Navistar RV, a subsidiary of Navistar International Corp., will showcase a number of new products at this year’s National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky., Nov. 27-29. The display will include the model-year 2014 Monaco Monarch SE, as well as the new Holiday Rambler Vacationer SE and Augusta B-plus style Class C motorhome.
“These ambitious products represent the next generation of RVs from Navistar and our brands,” Bill Osborne, president of Navistar RV, said in a press release. “We’re excited to have our industry unveiling at the RVIA show, then to roll the models out to the public at events later this year and next.”
As part of its product development process, Navistar keeps a close eye on market trends and the desires of RV dealers and customers.
“The overall mix of products in the market has shifted, with a larger preference for gas as compared to diesel in Class As,” Osborne said. “Also, amenities that were previously only available in diesel have now made their way into gas coaches.”
The Monarch SE and Vacationer SE address these changes by delivering the high-end features of a full-size diesel coach — Smart Structure chassis system, ergonomically designed cockpit, soft-touch ceiling and generous pass-through storage — at the lower price of a gas vehicle. The RVs also emphasize the company’s striking new exterior style and incorporate new floorplans to suit individual needs.
“Our gas products were previously on the higher end of the price segments,” said Osborne. “These new products allow us to offer customers a gas Class A unit with deluxe amenities, and because they’re affordable, first-time buyers and part-time enthusiasts can now enjoy a great, luxury coach.”
During its product line evaluation, Navistar also determined there was an opportunity to add a B/C category unit to its portfolio, addressing the needs of first-time buyers and enthusiasts who want to be in a small but self-contained motorized RV.
“Holiday Rambler hasn’t introduced a new vehicle in this product class for some time,” Osborne added.
The new Augusta is a maneuverable and compact motorized RV with maximum interior space. Inventive design features include a Murphy bed that folds away to allow for a large living area with skylight, plus a pop-up TV for enhanced counter space and work area. Storage is plentiful, with a mega-locker that can be accessed from the inside and outside. The vehicle is available on a gas Ford E-350/450 chassis.
“These new vehicles reflect the vision of Navistar RV to be the most innovative quality product in the industry,” said Osborne. “We anticipate the RVs will be very well received, as they provide superior luxury, styling and features at an attractive price point.”
Forest City, Iowa-based Winnebago Industries Inc. will be showcasing its fuel-efficient motorhome lineup built on Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis at the California RV Show in Pomona, Oct. 12-21.
According to a press release, Sprinter-based lines include the Winnebago Via and Itasca Reyo Class A’s, Class B Era and Winnebago View, View Profile, Itasca Navion and Navion iQ Class C’s. The Winnebago View will be featured in an RV Factory Showcase seminar on Oct. 13 at 5 pm.
Despite a compact size, the motorhomes are equipped with up to two slideouts, plenty of storage inside and out, and a host of innovative features, according to Winnebago.
“The combination of the powerful six-cylinder turbo-diesel engine with Winnebago’s build quality and floorplan selection make these products a ‘can’t miss’ at this year’s California RV Show,” said Winnebago Vice President of Sales and Product Management Scott Degnan. “Winnebago Industries produces more motorhomes on the economical Sprinter chassis than the rest of the industry combined, with consumers reporting between 15-20 mpg.”
Other highlights at the show include the first public viewing of the all-new Winnebago Minnie Winnie – a full featured, value-priced Class C with an iconic badge. The top-of-the-line Winnebago Tour and Itasca Ellipse 42GD Class A coaches will also be showcased offering luxurious a 55-inch TV, pull-out island, powered king bed and our exclusive Rest Easy extendable sectional sofa.
Like most wide-eyed, wishful Americans, Dennis Soukup daydreams of someday hitting the lottery. Riches beyond compare. Genie-in-a-lamp possibilities.
Well … not quite.
