Resurrecting Dinosaurs – The Story Behind Our RV Design
The RV world sometimes feels like a big prehistoric dinosaur that hasn’t changed much since the 80’s.
It’s no secret we feel this way…we’re not exactly quiet with our opinions. We don’t feel that most RV’s, especially the Class A motorhomes are currently being made or marketed towards young (non retired age), working, active and adventurous travelers.
Sure there are a few somewhat different options in the van and trailer arena (Leisure Travel, Sportsmobile, Airstream, etc.) but as far as we know there are no Class A’s that fill this gap.
So, when we were given the opportunity to offer feedback, give our readers a chance to weigh in and collectively make some changes within the RV industry, we couldn’t pass it up.
We feel a little crazy for taking on this project, and it’s hard to believe this is where we are, but we’re thrilled to see that the RV industry wants to appeal to a new demographic of travelers. Never in a million years would we have thought we’d be working with an RV manufacturer to help create changes that appeal to people like ourselves (tech ready, off the grid capable, working spaces, eco-conscious…).
We call this project Resurrecting Dinosaurs, because trying to convince an old school industry to think outside the “box” is much like trying to resurrect dinosaurs. Ok, so maybe it isn’t that difficult but you know we have a flair for the dramatic.
This is a single project for us and isn’t something we’ll likely continue to do in the future. Travel is our passion and a life of travel (in a variety of vessels) is what we will continue to focus on. We’d like to see the RV manufacturers build more options for people like us, but we want to see the world not spend our days at a factory.
We Need Your Help
We know there are a lot of us out there that would love to see some different RV designs inside and out. The difficult part is convincing the RV manufacturers that there are enough of us that want the same (or similar) types of changes. The problem is we will never know if the industry will listen to us unless we try!
Please share your ideas and thoughts with us in the comments below.
We already have the ear of Fleetwood (we’re very thankful they want to hear what we all have to say) and they’ve agreed to make some offerings based on the feedback given. But the beautiful thing is all this is available to anyone who wants to view it. Which is why we will encourage all of the manufacturers to consider the thoughts shared and we hope you will share them with your RV Mfr of choice too. We’re sharing because we want to see more options throughout the industry, not just with one brand or even one class of RV. We are a group of diverse travelers with a variety of needs, and we need the Recreational Vehicle marketplace to reflect this.
Thanks so much for joining us on this different kind of adventure! Stay tuned for the full tour of our designs, upgrades, mods and more.
Disclaimer: We are not being paid to drive this test RV, nor is it given to us, we pay to lease the Bounder the same as we did for Roy. We are thankful to Fleetwood for helping to support our Resurrecting Dinosaurs series, it’s a passion project for us that we hope can benefit the entire RV industry. Transparency is always important to us, and as usual our thoughts are our own and can never be purchased!
Nikki and Jason, I realize you guys are making your way across the Pacific Ocean right now, but I stumbled upon this discussion while doing research on a motorhome my wife and I are looking to procure for full-timing. We are 100% behind your comments about the dated, bloated, and non-eco-friendly designs and features available in today’s 30-34 feet motorhomes priced in the $140,000-$170,000 range (new MSRP). We like the Fleetwood Bounder 33C, the Winnebago Vista 30T, the Newmar Bay Star 3408 and the Tiffin Allegro Open Road 34PA, but they ALL, without exception, look like they’re straight out of the 1980’s, and we’ve grown weary trying to find a Class A gasser with anything resembled contemporary styling and features.
Your Resurrecting Dinosaurs project is more than 3 years old. Did it ever come to anything? Can we look to Fleetwood to be the lone beacon of modern design in an otherwise dark motorhome world?
