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What's Hot for 2003-2004

Originally Published in Trailer Life Magazine

The RV industry has never agreed on a name for cargo-hauling recreational vehicles. People
call them sport-utility trailers (SUT), sport-utility RVs (SURV), ramp trailers,
toy-haulers and more. But whatever you call RVs with living quarters in front and cargo
space in back, the 40th Annual National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Kentucky, bore further
proof of their growing popularity. Here were some of the new-model debuts: Ameri-Camp Joins the Towable Crowd One
of the newest U.S. companies servicing the growing demand for towable RVs is American
Camper Manufacturing (Ameri-Camp). The company is currently expanding on an initial run of
“lower mid-priced” Ameri-Camp-brand travel-trailer and fifth-wheel floorplans to be
distributed through a rather large initial retail network. All but two of the 10 floorplans
have slideouts. American Camper Manufacturing (Ameri-Camp), (574) 528-6007, ameri-camp.com
Carriage Debuts a Five-Slide
The multiple-slideout splurge reached a new level with the
introduction at Louisville of Carriage’s 36-foot Carri-Lite Extreme-5 fifth-wheel, a
storage-rich unit with full-body paint that still manages to meet the industry’s
400-square-foot floorplan limitation. The Carriage five-slide features a pair of opposing
slides in the aft-end lounge, a mid-coach streetside galley slideout, and dual opposing
slideouts in the bedroom up front. Carriage Inc., (800) 325-9915, carriageinc.com Coachmen’s Georgie Boy Unveils Bellagio Class A
Georgie Boy units moved up in price points with the new 38- to 39-foot
2004 Bellagio Class A on a 330-hp (Cummins) Freightliner XC diesel chassis with full-body
paint and tile floor (MSRP is $180,000). Georgie Boy’s sister division, Coachmen, showed a
42-foot, triple-slide Sportscoach Class A on a 400-hp (Cummins) Spartan Mountain Master
chassis, earning an MSRP of $222,500 to $241,600. Coachmen Recreational Vehicles LLC, (574)
825-5821, coachmenrv.com Dutchmen’s Colorado
Towables for ’03
Drawing attention to its new lineup of midpriced Colorado travel
trailers and fifth-wheels, Dutchmen Manufacturing debuted a unique sunken living-room model
amid the sprawling Thor Industries Inc. exhibit. Employing a split-rail chassis, the
Dutchmen Colorado 35RL’s living room is separated from the kitchen by pocket sliding doors.
The aluminum-framed Colorado is available in lengths of 26 to 36 feet for $24,000 to
$38,000 MSRP. Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc., (574) 534-1224, dutchmen-rv.com Dynamax Adds Ford E-550 to Isata Sport Sedan Dynamax is
now assembling its longer, 31-foot Isata Sport Sedan Class C on a 17,500-pound gvwr Ford
E-550 Super Duty cutaway chassis, enabling the company to expand its line beyond the single
slideouts to more-elaborate units with higher payload capacity and storage. MSRP for a
31-footer is $119,350. Dynamax Corporation, (888) 295-7859, dynamaxcorp.com Fleetwood Reconfigures 2004 Towable
A completely revamped lineup of mainstream Prowler, Terry and Wilderness
trailers has been introduced by Fleetwood Enterprises. Each trailer is marketed in three
price tiers as 2004 models. The Prowler line, for example, now graduates from a standard
wood-frame Prowler to a laminated fiberglass Prowler Regal and then a Prowler Regal AX6
with aluminum construction and more-stylistic end caps. Fleetwood Enterprises Inc., (800)
444-4905, fleetwoodrv.com Forest River:
Mercedes Brand Gains Ground
Forest River’s new Surveyor Division, having focused
primarily on ultra-lightweight towables, has entered the Class B motorhome market with the
M-B Cruiser touring vehicle – based on Europe’s Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van. Because
Daimler-Benz is strict about body alterations, the only change that Forest River made to
the body of its fully equipped, $50,000-MSRP M-B Cruiser was to remove the back doors and
add a fiberglass rear cap. Forest River Inc./Surveyor Division, (574) 533-5934,
forestriverinc.com Gulf Stream
Gulf Stream Coach believes its all-new Atrium-brand diesel pusher – with
its mid-entry door, 7-foot ceilings and slideout sun room with floor-to-ceiling windows and
glass skydome ceiling – offers the most-spacious, storage-filled interior arrangement in
