April '20

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62 • RV PRO • April 2020 rv-pro.com the front and 295s on the rear. This feature will be unique to the XLT line and won't be added to the other brands, so as to retain it as a distinction among the three brands, he says. The transition to the new Freightliner chassis with the new digital dashboard in 2019 meant that deliveries were delayed until late May, which impacted Berkshire production well into mid-summer. With all that being said, Cunningham quickly adds, "I was pretty happy, considering Berkshire and Berkshire XLTs (sales) were almost even with 2018s. The higher-end segment did well for us." So, how is the Berkshire brand different from the field? "At the end of the day, we all use 75 percent of the same components," Cunningham concedes. "What we try to separate ourselves on is the feature comforts – like an individual water manifold system, which is very residential for our plumbing. That provides a point-to-point connection so each shower faucet has a full line going to it. We're trying to stay user-friendly there, so with two full showers, you don't fight the water pressure issues, or you can isolate a leak if you ever did have one." In addition, he notes, "the quality of our paint job is the second- largest investment in the unit, almost. It's far and above some of our competition." Berkshire features BASF paint, a high-quality European brand. It then adds four layers of clear coat, which adds to the gloss and UV protection. Other features include aluminized chassis skirts and hydraulic slides in the living room to handle weight issues. In the production process, Cunningham notes that sidewalls are left in the vacuum-bonding machine on average 51 minutes to ensure that the adhesives are bonding together well, while roofs and floors go through twice (for 102 minutes total). "When customers ask about the all-season aspect, this (pro- cess) will certainly help if we have a more solid roof, floor and sidewall," Cunningham adds. Other features include real cherry or maple cabinetry that provide "a true homey feel." Pioneer Brand Discovery Leads the Way at REV Group Since Fleetwood Enterprises unveiled the Discovery diesel pusher in 1996, the brand has boasted all the bells and whistles of a luxury coach – except for the price tag. The same holds true today as Discovery, still part of the Fleet- wood lineup but now owned by parent company REV Group, competes favorably in a crowded field of nearly 40 rival brands. Based on both Stat Surveys reports and internal audits, Doug Miller, product sales manager for Discovery, calculates that Dis- covery held the No. 3 spot in the 33,000-pound and above seg- ment by year-end 2019. Discovery and Discovery LXE comprise a majority of Fleet- wood's volume in this weight class, according to Miller. The bal- ance comes from Pace Arrow and sister brands, Holiday Rambler's Navigator and Endeavor. Fleetwood will soon begin to celebrate Discovery's 25 th anni- versary in the marketplace – a milestone that should not be over- looked, Miller stresses. "Discovery is a fantastic brand with a strong name and an awe- some owner's club, so we have a lot of loyal followers out there," he says. "It's been in the top of its segment no matter what price point it has found itself in over the years. "The coach of today has stunning eye appeal. It looks and feels like an ultra-high-end luxury motorhome with porcelain floors, heated tile, Aqua-Hot systems, roof line mounted rail awnings, beautiful full-body paint," Miller says. "It's got all the bells and whistles, all the features of a luxury coach with the exception of the price tag. "The Discovery is like the spoiled child – it's the one product The Berkshire XLT 45A features four slides and is available in a variety of configurations.

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