Monaco: Alive & Well

Nearly six months ago, on May 16, Monaco and Holiday Rambler, along with Beaver and Safari, started a new journey under Allied Specialty Vehicles.

Monaco-RV-logoThe first part of that journey involved making some tough, but necessary decisions to ensure the continuation of the brands, President Mike Snell told customers in a recent newsletter.

One of those decisions was moving production and service from Wakarusa to Decatur.

“Much of the workforce was given the option to transfer to Decatur. We also worked with the company who purchased our Wakarusa facility to transition some employees to their operations,” Snell wrote.

“With a strong local economy and thoughtful transition planning, the overall impact to the area has been minimal.”

Another critical decision was to maintain distinct product DNA for each brand and to keep the company’s engineering, design, and product development teams intact, he explained.

“In order to do that, we opened a facility in Elkhart where our design teams have their own dedicated design area and shop. The entire team has been feverishly working over the last few months to bring you innovative, new features, great floor plans and stunning designs,” said Snell.

“We believe in designing quality products that fulfill our owners’ needs and desires; therefore our design process is a true collaboration between our engineers and owners across all four brands. For the past few months, we’ve been gathering your feedback through focus groups and two extensive online surveys. Your responses were highly informative and some even surprising.”

“We listened to those responses, and our design team made changes to key features to incorporate your input. In fact, any survey response that garnered a greater than 70 percent rating was automatically incorporated into our new products. When we say, ‘a coach designed by you, for you,’ we mean it.

2014 Monaco Dynasty Diesel Pusher
2014 Monaco Dynasty Diesel Pusher

“Interestingly, despite owning different brands, most of you asked for the same features in a new coach design,” added Snell.

“The only slight difference being that Beaver owners asked for specific wood species and unique furniture/trim design. Otherwise, the responses were similar and have guided our design.”

Many respondents shared that they would like more counter space and additional pantry storage in the kitchen area, as well as an interest in having a smart steering wheel and a premium audio system.

Many also indicated they prefer to keep the side exhaust, something Snell described as just a sampling of the great input the company received. He  pledged the recommendations were being applied to new designs.

The biggest news Snell revealed was the announcement the firm was making a “Return to Power.”

“For the past five years, engine restrictions kept us from offering big-bore engines, which limited our product offerings,” said Snell.

“Beginning with the 600 hp rollout in January, you’ll also start seeing 500 hp, 450 hp, 380 hp, and 300 hp models.”

“Part of our 2015 product line will feature the all new Roadmaster chassis. This gives us the ability to offer big-bore Cummins engines and a new world-class independent front suspension system,” said Snell, noting it is not an “off-the-shelf” standard rail chassis.

“Our engineers collaborated closely with Freightliner Custom Chassis to offer a redesigned Roadmaster chassis with unique modifications and tuning that gives you the ride and handling you’re expecting from our brands.”

“We realize you’re anxious to see our new products, and we’re anxious to introduce them to you. But at the same time, we all know that crafting well-designed, high-quality products is not something you can rush,” said Snell.

“We’re creating products that are unique and special in the industry, not cookie-cutter. Allied Specialty Vehicles has invested in our brands and is giving us the time and resources we need to create a stellar product line-up.”

Details

Allied Specialty Vehicles (ASV)

Basic CMYKAllied Specialty Vehicles (ASV) is a $1 billion-plus manufacturer comprised of brands serving fire and emergency, recreational, and commercial vehicle markets.

Within the fire and emergency segment, ASV offers a full line of fire apparatus and ambulances. Within the recreational vehicle segment, the company produces motorized RVs under the Fleetwood and Monaco brands.

Phone: (407) 681-4700

Website: alliedsv.com

Monaco

Mailing Address: PO Box 31, Decatur, IN 46733

Phone: (260) 728-2121

Websites: monacocoach.com

Worth Pondering…

Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.

—Warren G. Bennis

Read More

Stop Pulling Fuses to Tow

Vancouver, Washington-based Roadmaster, Inc. introduced the FuseMaster, a new product which eliminates the need for RVers to pull a fuse for towing.

Here are four excellent reasons to stop pulling fuses:

  • You’ve spent enough time with your face on the floor mat
  • Adventures in electricity can be, well, electrifying
  • Chiropractors are expensive
  • Engine lubricant is not a fashion accessory

“With FuseMaster, RVers don’t need to spend another minute with their face on the floor mat, gazing up into a black void, hunting for a minuscule piece of plastic playing hide and seek,” said Bob Vondra, publications manager at Roadmaster.

“FuseMaster eliminates the necessity of having to remove a fuse for towing, then having to reinsert it for driving. Once FuseMaster is installed, users simply flip a switch to accomplish the same task.”

There are four FuseMasters which, collectively, fit most vehicles which must have fuses removed for towing, Vondra explained. They are:

  • 76510 — Fits the majority of vehicles where a fuse must be pulled
  • 76511 — A longer version of the 76510
  • 76512 — Designed for two fuses that are required to be removed
  • 76513 — Replaces a heavy-duty 50-amp fuse

Details

Roadmaster, Inc.

Roadmaster products are designed, engineered, and manufactured at their plant in Vancouver, Washington with virtually every process done under the same roof.

Roadmaster FuseMaster

The reason for ‘hands-on’ manufacturing is simple: quality. “Quality starts on the inside, and when you control the process, you control the quality,” as founder Jerry A. Edwards is fond of saying. To our way of thinking, “quality first” is the reason more Roadmaster towing products are on the road today than any other brand—by nearly a two-to-one margin.

Address: 6110 NE 127th Avenue, Vancouver, WA 98682

Phone: (360) 896-0407 or (800) 669-9690 (toll free)

Website: roadmasterinc.com

Worth Pondering…

Why I travel: to learn and grow, to challenge myself, stretch my limits and foster an appreciation of both the world at large and the chair waiting in front of the woodstove back home.

—Tim Patterson

Read More