Few motorhome enthusiasts realize how much impact chassis choice has on
their entire coach — or how recent chassis developments have truly
opened up new worlds to motorhome manufacturers. And, chassis evolution
shows no signs of slowing down — especially at Workhorse.
Workhorse Custom Chassis, the company that helped to
dramatically change the face of gas motorhoming by designing
underpinnings with ever-greater weight-carrying capacities, now offers
an industry-leading 26,000-pound gvwr gas chassis — with the engine out
back. Or, you can order the same chassis with a diesel engine. In fact,
not only does the Workhorse UFO rear-engine chassis allow customers to
choose between gas and diesel power — hence its Universal Fuel Option
monicker — but the chassis accommodates either engine in the same space
package. But there’s more.
At Workhorse, “UFO” also stands for Universal Floorplan Option:
Company engineers reconfigured the drivetrain and frame so that
manufacturers can build upon a completely flat floor from front to back.
This means that coach-makers no longer need to conceal an elevated rear
engine cover with a bed frame, or a forward engine hump, allowing for a
truly universal open-floor design capability.
“The Workhorse UFO is a chassis that is out of this RV world,”
said Bob Wert, Workhorse vice president of RV sales and marketing. “It’s
one that will enable new choices for the RV customer.”
The gas-powered version, featuring an 8.1-liter GM Vortec V-8,
is already being put into service by manufacturers. Forest River debuted
a 2007 Georgetown motorhome built on the new chassis at the annual
Pennsylvania Recreational Vehicle & Camping Show in Hershey. The
coach will also be featured at the upcoming California RV Show in
Pomona, October 13-22.
“It’s revolutionary,” said Art Colvin, general manager of
Forest River. “It’s been years since anybody tried a rear gas engine …
Workhorse has developed an advanced cooling system that does an
excellent job of regulating the engine’s temperature. They did extensive
testing and a lot of preliminary work before they ever put this chassis
Other key features of the rear-engine chassis design include a
55-degree front wheel cut, Allison Series 2000 6-speed automatic
transmission, and proprietary front and rear suspensions.
“We’ve eliminated the choice RVers often have to make between a better riding versus better handling coach,” Wert noted.