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Gaffney, S.C.-based Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation (FCCC) will roll out its new Front Engine Diesel chassis — referred to as “FRED” — at the 37th Pennsylvania RV and Camping Show, Sept. 14 through 18 in Hershey, Pa.
This new diesel chassis, according to FCCC, will combine many of the features of Freightliner’s mainstream XC chassis with major improvements in current gas chassis offerings, all of which result in a “Best of Both Worlds” option for the customer. This new chassis, powered by a Cummins 5.9L 300hp diesel engine coupled to an Allison five-speed transmission and riding on a Hendrickson SOFTEK parabolic leaf spring suspension, is designed to offer RVers with a diesel option for their favorite gas motorhome floorplan.
“We conducted numerous surveys within the industry to identify the shortcomings of current gas chassis and integrated the features that customers wanted most into our new front engine diesel,” said Dean Schaper, director of sales and marketing for FCCC. “The introduction of ‘FRED’ will offer all the advantages of a diesel-powered chassis with the ride and handling that has become synonymous with the Freightliner brand. The time has certainly come for the introduction of this chassis, as diesel technology has made it possible to install a high-horsepower, high-torque engine up front and have the low noise level and performance that customers demand.”
“Our Hershey debut is more of a ‘sneak preview’ for the retail customer,” adds Gary Poole, RV Product Manager for FCCC. “We will officially debut this chassis in a major way at the 2005 RVIA Show in Louisville later this year. Our intent at Hershey is to support two pilot units that we delivered to Tiffin Motorhomes and Gulf Stream Coach” for prototyping their production coaches.
Both manufacturers will have units on display at Hershey.
“FRED” features include a 55-degree wheel cut, a lowered engine position that allows a “flat floor” in the front of the coach and eliminates the “dog house” present in the current gas chassis, a Hendrickson SOFTEK parabolic suspension exclusive to FCCC, an 80- gallon fuel tank, an increase in GVW to 26,000 pounds and a Cummins ISB diesel engine with 300 horsepower and 600 lb.-ft. of torque. It will also have the service support of more than 350 Freightliner dealers, a three-year/50,000-mile warranty and the benefits of membership in the Freightliner Chassis Owners Club.