Motorhome Stars of The Rally
November 8, 2011
Filed under Motorhomes
More than 600 motorhomes of all sizes, types and varieties were on display during The 2011 Good Sam Rally, presented by DISH Network, held July 14 through 17 at the beautiful Deschutes County Fair and Expo Center in Redmond, Ore. And in between meeting up with old and new friends, attending interesting seminars and finding exciting products to enhance the RV lifestyle, there was still plenty of time for attendees to check out all the new bright and shiny coaches.
If it could be said there were any trends this year, we noticed a few: More and more outdoor entertainment centers and outdoor kitchens are being offered, and larger lounges and dinettes with expandable or pullout sections are becoming more common. We found quite a few standouts in the crowd that really shined.
Activity was brisk around the Winnebago display and among the hottest models was the 2012 Tour. It’s the company’s flagship diesel-pusher and it’s easy to see why. Power comes from a 450-hp Cummins ISL turbodiesel, and it rides on the Maxum chassis with a gross vehicle weight rating (gvwr) of 44,600 pounds. The chassis provides a lower center of gravity for improved ride and handling, and creates a full-width sliding tray for more storage room below the coach. The all-new 42JD model (base msrp $351,098) offers three slides, one of which is a full-wall slide; boasts the largest refrigerator in its class; a 36-inch entry door; 7-foot ceilings; a king-size master bed; and two bathrooms. The master bathroom sports his-and-her sinks with plenty of elbowroom.
The 2012 Winnebago Journey 36M (base msrp $246,498) was another new Class A that grabbed a lot of attention for its outside entertainment center — plus it offers a lot packed into a 36-foot package. It houses a large LCD TV and new extendable sectional dinette with a table and seating that expands to entertain guests inside. The kitchen faces the dinette and features a pullout island that makes the midcoach dining area very cozy and useful. It’s a 360-hp diesel-pusher on a low-slung Maxum chassis with a gvwr of 32,350 pounds and generous under-coach storage.
One of the favorites from the Itasca line was the Sunova 30A (base msrp $122,510) gasser built on a Ford F53 chassis with a gvwr of 22,000 pounds and a Triton V-10 engine. In that compact 31-foot length is a double-slide floorplan that features an innovative extendable U-shaped dinette. The hybrid couch/dinette can grow to seat up to six; the lounge area features a recliner and a 42-inch LCD that can be moved out for viewing even when the slideout is not extended; the bathroom and bedroom are huge and the inline galley has two pantries.
Fleetwood had a host of new products for Rally attendees to check out. Two sparkling examples were the Bounder 35K (see our test article) and the Providence 42P.
The Fleetwood Providence 42P (base msrp $313,740) diesel-pusher’s polished porcelain floors and huge bathroom really got some attention. So did its all-residential-level appliances and the vast spaciousness created when both of the huge main slides were opened wide. The popular extendable L-shaped lounge and a giant kitchen with roughly the same L-shaped layout inhabit one side. On the other side is a convertible couch and an innovative two-person dinette with a credenza and laptop station with room underneath for a printer. This coach is powered by a 450-hp Cummins 8.9-l ISL and has a gvwr of 44,600 pounds.
Also impressing the crowds was the 2012 Anthem 42DLQ from Entegra Coach (base msrp $417,541) powered by a Cummins 450-hp Cummins diesel and sitting on a chassis sporting a 44,600-pound gvwr. The Entegra, built by Jayco, has a new floorplan featuring luxurious living standards that begin at the tile entryway and don’t stop. The galley boasts a residential refrigerator, Corian counters and a hidden-drawer dishwasher; the main living area shows off raised-panel solid hardwood cabinets and distressed Ultraleather furniture; the large bathroom offers a rounded glass shower and his-and-her sinks, and a Sleep Number bed is featured in the master bedroom. This is an all-electric coach that runs off eight house batteries and power inverters.
The gleaming white porcelain tile floors; the upholstered, fully lit and ducted ceiling; the solid-wood cabinetry; residential appliances and furniture drew crowds into the quad-slide 2012 Tiffin 42 QBH (base msrp $301,280). But what was really striking was the volume of room in the coach’s main living area. Absent is the popular L-lounge — instead, a more traditional booth dinette and two sofa beds allow for a wide-open classic feel. Other features of note are rear vision and side-view cameras with defrosters as standard, argon-gas-filled dual pane windows, a slide-out front-mounted AC generator and a gvwr of 42,600 pounds. The 42 QBH also gains the new 400-hp Cummins turbodiesel.
Also on display among the dozen or so Holiday Ramblers was the new 2012 Vacationer 36SBT (base msrp $121,650), a triple-slide Ford V-10 gasser unit built on a chassis with a gvwr of 20,500 pounds. It offers a sofa with an optional sectional unit, a standard L-shaped galley in one front slide and a booth dinette and 54-inch loveseat sofa with a refrigerator and pantry squeezed between in the opposite front slide, making up a split but spacious living/dining area. A 40-inch LCD TV and optional fireplace decorate the back wall of the living area. A well-outfitted bathroom with a large shower, and a spacious bedroom with a full-size walk-around queen bed are in the rear of the coach.
Newmar showed off its completely redesigned 2012 Dutch Star 4342 (base msrp $324,771). A coach with a very traditional image, the designers wanted more curb appeal, especially since dealers and buyers were so familiar with the long-standing line. The living room and galley sparkle like an Italian villa. The floor is made of white polished porcelain tiles accented with black glass inserts, which complement the Corian counter- and tabletops. Black, gray and white tile inserts create a striking backsplash. The luxuriously appointed bedroom featured a king-size Sleep Number bed; a walk-in closet, full-height hanging storage and a stacked washer/dryer were highlights of the massive bathroom. The chassis, with a gvwr of 47,000 pounds, is powered by a new 400-hp Cummins ISL engine.
Another shining star Rally attendees found on the fairgrounds was the Ikon by Renegade. This massive and powerful luxury motorcoach can deliver up to a 30,000-pound towing capacity and features a triple-slide 34MC floorplan (base msrp $637,035) filled with leather furniture, top-notch stainless steel appliances, polished tile flooring with inserts, and Corian countertops. Other interior highlights include a stacked washer and dryer, 40-inch LCD TV in the front area (non-bunk option), a large bathroom with a huge tub/shower and macerator toilet, and a spacious rear queen bedroom. Outside there is an entertainment center with a big TV and sound system, and side-swing-door storage boxes.
On the smaller side, Roadtrek displayed a 2012 RS-Adventurous powered by the Mercedes 3.0-l CRD turbodiesel (base msrp $108,680). It offers sleeping for four or transport for seven, depending on how it’s made up. The rear sleeping area makes into a 69-inch by 78-inch king bed. A 19-inch LCD TV inhabits the entertainment center. The galley offers granite countertops with a convection microwave oven, and other standards include a macerator system and dual coach batteries.
From the compact Class B units to the majestic Class A motorhomes spread across the Deschutes County Fair and Expo Center, there was something of interest for all of the attendees. No matter what they were looking for, high-end luxury or a sporty road rambler, there were plenty of star-quality motorhomes to be found at The Good Sam Rally, presented by DISH Network.
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