MVP RV Inc., Riverside, Calif., is taking an aggressive approach to the West Coast RV market with the recent introduction of the luxury Destiny fifth-wheel and the Tahoe Class C motorhome.
Scott Degnan, MVP RV vice president of sales, said that the industry shakeup during the Great Recession has left a void on the West Coast Class C motorhome market, and that a luxury fifth-wheel was the next step up for the company previously known mostly for its toy haulers.
”All the manufacturers who built Class C’s left the West Coast,” he said. ”There continues to be a tremendous demand out on the West Coast for Class C’s, including rentals. And we are in the biggest fifth-wheel market in the country.
In addition to the Tahoe minimotorhome and Destiny fifth-wheel introduced at the 48th Annual National RV Trade show Nov. 30-Dec. 2, MVP RV also redesigned the Jazz mid-profile fiver.
The new Tahoe Class C is available in three 23- to 31-foot floorplans with up to three slideouts on the Ford E-350 and E-450 chassis for a $62,000 base MSRP.
Additionally, MVP showed a prototype of an all-electric Class A motorhome in October at the 25th World Battery, Hybrid and Fuel Cell Symposium (EVS) in Shenzhen, China, at the behest of MVP RV investor Winston Chung, developer of the lithium-ion battery,.
The 42-foot 44,000-pound GVWR all-electric prototype, named the ”Winston” and purchased by Chung, is powered by Thunder Sky batteries produced by Chung’s China-based Winston Battery LLC.
Inside, the quadslide, tag axle coach has the look and feel of a diesel motorhome with granite countertops and tile floors. ”The only difference is that it runs on batteries,” Degnan said. ”It’s very quiet and has a lot of torque. It takes off like a golf cart.”
Degnan declined to specify the coach’s chassis or how many batteries it takes to power the Winston, which was developed on the hush-hush and isn’t likely to show up on the U.S. consumer market anytime soon. The prototype has no backup engine, gets only 180 miles on a charge and has a top speed of 70 mph. On the U.S. retail market, the Winston probably would cost in the range of $1 million, Degnan said.
”We are way ahead of the curve on this; we’re not ready for U.S. production,” Degnan said. ”It’s too expensive and America’s not ready for it. The diesel market in the U.S. has been hampered and this is more expensive than that.”
Another prototype, however, is in the works. ”We are going to build another one in Riverside in the near future and tighten it up a bit,” Dengan said.
The Winston was cited by Recreation Vehicle Industry (RVIA) President Richard Coon as evidence of forward thinking R&D in the RV industry during RVIA’s Outlook Breakfast Nov. 30 attended by more than 1,000 people as the national trade show opened.