Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. is expanding its Oasis Network of service outlets at the company’s truck dealerships nationwide, according to FCCC President Jack Conlan.
The Gaffney, S.C., chassis builder is doing so in a dual effort to better service retail customers while currying favor among motorhome builders in an ultra-competitive era when motorhome companies are forging exclusive chassis-vendor relationships.
“We’ve increased to 60 (Freightliner truck) dealers, which signifies Freightliner’s commitment to the industry to take care of our end users, as well as our valued OEM customers,” Conlan said. “We are going to continue to expand that network throughout the Freightliner dealer network. We have factory-trained technicians at all those locations that are trained by our folks in Gaffney on RV diesel pushers and, in return, those folks are about to satisfy the service needs of the end-users when they come to an Oasis location.”
Freightliner’s service network should appeal to OEM’s that may be considering taking a similar approach as Winnebago Industries Inc., Fleetwood Enterprises Inc., Coachmen Recreational Vehicle LLC and Newmar Corp., by establishing exclusive vendor relationships for part or all of their respective motorhome lines with Freightliner or one of its competitors, Conlan told RV Business during FMCA’s 72nd International Convention, Aug. 16-19 in Redmond, Ore.
“It signifies our commitment to our valued OEM customers by having a dedicated network out there that they can rely on,” Conlan said. “And in some areas, we are even developing relationships with RV dealers and our local Oasis dealers.
“For instance, Cunningham Commercial Vehicle in Phoenix  is working very closely with the local dealers in the Southwest and Phoenix area to provide them service by going to their facilities utilizing mobile service vehicles. So it does add a tremendous value to OEM’s like Winnebago who have elected to partner with Freightliner.”
Freightliner spokesmen in Redmond revealed one of the key new products they plan to introduce at this winter’s 42nd National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky.
It is “the first motorhome chassis in the 400-hp range with both a tag axle and disc brakes as a standard feature.”
FCCC’s new, 44,500-pound GVWR, tag-axle XC rail, with the current independent front suspension system, provides exceptional roll stability, maneuverability and ride, FCCC spokemen said. While augmenting payload capacity, the Ingersoll-Rand NL-10 tag axle includes an automatic load-proportioning system that controls weight distribution across all three axles.
“By adding the tag axle to our XC chassis with IFS and offering disc brakes as a standard feature, we are able to meet the needs of our customers who want a highly maneuverable, 45-foot motorhome with a 400-hp engine,” Conlan said.