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2016 Thor Motor Coach Tuscany Review
Donny O’Banion: Hello, and welcome to The World’s RV Show, going on now at Motor Home Specialist, the #1 volume selling motor home dealership in the world. My name is Donny O’Banion, and today we’re being joined by Adam Gudger who’s the national sales manager and chief designer of Thor Motor Coach’s Luxury Diesel Division. And, today, we’re lucky enough to have Adam come in and take us for a tour of the all-new 2016 Thor Tuscany and show us what makes this Thor Motor Coach’s flagship model.
Adam Gudger: Good to be back.
O’Banion: Really appreciate you being here, taking the time.
Gudger: Always my pleasure. I thought last year we finally took it to the whole other level, but we’ve done some new things, Donny. Thanks to your feedback and from our retail customers out there, I think the Tuscany, and I say this every year, “It’s finally where we want it to be.” But, what’s really exciting for us as a company is we’re continuing to try to raise that bar. We’re not trying to be satisfied. We had a lot of success last year driving this Coach to customers. More value for the dollar has always been our motto. We want to try to give you the most for your money. But, there are certain things about the 2016 Thor Motor Coach Tuscany Review that we felt were lacking just a little bit, and we wanted to take it to a whole other level.
The one thing that I’m most excited about, and it took the most amount of time, and the president of our company, Jeff Kime, actually thought I was crazy when I first brought it up with him; but, I really wanted to change the 2016 Thor Motor Coach Tuscany Review outside look and functionality. So, what we did is we actually tasked a couple engineers, for an entire year, to get out and actually redesign the whole body of the motor home on the outside because we wanted to make the Coach have taller basements. One of the things that we’ve done, and we were really the industry first to do this, is really focus on these full wall slide type floor plans. They’re going bigger, and longer, and better, because at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what motor home you’re buying, you’re all about square footage. What can give you more square footage than a full wall slide? Nothing. Then we said, “Okay, engineers, let’s see if we can figure out how to make them even deeper and longer,” but the problem with the full wall slide is that it really intrudes on the patio side or on the driver’s side of the Coach, depending on the floor plan. We were lacking in our basement heights, so we got with our engineering group and said, “This is really what we’re looking for. We want a better appearance, and we also want to have that height.” We went back in, and we redesigned the entire under carriage, and we were able to develop a new slide system with our partners in Lippert, and we now have all hydraulic slide outs on all our Coaches. The Tuscany is the only motor home in this segment of the industry to offer hydraulic slides on every single slide out of the unit. Hydraulic slides are more expensive, but they push more weight. They’re more reliable, and overall, it’s just a smoother experience for every customer. We did that, and we were able to increase the basement height by four and a half inches. We’ve increased our height of our storage compartments by four and a half inches. That’s like the difference between a sore back and not. You can get in and access, and even this one, it doesn’t have the full wall slide, but it has, even with the two slide outs on this side of the Coach, just so much more opening here.
You’ll also notice with these frames that go around the slides, they’re now two and a half inches in width. Before, we were six inches, so you can really see the slide now. It really blends in with these new great graphics. So, it’s all hydraulic and more storage. That was a big thing. And, obviously, we were very excited about this Amish hard wood that we’ve been incorporating into the Coaches with the cabinetry.
We’re all about trying to make the look better in the units, and with the Light Resort Cherry, which has been very popular. Surprisingly, this Melantra, this dark wood, which we knew was a little aggressive but very popular in the furniture industry, has also really taken off. We have these great new interior looks, and you and I talked about it, we just felt that the tile didn’t fit with the rest of the Coach. Very, very late in 2015 we put this really nice polished porcelain that we were able to find. It took almost a year’s worth of searching to find the right one, and we also redeveloped our entry ways. Just the whole presentation when you walk in the Coach now, it all fits together finally.
That was nice, and there was another thing, when you’re looking in these Coaches, it’s cabinets, it’s floor, and what else you see a lot of is the ceiling. We developed a ceiling package for all of our Coaches as well with LED lighting, and it’s really elegant. It’s not Las Vegas, too glitzy. It’s very conservative but elegant. Notches with our pocket doors. The other nice thing is a functioning air conditioning plenum, so it actually helps us even distribute our air even better than we had in the past. In fact, with the Whisper Quiet air conditioning system, we have one of the quietest air conditioning systems in the industry, but this has even made it even quieter and better for air distribution.
We did that, and one of my product development guys came to me one day and said, “What about push button start on the engines?” I thought, “Really? In a motor home? No way.” We did it, and I’m really glad that he talked me into it because when you have a high end, luxury type vehicle, (and what do you get in an automobile?), you get that push button start. Nobody’s ever offered that in the RV business before. Again, we’re trying to be the first to market with things now. We want to be the leader, so we’ve added that to our units.
Last, but certainly not least, we’ve incorporated THE best, in dash Nav System in the industry. We have a new Rand McNally. It’s 10.5 inches. It’s got all the features. It’s a monster. It’s a North American GPS. It’s going to give you a bigger picture. A lot of these companies put two screens in, and you don’t know which one’s which. This thing is like having, basically, a laptop or an iPad built right into your dash. Your perspective is there. It’s got the most reliable RV GPS in the industry, so we just tossed a bunch of stuff in this Coach and, fortunately, we were able to keep the price point to where we are right in the meat of the market. We’ve already seen the sales really taking off so far this year. We’re really excited about the results that we’ve seen out there.
O’Banion: The Coach has truly never looked better. The tile that you chose, I know it was an imported tile that took a while for you to get it together, but it looks fantastic. Again, with both the dark and light wood; and, something that we’ve been asking for, for a while, that you did, was bring us in some darker leathers as an option as well. All three of your interior packages look phenomenal. You literally cannot order a bad 2016 Thor Motor Coach Tuscany Review now. Your woods, your interiors, your exterior paint jobs has four new exterior colors.
Gudger: Five, because Mosaic, which was a late edition to our lineup in the Copper Fusion last year, was our most popular color, and I thought, “Well, let’s try something new.” So, we went with new colors which I think everybody likes, but that color was so popular that we had three or four people call out and say, “Will you paint us this?” So, we were able to talk the company into doing a fit. I think the graphics are a little bit more expressive this year than they had been, and I’m pleased how they all turned out. We only change our graphics packages every couple years, so it’s always nice to see something fresh at the market, and something new out there.
O’Banion: That made a lot of sense, especially with a new exterior body design, to come up with the new paint job, because the Coach totally has a new look, both inside and out this year. And, your floor plans. You had an incredible lineup last year, and it’s my understanding that you’re going to be bringing another tag axle model.
Gudger: I’ve been here now, this will be my fifth year. Hard to believe it’s been that long now, and we have added three new floor plans. We kept a couple, and we have three new ones that are relatively new, starting obviously with the 40 DX with theater seating. It’s got a huge 60 inch televator TV that comes across. One of the big phenomena’s over the last few years has been directional TVs. It’s still got a 40-inch TV that, when you put that one away and you have guests over, you really utilize the living space. The rear baths -- we’ve really maximized those. You can see the toilets and the sinks and the rear vanities sliding out, so it really creates more of a master bath type of feel. That DX is done so well that we’ve had a lot of people ask, “Why don’t you do something like that in the tag?”
So, the newest to market is 42 GX. It kind of takes everything the DX had, and then it takes it to a whole other level. Some people really want a tag axle, and so we took that concept and we’ve changed it a little bit. We actually took the dinette and moved it to the curb side, so you have patio side dining which I know a lot of customers have asked about. It allows us to put a fireplace in, which we can’t do in the DX because of restrictions because we want to keep that length down. So, we’ve done that. We also incorporated a larger shower into the GX. The HQ, which we debuted last year….
O’Banion: The new floor plan – I’m excited about seeing it, but I can’t imagine liking it more than the 42 HQ. I love the arrangement in the 42 HQ. It is so unique to the industry.
Gudger: Absolutely. With that open concept, where you really bring your entertaining in your kitchen area into the living space, it’s been really popular. With the bath and a half and that televator with the dinette space, it continues to do well. So, when we continue with that 42 HQ, and it’s one of its kind in the industry, and not to mention the 44 MT and the 45 AT.
O’Banion: I love the 45 AT. Here at Motor Home Specialists, traditionally what we buy the most of, what we sell the most of, are your bigger Coaches. Just seems like we just do better with those particular models, and as you noted, just like the additional floor space because it’s only a couple of feet longer, so it’s really not any more difficult to get them around. But square footage, when you talk two and a half, three feet, that’s 24 additional square foot in a motor home. So, there’s just a lot more you can do with the three feet. Obviously, we love the 45 AT. It’s what we did our video on last year. That’s the one with the forward facing entertainment center?