Fair winds and following seas. Dennis and Robin in Chicago
Hey Dennis & Robin. Nikki and Jason did a follow-up post with their poll results from fellow RVers and some follow-up discussion with Fleetwood. Check it out here: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/influencing-rv-design-changes
That’s exactly what I was looking for, and easily the best treatise on the state of today’s motorhome designs that I have seen. Well done. It would appear Fleetwood has incorporated some of your suggestions into their design, but I’d sure like to see styling and features like what can be seen in the Leisure Travel Vans Class B+ product, Roadtrek, or even the Winnebago Horizon incorporated into Class A gassers. Heck, even Winne’s discontinued Via and the current Navion/View are more modern, elegant and up to date. Oh and can we PLEASE have the option to not have the horrid exterior paint schemes, with contrasting colors and swoops? Ok, if somebody wants the swoops, by all mean off them, but for those who would prefer a far more understated look, can we have the option? Again, LTV leads the way, and even a relatively old school company like Coach House offers a plain exterior paint job, called “Basic Full Body Paint” in their Platinum XL coaches.
I’ve spent a little more time browsing your archives, and notice your comment “Well, things have changed over at Fleetwood and most of the people we originally worked with have moved on to bigger/better/different things.”. Sadly, my experience in the business world tells me that, when something like this happens, when you lose a team of visionaries (and in this case, lose the driving force – The Wynns), old, established companies sink back to what they’ve always done, and any gains that may have been made are fairly quickly relinquished.
What are your thoughts and Fleetwood since your project ended? Have they maintained the passion for improving their product?
Hope your voyage has remained enjoyable, and looking forward to hearing about its successful conclusion.
Hi Nikki/Jason. I see with great interest that you have been involved with the guys at Fleetwood. Are you still in contact with them? Would it be possible for you to give me their contact details? I live in South Africa and own a 1996 Fleetwood Jamboree Rallye. We have had to strip the inside “wallpaper” to do some water damage repairs and cannot find any same or similar to replace it. Our repairer has used Formica laminate sheets – which are not flexible – with the result that those are now coming away from the walls. We are now looking to maybe get a roll or two from Fleetwood, even if the pattern is not exactly the same (maybe match the colourings). Do you think that would be possible? If you are still in contact with them could you perhaps mention it to them? If not, well contact details would be appreciated. Thanks for hearing me out. Carry on with the interesting videos. Sorry though they wont be on RVing anymore. ? Kind regards. Chrissie.
Firstly, I just love you two! OMG, you are filled with sunshine and laughter. Nikki, you are stunningly gorgeous and have the BEST skin I’ve ever seen. Jason, you are so fun and free and I LOVE your hair 🙂 OK, the gushing is out lol.
We’re hoping to start RV’ing semi-full time soon, staying at our lake house for 6 months then hitting the road for the other six months. We’re going to go much smaller with a truck camper. We’ve been searching for a while and are absolutely smitten with the new Cirrus TC’s. They have a “Euro” style finish – the first we’ve seen which are not stuck in the early 80’s – dinosaur free 🙂 Very clean and minimal looking finishes. Super impressed.
Wishing you both safe travels on your new catamaran adventure – it looks like so much fun. Thanks again for your wonderful videos and blogs and all the sunshine you spread around.
Some style inspiration I found is from a Portland, Oregon based Tiny House builders named; Tiny Heirloom. Their designs represent a more natural, airy and generational style.
My husband and I live on Long Island, NY and are interested in buying our first home as an RV. One of the design problems we face is, similar to yours, most RVs come in one style and aren’t geared towards the younger generation.
In terms of aesthetics, if RVs were able to be custom designed by offering a style similar to Tiny Heirlooms, I do believe the RV community would be able to interest our generation into buying well made, green RVs.
Being in our late 20’s and early 30’s we want something to live in that will represent our style, if we are lucky enough to make the transition as full time RVers. Just as expected when buying a home, we feel as though we’d be living in the van full time and want it to feel like us : )
I really appreciate the goals you set in hopes of changing Fleetwood company’s view, one van at a time! Working hand & hand with Fleetwood ensuring that our generation is fully heard and represented, is a great accomplishment. Unfortunately, one day the generation that supplies most RV company’s with income will be gone, and we have to pave a path for our generation to ensure the RV community fully understands us, property identies our changing environmental needs and offers us the aesthetics that frame our life’s.
I hope the future is headed in this direction. You guys are such an insiration to my husband and I. We hope to one day be able to join you on the road/boat life!
Thanks for all the amazing videos and posts!
We look forward to hearing more.
