While SkyDeck Industries LLC is adding two new floorplans to its unique SkyDeck rooftop patio design, the Lake Arrowhead, Calif., company has also announced plans to develop a hybrid diesel/electric motorhome chassis.
The company, which currently markets private label, SkyDeck towable and motorized RVs built by two Thor Industries Inc. divisions, Airstream Inc. and Thor America Inc., now offers three deck options “that will provide RVers with more entertainment options in the great outdoors,” according to Jim Teeter, SkyDeck president.
Among the new floorplans:
• SkyDeck LT, a low-cost, lighter-weight version of the original SkyDeck designed for entry-level trailers and motorhomes in the 20- to 30-foot range.
• SkyDeck LE, a luxury edition for upscale coaches sporting an enclosed fiberglass “umbrella,” that automatically covers the rooftop patio area of the coach. The LE also features a roof and handrails that rise upward at the touch of a button, as well as an optional hot tub.
SkyDeck Industries is also introducing a full-length SuperSlide system designed to complement the SkyDeck’s internally stressed roof, removing the need for sidewalls on trailers and motorhomes, according to Teeter.
Meanwhile, SkyDeck has formed a partnership with Ballard Power Systems, Burnaby, B.C., Canada, to introduce a new RV-Diesel-Electric drive (RV-DED) system, a modular drive system designed to enable manufacturers to build powerful RVs at lower price points while offering lower fuel consumption and emmissions.
The RV-DED is modeled after diesel-electric train engines and high-speed naval ship propulsion systems that use a number of small generators to provide electrical power. While SkyDeck’s system is designed to increase horsepower and reduce fuel consumption in RVs, Teeter said, it also eliminates the need for a separate generator for electrical services.
“With emerging power technologies entering the bus and RV industry at a rapid clip, the RV-DED system is designed to accept any power system,” Teeter explained. “We are currently in talks with two major OEMs to bring this highly efficient, cutting-edge drive system to RV manufacturers.”