Gudger: That’s correct. A 60-inch TV up front. It’s got a 100 inch L-sofa?. It’s got this immense galley with a huge pull out galley extension which, for those full timers that we have out there, they really like all that storage that you get with that galley – by far and away our best galley that we have. It’s got a really nice rear bath with his and hers, or I like to say, “Hers and hers” sinks. So, that one’s great. But, then with the 44 MT you have it where it’s flipped, and you have that mid-living with opposing seating. There’s so many differences between the two Coaches that are really the same length. They’re both 45 feet long, and so it really gives you an opportunity to really decide upon what you really want your lifestyle to be, and that both will lend to a wonderful RV experience.
O’Banion: I know we’ve already covered a lot of ground when it comes to floor plans and colors and things of that nature. And, I know that all of the Tuscany’s are built on Freightliner chassis. My question is, “Are all of your 2016 Thor Motor Coach Tuscany Review now built with the 60-degree wheel cut and the independent front end suspension system regardless of floor plan?
Gudger: When you think about being a diesel motor home consumer, the thing that you’ve made a decision in life on doing is you’re going to use your RV more. You’re going to drive it more. You’re going to go further distances. You’re going to take more people with you. So, we really want to make sure that we can provide the most pleasurable experience when you’re on the road because, let’s face it, if you’re driving the vehicle and you like the way it drives, you’re going to use it more. There’s not a single ingredient on a motor home that’s going to improve the ride more than if you’re to put an independent front suspension on the Coach because it’s going to perform and be smoother. There’s less body roll and sway. It’s just a smoother, more pleasurable experience. So, by spending the extra money to do that, we’re the only company…. Let me repeat this, “We’re the only company in the RV business to offer an IFS in this price segment.” In addition to the ride and drive aspects, it’s also going to allow you to navigate and turn the vehicle easier. What’s nice about these tags is that there’s a switch inside that enables you to take all the pressure off the tag wheels, and so your pivot point is on the drive axle, and then when you improve the wheel cut by an extra five degrees, which is what happens….
O’Banion: That’s a lot.
Gudger: It’s a huge amount. So, when you can cut that wheel base down, and then improve the wheel cut, it’ll blow you away when you see the difference in the way it turns. That’s a huge part of it. We don’t stop there, Donny. We actually go further than that. We’ve invested more in tire size. Again, other companies out there that we compete against, they choose to run a 275 80-R tire. We’re running a 295 tire. We’re going to put bigger tires on, better axles, and bigger fuel tanks. We actually have a 150-gallon fuel tank that we’re offering on every model of Thor Tuscany when most of our competition, I think actually everybody, is running 100 gallon. We’re going to keep you out of the fuel stations and on the road because you get 50% more fuel capacity than others. We’re putting a 15K hitch on the tags which a lot of companies run a 10K hitch. So, there’s a lot of things on this chassis that we’re doing that are exceptional. On top of that, we have MORryde, who’s a company right there locally in Elkhart County that does all of our outfit for us. All of our structure is designed specifically with our mechanical engineering group and theirs. The two groups of degreed engineers get together and really balance it out because, at the end of the day, how well this Coach is balanced, the better the Coach is going to ride. All those things together really just make for a fantastic experience and one that I think everybody should come out and check out.
Speaking of fuel tanks, and one of the things I had mentioned earlier, is with the body design. You’ll notice here, if you’re looking down this Coach, it’s a completely straight belt line down the body of the Coach. One of the things that we did when we redesigned our body, our under carriage, and then our slide systems, is that we actually had to relocate our fuel tanks and fills. So, you’ll notice these dual fuel fills now are up above the belt line. You’ll notice right next door to this fuel tank set up is our keyless entry. We do offer keyless entry on all our Coaches. There’s also a key FOB and a switch on the dash for the basement as well. You have your entry door, and you have your baggage doors are all set up on automatic locks. How nice is that when you’re getting ready to go? You just hold down a button, and it locks all the doors. You’re not having to get down there and have to turn the key every time. Obviously, when you’re doing that, you’re not having to bend down as much, because the thing that really makes this Coach extra special this year is this basement height improvement. You’ll notice four and a half inches of increased height, so THE best basement design that I’ve come across since I’ve been in the industry.
We’ve also done some things that improve the ceiling – not to say we had an issue -- but just improved because, obviously, you get into those gravel roads and different places where there could be an issue. We’ve added a return to the top of our doors. That keeps any condensation from finding its way in. Even the shape of the opening, there’s a crown to, and that’s all done to improve upon our ceiling of our aluminum, well-insulated baggage compartments on this Coach. As you go down the unit, one thing we’ve always had is a really expansive passenger storage, but now you can add the height to that, and you’re getting the best of all worlds. This Coach has either 240 or 260 cubic feet of basement storage in it which I challenge you to find any company in the business that’s doing that. You can, literally, be out and gone for a time. You’re not having to sacrifice bringing your golf clubs or bicycles or both. You’re going to bring everything you want to bring with you.
Just notice this perimeter of the slide seal. We actually have a whole new slide sealing system with this hydraulic slide, so the perimeter is only two and a half inches wide, where there were six inches before, so a much more aesthetic look. You get back to this compartment, and this is the widest engine. This is a 60-inch-wide, full passenger tray. This thing’s insane. You look at this, and this thing will come all the way out. You can actually access it from either side. It’s stout. You can get up on this thing, and it will hold like 1,000 pounds, I believe it is. It’s pretty nice, and the way that’s all set up, you’ll also notice within the base, something that’s just a typical thing for us, but we use a pebble grain fiberglass lining inside our base. Almost everybody in the industry runs like a mouse fur type of felt. It can get really dingy and moldy, and dust and stuff can get in it. We put this pebble grain fiberglass in as it’s also an insulator. It’s all well finished down underneath.
Looking up top, you’ll notice the LED lighting. We actually have two automatic awnings up front here. There’s a front door awning with LED, and then there’s also this three-armed armless carefree Freedom freestyle awning that we boast for the patio side. That’s a five-meter awning, so it’s a wide awning. It comes down at a nice angle. One of the things that we’re still seeing out there with some of the companies is they’re putting the awnings either on the body of the Coach or over the slide boxes so the pitch gets compromised. You have no shade. Or, the water won’t run off and you got to run it in when it’s raining, which the whole purpose of an awning in the first place is that you have an awning to keep you dry. So, it’s a really nice feature. Something above it, which is another really underrated feature, is that cover that we’re putting on the slide rooms themselves. When you’re traveling at high velocity down the road, wind can somehow find its way in under these awnings. Well, with that cover, it protects the awning so it won’t unravel on you. Can you imagine being somewhere in the middle of nowhere and then you got to get up on the roof and you got to figure out how to get that awning in so it’s zip tied off or whatever. This is going to protect it. Also, this protects against trees, tree limbs. You’re not going to dent it up and everything. So, we run those all the way around the Coach. Again, something that our competition, a lot of them anyway, don’t feel it’s necessary on the vehicle, but we absolutely do.
O’Banion: I like the addition of the LED patio lights. It’s just a nice ambient light at night. For years, everybody just had the one spotlight outside. But, this just gives you a nice ambient light. It lights up the entire area. It’s a huge improvement.
Gudger: You don’t have all these extra lights just on the side of the Coach. We like a clean look on the outside. That’s why we did this whole new straight belt line with this really nice finished look.
O’Banion: Back to the storage space for just a minute because we talked about all of the cubic footage and all the different things you’re doing to your cargo base, but when you’re standing right here, you look down and you see the thermostat. Because, traditionally, Coaches were only going to have heated tanks, you know they’re going to make a big deal about having heated tanks for all season Coaches. But, you actually heat the bays in your Coach.
Gudger: One of the things that we’re starting to recognize as a manufacturer, just from our own market research, is our customers are becoming more adventurous and they want to go to the ski resort or they’re going to go see family that might happen to be up in the northern country that it’s going to be colder. And, then, there’s a lot of Canadians that own RVs. I’m proud to tell you, and I may have mentioned this the last time I visited you, but the Thor Motor Coach Tuscany brand has been the top selling diesel brand in Canada for four years running. We’re hoping to make it five years this year.
O’Banion: Insulation is a huge…. and it’s got to play into that.