Good on Fleetwood for being receptive to comments from RV owners. I am a former Safari owner, and thought that there was way to much of a shakedown needed to get the Coach safely driveable. I spent alot of money on alignment,anti-sway, etc. And it went from white Knuckle driving to single finger driving. Coach companies need to offer more options to customers to upgrade the chassis to a better driving coach. And please, NO MORE OAK cabinets! As a furniture builder, I can tell you that those went out in the early 80’s! Also, less heavy particle board junk, that most people would be embarrassed to have in their homes. It weighs to much, and off gasses as well. More solar options the better. If I ever get another RV, I don’t want to be tied to RV parks – They are depressing! I want lots of solar, lithium options to max out a coach so I don’t have to run a loud, smelly generator when boondocking. Last point. All roofs should be light reflective. And no more stripes on the side, or dark colors. They show dirt, generate heat, and look cheesy! Don’t you guys use the coaches you sell? OK, I am done. Also, I would be more interested in direct sales online, and cut out ridiculous margins that could be used on better materials. Look at TESLA as a good example. Let us pay for service. Best of luck in modernizing your business
Yep, we’re right there with you James!
How did you cure the white knuckle steering. The wind makes it worse. We have a gas holiday rambler. Help
My wife and I have been to many RV shows and find the same limitations in the type A motorhomes: limited kitchen counter space, cramped bathrooms with shower/commode/sink together, limited wardrobe space, nearly no counter space beside the bed for glasses etc, limited pantry space, TVs in locations that require dislocating one’s neck to see them, and general lack of openness. 5th wheel designs are far superior to motorhomes.
WOW, I love this challenge for you both. I have watched your vids and find you guys very classy couple. Everything you pointed out to these two gentlemen were spot on.
The fabrics are very synthetic feeling and not what you ever want to cozy up to. And yes, they always seem to gravitate to the swooshie ruff look of the 80s. Oh, and your very correct in making the look inside and out simple. Less is more. I have been looking very hard at the Airstream travel trailers. They have a good concept of marketing to 3-4 different consumers. The AS Cloud has the simple look that most younger people like. While the AS Classic is more built for the older consumer. AS Land Yacht is for the older customer with deep pockets.
Each company that make a unit with bunk beds need to give that unit a class name and build it around a family younger customer. For a couple like you that young and no children and love sports could be another line of RVs. (could you stress solid walls. Stop making plastic textured walls with that random powder color looks. A nice egg shell solid color looks way more classy. Most full timers end up painting their walls and they look so much better.)
I am so glad you spoke up on the solar. I can not figure who wouldn’t want solar. It’s free energy people. However, rewiring the RV is a great idea. AS does that on most of their models now.
My last three rants are. PLEASE start replacing those worthless 6 gallon water heaters with instant hot water heaters. To do it yourself conversion kits on line are only about 200-300.00 on line.
The beds. Give us better quality mattresses. Not just the master bed, but the bunk beds too. The bunk beds are always a flimsy 2″ mat. No one can sleep on that for any period of time.
The price of a RV replacement pluming fixtures from plastic the real metal is not much. Please make better facets for all skins and PLEASE give us the aerated shower heads. They really give you better pressure and make a better bathing experience.
This is all for now. Hope I wasn’t late on my report.
My husband and I just bought a 2016. 35 k bounder after having a Winnebago aspect 29 h for 10 years. We also had a HURRICANE 32 for about a year. These were both 2006 and 2007 . I have to say we have some retail stores and camping is a great last minute getaway for us . I do have quite a lot of thoughts on the 2016 BOUNDER . It is currently in the shop and has been for a month and possibly another few weeks . The wiring in the unit was installed incorrectly . The water tank was leaking and the wiring charred and could have caught fire . The windshield was installed incorrectly and is being replaced . There are soo many more problems .Too many to list !! It is noisy and the bed above the cab squeaks so much when driving you would think you can’t stand it another minute. I think it seems to be a little too high tech !GENERAL RV in ORANGE PARK ,FL has been great so far in helping us work out all the kinks. We love the unit. ,, We both appreciate beautiful aesthetics and this unit has it ! The bath and half is such a luxury. I do have some suggestions. , I do not like the LIP on the dinette seats. Very hard to get in and out of the seat. I wish the sofa was a tad deeper . The counters in our unit scratch VERY easily . The cab is super noisy . I wish there was an electrical outlet outside so we could plug in our electric grill and an outside table would be nice to set cooking things on. . The bedroom cabinets being FLUSH. Would make them a lot easier to get in and out of under the wardrobe . I hope we get all of the issues fixed soon so we can get out and enjoy . We had none of these problems with the WINNEBAGO .
