June '16

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10 • RV PRO • JUNE 2016 rv-pro.com (which toy haulers are not typically known for), 1-1/2 baths and a 12-foot garage with king-size bed. MSRPs range from the low $80,000s to upwards of $100,000. The 420, introduced at last year's Elkhart Open House Week, has gained quick traction, according to Stevens. It features a side patio deck with entryway to the coach and direct access to the bath- room, thereby creating a circular traffic flow pattern in the coach. MSRPs for the 420 start around $70,000 to $75,000. Stevens says it is crucial for the Thun- derbolt to remain under the $100,000 price point so that it can stay below key competitors. He says the Thunderbolt construction stands out from the crowd with its extra 2-by-6 aluminum header stretching from the front bedroom to the back garage that gives the coach added support. Forest River was the first to come out with the 5,000- pound D-Rings that tie directly into the frame, Stevens says. He also notes the inte- riors are strikingly modern with stainless- steel appliances and blue accent lighting that ties everything together. "People walk into our coaches and say, 'These are like the same appliances I have in my home,'" he says. Stevens describes the typical Thun- derbolt buyer as being between the ages of 50 and 65, earning between $60,000 and $150,000 annually. Notably, they are more likely to boondock in their units than other RVers. "They don't necessarily set up camp in a campground with 500 other campers, but often prefer to be off the grid. With a 150- gallon fresh water holding tank, a generator, room for up to four storage batteries and a 12-volt/160-watt solar kit with up to three solar panels to keep their batteries charged, they can do that," he says. To improve marketing on the retail sales lot, Stevens encourages dealers to display the toy haulers in their toy hauler area, but also with their other high-end fifth wheels, so consumers can see other possibilities for their use. Stevens says a good portion of RVers looking to buy a toy hauler want a heavy- hauling fifth wheel with good carrying capacity. Fortunately, today's 1-ton trucks are capable of pulling up to 26,000 pounds and the new RAM pickups even higher, so theoretically, the toy hauler has room to grow. "A lot has to do with the comfort level of RVers and how big a unit they are willing to tow. We have something for each comfort level," he says, adding, "We're not pushing our customers to go bigger – our customers are pushing us. The toys people are taking with them are weighing more than they used to." Still, today's heavy-hauling toy haulers may be reaching their maximum limits, at least for now. "Between the RVIA's space restrictions of 430 square feet per unit and hitch pins that top out at 21,000 pounds, for our purposes, toy haulers for now have reached their maximum size, as far as I am con- cerned," Stevens says. Prime Time Mfg.'s Spartan toy hauler debuted in 2013. It is designed to be rugged and versatile for the most extreme toy hauler enthusiast, yet have all the beauty, comfort and convenience of a luxury motorhome. The Spartan is available in seven floorplans, not including the lower-priced Spartan 300 Series.

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