Gudger: Overall, it’s everything. It’s what you said. We put two separate heat exchangers in the basement where a lot of companies will only put a heat exchanger off and the web, but we put them in both. We build the floor with high density insulation. The side walls and the roof, all the construction that goes into this Coach, we’re keeping in mind that there’s people that use these in all types of weather conditions; and, we want to be that Coach where they feel confident that they can do that. It’s interesting because I know, when you’re looking at different RVs, it’s very easy to get caught up with what you like to see. We, obviously, want to make sure the Coaches look good, but I think, probably, the most underrated aspect of our motor homes is the way we build them. I am so impressed every time I get out on the factory floor. And, by the way, we do give tours every day if you ever wanted to come out and visit us. Just the way everything comes together. Just the fact that you got this steel floor. It’s an inch and a half tubular steel with high density insulation and five eighths inch structure wood that we run the whole length. The extra Hardie backer fiber cement board that we’re putting at the floor underneath the tile to cushion the tile. This thing’s got steel in the floor. It’s got the rigidity to handle the stresses, the noise, the vibration; and, on top of that, we’re putting that Hardie backer underneath, and we’re using a more tolerant, thicker porcelain than a lot of other companies use. You mentioned sourcing stuff in Asia, or in Europe, or wherever we’re going to go to find the right materials, we want to make sure that we have the tolerances available, understanding this is a motor home. This is not a house. This is a rolling earthquake moving down the road that we’re trying to build as balanced and as safe as possible. And, we’re going to make sure that the things that we’re putting into this vehicle are going to last. And, then, when you add the side walls, an inch and a half tubular aluminum and the fact that we’re running six inch headers that are double tubed. We’re framing in our front caps with steel, and steel fire walls, steel step wells, and we’re incorporating a tubular vacuum bonded aluminum roof that we’re running arched aluminum every 15 inches, inch by inch tube. And, it’s all vacuum bonded together. The thing is built to last. You got a chassis here with a Freightliner that’s going to run you 500,000 to 1,000,000 miles if you take care of it. So, we’re challenging our engineers and our production people to build the box, to build that conversion, to blend in with that chassis so it’s going to be around when you need it.
O’Banion: Absolutely. And, talking of steel, the steel backers that you put throughout your Coach, that to me has always been so impressive. And, that’s something that you all do across your product lines, not just in your flagship models like the Thor Tuscany, but through your Class C’s, your Class A gas, just across the board. And that is so impressive to me because it’s not about how quiet you can make the Coach the first year or during a test drive. But, the Coaches are truly built to last, and there is so much difference when you go out into one of your pre-owned Coaches that are five or six-years-old. We sell a lot of pre-owns. You get in a full motor Coach that’s five, six, seven-years-old and there is a noticeable difference in just how quiet the Coach still is, after it’s got 60,000 miles on it. The cabinets are still tight. The tolerances are still tight. You just don’t get those Coaches that loosen up in the box, and the cabinets that start to come away from the walls. And, when you grab a hold of that handle 200 times over the course of its life, and it’s just into wood, there’s stuff that we have to fix on a daily basis when we put Coaches back through our pre-owned line in order to get them ready for resell, and there is just a noticeable difference in the Thor Motor Coaches. When you go to grab handles, and they’re still like it was when it was new. It’s just a really impressive process.
Gudger: Just windows alone. There’s a lot of companies out there that don’t even frame their windows, and every single window and door in our Coaches, there’s an aluminum perimeter, a tubular aluminum perimeter, that we’re anchoring our windows into. We don’t even stop with the outside walls. We’ll put aluminum and steel in the interior walls to create even more rigidity because there’s actually some structural components to that stuff. We don’t just want to rely on the shell for it, and so that’s all done specifically for a reason. It’s exciting because we really invest a lot in engineering. We don’t have draftsmen at Thor. We have degreed engineers, and they really know what they’re doing. They have the most up-to-date software programs, and we’re challenging our guys and gals that are out there in the engineering group to really just continue to try to improve. I’m proud of what they’ve been able to accomplish. I’ve seen it. These last five years for us has been the greatest improvement I’ve seen the motor home, evolution wise, go through in the 15 years I’ve been in the business.
O’Banion: The resources that you have available to you at Thor Motor Coach is really unrivaled in the industry, and I believe you make more different models of motor homes than anyone else. You’re the largest manufacturer in North America. The buying power that you have. The resources that you have. The amount of people, of engineers, the money that you all have invested in your company, it’s daylight and dark. As you said, just in what you’re building and what you all have accomplished, especially over the last five years, is truly impressive. It really is unbelievable the value you are able to bring to the market place. But, you know, we’ve covered a lot of ground in regards to Thor Motor Coach. Obviously, the Tuscany floor plans, we’ve covered a lot of ground. Let’s spend a few more minutes on the exterior. Let’s show them some of the feature benefits as far as your extra TVs and some things like that. Let’s hit on some high points, and let’s get the slides out and show these folks the interior. They’re going to be blown away on this Coach this year.
Gudger: So, just quickly going through, obviously outside TVs is something that is pretty much a staple anymore. It’s up high enough that you can sit down, and you can really see it from anywhere you want to be. It’s a 40-inch LED TV, Sony brand. We don’t try to find the inexpensive stuff. We try to find the nice TVs. One thing, also to mention, is that we do set this up for two receivers, so this TV will work off the bedroom, and then the front TV’s work in combination, so I know there’s a lot of people out there that don’t like to watch the same programs, so we’ve set these up to enable multiple viewing.
O’Banion: What kind of satellite dish do you have?
Gudger: The best. We put a Winegard Trav’ler on every Coach. It’s standard equipment for 2016. One of the things that we’re always challenging ourselves to do is figure out a way to make more things standard equipment. Another thing, people travel at night time, so we have the side docking light so you can see on either side of the unit when you’re trying to back it into that tight spot. And, there’s rear docking lights as well, so we’re really just trying to make it easy for our customers. Obviously, the tag axle, anything that’s going to be a 42 foot or larger is going to be a tag. I will tell you there is a new feature that everybody needs to come out and experience on a drive, is that all our drive axles from Freightliner now come with a V-Ride axle, so it’s a new suspension system that’s been developed that can handle more weight, more even weight distribution, and just a more quality ride.
We want to make sure these Coaches have ample carrying capacities because there’s a lot of units, especially in those 40 foot lengths, with the single axles back there, where they’re right on the cusp of being overloaded. And, what would be the worst thing in the world is traveling on the road with your loved ones with you and then have a tire blow because the manufacturer didn’t pay attention and allow for that additional payload capacity that a customer needs. It’s not fair for us as a manufacturer to weigh a Coach and say it passes. We need to be looking at the future and saying, “Okay. If it’s our vehicle, what are we going to bring with us? What does that mean with weights?” So, we weigh every Coach. We analyze them, and we try to make sure we have more than enough axle weight rating. I’ll challenge any company in the business when it comes to carrying capacity. I believe that we do the best job because we’re investing those dollars and putting the right axles on the vehicles.
Moving along, obviously I’m just really, really, proud of these slides because, again, not just the big full wall slides, but even the small slides are hydraulic. This is 100% hydraulic slide systems on this Coach. And, then, you get to here and you think, “Okay. DEF, right?” Nope. Two years ago, we changed that. We moved all of our DEF tanks to the road side. When you’re traveling about and at 3,500 miles ticker hits and you need to fill up your 13 gallon DEF tank, “diesel emission fluid” for all those of you who don’t know, which is required with all diesel engines now. If you go to a truck stop, you can actually fill it up on the pump. We put it on the road side where it has on the semis, so you can be in a truck line up, fill it up easily. All that you see here is your chassis batteries. There’s also a chassis disconnect down here as well. Parasitic drain if you’re leaving a Coach sitting for an extended period of time. You could come in and your batteries don’t start when you’re getting ready for the trip, so you can actually shut all that off and protect yourself. I didn’t mention paint, but if you put your hand on this…
O’Banion: Are we still running Sikkens brand paint?
Gudger: We are.
O’Banion: And, then, your clear coat finish. I know that that was elevated a few years ago. If you could tell us a bit about the process there and what you do to make the finish superior on the Tuscany.
