September '20

Issue link: https://nbm.uberflip.com/i/1281821

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Page 102 of 172

Roadtrek Class B motorhomes remain a solid contender for Roadtrek as the manufacturer heads into 2021. Two product rollouts for the new model year include an addition to the company's Zion lineup and a new, value-priced model. Dane Found, CEO of Roadtrek, says that the RV maker plans to offer the Zion in a pop-top model. The pop-top option will be available both on the Zion and the Zion SRT models, both of which are built on the Ram ProMaster chassis. Found says the new option comes as a way to address current trends. "Today, we're finding many families are looking for alternate ways to travel," he explains, referring to COVID's impact on traditional air travel and hotel lodging route many families opt-in on. "The timing is right." Roadtrek also has a new model in the works, dubbed the Play, which also will be built on the ProMaster chassis. Also available with or without a pop-top, Found says this set of vans will be a more value-priced line that "has all of the comfort features of a regular Roadtrek." He says that the Play is primarily aimed at younger families looking to get into the RVing world at a lower price point but still have basic, comfortable amenities. The Play comes in at the same length as the Zion, at 20 feet, 9 inches, and the standard model sleeps two. With the pop-top option, it sleeps four, and for those interested, there's also an option to turn the captain's chair into a single bed. For the near-term, Found says the Play will come in simply a standard or pop-top version with the potential for other floorplans in the future. The new model doesn't come with additional options aside from color and pop-top choices and boasting standard features from the Roadtrek lineup. Found points to a second AGM battery and the under- hood generating system as other features of the Play. With the company's existing lineup, Found says there are plans to roll out 2021 models of the longer vans. "Mercedes made some changes to the unit when they brought out the 2019 chassis, so we've made some subtle changes to the equipment that we put on the outside like the ground effects," he says, but that "it will be a few months before we see the first one of that line." The bulk of other 2021 changes for Roadtrek include an update to interior options and a new coach control system. "We're going to be introducing some lighter interiors across all brands that we deal with including a lighter cabinet option, lighter floors, and countertops, based on customer PREVIEW 96 • RV PRO • September 2020 RV PRO ➤ NEW MODEL YEAR PREVIEW full-size car, or some front-wheel-drive minivans will do a good job," he says. "We use Azdel in all the laminated walls because it takes a lot of weight off the chassis." That lighter weight also goes back into better fuel economy and increased cargo capacity. In addition to new floorplans, the company is updating both interior and exterior looks across brand lines. Campbell points to modern accents like lobbies at Hilton Garden Suites for the interiors. "We're borrowing those looks and feels ... clubhouse looks with a casual, contemporary feel, lighter colors, silvers, and warm grays," he says, noting that the new interiors are intended to look "crisp, light, and simple" with less emphasis on decoration, and more on décor. On the exterior, Gulf Stream is freshening up its logo but sticking with the existing branded color scheme. "One thing that's really worked well for us in the past several years is sticking with a color palette that emphasizes the Gulf Stream blue, black, and white," says Campbell. This palette also makes the brand identifiable on the road, he adds. But updates to color schemes and floorplans aren't the only near-term goals for the company. "A lot of what we decided to do for dealers this year isn't necessarily product-related," Campbell says. "It's how we do business. We're just amazed at how well the dealer body accommodated the tough situation of the past several months." He says as the country and RV industry continue to navigate the challenges of an uncertain future related to COVID, Gulf Stream plans to "do everything on our end to give our dealers a product that's well-built, comes to them as quickly as possible, and is ready to retail as soon as possible." This includes a recent expansion of the company's production facility in Nappanee, Ind., and its pre-delivery inspection operations. "Our PDI dept is not run by the production facilities – it's run by customer service, which means it has a different boss than the factory," Campbell explains. "Those people are looking with a different set of eyes; they know what's going to come back. They're excellent judges of what should go out." Gulf Stream Coach, continued Roadtrek CEO Dane Found says the RV maker has a new model in the works, dubbed the Play, which will be built on the ProMaster chassis and will be a value- priced model. Additionally, Roadtrek has plans to offer its Zion and Zion SRT models in pop-up top versions.

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