RVAN 2600

During the last big gas crisis, you might recall a preponderance of Toyota-chassis
“micro-mini-motorhomes” dotting the landscape. Though underpowered, what these coaches
lacked in performance they made up for in fuel economy. And, when properly engineered and
equipped, they were quite capable of providing memorable family vacations. While a return
to “micro” coaches isn’t likely, we may be witnessing the rebirth of compact Class C’s —
except now, the chassis is DaimlerChrysler’s Dodge Sprinter, and the engine is a willing
Mercedes-Benz five-cylinder diesel, capable of a claimed 17-19 mpg. Bill Rex, president and
CEO of Rexhall Industries, is among many in the RV industry who are happy that a
lightweight motorhome chassis is available again. “We built about 10,000 of those little
Toyota motorhomes, until they stopped building the chassis,” said Rex. “I didn’t think
there was a chassis qualified to replace that Toyota until the Dodge Sprinter came to our
shores, and neither did the other manufacturers. I believe the Sprinter chassis is
satisfying a demand that hasn’t been filled in years.” Rexhall’s contribution to the new
Sprinter-based mini-motorhome movement is the RVAN. Based on a 159-inch wheelbase chassis,
Rexhall starts by extending the wheelbase to 190 inches, which makes a larger box possible.
But instead of stretching the chassis behind the rear wheels and increasing overhang,
Rexhall makes its addition between the wheels, which, according to Rex, improves weight
distribution and handling overall. Creating all the comforts of home in a comparatively
diminutive coach is a challenge. Even so, Rex is obviously proud of the finished product.
“When you go inside, you’ll see it’s not a little ‘B’ van,” he asserted. “It’s a real
motorhome. There’s lots of headroom, and the bathroom has a real shower and a sliding-glass
door. It’s even got a 3.4-kW AC generator option that runs on LP-gas so you don’t have to
pay for an expensive diesel genset.” The larger of the two available floorplans, the
26-foot 2600 (shown here) is available with living room and bedroom slides to expound upon
the big motorhome feel. To keep costs down, the RVAN comes with the basics, allowing the
end user to custom-tailor the coach to his or her own particular needs. In the living area,
there’s a sleeper sofa streetside, a dinette sofa curbside and three stowable tables. The
kitchen features a two-burner stove, double-bowl stainless-steel sink and an
eight-cubic-foot Norcold refrigerator. There’s no oven, but an overhead microwave is
available. Other options include swiveling cab seats, living area/bedroom television(s), a
lounge chair, a dinette sofa that converts into a small bed, and a high/low dinette table.
“We’ll pretty much provide people with whatever they want,” Rex noted. “All they have to do
is ask.” Rexhall Industries, (800) 444-9720, www.rexhall.com.

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