It has been said that the only thing constant is change. Be it something as simple as
blooming spring flower or as complex as a multibillion-dollar corporate merger, change is
all around us, and every year it seems to happen faster and in greater proportions than
ever before. Historically, motorhomes have been a notable exception to this rule. Major
changes do occur from time to time, but more often than not they are incremental — a new
dinette here, a different countertop there, maybe a different floorplan or interior color.
But Fleetwood Enterprises recently broke that trend with an extensive remake of the popular
Southwind line. Incorporating more than 100 changes, the company refers to the renovation
as a “complete life-cycle change,” the most extensive in the line’s 32-year history. And it
shows. The Southwind looks new, with a fresh design featuring a more aerodynamic front cap
and a rear cap featuring sleek, bullet-nose tail lamps stacked atop one another. Three new
color schemes feature simple, tasteful graphics with the familiar Southwind logo, and are
designed to blend harmoniously with their repective interior colors, namely Sueded Tan,
Arbor Green and Whisper Blue.
The trained eye may notice other more subtle changes, like
one-piece aluminum-skinned luggage doors instead of the fiberglass-skinned doors used
previously. Or the bonded, automotive-style windshield that no longer uses a bulky rubber
molding. Inside, there are more changes. This year’s Southwind is available with three
all-new floorplans: the 32VS, the 35R and the 37U, in addition to the 36T, which carries
over with minor changes. All floorplans utilize a lofty 79-inch ceiling, which is now
completely flat from side to side. The Southwind is available on either a 22,000-pound
gross vehicle weight rated (gvwr) Ford chassis with 6.8-liter V-10 (except for the 32V,
which uses a 20,500-pound-gvwr Ford chassis) or a 20,700-pound Workhorse chassis with an
8.1-liter GM V-8 engine (except for the 37U, which uses a 22,000-pound Workhorse chassis).
For a base price of $104,125 and a fully loaded price of around $113,000, the Southwind 36T
successfully combines luxury and practicality in a solid, good-looking package.
For more details, pick up the July 2002 issue of MotorHome on the newsstand. Then subscribe to MotorHome —
so you can stay informed on the latest motorhomes, products, technical information and