In response to growing demand in the U.S. market for ultra-luxurious travel trailers, Marion, Indiana-based Earthbound RV announced it will pilot a new production program through the winter and spring of 2012.
“The customer has to spend 99 percent of their time working with members of the factory—working directly with our production manager, engineer, and art suppliers,” Earthbound President Charles Hoefer said.
Earthbound is now taking orders for up to 20 custom 2012 models for immediate
The program will be reevaluated in the spring when Earthbound will determine if the production process is viable enough to continue.
This move is only possible due to a shift in RV buying patterns in recent years, according to Hoefer.
“We are excited for this new direction, and for the encouragement and positive feedback we have had from customers. The RV climate is much different today. Where you once had a flood of $500,000 to $1,000,000 plus Class A consumers, we are finding there is a big shift towards appreciation for towable luxuries. For a fraction of the price, we can out-style, out-perform, and outclass the 40-foot diesels with a 30-foot ultra-light composite coach you can tow with almost any luxury V8 SUV.”
According to Earthbound this new offering provides multiple advantages for the luxury travel consumer, that were not previously available in modern camping:
Mobility: Use of exclusively composite and alternative wood-free materials allows for superior performance in weight, aerodynamics, and overall towability. A unit with options will weigh 5,000-5,800 pounds, which makes for a smooth tow with Mercedes, Volkswagen, Porsche, Jeep, Cadillac, Ford, and Lincoln SUVs. Once at the campground, owners have the option of using their tow vehicle as a daily driver capable of up to 28 highway mpg in some diesel models.
Design: Each unit can be tailored to meet customer tastes and preferences. Interior and exterior premium automotive paint in any color is standard, and countertops, fabrics, and furniture are customizable. Paint matching a tow vehicle is no problem. The cabinetry is a propriety composite system using thermoplastics and aluminum with a revolutionary surface that can be digitally customized to reflect any print imaginable. Walk inside an Earthbound, and one gets the sense of stepping inside a multi-million dollar yacht or private aircraft.
Technology: Earthbound offers plenty of technology as well. “The entry steps extend and retract, which is a first for towables,” Earthbound VP of Marketing, David B. Hoefer said. “The awning is automated. LED TV’s, HDMI capability, advanced satellite and military-grade solar systems are just several of the features available.”
“True” green technology: The materials and the company’s environmental awareness are apparent everywhere. “Our formaldehyde levels for a just-built unit that has not left the factory are 0.02 parts per million,” said David Hoefer. “This is equivalent to outdoor air quality in many areas around the U.S., and is off the charts for clean air in an RV. We publish our independent test results on our website for all to see.” The lack of formaldehyde and VOC-based building products is the reason for clean air. The factory produces very little waste that can’t be reused.
Dave Hoefer Sr., Earthbound’s founder and an industry icon, first had his vision for composite RVs in the late 1990s, and he worked for years amidst stout industry opposition. “The dream was to build an RV for the 21st century,” he said. His prior achievements include founding Dutchmen RV and co-founding Four Winds RV, which he sold to Thor Industries Inc. He also co-founded Dutch Housing, Hart Housing, and managed and consulted for a number of other manufacturers.
“We are still very small, so it is hard to gain the approval of the industry,” he said. “We have global demand on every continent and have devoted a number of resources towards future international builds. However, for the immediate future, U.S. and Canadian customers will have our full devotion of resources to work directly with them to create real works of art. These units will be special for years to come.”
Units range in price between $127,900 and $147,900 plus options.
Earthbound has received substantial recognition for technological achievements in recent years. In 2010, the company was named “Green RV of the Year” by the consumer review website Roaming Times, was featured in Men’s Journal, and graced the covers of many RV publications in North America. More recently, Earthbounds have appeared on The Travel Channel, HGTV, and Motor Trend Truck Trends.
Address: 1001 D East 38th Street, Marion, IN 46953
Phone: (765) 677-9090
We didn’t set out to create another brand of RV… we set out to invent an all new style of modern travel.
—C. David Hoefer, Earthbound RV and Industry Consultant