A new player has entering the Class B manufacturing field with a familiar stable of brands.
Elkhart, Indiana-based Grand Coach RV, under President and CEO Darryl Connors, recently started production of a slate of motorhomes.
While the company and its owner are new to the motorized side of the RV industry, some of the brands it is manufacturing are not.
Grand Coach RV went into production in early April producing three product lines of Class B Mercedes-Benz Sprinter motorhomes. It has revived the Dolphin, Sea View, and Cape Cod high-profile brands of RVs, along with several other lines, yet to be unveiled.
The other names soon to join the lineup include Sea View, Concept, Honey, Marlin, Sea View, and Tropical Breeze.
Connors, who has extensive experience in the automotive and van conversion businesses, said he isn’t just entering the field to join the ride of a growing industry. He wants to shake things up and challenge manufacturers to achieve higher quality.
“I’ve had three RVs and I’ve had RVs from the best and I’ve had to take delivery and I have two pages of things that have to be fixed before I can use it and I just spent half a million dollars,” Connors said in a company news release.
“Whether it’s a half-million or $50,000, it’s the same deal. We’re going to build automotive style, and that includes quality control and inspection and finish.”
Connors further indicates that his three priorities for Grand Coach are brands, quality, and innovation.
As an example of innovation, he points to a water purification system that Grand Coach has exclusive RV industry rights to that will provide users with bottled-water quality.
The company has plans for another Class B model that will be built on the Dodge ProMaster chassis.
“It will be ready in about three months on a ProMaster that’s going to change the industry,” Connors said.
“The Dodge has been a value proposition. It’s the real deal. We’re doing some serious modifications to it that really change the product. It’s big in Europe and we’re going to be bringing it here.”
Connors said the initial goal is to produce one completed vehicle per day.
Although finding the right workers was difficult in the tight job market, he said he believes he has put together a solid team that will achieve his goal of producing a quality vehicle.
“We’re going to be a high-line company,” he said.
“We’re looking to be the best in the business. End of story. That’s why we’re spending a lot of money on inspection processes and quality control. Every dealer that we have talked to has said the same thing. Things show up with problems and the customer is upset and customer retention and CSI scores are all down. If you had a car and you picked it up and it had 25 or 30 things wrong, you wouldn’t accept it. So why isn’t it that way in the RV industry? We’re changing that. That’s what we’re going to do different.”
Dolphin features include a 11V convection microwave, induction cook-top, 2-way refrigerator, Truma water heater and furnace, 13,500 BTU roof top AC, 2.5 KW LPG generator, 2,000 W inverter/charger/transfer switch, and back-up camera system.
Options include power window shades, air ride suspension, 4-camera viewing system, and wood/leather steering wheel.
Key weights and measurements include:
- Base Curb Weight: 9,400 pounds
- GVWR: 11,030 pounds
- GCWR: 15,250 pounds
- Length: 24 feet 1.8 inches
- Height with roof AC: 9 feet 6 inches
- Interior Height: 6 feet 3.4 inches
A number of dealers are already on board to stock Grand Coach vehicles.
Your talent determines what you can do. Your motivation determines how much you are willing to do. Your attitude determines how well you do it.
— Lou Holtz