According to a report in the Las Vegas Review Journal, the 59-year-old chairman of the applied technology department at the College of Southern Nevada simply wants to hold the key to a new Tiffin Zephyr motorhome.
Forty-five feet long, 8 feet 4 inches wide, 12 feet 10 inches tall, 500-horsepower engine, 150-gallon gas tank, six aluminum wheels plus two steel inner wheels, two-stage compression air brake, six air bags. And that doesn’t include the interior creature comforts, highlighted by a home theater system with Surround Sound.
“Yes, that’s my dream,” Soukup says of the luxurious home-away-from-home with a sticker price of approximately $500,000. “If I hit the lottery, I’m buying a Zephyr. I want to retire full time into one of them.”
Retire, that is, into a senior lifestyle that is remarkably safe, according to a report from the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, which showed that over a 10-year period from 1999 through 2008 there were only 97 RV fatalities nationally.
Special driving classes are not mandatory for RVers in Nevada. But owners of motorhomes with a minimum 26,000-pound gross rating or tow trailers with a minimum gross rating of 10,000 pounds are required to have a special license endorsement, which comes by passing a Department of Motor Vehicles driving test.
Fourteen other U.S. states, including California, require some form of special license endorsement, according to the website changingears.com.
Soukup and his wife, Linda, are one of 8.9 million U.S. households that owns some form of RV, which includes everything from truck campers and pull trailers to fifth-wheels and those shiny, rock-star-rich motor homes. Soukup currently owns a 2006 Tiffin Phaeton, the kid brother to the Zephyr at an approximate price of $250,000.
To read the complete story click here.
Thor Motor Coach (TMC) reported record retail sales for units sold at America’s Largest RV Show in Hershey, Pa., Sept. 10-16.
“The customer response for our motorhomes was amazing. We had people in the Thor Motor Coach display from the time the show opened until we closed,” remarked Joel Grimm, national sales manager for gas motorhomes at Thor Motor Coach.
According to a press release, the most sought after and talked about addition at the RV show was Thor Motor Coach’s new HD-MAX exterior packages, a line of full color exterior décor packages that provide the look and feel of a full body paint package, but for thousands of dollars less. HD-MAX exteriors are available on TMC’s A.C.E., Hurricane, and Windsport Class A motorhomes, Four Winds and Chateau Class C motorhomes, along with the Siesta and Citation Class C, B-plus style motorhomes.
The redesigned Hurricane and Windsport Class A motorhomes, shown to the public for the first time at Hershey, were well received, according to TMC, particularly the new 34E rear bath-and-a-half floorplan.
TMC reported that its best selling A.C.E. brand posted record sales, while the Palazzo line of compact diesel pusher motorhomes also attracted buyers. The Tuscany and Tuscany XTE luxury diesel pushers also drew attention with a mix of content and price in a higher-line diesel motorhome.
The new 31L Four Winds and Chateau Class C motorhomes are marketed as offering more interior living space than most Class A motorhomes while the 29TB triple-slide Siesta and Citation had completely new interiors with upgraded features including optional leveling jacks, Firestone Ride-Rite air suspension, and HD-MAX exteriors.
“The commitment to our valued dealers and retail customers, focus on innovative customer service programs, and the development of ‘must have’ products is generating added excitement for Thor Motor Coach products,” commented Dana Simon, vice president of sales at Thor Motor Coach.
Visit http://ThorMotorCoach.com for more about Thor Motor Coach.
Even on vacation, Dick and Nina Chapman are never too far from home. That’s because, according to a report in the Durango (Colo.) Herald, their home – or second home – goes with them.
“This was always a dream of mine to retire and get an RV,” said Dick Chapman, 77, of Albuquerque, N.M., while relaxing in his $200,000 Tiffin Phaeton motorhome parked last week at the Alpen Rose RV Park in the Animas Valley north of Durango.
The luxurious home on wheels includes a full kitchen, living room, bedroom with queen-size bed, bathroom, shower, wood cabinets, ceramic tile floors, decorative lighting, two leather couches and four televisions.