the industry. MSRP for a fully equipped, 40-foot triple-slide Atrium, built on a
Freightliner XC chassis with a standard 330-hp Caterpillar engine (400 is optional), plus
optional full-body paint is $210,000. Gulf Stream Coach Inc., (800) 289-8787,
gulfstreamrv.com Jayco Releases Sleeker Designer
Folding Trailer
The introduction of the 2003 Designer folding camping trailer
gives Jayco a somewhat higher-priced, slideout-equipped line atop its more conventional
Qwest and Eagle foldout brands. The Designer, replacing the Heritage, is streamlined in
appearance, thanks in large part to fiberglass front and rear caps, recessed taillights and
a one-piece, domed fiberglass roof. Twelve-footers are equipped with swing level galleys
and front trunk storage. Jayco Inc., (574) 825-5861, jayco.com Keystone Adds Fifth-Wheels to Innovative Outback
Repositioned Everest fifth-wheels, new storage-packed Laredo travel trailers, an upgraded
Montana fifth-wheel and the company’s first-ever Outback fifth-wheels were front and center
at the Keystone exhibit. The Outback fifth-wheel, targeted at the
under-6,000-pound-base-weight market, supplements a two-year-old, lightweight Outback
travel-trailer line that has reinvigorated the lightweight trailer arena with its
innovative all-white interiors. A 27-foot Outback has a base MSRP of $21,000. Keystone RV
Company, (574) 535-2100, keystone-goshen.com National RV Reintroduces the Tropi-Cal National RV
is reintroducing the Tropi-Cal brand in Class A motorhomes after shelving it in 2001, this
time as an entry-level, triple-slide diesel pusher on a Caterpillar 330-hp, raised-rail,
Freightliner XC chassis or, on the 37-footer, an optional Spartan Summit GTi with the same
engine. MSRPs start at $152,600. National RV also has unveiled an all-new lineup of
aluminum-framed, fiberglass-skinned Surf Side Lite trailers in lengths of 23 to 30 feet,
most models with slideouts. National RV, (909) 943-6007, nationalrv.com Pilgrim’s Open Road Towables Draw Dealer Crowd Pilgrim
International, new on the trailer manufacturing scene, has introduced an array of
extensively equipped, no-option, 24- to 32-foot travel trailers and 26- to 36-foot
fifth-wheels, priced in the lower end of the mid-price range. Pilgrim International, (574)
825-8686. Starcraft RV’s Off-Road “RT”
Folding Trailers
Starcraft RV unveiled an off-road-style 10-RT folding camping
trailer that the company says is as functional and livable in the back country as it is in
campgrounds. The 2004 RT’s 10-foot box is mounted on a durable 6-inch tube frame, with
Bilstein shocks, big, knobby 15-inch tires and enough ground clearance to avoid bottoming
out in rough terrain. Dry weight: 1,720 pounds. It has a gross vehicle weight rating (gvwr)
of 2,500 pounds, and an MSRP of $5,587. Starcraft RV Inc., (260) 593-2550, starcraftrv.com
Trail Wagons/Chinook RV Joins the
Slideout Parade
In its quest for a greater share of its specialized Class C niche,
Trail Wagons/Chinook RV has embraced the slideout-room concept in a big way by developing
two new Ford-based RVs – a 25-foot, single-slide Glacier 2500 and a 27-foot, double-slide
Summit 2700. The 2500 ($135,000 MSRP) sports a single sofa-equipped slideout on the
driver’s side, while the 2700 ($170,000 MSRP) has driver’s-side slides for the sofa and
bed. Trail Wagons Inc./Chinook RV, (800) 552-8886, chinookrv.com Travel Supreme Introduces SURV With Garage The
41-foot, rear-garage-equipped Travel Supreme ME mid-engine diesel-powered motorhome is
built on Spartan’s ME-2 platform and powered by a 400-hp Cummins power plant. The ME was
shown with a full-size, BMW-manufactured Mini Cooper on a hydraulic ramp that services the
ME’s 440-cubic-foot rear garage. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $300,000
to $350,000 (Mini Cooper not included). Travel Supreme, (574) 862-4484, travelsupreme.com
Western RV’s Aspen The new
Alpenlite Aspen travel trailer by Western Recreational Vehicles, towable by SUVs and
light-duty trucks, comes with standard Granicoat solid-surface counters and Maple hardwood
cabinetry. In addition, the first models shown at Louisville, 28-footers with an MSRP of
$21,500, were equipped with optional home-theater Surround Sound, stylish front and rear
caps, dent-resistant skirting, dual bike racks and rear barbecues. Western Recreational
Vehicles Inc., (800) 777-4133, wrv.com

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