Workhorse Custom Chassis LLC plans to begin building a 20,700-pound gross vehicle weight (gvw) rated Class A motorhome chassis during January, according to Andrew Taitz, chairman and CEO of the Union City, Ind.-based firm.
The new chassis will bridge the gap between Workhorse’s 18,000-pound gvw chassis and its 22,000-pound gvw Class A rail, the W22.
The W22 went into production in late September and has been well received by motorhome OEMs, said Taitz and Tom Frey, president.
The 20,700-pound gvw chassis will include the same General Motors Vortec 8.1-litre gas V8 engine and Allison LCT 1000 transmission as the W22.
The Vortec 8.1-litre engine can produce up to 340-horsepower (hp) and 455 ft.-lbs. of torque.
The LCT 1000 transmission is a 5-speed automatic with electronic control. It is the same transmission used on the so-called entry-level diesel engine Class A’s.
“This means Workhorse now offers platforms that fit under almost all of the (gas engine) motorhomes being manufactured today,” Frey said.
Workhorse chassis begin at 12,300 (pounds) gvw.
The company also believes gas engine motorhomes on the W22 are a viable alternative to so-called entry-level diesels because the gas units can be lower priced and have performance characteristics that are equal, and possibly exceed, those of diesel units.
Meanwhile, Ford Motor Co., Workhorse’s only competitor in the gas motorhome chassis segment, began building its 22,000-pound gvw chassis during mid-November, said Ken Farr, recreational and commercial vehicle sales manager.
Ford’s 22,000-pound gvw chassis is an upgraded version of its 20,500-pound gvw F53 chassis. Both Ford chassis include 310-hp Triton 6.8-litre V-10 gas engines and the 4R100 automatic transmission capable of producing up to 425 ft.-lbs. of torque.
Market demand will determine the number of 22,000-pound gvw chassis that Ford produces, Farr added.