Gudger: We talked about cold weather travel and, obviously, units aren’t staying in one place all the time. So, we really need to make sure we’re putting a lot of emphasis on paint quality. The funny thing about fiberglass is that it will actually expand and contract with temperature change. You get somebody that’s up in Calgary in the winter time, and they flee for Mesa, Arizona, or wherever they’re going to go. The change in the temperature can be very, very extreme. We use a paint called Sikkens which actually has more elasticity to it. It doesn’t cure all the way, so when that fiberglass actually changes in size and shape, the paint will actually flex with it. You don’t get the spider cracking and the checking which can be an absolutely awful problem and always seems to happen after somebody’s out of the warranty period, and it becomes an expensive problem to have. But, we don’t have those issues because we’re using this quality of paint. But, then, we also elevate our finish work, and we do, obviously, put a really nice clear coat on the units, but the thing that really takes the Tuscany to the next level is we do a full cut and buff on this coat. So, there’s about $2,500 of additional labor that we’re paying for in the finish work on the Tuscany brand; and, so, when you see it out and the sun’s shining, driving around, you get that depth. You get that nice smooth finish, and it really is a whole other ballgame when it comes to the outside appearance of the Coach.
O’Banion: It is. It’s daylight and dark difference when you take the orange peel out of it, it gives that clean boat-caliber finish.
Gudger: Finally, when you come back here into the back, you have some of your solenoids and, most importantly, your inverter. Whenever you see a white inverter, that means it’s a pure sine wave inverter. This is a 2,000 watt, pure sine wave Magnum Energy inverter. This has an auto-generator start feature that’s looped into it, as well, that any of your outlets, your 110 appliances like your microwave, and your televisions are all 110. So, you can be out there and you can run everything without running the generator, which is really nice for folks to know.
O’Banion: Huge deal, especially when you’re going down the road if you’ve got family, kids, they’re wanting to watch TVs all the time, their charging phones all the time. So, not having to run the generator is a big deal. And, as you mentioned, being the pure sine wave inverter, if I understand correctly, the pure sine wave, the big thing to them is it’s a cleaner energy, correct, so you don’t get the static lines and stuff like you used to with some of the older inverters when you were running the electronics and things like that. It’s just a cleaner energy.
Gudger: Correct. When you get up into a Tuscany-caliber product, you have really nice appliances. The refrigerator is a nice Whirlpool with the French door. You got the new advanced convection full-size microwave. It’s got huge televisions. We have the largest TVs in the business – up to 60 inches in some models. Stack washer/dryers are standard which most people make an option. All this stuff can last if you treat it right. And, how you treat it right is you put an inverter in that’s going to give you a cleaner amount of energy, and it’s just going to allow the investment in your RV to be extended. We want everything in this motor home to last, and so it starts with the right energy. I have had the good fortune of selling a few engineers over the years, and I have yet to run into an engineer that didn’t request, or want, a pure sine wave inverter. So, I know it’s a good thing.
O’Banion: In the rear cap in the Tuscany. It’s got a fantastic look. The paint is just exceptional.
Gudger: We really have done some smart, little things that you don’t really notice. But, just for instance, the LED lights. Lots of different tail lights available. We went ahead and upgraded. More visible. Just really gives it just a nice high-end look. You’ll notice when you look at the rear camera that there is actually twin rear docking lights, as well. A lot of the companies will put them on the side, or not at all, but nothing in the rear. So, this will actually provide a much more visible space when you’re backing in. The 7-way hitch connection is actually integrated into the cap. There are too many companies out there that are just throwing that on the other side of the hitch on an L-bracket. Just doesn’t look finished, so we like the way that all came together. You got a nice brake light in the center, so from a safety perspective, we want to make sure. And, just even the placement of the tail lights alone, you see a lot of them where they’re down low. We, by design, moved them up higher, so that you can see over the tow vehicle. We want to make sure that our customers are going to be safe out there and, obviously, a little extra bling with the chrome accent piece with the “Tuscany” on it.
O’Banion: And, a small thing, but I really like how you’ve stayed with the removable ladder system. Just from a safety standpoint, me having little kids, it’s a nice thing to be able to take the ladder off there and knowing they’re not climbing or playing or trying to get up on top of the motor home, and you don’t know what they’re doing. But, then also, just the aesthetics of the Coach. You’re able to take it off. This has a beautiful look when it’s going down the road.
Gudger: It’s funny you said something about this ladder, too, but there are a lot of companies out there that don’t offer a ladder. And, the one thing that I’ll encourage any RV owner to do is to make sure that, from time to time, they get up on the roof and inspect it because it’s really important that the seals, and everything like that, are evaluated once a year. And, that’s why we provide it. The one thing that I didn’t mention before when I was talking about construction, but when you walk up on this ladder and you see our roof, we put a molded fiberglass roof on the top.
O’Banion: I talked about the kids not getting up there; but, of course, that’s a usable space for a lot of people who do Nascar, do the football games, things like that. Myself, I’ve used the roofs a lot of different times. Because of how yours are built, you can be anywhere up on top of that roof, not just down the sides. You have a full walk-on roof. And, again, if you’re at a Nascar event or something like that, you can put a lot of people up there with how your Coach is built. It makes for an incredible sky deck, that’s for sure.
Gudger: Other things, obviously, you have your house batteries. They’re up front and accessible, so you can keep the maintenance going. Probably the worst thing to have to ever deal with if you’ve ever been out traveling in cold weather, is without a power cord reel. This has a power cord reel on it. It’s a Glendinning, so it’s got that strong motor. You can pull it out, obviously, to hook up, and you just hit the switch and it’ll run back in.
O’Banion: I like the convenience of just being able to put the cord, how you have this designed where you don’t have to feed it down through the hole, going down through the bottom of it. I really like the convenience of that. And, I know you already talked about this, but this is a really cool idea. This really made a lot of sense, this new beveled seals that you have on every door.
Gudger: It keeps the water out and, obviously, when you’re talking about batteries and electronics, you want to make sure that it’s all safe and contained. We’re coming around to this side, and in this 44 MT, you get to see what I was talking about with this slide out. This is a 29-foot slide, so it’s just massive, and it’s got a lot of depth. It just creates a new environment that you want to be in. You’re going to stay longer in your unit because you don’t feel like you’re on top of everybody. You can see how clean this look is with this new basement design, but this is what it’s all about and why we’re so happy to be able to present with us in these 16 models.
O’Banion: And the side stays so clean. All of your window awnings, again, what you’re buying, just has such a nice clean look. The full awning coverage down. Your 29-foot slide. Just everything aesthetically on the Coach, just did an exceptional job this year.
Gudger: You see it. Here’s the full wall side. You can just see this height again. Even on a full wall side, how tall these doors are, and the openings as well. And the last thing I didn’t mention, but looking at the side of the slide, the windows, you got really big windows. They’re frameless. They’re dual pane. Even our cockpit windows are dual pane. I can tell you one of the companies that we compete against, they don’t put dual pane windows in their cab. You want to talk about ambient noise and frustration from driving down the road with not being comfortable, we want to keep it as a quiet, contained environment, and we don’t want that air conditioning or the heat to leak out where you can’t be comfortable.
O’Banion: What’s the one element that consumers sometimes don’t think about when they’re talking about “Well, dual panes really don’t matter because it’s not that huge of a different in the R-factor.” Sometimes, between the dual panes and the single panes, they’re available now, but the noise difference. And, especially when you’re talking about there in the cab, as you noted, it’s a big, big difference.
Gudger: It’s huge. Just on the frameless, too, the one thing that I’m really proud of, and it took us extra time to make a decision on, but you’ll notice that the hinges on the windows are on the top, so the one big negative with a frameless window had always been ventilation. So, we worked with Haier, who supplies us with these windows and they developed a top-hinge window for us, so when you open that window, you get the full side of the window opening, so you get some of the nice features of a sliding window with the advantages of the look, and then, also, the advantage of being able to keep that open during rain fall because of the way it’s set up. And, the other part of it that’s really nice is when you’re sitting down on the sofa right here, and you look out, you don’t have a bar that’s going to run across the middle of the window because that’s where that company decided to put the hinge at. So, it takes away from the whole ability of really being able to experience your environment, which is the whole idea behind an RV in the first place.
So, there’s little things like that that you just don’t pay attention to until you’re in it, that really make a huge difference down the road. Your bathrooms have windows. We put windows in the kitchen which, again, is something you see companies saving a few dollars on because they don’t want to spend the money, but who doesn’t want to have a window where their kitchen sink is? I mean, everybody does. It’s just a normal thing.
O’Banion: Being able to have the natural light inside the Coach makes a big difference and, especially, in these bigger homes.
Gudger: That’s all designed when we’re figuring these floor plans out. So, when you’re out there looking at the different floor plans, be sure to pay attention to that because it really does make a difference in your living experience.
O’Banion: Now, your wet bay on this Coach. I know that this is just going to be the back side of the storage that we looked at earlier, but your wet bays, what can you tell us that makes your wet bays a little unique to the industry?
