Born Free 21′

When it comes to designing a new motorhome, the high costs of mass-production virtually
demand a vehicle with mass appeal. Not so with Dodgen Industries’ Born Free 21-footer.
Unlike most Class C coaches, Born Free’s well-appointed 21-footer is neither a stepping
stone to a larger motorhome nor a design that can be altered to accommodate a growing young
family. The vehicle’s intended usage is as plain and unapologetic as its model designation:
Built For Two. Period. The new coach is actually a successful revival of an old concept.
The updated version shares little with its predecessor other than an idea, however; Dodgen
elected to bring it back as a luxury model, so the 2004 Built For Two, fitted with a few
options, is priced at $74,285 as tested. Developed around a solid Ford E-350 Super Duty
undercarriage and well-apointed van cab, the new 21-footer utilizes a drivetrain that’s
custom-tailored for heavier coaches. Relieved of the burdens of size and weight, the V-10
reacts positively to the slightest fluctuation in throttle pressure. When’s the last time
you saw a motorhome in “wet” trim snap off sub-15-second 0-60 times? On flat asphalt, the
passing-gear performance of the fully laden Class C was exemplary, closing the 40- to
60-mph gap in just 8.54 seconds. Running up the face of one particularly challenging 7
percent grade, the coach blasted up well in excess of 65 mph. Although the Built For Two’s
major design feature – relocating the entry door to the rear wall – essentially cleaves the
interior of the coach in half, the ability to open the door and look through the entire
length of the coach and cab makes the interior of the vehicle appear much larger than
possible, given the exterior dimensions. That effect is enhanced as you take in the lavish
surroundings. Light-toned oak is used throughout, while the galley contains a refrigerator
and a two-burner rangetop; mounted above the range is a microwave/convection oven. A slight
nose cone above the cab roof is home to cabinets or an optional entertainment center. We’d
strongly recommend spending the extra $495 to have the nose piece fitted with the 13-inch
television monitor and DVD player. What’s that old adage about good things coming in small
packages? Pick up the October 2003 issue of MotorHome for full test impressions and details
on the Born Free 21′ — then subscribe to MotorHome so
you can stay informed on the latest motorhome tests and previews, products, technical
information and travel destinations. Born Free Motorcoach Inc., (800) 247-1835,
dodgen-bornfree.com

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