Marking a significant milestone in the company’s brief history, Brinkley RV is set to unveil its first-ever travel trailer at the Florida RV SuperShow, which is Jan. 16-21 at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa, Fla.
The new line is named the Model Z Air, and it joins the Model G fifth-wheel toy hauler and Model Z fifth-wheel brands.
Brinkley RV – whose ownership team includes brothers Ron and Bill Fenech as well as Nate Goldenberg, Micah Staley and Ryan Thwaits – has come very far in a short amount of time. It celebrated its first year of production this past November, and will mark its second year of incorporation in May. As it stands now, Brinkley RV has 497 employees, 168 dealer locations, continues to expand its production campus and has several more model lines in the planning stages.
Goldenberg said the company is “super excited” to launch its first travel trailer.
“Everybody knows travel trailer is the largest segment of the market so, for us, it’s a big deal,” he told RVBusiness. “It also gets us into another category of buyers – who a lot of times eventually buy fifth-wheels. We’ve done pretty well in this upper-echelon category and it feels good to kind of spread our wings a bit.”
As far as the highlights of the Model Z Air itself, Brendin Green, an inside sales representative for Brinkley RV, said the new brand incorporates many of Brinkley’s signature elements including CraftSense wood trim construction, dovetail drawer joints, flush-floor slides with through-frame slideout mechanisms, Euro frameless square windows with integrated window screens and insulated blackout blinds, and an automotive-grade sealant package, among other features.
Items unique to the Z Air line include a composite floor atop a drop-frame chassis frame featuring over 100 cubic feet of exterior storage, one-touch leveling system, 5,600-pound axles, and E-rated Goodyear tires riding on 16-inch custom aluminum wheels.
Other Z Air highlights include solid surface counters, 18K variable speed main air conditioner and a 13.5K second AC unit, tankless on-demand water heater, heated enclosed underbelly with electric waste valves, custom LP box with battery storage, premium utility center with retractable 65-foot water hose, industry-first brass plumbing connections, and an industry-first low-maintenance roof that offers a 370-watt solar panel and pre-wired for another panel.
About the only option on this luxury unit, which will have an MSRP of about $75,000, are dual pane windows.
Green also highlighted the Model Z Air’s running gear.
“Suspension, obviously, is a big deal. It’s a home on wheels, so we need to do everything we can to help lessen vibration and enhance towability,” he said. “So, we’re using Lippert Road Armor Equalizer, half-inch shackle, greasable wet bolts. And then each wheel will actually have a shock absorber as well, which is pretty sweet. So, that’ll help big time with road vibration.”
While a couple’s coach is among the other configurations in the works, the first Model Z Air is the 295 offering 54-by-74-inch bunks in a private rear bedroom.
The 34-foot, 9-inch unit includes a 60-by-80-inch walk-around queen bed up front, a three-piece bathroom with a one-piece 30-by-42-inch shower, and a living/kitchen area featuring opposing slider, center island and large couch with theater seating and a removable dinette table. A 50-inch TV on an articulating swivel arm and heat-kicking fireplace are other highlights of the interior.
“We really wanted to make it as multifunctional as possible, so it’s a big open area,” Green noted.
Other 295 specs include a dry weight of 9,168 pounds, GVWR set at 11,495 pounds and an 870-pound hitch weight.
The first production models of the Model Z Air, which are underway at Brinkley’s original facility on Hackberry Drive – now coined the “feeder plant” – should arrive at dealer lots in March, officials said. A production facility for the Model Z Air is nearing completion at the company’s expansive campus on the southeast side of Goshen, Ind.
“We already hired the plant manager, assistant plant manager, all the group leads. We actually had them involved in the prototyping process, so they were a part of it from the frame up,” Goldenberg said. “So, when they start hiring, they know how this unit is supposed to be built. We’ll get the team, all of our core groups, will get started over at Hackberry. Then, when we move into the big plant (as early as April), we already have the people and already they know how to build the product.”