I wish you two could be the next new RV Manufacturer in the USA!
My only comment for the industry: take a page from Airstream’s book and start offering modern RV interiors. Why must every coach look like something my grandmother would have decorated? We purchased a used 96 Serro Scotty 4×4 Diesel Class C and gutted the interior. Here’s the result: http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/album.php?albumid=2768
Still a work in progress!
At age 67, I have retired as a real estate appraiser. Some of those skills transfer to selecting my optimum motorhome.
(1.) I think all of the exterior design details changes you advocated are great! Take off half the swirls and twirls and reduce the contrast. I think the roof should be a neutral color, neither white nor black. The albedo effect (which absorbs solar heat) can be great in Alaska where I live if the roof is black, but I bet it would be nasty in Arizona or Florida in the summer where a reflective white or silver is preferable. The NASCAR racers find it best to have a little front air dam under the nose that diverts air around the body instead of letting it go beneath the chassis when the rig is underway. I’m no aerodynamicist, but I wonder if it would be desirable… Maybe hard rubber? Maybe rubber material similar to the aft mudflap? It’s hard to imagine a shape that produces more aerodynamic drag than a box travelling at 65mph. What do Airliners look like? The famed C-130 Hercules? Did you ever see the tailcone NASA placed on the back of the Space Shuttles before they had a 747 ferry them home after flight?
(2.) Mud resistant flooring would be much, much better than hard to clean carpet. There are, however, 24″ x 24″ commercial carpet tiles worth considering. They clean easier and if damaged, they are easy to replace. I expect they’re also good sound insulators and absorbers. Like the Wynns, I would rather have a vinyl flooring that looks like wood flooring… Dirt can contribute to the grainy look. Throughout the entire cabin.
(3.) I am a great fan of simple cabinetry – Scandinavian teak reminds me of our old Chris-Craft boat (teak clearly shouts “top-of-the-line” to me). There is no love in my heart for the east coast frilly stuff imported from France and England. Think Scandinavian teak designs or English sailing ships made of teak and oak. Our good fishing boats have good cabinetry and bunks made from Marine Plywood. No time-consuming and costly filigrees. Paint.
I wish the RV industry would get behind some new ideas. I love wood but they overload the interior with too much hard surfaces. People don’t always like carpet but it offsets the hard surfaces for sound deadening. Switch out some of the hard upper surfaces and you get a better balance and save weight.
I also wish they would get behind lower cost diesel coaches. A front mounted engine has advantages and you can put a diesel up there. Most of the V10 based gas products could easily be offered with the Ford diesel. Our smaller Via drives much better than a lot of coaches in its class thanks to the V6 diesel so I am betting a 30-35 footer would have the same benefit with a V8 diesel.
Solid exterior color! Its like buying clothes, solids are classic, prints never last. Think FUN..what colors represent fun OR relaxation. Dont sell to both, have a decor for one or the other. Maximize space, and efficiency with clean lines..recycle renew reuse…offer replacement parts. Strive to conserve energy. Toaster oven microwave..small fridge, separate freezer, easy to clean..martine on page 1 of this blog feb 19 2016 had great ideas..i dont have an rv yet and i would love a class b..think VW hippy..for about 20K..or a travel trailer ..small and sporty , sleeps me and my hubbie and my 2 kids; a boy and a girl comfortably…if they want to bring friends..where am i putting the tent and the lawn chairs? We lived thru the recession..DEBT is uncool..please allow me to afford to pay CASH for my toys..keep it simple..i need to sleep, bathe, eat,store (dry goods,clothing, linens, toys). I do need wifi..but i dont think i need a tv..i have an ipad….i need a charging station, i need a mirror…i need a view…last thought mini blinds are the worst! Fabric can be washed and cheaply allows you to customize your toy to your taste.
