A significant answer to the RV market’s need for better fuel economy with Class A motorhomes will be launched at the annual Pennsylvania RV and Camping Show in Hershey, Pa., Sept. 10 to 14.
The show will introduce the all-new Avanti (which means “forward” in Italian) from Elkhart, Ind.-based Damon Motor Coach, the first motorhome to be built on the W16D front-engine diesel platform from Workhorse Custom Chassis LLC, Union City, Ind. The W16D is a 16,000- lb. GVWR diesel powered platform that is both lower and narrower than traditional Class A motorhome chassis, enabling lower, sleeker motorhome body designs, according to a Workhorse release.
The initial Avanti model is 31 ½ feet long and designed to be a more fuel efficient and easier-to-drive Class A motorhome, getting 14 mpg, according to Damon. Combining a sleek, low-to-the-ground, aerodynamic design with the re-engineered Workhorse chassis, the Avanti is expected to achieve up to 70% better fuel economy than comparable Class A motorhomes, based on internal test results.
The Avanti’s coach is nearly 12 inches closer to the ground than any other Class A motorhome and is 6 inches narrower. The low center of gravity, combined with the excellent ride and handling of the Workhorse chassis, gives it “an automotive feel,” said Matt Thompson, Damon vice president of sales for Avanti. “I think people will find it fun to drive. Certainly not like any other Class A.”
The W16D also marks the first appearance of the MaxxForce 5 V-6 diesel engine from Navistar International Corp. in a motorhome. The MaxxForce 5 is mated to an Allison 1000 Series transmission and produces 200 horsepower and 440 ft.-lbs. of torque. Other key W16D features include high-performance Brembo 4-wheel disc brakes, 50-degree wheel cut and electronic instrument cluster with full instrumentation and information center.
Workhorse plans to develop more fuel-efficient chassis technology in the near future.