April '14

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rv-pro.com April 2014 • RV PRo • 89 compartment doors, with nothing out of alignment. As for longevity, Lafond points out that the seated coaches are designed for a 2-million-mile service life, and the shells for conversion are no different as long as they are taken care of. Once the coach reaches the converter, workers can begin building out the coach based on the results of a lengthy design pro- cess between the converter and the client. The Design Process One of the primary benefits that the end consumers in this market segment really appreciate is the ability to custom design their coach from the tires up. e level of involvement is up to each client. Some clients spend weeks specifying every detail of their coach's design down to custom-designed and manufactured drawer pulls. Other clients prefer a less hands-on approach, and depend more on the design experts to guide the process. In either case, customer service is the top priority with all the converters, and they will work with the customer to build what- ever they desire. e process often begins weeks before the shell is ordered, according to Bob Wil- liams, office and marketing manager for Millennium Coach in Sanford, Fla. e design of the shell must be determined first, including the number of slide-outs and the exterior paint design and colors. Prevost offers 12 different floorplans for its bus shells. Once the shell is ordered from Prevost, the interior design process can continue, and includes everything from technology and appliances, to fur- niture and fabrics. Finishing details are extensive, and the choices clients must make are from thousands of samples. ere are basically no restrictions on what clients can have built into their rigs. "e design process can take up to a year," says Evelyn Figueroa, vice president of Millennium Coach. The Conversion Process Once a coach arrives from Prevost, it is inserted into a complicated but efficient build schedule, according to Williams. features of their seated coach cousins, they have some unique characteristics which differentiate them, including up to four custom factory built slide-outs, increased interior ceiling height, and coach air con- ditioning options. In addition, Prevost can apply unique custom exterior paint designs right at the factory before the coach heads out to the converter. Strength is the biggest feature for a Pre- vost shell, according to Prevost Product Line Manager Martin Lafond. "The tolerances are very tight, less than one-quarter inch from one corner to the opposite corner," he says. To illus- trate his point, at the Florida RV Super Show, Lafond stood squarely in a conver- sion shell, which had the front-left wheel up on a boulder. Even in this seemingly twisted position, with the coach hard to walk in, the shell was straight as an arrow, and everything worked from slides to side W e l d e d S t y l i z e d f o r g e d S t e e l c o l l a r A U n i q u e d e lta c u t s a f e t y c h a i n l o o p T e x t u r e d b l a c k p o w d e r c o at b c P AT e n T P e n d i n g RVPApr.indd 89 3/19/14 2:41 PM

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