As a major supplier of towing and suspension equipment, it wasn’t surprising to find Roadmaster Inc. debuting a number of new products at the recent National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky., but one of them — standing in its own booth — was a decidedly non-Roadmaster-like product.
“Jerry Edwards (Roadmaster’s founder and president) is always looking for new products, something that’s a little bit out of our normal niche,” Wayne Wells, Roadmaster OEM sales manager, told RVBUSINESS.com. “When Stuart Gardner — who’s the ‘brains’ behind the Eclipse — came to Jerry with it, Jerry said ‘that’s a great idea.’ We’ll take anything that’s new and innovative and run with it. It’s a new product line for us, and Jerry’s trying to get out of just being ‘the tow bar manufacturer.’”
“It’s a completely new way to go about sliding out rooms on RVs, by using timing belts and having a four-point support system, where we’re not requiring any interior rollers,” chimed in Gardner. “It’s very simple in its concept, but takes a lot of high technology and applying it to the RV industry.”
According to a Roadmaster release, the Eclipse is designed to solve a number of major problems that sometimes plague RV room extensions. Entirely self-supported by its reinforced-steel belt drive and equipped with a side-mounted motor and a built-in manual override operated from within the RV, the Eclipse is said to end such ailments as sagging, non-operation and, due to its lightweight, modular construction, aids in installation and increases the gross carrying capacity of the slideout. It also reduces water leaks and road noise due to the synchronized even tension on all four corners — courtesy of its reinforced steel belt drive — that maintains tight, even pressure on the seals. There are no cables to deal with, and the unit requires turning just one adjustment nut for easy top and bottom alignment.
“While going down the road, if you have a typical slideout system there’s a tendancy for the slideout — because of passing traffic and the difference in air pressure — for the top to “pop out” a bit and allow water to get in,” said Gardner. “This is a very solid in-and-out system.” Internal water dams channel away any water that does get into the unit.
“Another feature is just being able to not have intrusive rollers on the bottom of the floor, possibly damaging carpeting and tile,” he added.
The Eclipse also doesn’t require use of a storage lock by the customer, and securely connects the slideout room to both the top and the bottom of the RV for improved stability. The low-profile design also allows for taller slideouts. Manufactured at Roadmaster’s new facility in Elkhart, Ind., it can be built for either straight- or contoured-wall applications, with an in-house engineering department available for special applications.
For more information, contact Roadmaster Inc., 6110 NE 127th Ave., Vancouver, WA 98682; (800) 669-9690, www.roadmasterinc.com.