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Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. (FCCC) announced today (June 29) that it has designed and is planning production of a front engine diesel (FRED) motorhome chassis.
The Gaffney, S.C., chassis builder said that prototypes for the new configuration are scheduled for the third quarter of 2005, and production will begin at the end of the year.
“There’s no question diesel is the optimal power plant for the RV market,” said Dean Schaper, director of sales and marketing for FCCC. “FRED is our way of showing gas motorhome customers they can have all the power, fuel economy and durability of a diesel engine at a price point that’s a very attractive alternative to gas.”
The new FRED chassis also features a lowered engine position compared to gas models, which will reduce or even eliminate the “engine hump” normally associated with front-engine RVs.
“Not only have we created a unique combination of value and performance, we’ve improved the formula by lowering the engine, which translates into real benefits for our owners – more room inside and better handling,” remarked Gary Poole, FCCC RV product manager. “With all this chassis offers – more torque, higher payloads, better fuel economy and the strength of Freightliner’s 400-plus service centers – FRED is going to make friends with our customers fast.”
The FRED chassis is powered by a Cummins 5.9-liter diesel engine mated to an Allison 5-speed transmission. The chassis will also offer a new, custom-tuned Hendrickson spring ride suspension, exclusive to Freightliner. The front axle design allows for a 55-degree wheel cut for increased maneuverability.