TAMPA, Fla. – RV dealers, sales reps, brand ambassadors and influencers gathered Monday as Lippert Components Inc. and Keystone RV Company teamed up to offer demonstrations of an anti-locking braking system (ABS) that is currently being installed on all Keystone Cougar travel trailers and fifth-wheels.
“We’re here partnering with Keystone today,” said Jarod Lippert, chief marketing officer. “Specifically, their Cougar brand. They debuted Lippert anti-lock brakes on their Cougars back at the Hershey Show and of course Tampa SuperShow is going on this week so took the opportunity to outfit a fifth-wheel and a travel trailer with the ABS system and we’re giving anybody who wants a ride a the test track here at The Motor Enclave and showing them exactly what this system does in an emergency braking situation.”
The event took place at The Motor Enclave, an experiential motorsports venue located just a few miles from the Florida State Fairgrounds, home of this week’s Florida RV SuperShow.
The Motor Enclave includes a 1.72-mile driving circuit, a 2-acre dynamics pad, 100-acre off-road experience, 37,000-square-foot corporate event center and “the largest private garage community in the world.
Since the track at the Enclave is designed for racing, the pavement actually offered too much traction for the Lippert/Keystone event. To slicken things up a bit, the Lippert/Keystone team installed a couple hundred feet of linoleum and added a little soap solution for good measure.
Two Dodge Ram pickups pulled a Cougar fifth-wheel and travel trailer onto the linoleum at 45 mph and jammed on the brakes, exhibiting just how effective the anti-lock braking system operates. There was little or no swaying or fishtailing during the demonstrations – just safe, straight-line deceleration.
“We’ve had a lot of big, wide eyes and a lot of people grabbing onto stuff,” Lippert chuckled. “And they get out of the truck after the ride and they say, ‘I just can’t believe how it responded in that situation.’”
Anti-lock brakes have been around in the automotive industry since the 1980s and Lippert has been making axles since the mid-2000s, but about 10 years ago Lippert bought a Detroit electronics company.
“Between their engineers and our axle engineers, that’s how we came up with our product,” Lippert said. “There are other anti-lock brake system products on the market right now, but we’ve done a couple of things to ours to make it a little bit better, including integrating electronic sway control into the system. This system’s been in the works for about five years. We actually debuted it last year with Grand Design and now we’re expanding into more brands.”
Scott Taylor, product manager for Keystone’s Cougar division, said Keystone started production with the Lippert ABS system in all Cougar fifth-wheels and travel trailers last September.
“Of course we were familiar with ABS and we have a great partnership with Lippert and we felt really good about this program” Taylor said, “but it’s really nice to see it on a wet track and see it in action. I’m blown away with how well it absolutely handles.”
Taylor was quick to credit Lippert’s initiative in arranging the demonstration.
“We’d love to take the credit, but Lippert really did a lot. It’s been a phenomenal set up by them. We couldn’t thank them enough for what they’ve done. Cougar is a well-known brand in the industry and of course partnering together on this is going to be good for both of us.”