New Workhorse UFO�Ѣ Chassis Brings Wave of New Choices to Motor Home Buyers
The first thing that impressed me was the handling of the coach. You can actually take your hand off the steering wheel and still go straight. The handling through the turns was unbelievable, no body lean whatsoever. The quietness of having the engine in the back was great. Overall, a Workhorse chassis with a rear-engine gas is just unbelievable.
Workhorse Custom Chassis, a leading manufacturer of motor home chassis, will display its all-new rear-engine Workhorse UFO�Ѣ platform during the show at the Florida State Fairgrounds (Booth 145). Those wishing to take a test drive of a 36-foot Forest River Georgetown model built on the Workhorse UFO�Ѣ can reserve a time now by going to www.workhorse.com/driveaufo/tampa.
Visitors to the Workhorse booth can also sign up during the show. However, two public test drives at fall RV shows saw most times booked well in advance, as interest in the new chassis is high.
More than 400 RV dealer representatives have also driven the new chassis at dealer events and individual dealerships throughout the fall, with post-drive surveys exceptionally positive.
"Our other chassis drew positive comments when they were introduced, but nothing like this," noted Bill Walmsley, Workhorse RV marketing manager. "Whether it's the quietness of the rear gas engine, the sharp turning radius, the lack of roll, the brakes, the acceleration -- across the board it's drawn extremely positive comments from anyone who has driven it."
"Because of the Workhorse UFO�Ѣ, 2007 will see significant changes in motor home floor plans and in the way RVers think about front- and rear-engine Class A motor homes," said Walmsley. "The Workhorse UFO�Ѣ chassis is generating a wave of new choices for RV consumers."
Presently, the majority of front-engine Class A chassis are gasoline-powered, while rear-engine chassis are all diesel-powered. In both cases, the engines protrude above the floor line. This creates a hump between the passenger and driver seats to crawl over in a front-engine motor home, and protrusions that are usually covered by a high-off-the-floor bed and cabinets in a rear-engine motor home.
The Workhorse UFO�Ѣ provides motor home buyers a choice of a gas or diesel rear engine (UFO = Universal Fuel Option) with the same coach floorplan. In addition, the configuration of the Workhorse UFO�Ѣ also enables coach builders to use a completely flat floor with either enginr, thus eliminating the need to build around a protruding engine and creating a greater variety of floorplan options, such as a rear living area, previously unavailable on rear-engine chassis (UFO = Universal Floorplan Option).
The initial Workhorse UFO�Ѣ model has a gas engine, which many find attractive because it is less expensive than a diesel while providing the benefits of a rear-engine configuration. These benefits include less cabin noise, less cabin heat, and, without the front-to-back drive shaft, less vibration and more pass through storage underneath the floor.
However, what test drivers are raving about is the exceptional ride, handling and performance of the chassis. "We wanted to make a chassis that was easier to drive and which felt safer to drive," said Walmsley. "The Workhorse UFO�Ѣ eliminates most of the roll people experience turning corners in a big motor home. It combines great acceleration, maneuverability and stopping power with a very stable and comfortable ride."
Typical post-drive comments vouch for that assessment:
"I'm very impressed with the way it steers, the way it handles, the way it rides. It's not just rear engine. I especially liked the rear coil springs. I'll classify it as rocket. ... I was greatly impressed in a tight spot in the parking lot. I can't believe I made that turn in the front row. I really think they've made a wonderful chassis."
Ted Trostle, State College, Pa
"The first thing that impressed me was the handling of the coach. You can actually take your hand off the steering wheel and still go straight. The handling through the turns was unbelievable, no body lean whatsoever. The quietness of having the engine in the back was great. Overall, a Workhorse chassis with a rear-engine gas is just unbelievable."
Ronald Seyfried. Jim Thorpe, Pa.,
Since its introduction in late summer, three coach manufacturers have announced plans to build models on the Workhorse UFO�Ѣ, including two all-new offerings from Winnebago Industries -- the Winnebago Destination and the Itasca Latitude. Forest River is also currently building its Georgetown model on the chassis and Monaco Coach Corporation will be soon building its Monaco LaPalma and Holiday Rambler Vactioner models on it. Other unannounced manufacturers are in various stages of integrating the chassis into their motor home lines.