RV PRO

April '14

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70 • RV PRo • April 2014 rv-pro.com rv-pro.com April 2014 • RV PRo • 71 A ugusta RV recently began production of a new contender in the luxury fifth wheel market. It's called the Luxe, and befitting its name it's loaded with amenities. ARV 's inaugural floorplan for the 40-foot-long, triple slide-out Luxe fea- tures a rear living room, a front bedroom with his and hers sinks in the master bath, with an additional half-bath near the steps leading to the master bedroom. ARV expects this to become the standard layout. e RV maker will offer a second floor- plan with a rear entertainment center and single bath later this spring, and a third option is in the works, according to Josh Bowerman, national sales manager and a minority owner of the company. ARV intends to stick with the 40-foot length in all of its floorplans. Bristol, Ind.-based Augusta RV entered the RV market in 2012 with its midline Flex travel trailers and fifth wheels. High- end features of the Flex included high- gloss gel-coat walls, solid-wood cabinetry, and an eye-catching graphics package. However, from the company's incep- tion late in 2011, the desire to build a luxury fifth wheel was always there, according to Bowerman. at desire got traction early in 2013 when CEO and majority owner George Thomas, Bow- erman, and ARV's designer began to plan the Luxe. "We sat down and collectively agreed there is a market for the Luxe," explains Bowerman. "We felt we could penetrate the market. We wanted to build something a little different from everyone else." e prototype was developed to "test an idea, test a new styling direction and explore advanced towable technologies," according to the company. For the Luxe concept design, Augusta took the consumer's wants and needs into consideration. "Our team researched and compiled data to find out what consumers desired in a luxurious towable," says Bowerman. "We explored high-end residential housing, condos and apartments for innovative ideas we could incorporate into the Luxe. Our team is combining a high-end resi- dential look with cutting-edge technology Augusta RV's new offering takes aim at the luxury fiver market with a feature-loaded coach. By Steve Bibler Members of the Augusta RV team pose next to a completed Luxe luxury fifth wheel at the company's headquarters and 100,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Bristol, Ind. Pictured are (left to right): Catherine Martineau-Otis, office manager; Josh Bowerman, national sales manager; George Thomas, CEO; Randy Nielsen, VP of operations; Jeff Miller, CFO; Jeff Robinson, engineer; and Terry Mason, plant manager. ARV's Luxe comes standard with full-body paint, a six-point hydraulic leveling system and a MOR/Ryde independent suspension and hitch pin. The Luxe's walls are made of 2½-inch aluminum tubing spaced at 16-inch centers, just like residential homes A New Name in Luxury Fifth eels: The Luxe PhOTO By MARk ShEPhARd PhOTO COuRTESy OF AuGuSTA RV RVPApr.indd 70 3/19/14 3:33 PM

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