Gudger: Clean. We wanted it to be very easy to use. Everything’s very well labeled, and really just making sure that, functionality wise, it all makes sense. Obviously, I had mentioned before that we do heat this area, so behind this panel you have your black and your gray and your fresh water tanks, so this whole environment is well contained. We do put a central water filter, so all of your incoming water into the vehicle, no matter where it’s at, is going to actually hit a filter. And, if it goes through, and you want to use the water in the refrigerator, there’s another filter in then as well. All your water that touches your skin when you’re in the shower is going to have a filter that it goes through before it sees you. Very easy to winterize. There’s a sewer tank flush. Outside shower. Also, this sewer connection actually has a pivot on it, so one of the nice things is after you get done dumping is you can turn that up so you don’t get that extra little bit of drip that will come out, which is never enjoyable. It’s lighted, and there’s even an extra light on the exterior to just make it easier to handle at night time. It’s pretty well self-explanatory and very easy to use.
O’Banion: It’s just a really, really, well done app.
Gudger: Thanks, Donny. And, you know, one of my favorite features and something we kind of touched on briefly is in this bay right here. And, that is the Aqua-Hot system. So, we talked about the heated basement, and that’s great because you don’t want anything to freeze, and you want to be able to put stuff in your storage bay, and you don’t want that stuff to freeze, potentially. But, when you’re living in a motor home, and it’s cold outside, there’s only one way to be, and that’s with the Aqua-Hot system. Hydronic heat will allow this Coach to be truly a four-season unit. What I mean by that is, we talked about these huge full wall slides and all this extra square footage that we have, but at the end of the day, this model has the most square footage that we offer of 482 square feet. That’s still not a lot, so what happens is, if you are spending days upon days in a cold weather environment running propane, the propane is naturally going to strip the air of all its moisture and, eventually, you’re going to become irritated, uncomfortable, and you’re going to want to leave. With this system here, what it enables you to do is run heat for as long as you want, and it’s a comfortable heat. And, so, you can leave when you want to leave, not because you’re uncomfortable. You can be comfortable in cold weather. It’s more efficient because you mentioned diesel powered Aqua-Hot system, so this runs right off the main fuel source which is that 150-gallon diesel fuel tank. It’ll really only consume, on average, probably two to four gallons of diesel fuel a day. So, you can run a long time on it with an electric element, so if it’s above 43 degrees, it’ll actually help maintain the heat and actually even run even more efficient than those numbers I quoted. It gives you hot water for as long as you want.
O’Banion: I was going to say, the important thing for me, too, besides just the heating of the Coach, but the hot water, the difference in being able to take a shower like you would at home. If your wife wants to get in there and take a 20-minute shower, you’ve got enough hot water to do it. It’s not like you’re trying to get in and get out, like a military shower, you know, like to get in and get out before you’re out of hot water.
Gudger: Another thing I didn’t mention, too, is that in addition to being efficient and comfortable, it’s also a more consistent heat. Typical propane systems, you can see up to 20 degree variances inside the Coach, so you can be comfortable feeling good and then you sneak to another area of the Coach and, all of a sudden, it doesn’t feel like it. And, 20 degrees is a huge difference. With Aqua-Hot there’s a 7-degree variance throughout the motor home at the maximum, so it really applies a more consistent heat, and it’s quieter. So, night time sleeping, if you get interrupted, you’re a light sleeper out there, Folks, it’s actually going to allow you to sleep at night because it’s not going to be this loud, obnoxious sound that you don’t want to hear.
O’Banion: It really is the premier heating system in the industry. No question. And, then your side view cameras. We talked a little bit about the backup camera and the back and how you now got those docking lights coupled with the backup camera, but I really like how you are integrating your side view cameras into your mirrors.
Gudger: One of the most intimidating things about owning a motor home is just getting comfortable behind the driver’s seat. It’s really like riding a bike, and people say, “Oh, you’re broke.” And, every time I say it, but there’s been so much technology that we’ve been able to develop for these things that it makes it so easy anymore because you got these mirrors that are massive and very visible, and now the cameras are actually incorporated within the mirrors, so you get a better perspective when you’re seeing each side. The monitor – I mentioned a 10.5-inch monitor inside, so not only do you get to see what’s there, but you get to really see it because you don’t have to squint or look down because it’s all right in front of you.
O’Banion: You can see all the way around this Coach utilizing your side view cameras and your back cameras, but especially with your flood lights and stuff that you have on the Coach. You can walk around to the front of the Coach and literally look around the outside of your home just from a security stand point. It’s a comforting feature and something that people will use when they’re parked, almost as much as they will when they’re driving.
Gudger: It’s really a multi-facet system, and that makes it great.
O’Banion: And your new front end is just absolutely awesome this year. I love all the new chrome. The backlit Tuscany thing is just too cool.
Gudger: The LED accents, obviously, is something that we’re proud of. You’ll notice that we’ve actually blacked out around our windshields, and that’s actually by design, too, because that will cut down on glare and really make sure that, visibility-wise, you’re comfortable. You look at some of these units that are out there, and the vertical height of the windshield is much less, and there’s these overheads that really get interfering on it. We really keep everything up there, and we have a taller interior. It’s 85 inches which allows us to push those overheads up, but we really want our drivers and our passengers to get that true RV experience where they can see everything.
Last but not least, the generator access. One of the cool things we’ve done, and you hear about these barrel key latches that are hard to get open, you don’t have that on this. You just release the front, and there’s a hook there that releases so that it doesn’t just go flying up on you. And, it’ll come all the way up, and then you have this nice, beautiful generator right in the front of the Coaches. Folks, I’ve been out there and I’ve seen some of the other designs, and we looked at them before we developed our slide out generator, and there’s nothing better than this one. It’s simple. It’s just hitting this switch, and it slides right out.
O’Banion: It really does make a huge difference in the serviceability of these Coaches and just how quickly somebody can get in and out of a service facility, regardless whether they’re going to take care of it themselves. But, just the speed of being able to properly maintain the generator itself and get in and out of a service facility, makes a big, big difference.
Gudger: With a 10,000 Generator, the service panel is on the side. It’s not underneath like on an 8, so you do need to bring the generator out to be able to access that panel. Rather than having to push all the fiberglass and everything, we were able to move that out of the way and really get at the crux of it. It makes a huge difference. And, obviously, being a 10,000 generator, that’s also a huge deal because what it enables us to do is put the biggest and best air conditioners on the unit that we possibly can. We want to make sure, especially in a Coach, where we’re boasting more square footage, that we’re going to make sure that with the insulation and everything, that we’re going to keep this Coach as cool as you want it to be.
O’Banion: So, it’s (3) 15,000 BTUs?
Gudger: We put (3) 15 BTU air conditioners on the vehicle, even in our 40-footer, as standard equipment. We don’t mess around when it comes to air conditioning because I think that probably should be one of the most important things. Between heating the Coach with the Aqua-Hot, or cooling the Coach with the air conditioners, that’s one thing that you’re making a good choice on with our stuff, because we’re not going to skimp anywhere. But, just be careful out there because there’s a lot of systems that don’t provide that type of product. This is just an awesome system and how accessible this generator is with the way we’ve designed it, I’m really proud of what the engineers came up with here for this year.
O’Banion: And, of course, being an Onan, that’s the leader in the industry. And, these things are so quiet. They absolutely are.
Gudger: They’re quiet and efficient. And, just some other little things I mentioned before, but safety is big for us. You got a steel fire wall in here. You have air access. If you want to fill up your tires, there’s a Schrader valve here that you can incorporate with an air line of your own that you plug into that and be able to get air pressure from off of that system. It’s all well contained up front here on the vehicle.
O’Banion: We talked about the hydraulic slides. Let’s put these things out and show everybody the interior of this thing. It really looks gorgeous this year.
This space inside this floor plan -- I know we’ve been talking about it for an hour – but this full wall slide, you’re not kidding, and this 44 MT model, it is unbelievable the living area that you have inside this home.