Patrick J Eagan, Bounder # 739TG4420846
I am a current owner of a 2016 Bounder, 34T. We have made several trips to California, reside in AZ, and I totally agree with the transmission issue. I have looked at newer Bounders and they have carpet over the dog house, prob helps quiet it and not so much heat gets thru, and a wooden drink holder. That dog house of mine gets to hot and really warms up any drink near it. The driver and passenger also need some type of holder on the wall to either side.I am extremely pleased with the layout. But as you stated my BIGGEST issues are with the heat from the dog house, no drink/junk holders near either the driver or passenger and drivers seat isn’t the best. But then again it’s an entry level 34 footer so………….will just add a heat/massage unit. I guess I’ll have to contact Fleetwood and see about the holders or fabricate my own. Thanks for your input, glad to see honest review of my vehicle. I’m a simple person so alot of the small stuff really doesn’t bother me, but it could still use some minor changes to make it better
1. Solar hookups preinstalled (openings on roof)
2. Only True Sine Inverters with wattage option 2000? 3000? etc choices.
3. 110V electrical outlets based on True Sine Inverter not on generator only.
4. Exterior storage with washable lining, no carpeting or bare steel to rust out.
5. Exterior cabinet barn doors that open sideways not upwards.
6. Frameless windows on every RV
7. Standard rear ladder on all RVs
8. Standard Backup camera in color with audio. 3-way camera option.
9. Outside BBQ hookup standard on all RVs.
10. Better sewer hose storage system in separate tube under RV carriage.
11. Exterior paint job should be one color all over and choice of bright colors like metallic burnt orange or metallic teal. Current swirly graphics should be banned and made illegal on the basis of extreme ugliness causing digestive issues and migraine headaches!
12. No more carpeting anywhere in RV! Option of engineered real wood floors, stone design vinyl tile. Standard cab area in molded plastic material with a button down washable floor mat for every RV.
13. No more formica counters. Corian or other stone material that lasts and looks good. Bright color options.
14. Cabinets designed like the new Itasca Reyo or European Adria Matrix Supreme M687 SLT, and not dated wood clunkers with tacky hardware! Handles should be brushed nickel or stainless steel modern.
15. Large closets and wardrobes in bedroom with more hanging space.
16. Hard quality queen mattress like Kawada. No more memory foam or other soft cheap stuff. Deduct mattress from cost and let us pick our own.
17. Ban accordion doors and other flimsy, ugly, and ineffective doors. Increase use of pocket, or tambour doors.
18. Install wire or wood slide out pantry storage in every RV.
19. No stove should EVER have a hinged lid. This is non-functional and a safety hazard.
20. No more double sinks or tiny round kitchen sinks! One piece, medium size, rectangular.
21. All kitchen faucets should be removable spray type and modern looking not ugly cheap ones.
22. Fridge should not be giant, power-hungry residential models, but compact 6-8 cu ft, sleek, and self-locking.
23. Separate door for freezers always.
24. Magnetic fridge surface is a big plus.
25. Remove stove oven, and add microwave convection oven instead as standard. Use extra space for storage.
26. Option to install composting toilet over traditional one with no more black tanks.
27. Auto loft bed option over fixed cab bed.
I agree with everything you said! I would just add the option for some kind of workspace that’s comfortable for working all day. All of the changes you listed will appeal to younger, working full-timers (which is what my husband and I are heading towards in our fifth wheel after we sell our house) and we are going to have to pull out the dinette table and chairs and replace it with a more appropriate and comfortable working space.
Great list, agree with everything. Other comments:
Solar, solar, solar (large storage area for sizable battery banks with easy access)
Easy shutoff of power consuming devices like the frig.
Max utilization of all spaces for 35ft and less motor coaches.
