Editor’s note: This is the eleventh entry leading up to 2019’s Elkhart Open House. To read the last preview, click here. For the full Open House preview, be sure to check out the September 2019 issue of RV PRO.
The company has come out with some new products that are innovative to the market, including a 27-foot Class A Pursuit without any slides.
“The Cross Trek, a new product in Class C, is really focused on the Millennials with size, features and amenities focused on how Millennials use an RV,” says Mike R. Terlep, who oversees the Coachmen division. “Millennials tend to go for shorter stints with groups of people and are much more active in their RV lifestyle. We’re making sure we have ample storage for kayaks or whatever they may be taking with them.”
Coachmen has enhanced its product quality program by expanding the scope and number of corporate quality inspectors and enhanced PDI facilities.
When it comes to customer service, more than 500 team members have been trained in the “Customer Service Revolution” training program. There is a digital owner’s manual with attached assets, including videos, links and PDFs by brand. There is a new dealer portal, owner relations department, “Contact Us” portals and service team expansion by more than 50 percent.
Coachmen is working to reduce the repair event cycle time with an off-the-shelf parts policy, a reduced number of required returned parts by 65 percent and elimination of all but four “hold” status parts.
The new dealer parts catalog includes pictures for most parts and service parts, “days to ship goals,” established and tracked. Flat-rate codes have been reduced by 56 percent. Coachmen is meeting with suppliers to drop ship high frequency service parts directly to dealers and has reduced requirements of prior authorization requirements.
Coachmen Class A Division
The current hot product for the division is the Pursuit 27XPS. The new floorplan creates a new entry-level Class A price point without sacrificing on quality, functionality or look.
“We wanted to create a motorhome that was worry-free. This floorplan will allow campers to enjoy the destination as much as the journey,” says Mike Kaiser, Coachmen Class A general manager. “It is perfect for Walmart camping and the National Parks since it’s under 30 feet.”
The 27XPS has no slides. The Pursuit 27XPS has large exterior storage compartments, a silverware drawer, interior storage and a manual drop-down bunk. There are large windows throughout the coach. The 27XPS has 7,000 pounds of tow capacity with the possibility of towing 8,000 pounds, depending on how the coach is loaded.
Kaiser says there will be plenty of new price points in the entry-level gas segment and a redesigned Sportscoach RR lineup.
“We will be introducing two new floorplans and will also achieve a price point that is more competitive with our Sports- coach SRS,” he says. “The new Sportscoach RR will have a 360 HP motor, 10,000-pound hitch, tile floor, pass-thru storage and retail under $200,000.”
Coachmen Class B Division
“The Class B segment continues to thrive in this down market, posting a 7.9 percent increase year to date. For 2019, the Coachmen Class B’s are up 43.8 percent,” says Nick Recchio, product manager.
Recchio says the hot product for his line is the Beyond Class B on the Ford Transit chassis. A new third floorplan in the Beyond lineup, the 22RB, will be on display at The Expo.
“This will be the first rear bath on the Ford Transit chassis,” says Recchio. “Additionally, we are very excited to announce the NOVA product line. The NOVA will be built on the Dodge Pro Master chassis.”
The NOVA allows Coachmen Class B to offer an aggressive entry-level type Class B.
Coachmen’s Class C division is simplifying its floorplans in the new model year Freelander and Leprechaun motorhomes to keep price points down.
Coachmen Class C Division
Coachmen Class C is paring down and simplifying floorplans to keep price points down.
“We’re looking at our positioning and we’re taking a different approach to it. We’ve designated some floorplans as being more minimal in content to simplify and keep price points down,” says General Manager Mike Bear.
For example, a 31-foot bunkhouse family unit content is now very similar to a 21-foot value-leader Class C in an effort to remain price conscious. Freelander will be repositioned and streamlined to be easier to build and stock.
Freelander gets a new interior and exterior while Leprechaun will undergo significant design changes next year. Freelander and Leprechaun will see more similar floorplans this year, including the new 23-foot slide wall, called the 23FS in Freelander and 230FS in Leprechaun. It replaces the 24FS and will be a Coachmen original.
The 22XG and 220XG floorplan in both the Leprechaun and Freelander are a twist on the conventional rear bed and bath configuration, featuring a flip-up bed with outside storage for bikes and kayaks for the destination RVer.
The new 29KB model in both lines features a double slide with king bed, another Coachmen exclusive.
The new Cross Trek product, which was rolled out as a soft intro at RVX, is targeted at the new Millennial. It’s not as amenity oriented and suited for the destination type of user.
New Cross Trek floorplans include the 27XG and 22XG, offering huge storage. The 27XG has a queen bed, huge water capacity and does everything a typical motorhome in that size does, but there is room to stow two kayaks.
The Prism and Prism Elite products will stay the course while undergoing wood grain and décor changes, and the Elite product line gets a new front cap and profile with streamlined storage designs.
Bear says the hidden gem in the lineup is the Prism Elite product.
Coachmen Freedom Express
Coachmen Freedom Express has a totally new look it adopted in April, going from a tan to white exterior and an all-new interior look.
Units have received a new automotive front window to round out the look. The new 259FKDS floorplan will be on display at the Expo, featuring a front kitchen. Another floorplan in the works features a Murphy bed.
Coachmen’s Freedom Express has a totally new look at it adopted back in April, going from a tan to white exterior and an all-new interior look.
Although it’s only the group’s second year at Expo, Coachmen Spirit has already made a name for itself.
The extra-light Spirit XTR will refocus on creating even lighter and easier to tow units. A new concept, max-bed storage, is a new system on the XTR.
“It’s a system where the entire mattress and bed frame will lift up completely on struts. You can walk in underneath the bed and there will be a dresser and storage drawers,” says Andy Brock, general manager. “Traditionally, a third or maybe up to half of the bed base will lift up and you can lean over and tuck some stuff inside.”
A new XTR floorplan will feature a rear bath with an outside kitchen. The slide-out will be available with a dinette or theater seating and up front will be a max-storage bed concept.
The regular Spirit lineup has a new bar concept featuring four bar stools.
“We’ve taken it into a smaller 22-foot rear kitchen plan and 26-foot bunkhouse that will have a bar in it. You can play cards in it and eat breakfast. It will also have a slide-out pantry to create storage where there has never been before.”