TAMPA, Fla. – A segment that includes the multimillion-dollar custom coaches riding on Prevost chassis, the highest of the high-end luxury RV market always seems to hold its own despite market conditions as many of the consumers in this space are not as adversely affected by factors like high interest rates and inflation as buyers in other RV segments.
In addition to the Prevost upfitters such as Featherlite Coaches, Marathon Coach, Liberty Coach, Millennium Luxury Coaches and Superior Coach, the same can be said of OEMs like Newell Coach, which builds on its own proprietary chassis, and Foretravel Motorcoach, whose luxury units ride on a modified platform from Spartan RV Chassis.
And that’s not to mention a host of mainstream Class A builders opting for either Spartan or Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation (FCCC) as a base.
But whether a customer is spending $800,000 or $2.8 million for a motorhome, he or she is not likely to be deterred by the cost of financing.
“You know, we’ve stayed steady,” Tyle Fore, president of Texas-based Foretravel, told RVBusiness from his company’s display at the Florida RV SuperShow. “Our clientele, they still have the means to go out there. They’re not totally focused on the interest rates or the financing. So, we’ve stayed pretty consistent. It’s been very good.”
New and exciting at the Nacogdoches, Texas-based Foretravel is the company’s patent-pending Performance Choice, which offers drivers the option to select between sport and touring mode.
“It’s really taken off well and we’re very happy with the performance of it,” Fore said. “It’s on a Spartan K4, and we’re the only OEM who builds on a K4 chassis. With the addition of the Performance Choice system, we feel like we have a very good riding and handling coach.”
According to Foretravel, Performance Choice offers an anti-roll bar that improves handling in corners, cross winds or accident avoidance; dual auxiliary air-spring ping tanks, which improves ride and reduces cabin noise; and custom-tuned Bilstein shocks.
The system also provides an electronic ride control mode switch which allows the system to toggle in real time between touring and sport modes. The driver can choose the operation mode based on driving conditions.
Performance Choice will be standard equipment on all 2025 model year Realm and Presidential coaches.
Other new features in the Foretravel lineup include a motorized bunk in the Realm bunk model which converts to a closet. Previously, both bunks were fixed.
A laminate cabinet option will now be offered in the Realm, an option that previously was only offered on the Presidential.
“And then there are new windows and blind-spot protection on the 25-year models,” he added. “So, a lot of good improvements and safety features.”
Nelson Figueroa, president and founder of Millennium Luxury Coaches, based in Sanford, Fla., also said his business has remained steady but demand has been hard to satisfy.
“The thing that has happened to us over the past couple of years has been an increase in demand, but supply has been a little tight. The labor force has been a little tight, but now we’re seeing some turnaround,” he said. “The employment and human resources are becoming available – craftsmen – and also materials are becoming more accessible.”
But in an environment like this, Figueroa said he is very grateful for the understanding nature of his customers.
“I can’t go to our customers and tell them I’m late because I’m late,” he said. “My customers know – they live here, they understand business. So, they’re very understanding when I have to give them a 12-month lead time. That’s what I’m grateful for and it’s been a good thing for us.”
He spoke highly of Prevost, the chassis manufacturer he depends on for the base of his units.
“You know, this is the 100th year anniversary for Prevost,” Figueroa said from his Tampa Show display. “And this new shell right behind us that Prevost developed? You name it – from the suspension, to the way that it handles, safety features, driver assist program, body style changes – this year has been a year of remodeling everything. We call it a renaissance. It’s like a rebirth of something that was already great and making it even better – all backed by Prevost and that 100-year experience.”
With regard to the market for Millennium coaches, Figueroa said the company has remained steady amid “a couple of years where there was a little pullback in the Class A market. Interest rates scared a few people, but now they’re getting used to the new norm and that’s all coming back.
“But at Millennium, we never really lost that stride because we have pre-orders,” he said. “By the time that things changed, the coach was already half-way built. We’ve been blessed in that sense.”