Gudger: It’s tricky because you look at the full complement of floor plans we have in the Tuscany, and every one of them is a bath and a half. Well, you really can sacrifice a lot of living space to have that rear bathroom. In this one, we really did focus on making the living room -- the place where you’re going to spend the majority of your time -- open and really where we invest our space. The first thing is, obviously, if you just look here at this living area, and have a seat and get comfortable. Opposing seating. How great is it that everybody can be set back, kind of in your living arrangement, the TV, the way it’s set up. You can sit there, look straight at it. You’re not going to get neck pain all the time. And, one of the things we talked about before is directional TV is really trying to set it up and make it comfortable. Well, the nice thing about this TV is that not only does it come out, but you can turn it at whichever angle, so depending if you got 10 people in here, two people in here, and then also this opposing sofa is a sectional that actually extends outwards, so it really encompasses this space and features around your fireplace here. It’s aesthetically pleasing to the eye, but also it can heat a 400 square foot space. It’s multi-faceted from that standpoint. I think that our designer, Maureen Wozniak, did an excellent job of really giving everything a nice residential feel. Another thing that we looked at, as we’re making our way around, just look at all the overhead space. A lot times, when you have a TV, the manufacturers will leave out the overage here. We really want to make sure that every single one of these spaces has storage above them. There’s even storage on the side of the fireplace, as well, and then look how tall these doors are. There’s, literally, no style here. It’s all raised panel. You got the nice glaze on all this Resort Cherry cabinetry. You make your way around and you’ve got a really comfortable, what we call a “dream dinette”. The reason we call it a “dream dinette” is because you can go to sleep right on that thing. It will convert down very easily into a bed, which is one of those unprecedented things that we’ve done because, in the past, in these higher lying, what we call “luxury motor homes”, these were just a booth, and that’s it. So, we actually worked with our vendor, who is Villa International, who is one of the leaders and furniture suppliers for the RV business, and said, “Listen, let’s design a residential-looking booth dinette that still gives you the ability to sleep because, anymore, you just never know. With sleeping here, you got a jack knife, so when this extends out, that’s a nice big, long space because this is 84 inches long. Across here, you have a full queen air bed so you can sleep two people vertically this way. And, then you’ve got the booth. So, all these sleeping spaces.
O’Banion: And, this particular floor plan is excellent because you’ve got seat belts here across from the sofa, and then the TV is still visible when you’re going down the road. So, you can actually entertain people when you’re actually traveling instead of just having the traditional TV up in the front of the Coach, or the ones on the feature wall that get covered up when the slide room’s in. It really does make this floor plan so usable to a wide variety of people and ages and different types of bar beers with family or couples.
Gudger: A lot of people don’t realize this, but with the seat belt aspect, a lot of companies in the past, because we didn’t have to pull test as an industry, there were seat belts, but they weren’t safe, we’ve been pull testing for as long as I’ve been with the company and even longer, even before it was a requirement from our governing body. Every single piece of furniture has got seat belts, and they’re fully pull tested and safe. So, you’ve got this sofa, the L-sofa, and the booth, and all have seat belts in them. Not only can you sleep people and sit people, but you can actually do it safely which is a primary concern of ours. And, then, on top of that, more people means you have more requirements for storage. So, we talked about the overheads, and you move your way around and you’ll notice with the full size residential refrigerator, right to the side of that, you have these massive, deep pantries that pull out. Fully residential, and you’ll see in every floor plan now that we’re offering in the Tuscany, we’re now incorporating this full size, pull-out pantry which we had developed for us. The refrigerator is a 21 cubic foot with a full bottom freezer on it. Ice and water accessible on the door. Another thing, and it doesn’t sound like a big deal, but for me it’s a huge deal, because we’ve been working on it for a while, we’ve added a lock to the refrigerator now. So, you’re traveling down the road and you make a quick adjustment, and the milk jugs not flying out and spilling all over your beautiful flooring and everything else. So. we worked with our vendor and got that approved so that warranties weren’t sacrificed. And, then, you slide along, and even with all this seating and all this space up here, we didn’t skimp on the galley. The galley is a very nice galley. A lot of times, when you put the dish drawer in, this Fisher and Paykel dish washer that we have, you don’t have extra drawers, but in this case, you have the nice drawers here. And, underneath the sink we’ve incorporated a nice slide out area for pots and pans. But, you can get back there. Otherwise, you’re getting down there on your hands and knees and you’re stretching your back because of the depth of this thing. Not in our units. A good amount of counter top space between the electric induction cooktop that we have and the sink, so you actually have usable work space, which I know is always something that all of our customers are looking for. And, then, the nice big overheads, as well. We really try to maximize and utilize the space to the best of our abilities.
O’Banion: It’s definitely evident throughout your floor plans, and this is just such a great living space. A great floor plan for people who love to entertain, in particular.
So, as you said, all of your floor plans are bath and a half. What is the thought process behind all of your floor plans being a bath and a half?
Gudger: If you think about it, we’re making these things bigger all the time, so they really accommodate a lot of people, so the owner’s maybe just want to have their own bathroom that’s exclusive to themselves. If you think about it, in a home, you have your master bath, and do you really invite your friends and neighbors over and use that bathroom? That’s usually your space. So, it’s the same idea in an RV. You could have friends over for dinner, or maybe it’s the grandkids, or maybe it’s Mom needs her own space and Dad’s going to be up here. The nice thing about our half baths is that they are very accommodating. I’ve got lots of room in here. One of the things we hear a lot about, and we emphasize, is we put a nice big sink bowl in here because this is my sink, probably, if this is my unit. And, a lot of times, the half baths, it’s almost like an afterthought. They’re not designed into the Coach, so we made sure that this is going to be a fully functional area. You’ve got a nice deep medicine cabinet. With some of these Coaches, they’re outdated and don’t have it. Tons of counter space, and one of the things about the counter is this is all solid surface. This motor home throughout, so if you go living room, bathroom, bedroom, rear bath, everything is solid surface, and it’s a nice LG HI-MACS solid surface. So, it’s the really nice, high quality stuff. Even the sink is a molded sink, so I’m not skimping anywhere. We went to Fantastic Fans in all of our half bathrooms and our rear bath. We used to only do them in the kitchens, and then we added it to all the areas because they’re just a much more functional type deal. You’ve got a remote on the walls so you don’t have to hunt around and try to figure out where that’s located.
Maureen did a really nice job of doing a nice overlay on the lighting in here, as well. We also make sure that there’s a heat exchanger. I remember a few years back, when I was at a different company and we failed to put a heat exchanger in the half bathroom. Well, if you think about it, if you’ve got somebody standing up front with you and they’ve got to use this bathroom and it’s a cold area, this place can be very uncomfortable. All those things were thought out when it was designed. Also down below, there’s a central vacuum on this Coach standard, and there’s a nice area where you can sweep right into that slot there in an out-of-the-way place. Obviously, this Coach doesn’t require too much vacuuming because of the tile, but if you need to sweep everything up, you can sweep it right into that area and eject it.
And, then, across the way, when you got needs because of the size of this vehicle, this probably has the single, nicest linen cabinet of anything that we design in our whole company. It’s a massive space, so you have plenty of space for towels and linens and whatever excess materials you have. They can go right here in a convenient place. The washer/dryer is out of the bedroom, so you can run laundry at night, no problem. It’s a full stackable washer/dryer. We offer nothing else, standard equipment as I mentioned before, and it is almost built like a piece of furniture. They did a nice job in design with the crown molding on top. Even the sides of the cabinets are full veneer. Everything is hard wood in this Coach, but even our big panels surrounding the doors, everything is real wood. You’ll see some companies, because of the types of wood they use, they’ll use a vinyl paper that’s an inexpensive piece of material that they try to color match. As the Coach ages, that all doesn’t look the same over time. Because we’re using all the same material, and it’s all real wood, although it’s expensive when you use veneer, this Coach will look consistent throughout, no matter what its age.
O’Banion: They did a beautiful job, and just little touches, even the backs of the doors being glazed and recessed. Just little things, attention to detail that you don’t find in most units that are on the road today, that’s for sure.
Gudger: One other little attention-to-detail point, too, is you’ll notice how there’s an angle to this door entry. In all our Coaches, there’s always going to be these little subtleties because one of the things that we really are proud of is the fact that, in any one of our Coaches, it’s fully usable when the slides are in. There are so many Coaches out there, where you can’t get to the bedroom. You can’t get to the bathroom. You can’t even, sometimes, get to the refrigerator when the slides are closed. One of the nice luxuries of owning a diesel motor home, or any motor home for that matter, if it’s designed properly, is that you can develop it so that you can use the thing traveling down the road, if you want to stop at night somewhere where they won’t let you bring your slide-outs out, the industry unfortunately only has a rule of a 13-inch egress, but we challenge our engineers on floor-to-ceiling to be upwards of 15 inches or, in some cases, 21 inches or more. We really try to create more open spaces, so the reason why this angle is here is, not only is it wider so I can get in and out as a larger guy, but when this slide comes in, we have incorporated enough space to where this door is going to open up enough where I can get in it when the slides are closed. Why would you want to go to a rest area and have to deal with one of those nasty bathrooms when you have your own environment that you can get to? It’s a convenience of life when you’re in the RV lifestyle. Again, it’s those little things in the details that you might not realize because you may be somewhere on a dealership’s lot, and you fall in love with a motor home, but Folks, slide those slide-outs in. Really see what that thing’s about, and realize that every single Thor Tuscany that’s out there, or any Thor diesel pusher out there for that matter, you can get to the bed, the bathroom, and the kitchen and walk right through, no problem in anything that we build.
