President 32′

The use of commercial grade, medium-duty truck chassis for Class C motorhomes has been on
the upswing for several years now, and for good reason. These rough-and-tumble motorhomes
have developed an impressive track record for their strength, efficiency and durability
under the most adverse conditions, and are now much more sophisticated and technologically
refined compared to earlier platforms of this type. With the introduction of its new
President 32-footer built on a burly Chevrolet Kodiak C5500 truck chassis, Born Free hopes
to offer its customers the same upscale appointments and amenities found in the company’s
van-based Class C’s, but with a more sizable coach, increased residential features and
improved load bearing and towing capacities. “Several of our longtime customers were
searching for a motorhome larger than those formerly represented in our Class C lineup that
could accommodate increased intervals of travel,” explained Phil Overby, Born Free’s vice
president of sales and marketing. “We had also been contacted by several ‘high-end’ Class A
owners wishing to downsize into a Class C, while retaining many of the same qualities of
their Class A coaches. “We knew that we had to use a chassis with larger capacity to
accommodate these requests [and] found that combining GM’s proven Kodiak platform with our
new President 32-foot concept created a perfect fit,” Overby explained. Floorplans for the
President — the largest motorhome offered by the Humboldt, Iowa, manufacturer — are
available in several different configurations. Our test motorhome featured a layout that
most Class C owners would find familiar, consisting of a front lounge/living area and
midcoach galley, followed by a split bathroom with curbside shower stall and streetside
water closet. To the rear is the master bedroom. Born Free has worked wonders with the
residential outfitting of the President, with upscale decor treatments, solid-surface
countertops and plush furnishings. Aside from being the biggest Born Free, the President
may be the most luxurious. The sizable rig was surprisingly peppy off the line and away
from signals (later verified by 21.6-second 0-60 mph timed runs), and likewise gave a
strong and willing account of itself accelerating onto freeways. Even when cruising at
highway speed on the open road, the motorhome exhibited a ready reserve of midrange power
for pulling out and passing slower vehicles. If you’re searching for a roomier residential
envelope, classy amenities, increased cargo capacity, and the ability to tow a heavier
dinghy, this motorhome deserves a hard look. For complete details and full test impressions
of Born Free’s President 32′, pick up the December 2006 issue of MotorHome magazine on the
newsstand — then subscribe to
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