2012 Renegade Ikon 34EM
December 7, 2011
Filed under Motorhome Reviews
The RV industry is clever about producing vehicles that answer its customers’ specialized needs. The Ikon by Renegade is a high-end motorcoach, equipped with all of the usual top-grade features and amenities, but its difference is its chassis. Renegade bases the Ikon on a Freightliner Cascadia Class-8 truck cab and chassis and that feature sets the Ikon apart from other luxury coaches on the market.
As a standard feature of the Cascadia chassis, the Ikon is rated to tow as much as a 30,000-pound trailer.
That’s a heap of tow-along horse trailer, dirt or water toys, or other hardware!
We toured the Ikon at Sport Truck RV in Chandler, Ariz., (www.sporttruckrv.com) where company owner Darryl Elder was our guide and helped explain the motorhome’s details.
The Ikon is powered by a Detroit Diesel engine rated at 560 hp and 1,850 lb-ft of torque. Buyers who choose a coach built on this chassis might do so because they enjoy a truck-like driving position, the easy engine access provided by the tilt-forward front hood, the heavy towing ability or the long-term lifespan designed into each Freightliner cab and chassis. All are good reasons for selecting a non-traditionally-designed motorcoach like the Ikon.
Full-body paint on the glossy gel-coat fiberglass exterior is standard, and in this case, it’s a five-color custom paint scheme. Custom fiberglass moldings tastefully blend the truck cab into the coach body in an eye-pleasing manner. The four slideout rooms are cleanly integrated with the body and likewise, the basement-type storage compartments don’t detract from the vehicle’s appearance.
The Ikon 34EM floorplan includes a sofa bed and fixed dinette in the slideout aft of the driver, streetside, opposing a curbside slideout with a second sofa and the galley. The midcoach hall passes the 13-cubic-foot residential refrigerator, storage cabinets and the washer and dryer, plus there’s a second half-bath with sink and lavatory streetside. Out back, the master bedroom expands with dual slideouts including one for the bed and one, curbside, for the wardrobe closet and entertainment center. A master bath is wall-to-wall across the aft end of the coach.
You need a good base for a top-end coach and the Ikon features steel floor framing, aluminum wall and roof framing and laminated construction throughout.
High-end materials are used throughout the interior. All upholstery is Ultraleather in a Brisa Desert Clay color scheme that complements the Tuscan décor package. The cabinetry is sapele, a Brazilian hardwood, which also looks great along with the heated Black Galaxy granite floor with Giallo Veneziano accent inserts. The same Giallo Veneziano marble is used for the countertops. Other material options are available, as are nearly endless floorplan and cabinet variations. Both marble and ceramic tile line the shower.
Polished stainless steel accents the appliances, while polished nickel and designer hardware outfits the cabinets, sinks and bath areas. Tinted Thermopane windows throughout are complemented by MCD powered day-or-night shades.
Entertainment features include a 40-inch TV up front, a 32-inch TV in the bedroom, a satellite receiver and complete home-theater-quality surround sound system. An exterior entertainment center houses a flat-screen TV and stereo plus speakers.
Climate control features include three 15,000-Btu ducted air conditioners and a 40,000-Btu Oasis hydronic heating system that can double as an engine block pre-heater in cold weather. An optional cold-weather package includes an automatic start system for the 12.5kW Onan Quiet Diesel generator.
The windshield isn’t as large as those on some typical diesel-pusher Class A models but driver visibility is excellent. Standard power steering, power brakes and a pushbutton-controlled Allison TRV-4000 automatic transmission ensure driving is an effortless proposition. Excellent sound-deadening design keeps the cab and interior civil, even under heavy load.
There is a different feel to operating the Ikon with the steering tires up front ahead of the driver instead of under the driver as with most Class A coaches. The steering reaction time is different; not bad, just not the same as in a typical coach. Freightliner’s rack-and-pinion steering is precise and keeps the motorhome aimed where the driver wants it, and that’s the important detail when driving comfort is paramount.
The forward tire placement also helps reduce impacts from bumps in the road. The feel is firm and truck like, but also comfortable, and that’s a good combination when you want complete control of
a large vehicle.
We pulled from a stop to 60 mph in 31 seconds, and the 40- to 60-mph part of that run consumed 15 seconds. Those are good numbers for a 43,000-pound coach. Elder reported fuel economy numbers around 9.6 mpg during a Redmond, Ore., to Chandler, Ariz., run, and that’s also impressive for this vehicle. He also reported he had no trouble passing trucks in the slow lane on the freeway grades along the route.
Customers looking for a high-end motorcoach have a lot of quality manufacturers from which to choose. If a buyer’s needs include towing a heavy load during their coach travels, a commercial-truck-based luxury liner like the Renegade Ikon might be a good way to go.