O’Banion: It is so important as far as Coach usability. You do a fantastic job. I love the pocket doors that you’ve gone to in your Tuscany’s. These new decorative pocket doors just have a beautiful look.
Gudger: We talked about our ceiling design up front and that full plenum, but where we got the inspiration for it is with these pocket doors because you’ll see that same shape is right on it. And, it provides you with some nice privacy. It’s a solid wood door. It has the nice glass accents in it, as well, and it provides a huge level of privacy. It’s just one single door in this floor plan that will then slide away and close off. You don’t think about it, but moving down the road, just the simple things with the design, there’s actually a groove at the bottom of these doors so it actually has a track on the top and bottom to keep it in place. Otherwise, just from the jostling that can occur, some can get off track and not function as well. We’ve actually learned, as we’ve built these Coaches, how to build in a more functional pocket door that’s more reliable for our customers.
O’Banion: Your slide-out room fascia’s are just absolutely beautiful this year. There’s so much detail, and so many additional cuts here in the wood to pick up that additional glazing. They’ve just added such a huge amount of depth to the wood in these Coaches. Just a gorgeous look this year.
Gudger: When we went to the Amish hard woods and we went to that 90 millimeters of lacquer that we’re putting on, it really had the cabinets kind of speaking out a little bit more. So, we wanted to really try to make that detail work so we could give it that extra level of class. I’m really excited about the way all that turned out. Really nice head board design she did this year with incorporated accents to it. Windows on the other side of the bed. Nice deep slide-out, too, so it really provides a lot of nice open space here. A lot to be said about that. Also, a ceiling fan that allows that air to circulate, so that’s all there. And, then, we move over here. Probably my most exciting feature we have is now what we’re doing opposing the beds. Not only did we move the TV up higher, but we also built it out so that you actually have storage now behind the television. You have all your components there. If you want to put some extra stuff, DVDs, or really anything for that matter, because there’s a ton of room. A little storage on the other side, and a nice, another vertical space if you want to have a place for your socks or your underwear. Also, this area here, there is a pull out hanging spot on it, so where you actually have even more wardrobe, because the one thing we keep hearing all the time from the ladies out there, especially, is “I don’t have enough places for hang space.” Well, just about every one of our Coaches anymore now has a full wardrobe across the rear of the Coach where a lot of companies will put their stack washer/dryer back there. I can tell you right now, a stack washer/dryer is 32 inches wide, so when you do the math with a 96-inch interior width, one third of your wardrobe is gone. We have the full wardrobe and we have extra hanging space here on top of it. And, then, the extra deep drawers down below. You’ll notice it’s on two tiers. The reason why it’s on two tiers is when the slides come together, this mattress actually engulfs the top of this bottom dresser. Plus, if you just need to tie your shoes, you can sit down here and do that, too. We’re trying to maximize storage and usability, and I think we knocked it out of the park with some of the little tweaks we’ve made. Something little like this with the opposing design here, there’s no one else in the business doing it.
O’Banion: Absolutely. It adds so much to the space, not even from the drawer space but even just visually. You look in so many of these homes that have the deeper slides, and the full wall slides in particular, and what I really like about this particular floor plan and so many of your Coaches is, you don’t have the carpet lip that you see on so many of these full wall slides. You’ve incorporated it underneath your cabinets here, there back in the hallway, the sofa. You used the kitchen to where you don’t have that big carpet lip that you see in so many floor plans. Doesn’t matter if it’s $450,000, $550,000, $600,000 motor homes, and you just walk up and grab hold of the carpet lip and lift it up. You can see outside the motor homes, in many cases. It’s just such a great use of space and visually I think it really finishes the Coach off. So much better than utilizing those carpet lips.
You commented on it earlier, in this particular floor plan, having such a huge living and galley area traditionally you sacrifice a good size master bath. You really did not sacrifice anything back here in the MT model.
Gudger: We really tried to prioritize our needs, and I had mentioned wardrobes before is a premium type of thing, and a full wardrobe in the back, we wanted to figure out how to do that. We have that nice cedar-lined shoe compartment back there as well. In addition to having good depth. You wouldn’t believe how many Coaches out there that have wardrobes where you can’t put a normal size hanger in. Just as simple as an R&D putting hangers in when we make sure we invest in depth and a cap to do that. And, you have the shelf up above. Lots of usable space and functional back there. An extra drawer that we were able to tie in, just trying to maximize what we can do.
One of my favorite parts about this design is the shower. That shower was one that took some time. We actually had a new mold built and designed specifically for this layout. We also had them develop it with a molded seat on there, as well. Good amount of vanity space back there. That nice vacuum flush toilet to go along with it. Just a nice usable bathroom in the motor home.
O’Banion: What a great job you all are doing in your motor compartment. So many of these things, you get back there and you see how poorly the motor compartment is built, how it fits. Especially in these high end Coaches, I’ve seen them with rubber gaskets, the tiles offset. It’s just such a clean and finished look, and that’s really important to me. When you’re in a Coach of this caliber, regardless of manufacturer, so few people take the time and money required to really finish off the engine compartment properly.
Gudger: We are happy with the way it’s turned out, and Production is doing a good job of installing them correctly.
O’Banion: Speaking of the engine, that’s a perfect segue into the last thing we’ve got to talk about, and that’s what we’re going to find once we get behind the wheel.
Gudger: I’m really excited to show you this cockpit area. You’ll notice that these Villa cab chairs are really nice. You got a foot rest on there so you can extend that out, six-way power. These things will obviously swivel all the way around and lock in place. You can get nice and comfortable behind the steering wheel. Up above here, we have an optional cockpit TV. It’s kind of nice because you have the one in the mid-ship, and you have the one up front as well. No matter if you’re in the kitchen and you’re sitting on a certain side of the booth, that’s all there and readily available. As you can see, this dash is very ergonomic. We’re all about getting comfortable behind the wheel. When we design our Coaches, one of the critical elements is really just trying to position this seat as far forward. They call it European Bus Style design, where we’re making sure that you’re as far extended forward as possible because that’s going to make it easier to drive. The Coach has adjustable foot pedals so you can drive those in and out. I mentioned the six-way power on the seats, so all that works together. The steering wheel will tilt. It will also telescope. You can get it exactly where you want. You go on a long trip, and everything’s where it needs to be. Probably the most important aspect of this Coach is making sure that those gauges are very visible. You can see we use white gauges, and then the positioning of where those are located so that you can actually see them through the steering wheel no matter your height. Even the window, you’ll notice that the mullion’s been lifted up, so visibility is at a premium. I’m not looking right at the bar that’s going across. That came from input from other drivers of our vehicles. Another thing I really like is this Smart Wheel. This has got a VIP Smart Wheel on it, so you have your windshield wiper functions. You have your cruise control, all right there at a fingertip’s reach. It only takes a couple fingertips to drive this thing because with independent front suspension, all those chassis upgrades we mentioned earlier, it just makes for a really luxurious, awesome ride. Just reiterating a couple things that have been changes made for this year, we’ve gone to this push button start. There’s a key FOB, so the FOB has to be within like three or four feet of the location. You can’t just start the rig and get somewhere and realize you forgot your keys. You do have to have the key FOB in order to be able to do it. Engine start, just like you’ll find in all the new, luxurious cars of today. The monitor is the largest that’s available in the industry. It’s a Bluetooth-capable monitor system. It has RV GPS which is the newest thing. It actually is designed around knowing that you’re driving a motor home, which is a critical element, because there are certain places that RVs can’t go. So, it’s set up that way. It’s got checklists and different tools on it. If you have a certain amount of things you want to make sure you’re doing in preparation for your long trip, you have a way to remind yourself to do that. Fuel management, you name it, this thing is the absolute Mac Daddy when it comes to RV monitors that are out there and available. Your side cameras, your rear camera, and your GPS is all tied to it and as large of a screen as is available in the marketplace today.
