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Condor 33′

Originally Published in MotorHome Magazine

A WIDE-TRACK GM-POWERED WORKHORSE CHASSIS and deluxe interior decor are signature elements of R-Vision’s new 33-foot Condor Class A motorhome. After building travel trailers for several years, the company is making its first foray into motorhome manufacturing. The result is an interesting addition to the affordable end of the Class A market. R-Vision built this coach on the new Workhorse P30032 chassis, sporting a 17,000-pound gross vehicle weight rating (gvwr) — the chassis started as the GM P-chassis before Workhorse purchased the GM chassis business.

Chief among its improvements is a front end with a 13 1/2-inch wider track that improves the motorhome’s steering and handling manners. The front gross axle weight rating (gawr) is also bumped up by 500 pounds, allowing 6,000 pounds to be loaded on the front axle. Upgraded anti-sway bars, Bilstein gas-pressure shock absorbers and Michelin XRV tires further improve the drivability. Dolled up with a styled front end, Lincoln Navigator headlights and highline exterior graphics, this coach is a real head-turner wherever it goes. The 33-foot Model 1320 test coach sports a floorplan featuring a front living room with slideout, a midcoach streetside galley, a fully enclosed streetside bath and a rear bedroom with a queen-size bed.

The motorhome is base-priced at $64,586 (manufacturer’s suggested retail), including a modest option list — a second air conditioner ($784), a backup monitor ($868) and leather upholstery ($1,260), among others – which helped bump the final tally to $69,950. The Condor is fitted with a 7.4-liter (454-cid) Vortec V-8 engine and a Hydramatic 4L80E four-speed automatic transmission with overdrive. The mill has plenty of guts to do the job. During the test trip, we first hit a 7 percent grade, which slowed us to 57 mph in second gear, a suitable hill-climbing speed.

Downhill compression braking on a similar grade held us to a maximum speed of 56 mph at
3,800 rpm in second gear. A 0- to 60-mph acceleration test recorded 27.4 seconds. Even on mountain roads higher than 7,000 feet, the motorhome was a very willing performer that didn’t miss a lick on several long and arduous hill climbs. We found the motorhome to be very manageable and predictable in heavy traffic, as well as when angling around parking lots, side streets and through service-station islands. Severe crosswinds that sometimes can cause sudden white-knuckle moments were well under control, due in part to the extra-stable chassis. While accelerating up onramps, changing lanes or slowing abruptly for sharp curves, the well-balanced coach took everything in stride. The interior cab environment, with its leather-upholstered captain’s seats, is mostly comfortable and
relatively quiet. Drivers and front-seat passengers alike are treated to excellent forward
and side visibility. A couple of details bugged us, though.

The driver’s-side body-and-window assembly rattled and creaked incessantly, which was more than a little annoying. And it was difficult to read several gauges and the top of the speedometer due to steering-wheel placement. Other drivers may find the gauges more visible. R-Vision’s Condor is designed well for packing away lots of cargo. Exterior basement storage is especially generous, including three compartments that are full pass-throughs. The motorhome has a 1,960-pound payload capacity. It is capable of handling 1,120 pounds up front and 840 pounds out back before exceeding its respective front and rear gawrs. Cargo doors are easy to open singlehandedly because of convenient “slam-latch” handles, and stored goods are protected by thick and well-insulated door construction. The door corners are very sharp and can cause injury, so caution is suggested when accessing the compartments. Better yet, some padding or edge rounding-off should be provided. Storage inside the coach is likewise bountiful, including overhead cabinets and other enclosures throughout. The interior decor features cream-colored leather upholstery, pre-molded countertops, Pergo woodlike kitchen floorcovering, oak woodwork and high-quality carpeting in all zones other than the kitchen and bathroom. This model has a rather compact streetside galley with an L-shape counter, a three-burner range and double sinks. Despite this conservative work space, there is a significant amount of usable counter surface when the stove and sinks are covered. We started the standard-equipment Onan 5.0-kW AC generator and revved up the microwave oven, which made short work of dinner the first night. The following day, we used the conventional oven, which we always appreciate in any coach, to prepare a rib-sticking casserole. Adjacent to the galley area is a free-standing dining table that’s just right for two people to use in relative comfort. If guests are expected, a leaf for the table, plus two folding chairs stored beneath the queen bed, may be easily pressed into service.

The two of us were fortunate to have the backdrop of the mountains in full view from the
curbside dining-area window, which added pleasurably to our mood during meals. When our vigorous day was over, we found plenty of room in the coach for rest and relaxation. The living space, although not cavernous, is quite adequate. When temperatures dropped into the high 30s F later in the evening, the capable heating system evenly distributed warm air into all living areas. The sofa and the swivel rocker received a good workout during the trip. Although both were comfortable, we don’t think we would have chosen white leather as the color, considering our active outdoor lifestyle. During three camping days, we had a formidable challenge keeping the upholstery wiped down and looking close to its original condition. The bathroom’s 79-inch-tall corner shower has a partial glass surround and offers bathers plenty of wing room to clean up. Getting a good night’s sleep is easy on a comfortable and supportive queen bed. Although there is adequate side-aisle space in the master bedroom, there isn’t much extra room when dressing. What worked best for us was using the area at the foot of the bed in conjunction with added floor space in the hall when slipping into our duds. We had some problems at the dump station when it was time for service. Both gray- and black-water valves are positioned deep within the belly of this rig, rather than in the traditional streetside location, and it requires a time-consuming disassembly of other components to reach them for maintenance.

Furthermore, both dump valves are connected to a gimmicky push/pull cable system, rather than a more direct and dependable T-handle combined with a straight metal-rod extension. A silicone sealant blob misplaced by the factory caused us plenty of headaches as we tried to open and reseal the black valve. Better access to the hardware would ease this kind of problem. R-Vision uses contemporary assembly and fabrication methods and materials with its new widebody Condor line. Primarily, this consists of a welded aluminum-tube superstructure and composite vacuum-bonded wall and roof panels. Interior floor decking is a single 5/8-inch-thick sheet of oriented strandboard (OSB) over a 3-inch structural polystyrene subfloor with aluminum framing and a 1/4-inch plywood belly, plus a Darco plastic liner. The fully lighted and heated roto-cast vinyl basement-storage compartments are easily hosed clean, and integral one-way valves permit the wash water to drain away while keeping splashed rainwater out. Exterior 2-inch-thick side-wall panels are framed in 1×1 1/2-inch aluminum tube, insulated with polystyrene and lined with decorative lauan. In addition to aluminum framework, steel reinforcing belts are laminated into the wall and ceiling panels. All interior cabinets are screwed through this strip to ensure a permanent and durable mount. The Condor’s 3-inch-thick roof is framed in aluminum tube, with the entire assembly having a 1-inch taper for shedding unwanted moisture. Roof-frame members are topped with 1/4-inch lauan paneling and capped with EPDM rubber. Inward-facing ceiling panels are lauan as well. Finishing off the ends of the coach are molded fiberglass caps, with the aforementioned chic Lincoln Navigator headlight assemblies up front. R-Vision has created an attractive, livable and overall good-performing motorhome on its first attempt. Despite the random glitches in the test motorhome, its fit and finish, storage capacity and residential comfort were very good.

Combined with the Workhorse wide-track chassis offering a measurable leap forward in stability and handling, the Condor is an interesting, and potentially very competitive, addition to the lower-cost Class A market. R-Vision Inc., 2666 S. Country Club Road, Warsaw, Indiana 46580; (219) 268-2111 Article by: Chuck & Teresa Campbell Photos by: Chuck Campbell/RV Image

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