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A Dodge brand towable RV series by Monaco Coach Corp.’s R-Vision Inc. subsidiary debuted this week (Sept. 11) at the 38th Annual Pennsylvania Recreation Vehicle and Camping Show at Hersheypark in Hershey, Pa.
Dodge travel trailers and fifth-wheels are part of an effort by DaimlerChrysler Motors Corp. LLC, manufacturer of Dodge and Chrysler automobiles, to create an outdoor lifestyle around Dodge products.
“That is the way it was presented to us,” said Bren Lauck, vice president of sales and marketing for Warsaw, Ind-based R-Vision. “They want to make Dodge a way of life.”
Aluminum-and-laminated fiberglass Dodge towables are available in six floorplans, including toy hauler and bunkhouse layouts, in lengths of 26 to 33 feet.
Retail prices range from the low $20,000s to mid-$30,000s. Initially, the line is being built with existing R-Vision floorplans with Dodge-themed logos, graphics and interior décor.
“As we see the need, we will add and delete floorplans or change the graphics,” Lauck said. “We believe that we will get a lot of young families. The flip side is that we also will get people who are downsizing from larger RVs.”
Although certainly any pickup truck owner could purchase a Dodge towable, Lauck said the line is intended to be paired with half-ton Dodge Ram or Durango pickup trucks.
“They also want to hook up with a snowmobile outfitter, which is one of the reasons we designed three toy hauler floorplans,” he reported.
Lauck said R-Vision has signed up 26 RV dealers to sell Dodge travel trailers and fifth-wheels, including several during trade days Monday (Sept. 11) and Tuesday at the Hershey show.
Lauck said R-Vision intends to link a network of up to 200 RV dealers that will market Dodge towables in connection with local Dodge automobile dealerships.
“What we are trying to go after,” Lauck said, “is getting the local Dodge dealer to partner with the local RV dealer for marketing purposes.”
The planned dealer network for Dodge-branded units won’t be exclusive to existing Monaco dealers or directly involve auto stores.
He said that the three-year agreement with DaimlerChrysler calls for production of 700 to 1,000 units the first year.
“Dealers are accepting it (the Dodge series), but the retail public will be the final test,” Lauck said. “We think Dodge is going to do very well for us.”