AUBURNDALE, Fla. – An enthusiastic group of All Inclusive Motorhome Club (AIM) members were on hand Friday evening (Jan. 5) for a significant unveiling at the Camp Margaritaville RV Resort in Auburndale during the club’s “It’s 5 O’clock Somewhere” rally.
Those on hand got the first look at the all-new 2025 Entegra Cornerstone Class A diesel motorhome – the first Cornerstone model to ride on the Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation (FCCC) SL chassis.
Also on hand for the event was an impressive congregation of presidents and CEOs: Jeff Sathers from Gaffney, S.C.-based FCCC; Ken Walters from Middlebury, Ind.-based Jayco, parent company of Entegra; andBrett Davis from leading Entegra dealer National Indoor RV Centers (NIRVC) with its home base in Lewisville, Texas.
Also on site were long-time industry vet Pat Carroll, Entegra’s director of product development, Jeremy Buckmeier, FCCC product manager for RV and commercial bus, and several team members from all three organizations.
Under mostly sunny skies, a light breeze and temperatures in the low 70s, Robert Bernard, FCCC dealer market and training manager, kicked off the unveiling event and introduced those who were set to speak – inlcuding Davis, Walters, Sather and Carroll as well as NIRVC National Sales Manager Angie Morell.
Morell noted that the AIM Club, now in its sixth year, sports just over 20,000 members and “we just feel like it’s really special to be able to unveil this here with you because it was based off your desires and wants.” (See video below)
She said over the years a strong partnership has grown between AIM, NIRVC, FCCC and Entegra, and that “we just feel really honored to bring all these (principles) together to make this big announcement.”
She passed the baton to Davis, whose NIRVC dealership was instrumental in the inception of AIM, and he, too, was quick to thank its members.
“We wanted to create an all-inclusive motorhome club,” Davis said. “We didn’t care what you drove or who you bought it from. All it had to do was have an engine in it. We wanted to … have you all be active in the lifestyle, develop friendships and relationships. That was the dream and you all have made the dream a reality and more. I can’t thank you enough for that.”
He also thanked FCCC and Entegra, both of whom, he said, “have been on board from Day One. Freightliner and Entegra representatives have attended virtually every one of the rallies and events. Thank you very much. Very much.”
Walters told the crowd, “Hey, this is a big deal for us. …Thanks for inviting me out. This has been a long time coming. We’ve got this thing all hidden and set aside behind us, but I think, with Jeff (Sather) and I standing here together, it’s probably relatively obvious (what’s under the cloth). … Our focus has been building the quietest, best-handling coach on the market – period.”
He continued that customer service is paramount with Entegra, as it is with FCCC.
“Our partnership with Freightliner was really natural. We’re their largest customer in the Super C segment and one of their largest customers overall. We love their focus on the customer the same as ours. We look at it the same way, so the partnership was really natural,” Walters said.
He also called out Carroll as “the best product developer of diesel product ever in this industry – ever – and he’s been doing it for a reeeeaaally long time,” he chuckled.
He also noted that Entegra is the biggest and best-selling brand for NIRVC and “they are our biggest and best-selling Entegra dealer, so the partnership has really evolved a long way and I’m proud to call Brett (Davis) a friend. We’re excited to be here with Jeff (Sather) and his team, and he has so much more to add to what we have in front of us here.”
Sather said FCCC has been working with Entegra for many years. “They are special at bringing out innovation and had the foresight to see what the S2 RV could do – that Super C – and they have taken the market by storm with that, and in fact, Entegra is one of the top – if not the top – selling S2 RV out there,” he explained.
Entegra has that foresight, Sather continued, and “what they bring to this partnership and what we bring to the partnership is very similar and that’s a customer focus. It’s all about you. And if it wasn’t for the folks here, plus the other AIM members and other customers from around the country asking for what’s about to be revealed, we wouldn’t be here today. We listened to your voice. Thank you very much.”
Sather then asked those in attendance to count down to the unveiling, but instead of a 4-3-2-1, he led them in an F-C-C-C chant. (See video above).
After the giant black cloth was pulled from the coach, Sather explained it took FCCC 12 to 18 months to engineer and develop the chassis to fit the Cornerstone “and it was a joint effort between the engineering department at FCCC and, of course, Entegra engineers to make this happen. It’s not something you just all of a sudden slap a chassis underneath a coach and say, ‘We’re done.’ It takes a lot of work, and it has to be very specifically designed to fit.”
Sather started at the rear and moved forward, explaining features and functions of the S2 chassis, including:
- Cummins 605HP engine including 1,950 lb.-ft. of torque and towing capacity of up to 20,000 pounds
- RoadWatch suite of safety features like roll stability, traction control, collision mitigation and adaptive cruise control
- Entegra Safe View dash featuring Optiview, incorporating FCCC’s exclusive 15-inch digital dash and a 15-inch center console
- DriveTech ergonomic steering wheel and column-mounted controls.
- UltraSteer precision-tuned tag axle that reduces curb-to-curb turning radius by up to 17%
- Independent front suspension for sharper turning and better handling, as well as V-Ride rear suspension for increased luxury amenity and cargo capacity while greatly reducing body roll
- An industry-leading 5-year, 100,000-mile warranty backed by a comprehensive service network
Carroll took the mic next, saying Entegra is “really happy about NIRVC, this AIM rally, the group, the club. I take a bunch of good ideas from you guys. I take ’em back to camp and share with our PD (product development) team. I don’t tell ’em they’re your ideas. Their mine,” he joked. “But we want to thank you all for your business.”
Following the event, Carroll told RVBusiness the Cornerstone project was driven largely by customer demand.
“It is all about customer input, feedback and what they want, and we’ve had a group that wanted to buy an Entegra but wanted to see it on a Freightliner chassis,” he said. “They may have had prior good experiences with Freightliner, that S2 RV chassis, for example, or they may have had another manufacturer’s brand with Freightliner. So, there’s a lot of win-wins joining up like this, but it was customer driven. We wouldn’t waste engineering hours if we didn’t feel really good about where we were going.”
Carroll continued, “And this market segment is the only engine market segment – believe this or not – that is up in 2023 over 2022. The ISX engine category. So, when we’re looking at where we go in a somewhat soft market – we can’t kid around, it’s a soft market – it’s how we expand our footprint and capture more sales.”
Sather affirmed Carroll’s characterization of the customer-driven nature of the FCCC/Cornerstone partnership.
“The impetus for what we’re seeing here now with the Cornerstone actually came from the end customer,” he said. “Folks here at the AIM rally, they were asking for it. They were asking us, and they were asking Entegra.”
Customers are drawn to FCCC because of the customer experience after the sale, Sather said.
“For sure, yes, we can talk about all the custom engineering and proprietary components that are on the chassis,” he said. “But what really matters to the customer is when they’re out using your product and they have a problem, how do they get support? How do they get help?”
He explained FCCC offers an industry leading five-year, 100,000-mile warranty and a 24/7 call center that is staffed by people from the factory who have 15 years of experience.
Customers “get a live person and they can call us for the life of the product, not just the warranty period. Twenty years from now, still driving this product? Great! Call us and we’ll have all the details, be able to help them and get them the service or support they need.”
FCCC has 450 service locations across the U.S. and Canada and “more importantly, we have 10 parts distribution centers strategically placed around North America, that allow us to get a part to any dealer within 24 hours.”
Walters also noted the importance of the customer.
“That’s where it all started,” he said. “We had people who said, ‘Hey we really want this. We want a particular product.’ And we really feel strongly about their desire to have a Freightliner. We feel like it’s really important to give our customers the choice.”