camping lifestyle, and Chesapeake RV Solutions was born. Over the eight-year history, the dealership has gained constant growth.
“We have been searching for a high-end, quality motorhome manufacturer for years,” according to Tim Loen, owner of Chesapeake RV Solutions. “Monaco RV/Holiday Rambler was the perfect choice for us and is the only motorized manufacturer we carry. With its support from Navistar, Holiday Rambler has the most technology-based building process in the industry and offers the excellent MaxxForce engine with Advanced EGR, the most user-friendly solution.”
“We are delighted to partner with Chesapeake RV Solutions to provide their customers the opportunity to experience the legacy and bright future of the Holiday Rambler brand, along with the highest level of service before and after the sale,” says Scott Jacobson, national sales manager for Holiday Rambler. “Chesapeake RV Solutions has an impressive reputation in the industry and we look forward to a long, successful partnership ahead.”
Chesapeake RV Solutions is a full-service dealership, offering both service work employing RVDA Certified RV technician and an in-house and on-line parts department. For more information about Chesapeake RV Solutions, visit www.chesapeakervsolutions.com or call (866) 432-0222.
For more information about Holiday Rambler products, visit www.holidayrambler.com.
Monaco RV LLC has reintroduced the Aluma-Lite nameplate with its new Holiday Rambler Class A gas motorhome.
According to a news release, the small, low-profile, aerodynamic coach is built on an 18,000-pound GVWR Ford Super Duty chassis powered by a 362-hp Triton V-10 engine. The 31SFS floorplan features a telescoping 7-foot 9-inch slide-out inside a 23-foot full-wall slide out. This allows for a large expandable L-shaped sofa behind the driver’s seat. Other amenities include a hide-a-way sofa/dinette table and slam-latch exterior baggage door. The Aluma-Lite measures 95 1/2 inches in width, with height of 11 feet.
“Although smaller in stature, the innovative slide-in-slide technology allows for as much floor space as larger motorhomes,” says Scott Jacobson, national sales manager for Holiday Rambler.” The Aluma-Lite also boasts expansive outside storage space. A king-size exterior pass-through storage at the rear of the coach features 115 cubic feet of exterior storage capacity. The Aluma-Lite is the ideal family-friendly, fuel efficient coach, with ample living and storage space to meet the needs of today’s RVing lifestyle.”
Two additional floorplans will be offered in the spring. MSRP starting at: $93,785.
For more information about Holiday Rambler products, visit www.holidayrambler.com.
Monaco RV LLC presented its “Next Generation of RV’s” at the 48th Annual RVIA Trade Show in Louisville, Ky., to a large and receptive crowd.
“The show was a tremendous success for our company, our dealer partners and the RV industry,”to Kay Toolson, president of Monaco RV, stated in a news release. “We received great feedback on our new products, our workmanship and the fresh, bold look of the new Monaco RV. I am very grateful to our employees and their unwavering commitment to providing the best products in the market. I also want to thank our dealer partners for their support and faith in Monaco RV.”
Toolson continued “We are so fortunate to be a part of Navistar, our 175-year old parent company, with the tremendous resources in design, testing and production it brings to our company. We are very excited about the new innovative products we will continue to bring out over the next several months.”
In addition to the display of nearly our entire lineup of RVs, the Navistar MaxxForce engine display explained the benefits of the new Advanced EGR system. This advanced system is the only no-hassle solution for complying with 2010 emissions regulations and does not require the additional equipment, fluids or add-ons necessary for the other option.
Monaco RV increased its distinction as the only manufacturer of fully integrated motorhomes with the launch of the all-new Holiday Rambler Trip before an enthusiastic audience of over 350 people. With the Monaco Vesta, the Holiday Rambler Trip is the second motorhome jointly developed by Monaco RV and Navistar. These products join Monaco RV’s family of motorhomes, unique in the RV market, where the engine, chassis and house are all specially developed by a single manufacturer.
Due to the success of these and many other new product offerings (such as the half-ton R-Vision Onyx and Silver Creek travel trailer, the Holiday Rambler Presidential fifth-wheel and the slide-in-slide Aluma-Lite Class A), production rates continue to increase in both Oregon and Indiana to meet demands, Toolson said.