It is powered by a diesel engine that gets 7 miles to the gallon, Dick Chapman said. “It’s very smooth,” he said. “It drives easily.”
RVers and drivers who pull trailers have a significant impact on the local economy, representing about a fourth of all tourists who pass through the Durango Area Tourism Office, said Jack Llewellyn, executive director of the Durango Chamber of Commerce.
Some roll into town in large groups and stay for several days, if not weeks, he said. They often arrive without a strict schedule, so the tourism office works to inform them about the local attractions to keep them here for as long as possible, Llewellyn said.
“Definitely, I think they have a big impact to our economy,” he said.
To read the entire article click here.
Thor Motor Coach is debuting a redesigned Windsport motorhome at America’s Largest RV Show in Hershey, Pa., along with the company’s all new HD-MAX full-color exterior graphics packages. The event opened Monday (Sept. 10) and runs through Saturday at the Giant Center.
According to a press release, the gas-powered Class A Windsport is currently in its 16th year of production. “With some much improved changes to modernize the Windsport, dealers and retail consumers are going to love what the new Windsport has to offer,” said Jon Krider, director of product planning at Thor Motor Coach.
The new front cap on the Windsport reveals aggressive headlight styling and large panoramic windshield while the rear cap is highlighted with vertical LED taillights. The coach’s interior ceiling height has been raised providing more living space and increased cabinet storage. The five available floorplans for the Windsport motorhomes start at 30 feet and extend up to 35 feet. The Windsport 35-foot 34E is also making its debut at this year’sshow, offering a rear bath plus an additional half-bath at mid-ship.
Along with new styling, the 2013 Windsport will sport Thor Motor Coach’s all-new HD-MAX exterior graphics packages. According to Thor, HD-MAX full-color exteriors cost thousands of dollars less than existing full-body paint schemes.
Thor Motor Coach will also be showing the new Windsport and HD-MAX exteriors at this year’s Thor Industries Open House at the RV/Motorhome Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Ind., on Sept. 18-20. For additional information visit http://ThorMotorCoach.com/2012OpenHouse-HD-MAX.php.
Decatur, Ind.-based Fleetwood RV Inc. will unveil several new floorplans and innovative designs in its 2013 diesel and gas motorhome lines Sept. 18-20 during the Elkhart County RV Open House.
According to a press release, the company’s expansive 2013 product lineup “continues to showcase quality construction, reliability and innovative design.” Highlighting the rollout, Fleetwood will show all-new floorplans for its for top-selling Bounder, Bounder Classic, Southwind and Discovery.
Fleetwood is also launching two new floorplans for its innovative compact diesel pusher, the Excursion. The 35B and 35C both boast contemporary layouts and design throughout including a mid-coach Whirlpool 18-cubic foot residential refrigerator and wrap-around kitchen providing functionality and an abundant space for cooking and dining.
“We listened to feedback directly from our customers in creating these new floor plans and designs for our 2013 models,” said John Draheim, president and CEO of Fleetwood RV. “Our new floorplans feature contemporary designs that will resonate with savvy consumers and our sales team is excited for the opportunity to show the new designs to both current and potential dealers.”
Fleetwood’s nationwide sales team will be on hand to show the new product and conduct product training. The company said that dealers should contact their district sales manager to schedule times for exclusive training.
The Fleetwood RV Open House event will be located just 1 mile west of the RV/MH Hall of Fame on County Road 6 at Frederic Drive in Elkhart. The product display will be adjacent to the Burston Marketing building at 52950 Frederic Drive. Complimentary lunch will be served daily.
For more information on all Fleetwood RV products, call 1-800-322-8216 or visit www.fleetwoodrv.com.
Nappanee, Ind.-based Newmar Corp. announced today that during the recently completed Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) National Convention in Indianoplis, the company provide 72 attendees with test drives as part of its Comfort Drive Steering promotion.
