Winkler, Manitoba, Canada-based Leisure Travel Vans has launched a 24-foot non-slide Unity U24IB Class B floorplan, featuring a walk-around island bed.
Built on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis, the Unity U24IB’s unique floorplan boasts a full walk-around residential quality bed – the first in North America on a non-slide 24-foot Sprinter unit, according to a press release. The walk-around bedroom is complete with spacious his-and-her wardrobes and ample interior storage space, a convenient flip-up dresser and make-up center at the foot of the bed, private dry two-piece lavatory and a stand-up residential shower.
The Unity U24IB was developed with “ultimate convenience and comfort in mind,” according to the company. The front driver’s and passenger’s seats swivel 180 degrees to allow viewing of the large pull-out 26-inch LCD TV located in the galley. The two-way slidable dining table ensures maximum maneuverability, even when serving dinner for four. An optional entertainment package features a removable bedroom TV that easily mounts to an exterior swing-out arm, complete with exterior stereo.
Other notable features include 60 cubic feet of exterior storage with a large passthrough rear storage compartment, front seating/dining area complete with seat belts for two added passengers (four total), a new standard power patio box awning and a pull-out pantry. Technological advancements the Unity U24IB include a new 7-inch GPS and back-up and optional side-turn cameras with iPod/USB hookups. The interior offers European styled curved wood cabinetry, sleek modern Ultraleather and Corian’s Private Collection countertops throughout the coach.
With an estimated 16-18 mpg, the Unity U24IB has a starting MSRP of $112,970. Leisure Travel Vans said the unit will be featured at this week’s Pennsylvania RV and Camping Show in Hershey and then at the California RV Show in Pomona, Calif., from Oct. 14-23.
For pictures, videos, virtual tours and more please visit http://www.leisurevans.com/u24ib. Leisure Travel Vans is a brand of Triple E Recreational Vehicles.
Even though Al Yoder Jr. retired in 1994 as president of Jayco Inc., he didn’t leave the RV industry completely. A popular industry veteran, he’s been known to frequent business social events.
Now Yoder as a consumer has played a role in designing a unique 2010 model for Leisure Travel Vans Ltd. 24-foot B-plus style Unity Class C built on an imported Sprinter chassis.
”He custom-designed it,” said Leisure Travel Vans President Ryan Elias. ”The concept came all from him.”
”I wanted an open floorplan and different things that they probably aren’t even going to offer as an option,”’ said Yoder, who joined Jayco in 1969, a year after the company was founded by Lloyd Bontrager in Middlebury, Ind.
Yoder, 82, will use the specially equipped Leisure Travel’s minimotorhome as his personal RV, while the Canadian manufacturer added Yoder’s floorplan to the new 2010 Unity lineup.
Among the more innovative motorhomes displayed at the 2009 Louisville Show, Unity is equipped with a Murphy bed built into a streetside slideout. The Unity setup allows access from both sides of the bed, rather than only one side with the bed tucked in a rear corner.
Leisure Travel showed the coach in December in Louisville and the floorplan will go into production this month (January).
Yoder who still lives in Middlebury, where Jayco is headquartered, approached Leisure Travel’s Canadian parent, Triple E RV, Winkler, Manitoba, about buying the company’s Class C front and rear caps to customize a minimotorhome that he wanted to build.
”I liked their transition pieces,” said Yoder. ”They said they wanted to redesign their Class C. I had a floorplan that I’d designed and between phone calls, faxes and e-mail, I laid out the design and they built what I wanted,” Yoder said. ”They did some engineering to incorporate the open floorplan and access to the bed from both sides that I wanted.”
Yoder’s unit, which he plans to drive through Texas and California starting in mid-February, contains no generator or propane but is equipped a heavy battery with converters and inverters to manage the unit’s power systems.
Yoder’s Unity also is equipped with a combination water heater/space heater and a macerating pump that liquefies all of the gray and black water so that tanks can be emptied with a garden hose.
”That big black hose you use to empty your holding tanks is something that older people aren’t too enthused about,” Yoder said.
To accommodate the Murphy bed that sits opposite the entry door, Leisure Travel added a pair of recliners that fold down at the push of a button to become the bed’s pedestal.
While Yoder and the RV builder passed a slew of information back and forth electronically, Yoder also spent 1 1/2 days at Leisure Travel Vans’ factory in Morden, Manitoba.
”I didn’t see the completed unit until I got to Louisville,” Yoder said. ”I was not disappointed.”
Leisure Travel Vans Ltd. is introducing the Unity featuring the industry’s first “Murphy Bed” in a Class B motorhome, according to a news release. The queen-sized bed folds out from the wall over two power reclining lounge chairs. Other features of the Unity, built on a Sprinter chassis, include European window design, aerodynamic sleek-styled front and rear caps, European-styled interior featuring Corian countertops and curved cabinetry. The Morden, Manitoba-based manufacturer will be displaying the Unity at the 47th Annual National RV Trade Show Dec. 1-3 in Louisville, Ky.
Mercedes-Benz USA has discontinued selling its Sprinter van through Dodge dealerships and will instead make them available through Mercedes-Benz and Freightliner dealers beginning in January, according to a report in Automotive News.
The Sprinter van and cab chassis are popular platforms for Class B and C motorhomes. Mercedes-Benz has always required RV OEMs to obtain their Sprinter bodies through retail dealerships. Until now, that has been either Dodge or Freightliner stores.
But in September, Daimler AG pulled the Sprinter from the Dodge lineup and moved the diesel-powered, high-mileage van to Mercedes, according to Automotive News.
Executives at Leisure Travel Vans Ltd., Morden, Manitoba, which has built camper vans on Freightliner-badged Sprinters in the U.S. and Dodge-badged units in Canada, said the move in a positive one.
”We are in conversations with the new Sprinter division contacts,” Ryan Elias, Leisure Travel assistant general manager, told RVBUSINESS.com. ”We are told that deliveries will be quicker and that communications will be better. That’s very, very encouraging to hear.”
Elias said ”most likely” Leisure Travel Vans will switch all its production to Mercedes-badged Sprinters because of the Mercedes cache.
According to Automotive News, in October, Mercedes invited about 120 of its dealers and 45 Freightliner dealers who sell the Sprinter to a meeting in Denver to discuss plans for the vehicle. Freightliner Trucks is a division of Daimler Trucks North America LLC.
Dealers had only a couple of weeks to accept Mercedes’ offer to sell the Mercedes-badged Sprinters. Near the deadline, 100 Mercedes dealers and 43 Freightliner dealers agreed.
Ernst Lieb, Mercedes-Benz USA CEO, said that Mercedes dealers chosen to sell the Springer are ”a healthy mix” of urban and rural stores.
Mercedes looked at dealers in regions with high Sprinter sales over the past decade and then chose those that could sell more than 30 van annually.
At the Denver meeting, Lieb said, ”We gave them an overview of the product and how we are planning to sell it and what will be required in terms of inventory.”
Dodge dealers began selling the Dodge-badge Sprinter in the U.S. in 2003. In 2008, 350 Dodge dealers sold 14,600 Sprinters. Including Freightliner-badged vans, 2008 sales were 18,282.
The Sprinter will be sold through the newly created Daimler Vans USA, based in New Jersey at Mercedes’ U.S. headquarters.