September '20

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56 • RV PRO • September 2020 RV PRO ➤ NEW MODEL YEAR PREVIEW COLUMBUS Columbus is offering a first-of-its-kind new unit, the River Ranch 390RL, which combines the storage and the interior height of a Class A motorhome with the tow-ability of a fifth wheel and a single-level layout like a travel trailer. General Manager Colin Dechant says the product has been in the works since last October and is the culmination of collaboration between the division's engineering and production teams. "The trend in the industry in fifth wheels has been to do an elevated front living room and in order to get more storage space an elevated back living area," says Dechant. "Typically, our fifth wheel buyers are a little older and not always stair friendly. This was the brainchild of our engineer, Ron Brown, to do one level and entry step like on a Class A motorhome." The new unit sustains the interior height of 84-inches by putting the HVAC system down in the underbelly and raising the floor. "Putting the HVAC into the underbelly had already been in play for mobile offices, it just wasn't used in a more prevalent approach to the RV industry. It still gives full pass-through storage of a Class A," Dechant adds. "We're taking all the key ingredients from key segments and presenting them in one." By putting the HVAC in the underbelly, the system functions like resi- dential ductwork with one single duct pushing heat and A/C with the same filtration found in homes. "It's the first time a towable RV has had an air cleaning solution going into it like this," Dechant says. "Coupled with dealing with COVID, dust mites and everything you deal with when camping it's now accessible to just pop off the lid, pop the filter out and slide in a new one. Just like in your home. That alone is absolutely huge." While basement systems have been attempted in the past, Dechant says they struggled to cool things down. But the air intake system came from the roof, by placing it in the basement there is less surface air trying to cool and the ductwork is removed from the hottest part of an RV, its top. Storage has standard compartment doors with composite flooring in the basement like what is used on pontoon decks. Composite floors are used on slide-outs as well to cut a little weight. The new unit falls right in line with full-profile fifth wheel pricing between $70,000 and $80,000. The 390RL has theater seats, dual vanities in the bath- room, a 60-inch by 30-inch shower, a walk-around king bed, a pop-up enter- tainment center in the bedroom and an 88-inch couch across the back. Meanwhile, the 392MB, which is slated for release later next year, is more accom- modating for families or couples who want an office or additional living area. It will have a mid-bunk when the sofa is down, bunk up and storage across from the sleeping and sitting areas. The bedroom features a full king slide and 60-inch by 30-inch shower. "We check both boxes. We appeal to the family or the consumer using it to work while on the road," Dechant says. "You can fit two full kayaks in the basement or bikes. There are possibilities for pull-out kitchens, pull-out drawers and more." SABRE Steve Troyer, Sabre sales and product manager, says the new 37FLL floorplan is the newest, latest and greatest front living floorplan that has everything. The floorplan has a traditional front living area with huge kitchen and what Troyer says is an industry first in a fifth wheel: A double loft with basement going into the rear bedroom and double loft up top. The living area also has cinema theater seats, opposing tri-fold sofas and blackout shades. The front living room has panoramic views, overhead storage, a breakfast bar, wrap- around solid-surface countertops and dual overhead windows. The large master bedroom PREVIEW Pictured below is a sketch of the 2021 River Ranch 390RL fifth wheel, which Columbus by Palomino GM Colin Dechant (pictured above) says is a first-of-its-kind unit combining the storage and height of a Class A motorhome with the tow-ability of a fifth wheel and the single-level layout of a travel trailer.

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