RV PRO

September '20

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90 • RV PRO • September 2020 RV PRO ➤ NEW MODEL YEAR PREVIEW Riverside RV Branch out. That's what Riverside RV did last year with the introduction of its Intrepid brand, which it is doubling down on in 2021. According to Chris Daniels, president and chief operating officer, the Intrepid was a bit of a "culture change" for the company, which launched in 2008 focusing on retro-style trailers. "We've always been known for the Retro," Daniels says, referring to the company's flagship brand. "We're trying to become more competitive in the industry, a little more mainstream outside of just that niche with the Retro product." But there's a reason Riverside is known for its Retro brand of travel trailers. They are immensely popular. And it's not a formula Daniels wants to mess with too much, although for the 2021 model year some exciting changes are coming to the Retro. First are the new color options. "We are doing some different color combinations – yellow, royal blue and an aqua with a navy we've never been able to do before," says Vice President Of Sales And Marketing Bobby Fish. New standard features included a black tank flush and a power tongue. Floorplans are something that do get shuffled around quite a bit in the Retro, and that's especially true for the 2021 model year. "We're adding some new, more family-friendly floorplans," Fish says. "Historically, the Retro's been a trailer that's basically been designed for two people – we just haven't had a lot of 'family' units. The 231 (floorplan) opens the door for a lot more families." He's specifically referring to the 231 EABH, which is the model that Riverside RV donated to Ellie Art and her family through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Ellie is a little girl who had been battling Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Her parents contacted Make-A-Wish and when they went in to meet and find out what Ellie's wish was, it was that the family could all travel together having adventures in an RV. The Foundation contacted Daniels about the Retro, and he was thrilled at the chance to help. Out of that donation came a new floorplan – the 231 EABH, which stands for "Ellie Art Bunkhouse." The trailer has double-bunks in the back, a sofa and Murphy bed upfront, plus a dinette and outside kitchen. And the bunks fold up to make room for extra storage. The Art family loves it, and Daniel thinks other families will as well. As for the 2021 models of the Intrepid, let's just say the boys at Riverside were more than a bit disappointed when Elkhart Open House Week had to be cancelled. "We would have had the full line at Open House," says Fish. The exterior of the Intrepid was not changed much from its debut look in 2020, but inside there are some new things happening for the 2021 model year. For example, all-new Furrion appliances, including an optional 12-volt refrigerator. Buyers who opt for the 12-volt also will receive a 50-watt battery maintainer, for when they are boondocking. "We're also going to be adding three or four toy hauler floorplans into the Intrepid product line," Daniels says. "All 102 (inches) wide, so they'll be wide-bodies. We're pretty excited about that. That's something we're really looking forward to." There also are five new floorplans coming out for what Riverside is calling its Intrepid Explorer. Daniels says the Explorer is in the 18- to 25-foot range, smaller and lighter than a typical Intrepid, that people can tow with a smaller vehicle. "It's still going to have the same amenities, it's just kind of a smaller trailer," he says. "Small and light is the way the industry seems to be still heading at this point. I know there's a lot of big stuff that's doing better than before, but you keep seeing the emergence of smaller companies coming out that are basically in direct competition to us in small, lightweight stuff." Another sign of Riverside branching out? "We've hired a Canadian sales rep," says Fish with a smile. PREVIEW Chris Daniels (right), president and COO of Riverside, says the RV maker is introducing five new floorplans for its Intrepid Explorer in 2021. Daniels says the Explorer is smaller and lighter than a regular Intrepid, allowing people to tow it with a smaller vehicle. (Pictured above is the company's original Intrepid trailer, which debuted last year.)

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