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The Georgie Boy Manufacturing LLC subsidiary of Coachmen Industries Inc. will be the first motorhome builder to use the new Workhorse Custom Chassis R Series diesel chassis on a standard production model.
Georgie Boy will use the Workhorse diesel for its 37-foot Cruise Air XL, according to Workhorse.
The Cruise Air XL was available for special demonstration drives at the Florida RV SuperShow in Tampa last month after first appearing at the National RV Trade Show in Louisville in early December.
“We are very pleased that Georgie Boy took an early lead in building on the R Series,” said Tony Monda, director of marketing at Workhorse. “We now have this unit to use in demonstration drives. These drives are an important component of our marketing strategy. It is a ‘grass roots’ connection, where we can directly demonstrate the power and performance benefits of Workhorse platforms to customers. It is also an opportunity for us to listen to customer wants and needs, in order to continually upgrade our offers.”
The Georgie Boy coach also will be available for consumer demonstration drives at the FMCA Winter Convention in Pomona, Calif., March 21 to 23, The Great North American RV Rally in Louisville June 16 to 19, the FMCA Summer Celebration in Buffalo, N.Y., July 18 to 20, and Pennsylvania RV Show in Harrisburg, Pa., Sept. 10 to 14.
This first Cruise Air unit on the R Series platform features the independent front suspension option with a 55-degree turning radius. It also has the standard 350- horsepower (hp) Cummins ISC diesel engine with 1,050 lb.-ft. of torque, a rear cooling package, straight rail frame, 100-gallon fuel tank on a 228-inch wheelbase.
An I-Beam front suspension and a 400-hp Cummins diesel engine are among the other R Series options.
At Tampa, overall coach maneuverability and turning radius received a unanimous excellent rating from RVers who took demo drives, according to Workhorse. Handling, ride comfort, diminished noise and vibration, minimal body roll when cornering, steering precision, stability during braking and engine performance were other characteristics that received uniformly high marks.
“We were very satisfied with the feedback received form our first ever customer test drive of this unit,” Monda said. “While we know the numbers are preliminary, it was reassuring that nine out of 10 said they’d personally buy the R Series if they were purchasing a new coach. That’s the type of response we receive from people who test drive the W Series gas chassis.”
Georgie Boy is now taking orders for the Cruise Air XL for delivery by spring. Regular production of the R Series chassis is slated to begin in early April.
“We are excited about building on the R Series,” said Pat Terveer, president of Georgie Boy. “We quickly developed this option because of the great success Workhorse has had with its gasoline chassis, especially its W Series. Seeing how quickly the W Series took off, we wanted to be in on the ground floor and stay ahead of consumer demand for it.
“The R Series option immediately gives our Cruise Air a horsepower boost from 330 to a standard 350,” Terveer continued. “Plus, Workhorse has done a lot of the same innovative engineering with this chassis as they’ve done with their successful gasoline product.”
The R Series also increases the Cruise Air’s gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) to 28,000 pounds, and its 40,000-pound gross combined weight rating (GCWR) allows it to tow a heavy-duty vehicle.