You’ll notice underneath the gauges, you have your nice integrated light bar that is provided with Freightliner and which is going to have all that pertinent engine transmission type information for the chassis. It’ll send out codes if there’s anything in particular you need to be made aware of. With the DEF, there’s also acknowledgement over here as to when you’re reaching a critical level and need to make sure that you fill that back up again. Sliding over to the other side, one of the things that is special about our tag axle models is that this has a two-stage compression brake, a Jacobs brake, that’s on it. You have the ability to go with high or low as an auxiliary braking system so that when you’re on that long descent and, although this does have front disk brakes on the Coach, and rear drum brakes, this also has an engine brake of two stages that can allow you to help retard the engine and keep it safe and comfortable without having to put too much pressure on those brakes.
As you slide yourself around, you’ll notice we have your transmission controls in a very nice place. One thing that I love about where we position our transmissions, is it’s really a fingertip’s reach. One of the things that’s always recommended for those long descents is that you manually down shift. If you’re transmission controls are up on the dash, can you imagine trying to stay between the lines, you got trucks, you got this that going on, and you’re trying to figure out where everything is. We really do try to make this Coach to where it’s absolutely as easy as possible and you’re comfortable, and you’re not stressed out about the travel time, and by having it there really makes a huge difference. You’ll notice also that we relocated our key. You don’t need the key, but it is backup to the engine start. We’ve placed that in an area where it’s away from where somebody could potentially bump into it. So, it’s in a much better place. Finally, over here on the other side, is a leveling system. We do use a 4-point dual action hydraulic leveling system, and it is automatic. What’s nice is you just turn it on, hit “Auto”, and hit “Auto” again, it levels everything out. It’s not only hydraulic down, but it’s also hydraulic up. Some of the other systems with the spring loaded type scenarios, that spring can, over the course of time, get worn out. And, whenever there is, or was, an issue with jacks in the past, it always involved that spring. This is not a spring loaded type of jack system, so you can count on the fact that you’re going to have that reliability and the type of leveling system that we’ve incorporated into the model.
Besides having these directional TVs that you can basically position wherever you want, this does have a 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound Home Theater System. What that 5.1 stands for is that it’s got five speakers, and it’s got a sub-woofer, so your entertainment is going to be at a premium. You’re going to be able to get the good surround sound. It’s got a Blu-Ray, actually Wi-Fi Incorporated Home Theater System, too, so with Netflix, and if you’re in a campground where you have Wi-Fi connections, you can download whatever you want to do off the Web. All the TVs that we’re using have the extra capabilities to them to allow for stuff like that. It’s all high def, so all your TVs have HDMI wiring. We put HDMI switch boxes in these things. You’re not sacrificing anything because we’re building all that stuff into this unit, so there’s nothing else to add.
O’Banion: What an amazing Coach, Adam. You and your entire team should really be proud. You all did a phenomenal job. The Coaches have never looked better. An incredible value as we spoke about earlier. So, truly, thanks for taking the time to come down and spend with us and walk us through the Coach. I know I learned a lot, and I’m sure that our potential, future customers have learned a lot about the Coach today. And, again, I just want to thank you personally for taking the time and being away from your family and coming down and spending some time with ours, and to do these videos with us. It’s just so important with the consumer stuff today. Thanks so much for taking the time.
Gudger: Thanks, Donny. I really appreciate you having me. I enjoyed it and, Folks, thanks for joining us today.
O’Banion: And, if you have any additional questions about the Thor Motor Coach Tuscany, or any Thor Motor Coach that’s available here at Motor Home Specialist, please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-335-6054, or you can visit us any time online at MHSRV.com. Thank you all so much for watching, and we all look forward to hearing from you soon.
Before you buy a new Tuscany, or any new RV for that matter, be sure to check the M.S.R.P. for the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price. Unfortunately, other dealers prefer playing numbers games and price their new units at the full Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price. Then they discount the M.S.R.P. a meager 10% to 15% or less, and many unsuspecting RV buyers end up paying too much for their new motor home. They also use the heavily inflated price of the M.S.R.P. to over allow on trade-ins and trick other RV owners into thinking that they are getting more for their trade-in than they really are. Some dealers even alter the manufacturer’s window stickers to reflect a higher price, or remove the window sticker altogether and create their own version of retail pricing, even though this is against United States federal law. Without knowing the true Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price, you cannot be sure of the true percentage discount you are receiving from the dealership. Always demand a copy of the M.S.R.P., and only do business with dealers who prominently display not only the M.S.R.P but an upfront percentage discounted sale price without having to ask for it.
If you have any doubt about the M.S.R.P., call the manufacturer. If you have any doubt about your sale price, call Motor Home Specialist.
Thor Motor Coach’s commitment to excellence in manufacturing has also recently been taken to new heights. Thor has implemented the Gold Star Inspection process that requires every motor home to pass a more than 200-point inspection and road test before leaving the factory. The final inspection process also includes a computer alignment, and every unit is rain boot tested to detect any possible leak before shipping. You’ll also enjoy the comfort in knowing that your new motor home is part of Thor’s Rapid Response Parts Program that overnight express ships parts when they are required for the use of the Coach or present a safety concern. And, I know you’ll find Thor’s new Concierge Connection to be a refreshing take on what true customer relations and factory support is supposed to be.
For complete details on these incredible new programs from Thor Motor Coach, visit ThorMotorCoach.com.
Motor Home Specialist is not only the #1 volume selling motor home dealer in the world, but also the #1 Thor Motor Coach dealer in the world, offering the most diverse selection of new and used motor homes you’ll find anywhere, with prices ranging from about $10,000 to over $2,000,000 and every price point in between. At Motor Home Specialist you’ll never find our new motor homes priced at M.S.R.P. Instead, you’ll find an upfront, discounted sale price that you can easily compare with other products and dealerships across the country. No matter if you’re veteran RV’ers or first time buyers just looking for quality information and a dealership that will treat you fairly, Motor Home Specialist’s upfront pricing will take the games, gimmicks, and anxiety about paying too much out of the sales process. Because at Motor Home Specialist, we believe everyone deserves the same low price. It is this business principle that has allowed Motor Home Specialist to grow from being a small, pre-owned only dealership in 1999 to the industry leader selling approximately 40% of all new motor homes sold in Texas. We offer over 60 different models of new motor homes, from 10 of the most well-known manufacturers in the industry. Each are committed to producing quality products and offer something distinctly different in style and function. And, Thor Motor Coach is no exception.
Thor Industries was founded in 1980. In 1986, they were listed on the New York Stock Exchange. And, in 2004 they were named a Forbes prestigious “Platinum 400” list of companies. They are the world’s largest manufacturer of recreational vehicles and a major builder of the world’s most recognized name in towable RVs. Thor’s Motorized Divisions include two of the most popular names in recreational vehicles: Four Winds International and Damon Motor Coach. Recently, Four Winds and Damon merged to become Thor Motor Coach, the #1 retail selling motor home manufacturer in North America, with an amazing lineup of 20 of the most well-known models of luxury motor homes in the industry, with sizes and price points sure to fit most any RV lifestyle.
So, call 1-800-335-6054, or visit MHSRV.com for our upfront and every day low sale price that has made us the #1 volume selling dealership in the world. And, take the family in style on your next big RV adventure in a Thor Motor Coach from Motor Home Specialist. Why pay more? Why settle for less?
If you think that this is the right unit for you and your family, please contact a representative from Motor Home Specialist. We have easy financing with up to 20-year terms available and year-round sale prices on our entire inventory. We sell RVs to people, literally, all over the world. If you’re flying in, we will pick you up at the airport and bring you to your new RV. Each new RV goes through a rigorous service checklist twice before your arrival. Once here, you will be greeted by a service tech and shown how everything works and that everything is working properly on your new unit. You will also have an RV Starter Kit that includes a new water hose, sewer hose, chemicals, and much more.
Thanks for watching our video. We all look forward to hearing from you soon.
*Updated 6/17/16 - All weights, measurements, sizes, dimensions, features, options, etc. generated from manufacturer's website at time of update and not specific to any particular year model. This information is deemed reliable, but NOT guaranteed by the manufacturer or Motor Home Specialist due to continual product revisions and occasional OEM changes in the product, as well as any potential for human error when generating or posting these features, specifications or any other details. Please feel free to contact a Motor Home Specialist representative or the RV manufacturer for up to the minute product details before purchase. Thank you for shopping with us at MHSRV.com - We all look forward to hearing from you soon. 800-335-6054.