April '14

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rv-pro.com April 2014 • RV PRo • 71 to create a product at the forefront of the luxurious fifth wheel market." e process took about four months before ARV unveiled the Luxe at the Elkhart County Open House in September. Following some tweaking through the winter, ARV began production in earnest in late February at its 100,000-square-foot plant in Bristol. The company has not revealed any production targets, other than saying the first units should be coming off the line by April 1. The company did not rush through the tweaking process over the winter, but instead worked carefully to get everything right, according to omas. "We want the product to be right for the consumer to enjoy – worry-free and as service-free as possible, so we have taken extra time to get this product right because of the high-end luxury that it will be," he says. ARV expects the public will imme- diately take notice of the Luxe's unique exterior full-body paint scheme and once inside be sold on the residential cabinetry and appliances. "We are building a product that will be the best in its class," omas says. "e exterior will be unlike anything else out on the market and the interior amenities will be well thought out for the consumer needs. ey will be able to enjoy things as all RVing people do, just at another level of comfort as consumers continue to buy RVs and want to enjoy it in luxury, with all the beautiful surroundings they expect and we will produce a product that meets those needs." Bowerman adds, "ere's not a stitch of 'RV' inside the coach. Everything is resi- dentially based. Fit and finish will stand the test of time." A Close-Up Look e Luxe's exterior comes standard with full-body paint, which features numerous layers of clear coat with a unique paint scheme. "It's a metallic paint with a fade and it is also cut and buffed," Bowerman says. Among the exterior standard features are a six-point hydraulic leveling system, a power aluminum-wrapped awning with LED light strip, TV prep in the pass- through storage compartment, LED exte- rior marker lights, and a MOR/Ryde inde- pendent suspension and hitch pin. Like other ARV products, the Luxe's walls are made of 2½-inch aluminum tubing spaced at 16-inch centers, just like residential homes. e competition's walls are customarily built of 1-inch tubing. e roof is made out of 3/8-inch plywood and is well insulated. Inside the coach, the residential look is obvious, starting with the knotty alder, all solid-wood residential box cabinets with residential hardware, self-closing drawers, solid-wood trim and residential doors. The residential feel permeates the kitchen with the residential appliances: a 23-cubic-foot refrigerator, a four-burner range with convection oven, and a micro- wave. Other kitchen amenities include an additional water faucet at the cooktop wall, 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 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. A New Name in Luxury Fifth eels: PhOTO By MARk ShEPhARd RVPApr.indd 71 3/19/14 3:33 PM

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