According to a press release, participants were awarded $100 in free fuel once they completed a test drive and a survey.
“Comfort Drive Steering is an innovative feature that makes driving a Newmar diesel motorhome a much more comfortable and easy experience,” said Matt Miller, Newmar’s president. “Unlike a slideroom, however, Comfort Drive Steering can only be properly demonstrated during a thorough test drive. So we decided to allow our visitors to experience Comfort Drive Steering first hand at this event.”
The test drives conducted by Newmar personnel lasted about 40 minutes and covered roughly 23 miles. The course included secondary roads in addition to interstate roads conditions. Newmar made 80 test drive appointments available using four of its diesel motorhomes.
“I felt completely at ease driving the Dutch Star with Comfort Drive Steering,” commented Allen Polka from Comfort, Texas. “Driving the Newmar motorhome required me to place so much less pressure on the steering wheel to keep going straight or making a turn. It was like driving on auto pilot.”
Editor’s Note: The following is a blog from New York Times contributor Ezra Dyer offering a first-hand account of his experience driving a Winnebago Via on the family vacation.
After five minutes of wrestling with the electronic parking-meter station, I had my receipts to place beneath the windshield wiper. A roving meter maid would see that I had paid for my spot. And the spot next to it. And the one next to that, thus answering the question, “Where do you park a 25-foot Winnebago Via motor coach?” I’ll take spaces 113 through 115, thanks.
This year, the 2013 Via served as transportation for the annual family trip to the beach. We rented a house, but I figured the Winnebago in the driveway would serve as my oasis of solitude, a respite from the perpetual activity in the house. It also would serve as a sort of mega-sport utility vehicle, toting much of the luggage and assorted detritus to fill the six-bedroom rental.
At first blush, the Via seems unfathomably huge and ponderous; it may have only four seat belts, but its rear luggage compartment is bigger than some hotel rooms I’ve stayed in. Within a couple of hours on the road, however, I was throwing it into corners like the overgrown Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van it was.
To read the entire article click here.
Fleetwood RV Inc. will unveil a chic new restyled exterior for its top-of-the-line 2013 American Heritage diesel pusher Class A motorhome featuring 20 LED lights in a redesigned front cap at the Family Motor Coach Association’s (FMCA) 87th Family Reunion & Motorhome Showcase next week at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis.
The Decatur, Ind., company also will introduce a 36-foot, gas-powered Fleetwood Bounder Classic model that includes a full wall, street-side slideout at FMCA’s once-a-year national consumer gathering slated for Aug. 27-30 at the 250-acre fairgrounds on the city’s accessible north side.
In addition, 40 of Navistar Inc.’s Monaco and Holiday Rambler-brand motorhomes will be among the approximately 260 coaches on display at Indy – the first FMCA consumer convention to be held in the Hoosier State since Cincinnati-based FMCA staged a 1991 confab at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend.
”That will be more coaches than we’ve had at recent conventions,” said FMCA President Jerry Yeatts, adding that some 2,500 towable and motorized family coaches with about 8,000 people are expected to show at the late August event.
Attendees, meanwhile, will also see a $1.7 million motorcoach at the Newell Coach Corp. display as well as Newmar Corp.’s 2013 Dutch Star diesel pusher that’s been significantly upgraded. ”The Dutch Star has a completely new look inside and out,” Newmar’s John Sammut, vice president of sales and marketing for the Nappanee, Ind., manufacturer, tells RVBUSINESS.com.
Vendors offering RV accessories, components, supplies and campground information will display their wares inside Champions Hall.
While move-in days are Saturday and Sunday, a special preview of the motorhome exhibits will be held from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday. Regular hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through the balance of the convention.
Gate price for non-members is $240 per RV, while members pay $190. Daily admission for exhibits is $7.00 per person with children admitted free with an accompanying adult. Individuals with an active military ID are also admitted free.
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