Just in case anyone thought the explosive growth in sport utility
recreational vehicles (SURVs) had subsided, a stroll through the
expansive aisles of the 45th Annual National RV Trade Show in
Louisville, Ky., in late November 2007 would have quickly convinced them
Although SURVs have been on an upward trajectory for several years, a
host of new brands and variants were highlighted at the 2007 Louisville
Show. Among the noteworthy new SURV entries were Four Winds
International’s Fun Mover (pictured right) and Monaco Coach’s Safari
Compression, which has both gas and diesel floorplans.
Newmar weighed in with yet three more variants of its All Star
midengine diesel with a new rear-loading (versus side-loading)
floorplan, a “reverse” layout and the All Star UTV (Ultimate Tailgate
Vehicle) featuring two full kitchens and an outdoor grill (pictured on
Also prevalent at the show were more Class B and C motorhomes
assembled on the relatively high-mileage imported Dodge Sprinter van
chassis by companies such as Coachmen, Fleetwood (pictured right), Four
Winds, and Winnebago.
The show featured more affordable motorized products from a
wide array of companies, among them manufacturers specializing in
higher-priced niches including Travel Supreme and Fleetwood’s American
Coach division. The show also introduced a number of new “Super C” Class
C motorhomes on midsize truck chassis — a trend embraced by such
manufacturers as Four Winds and Gulf Stream, among others.
Show attendees saw lean, new low-glitz yacht-influenced “Euro”
interiors in a variety of RV categories, from Gulf Stream’s Tour Master
Constellation Edition to Coachmen’s new Sprinter-based Prism Class C and
Leisure Travel Vans’ B-plus-style Class C Freedom II Libero. Also,
bath-and-a-half floorplans in larger Class A lines from companies such
as Monaco, Newmar and Country Coach (pictured right) offered coaches
with a second lavatory.
Of notable interest was the continuing growth in the numbers
and types of slideouts available on the market, with Damon Motor Coach
showing the first six-slide Class A. As part and parcel of this
continuing trend, space-economizing full-wall slides continue to gain
ground in a variety of product lines, from Gulf Stream’s Tour Master
Constellation to Fleetwood’s American Coach Allegiance diesel-pushers.
Jayco has also added a 36-foot Class C with a full-wall slide.
Of course, chassis suppliers also made news at Louisville.
Workhorse Custom Chassis introduced gross vehicle weight rating (gvwr)
variants of 22,000 and 24,000 pounds to the company’s UFO gas-pusher
chassis, while Ford added bigger gvwrs of 24,000 and 26,000 pounds to
its industry-leading gas-powered F53 series platform. Monaco, in turn,
debuted a proprietary front-engine diesel Roadmaster FD platform built
by Custom Chassis Products, a new Elkhart, Ind.-based partnership
between Monaco and International Engine and Truck Corp.’s Workhorse
Custom Chassis subsidiary.
Also on the chassis front, Spartan Chassis reported a record
number of motorhomes on display at Louisville assembled on the
manufacturer’s rails, while Freightliner saw an increasing number of
OEMs building on the FRED front-engine diesel chassis, including Damon
For more details about the “Best in Show,” pick up the March 2008 issue of MotorHome on the newsstand — then subscribe to MotorHome
so you can stay informed on the latest motorhome tests, previews,
technical information, products, travel destinations and more.