No excuses for cutting corners of any kind (chassey extensions that compromise the control or stopping ability of the motor home, undersized a/c units, etc…)
I’m a newbie but coming up to speed quickly with the videos you guys shoot… Great job Wynns!
ozone333 Electronic music
I couldn’t agree more with Scott,[from April 16th] Solar is a must! It’s inexpensive and super effective at keeping the house batteries charged even if you prefer using a generator. Having solar is having free electricity! I would need a computer workstation or at least an office space to work on my PC. A lot of the things that people do these days is connected to having and using some sort of computer, so why not create a computer workstation area and lose all the extra beds. And boondocking is the latest craze with the expense of housing going up up up. Lots of boomers are hitting the road in Tiny Houses. Tiny houses are the rage right now because they fill the void that the motorhome manufacturers should have filled years ago. On-Demand hot water systems, radiant flooring, highly efficient wood or pellet stoves, composting toilets, LED lighting and standardized DIN size car stereos for a multitude of aftermarket choice. I can cope with the ugly exterior choices as long as the functionality of the motorhome meets my needs.
carpeting its got to go. traveling with a dog and carpet does not always mix well
sky lights? many national parks have beautiful night skys yet most rvs even the roof vents are not see through
plastic door jambs crack and break
exterior paint jobs they are nearly all the same, if rv has aluminum siding why even paint it
maybe a altitude change friendly package its nice knowing what will work where
ditch the non standard stereo, go with a single or double din
its not a lie that rv’s loose value fast, maybe it wouldn’t be as drastic if nearly every item was marked with a brand or manufacture. so if you couch tears flip it over and order a new one. not every couch is the same dimensions or same storage area and if you have a water tank under it. that info gets really important to keep a rv in good shape, so when you sell it you have a bigger down payment on a newer one
dead space, some options would be nice to utilize areas not being utilized its hard to find these if you dont know about them
at minimum prewiring solar seems practical
Totally agree with you Chris, thanks for sharing your thoughts.
How might one go about buying your RV? It’s probably well cared for and we’re looking for a used first RV for our adventures.
We will drop it off in FL and Fleetwood will have to decide if they want to bring it back to IN and inspect it, or have the dealer in FL inspect it. Then they’ll list it for sale.
Hi there you guys my wife and I have just purchased a used 96 bounder that’s been well cared for and is as tight as a drum I am absolutely chomping at the bit to use and settle into it. It has the Chevy P chassis with a 454 listening to your dialog on the Ford Chassis I like better the way the transmission on ours shifts under load. I have learned a lot from your u tube postings and hope to see a whole lot more.
Google “attractive interiors” and compare that to any RV: the two have absolutely nothing in common.
And this guy’s argument for putting swirls all over the exterior of a vehicle…it’s as tacky as flames.
Find me a luxury car with a swirl down the side of it. Just try to find one. Why can’t it just be ONE color?!
Tesla could put the entire RV industry out of business if they wanted to.
So true . And please. Please listen . We are waiting to find an option that doesn’t remind us of our grandmothers underwear .
Hi guys, Love you both.
I was unaware that one could “Lease” a RV.. how do you do that? Never heard of that before…
Also was wondering where do you have the cats litter box? Some use the shower, others under the table..
We are planning a 3 or 4 month Alaska/Canada trip in 2016, do you recommend a Convoy or do it yourself. convoys are very expensive.
Thanks & Happy travels
I can’t answer in detail but here’s the short scoop:
Lease – This is a test coach, as far as I know it is not possible to lease an RV.
Litter – We keep it up in front of the passenger seat, when we arrive the seat spins around and hides the litter box.
AK – Follow our route and go for it, we think experiencing it on your own time & terms makes it more adventurous.
We fulltime in an older DP. There are several new models with the 3 litre Mercedes chassis. I believe the direction lies in a similar bigger version. I believe a 30-35 ft model could do close to 15 MPG. The vehicle will have to be Diesel. A gas unit will not be able to attain those numbers.
Your title says it all and is a perfect fit with almost every RV manufacturer out there which is pre and post ugglee I must say! I do have a few pet peeves though and possibly a couple ideas that I want to relay to the both of you in regards to the Bounder. I am a huge fan of a well thought out aesthetically pleasing “captain’s” area which encompasses the entire look and feel of the vehicle that I am driving. This may sound weird but this is a deciding factor for me when I am purchasing a vehicle.
The Bounders cockpit area makes me cringe with disappointment as it is awful looking, ugly, and completely unattractive. I feel that this area was an afterthought to the designers of this coach. It just does not match with what this RV is all about. It doesn’t look right and deflates me like an out of control balloon. It is plain and boring. If I was blindfolded and put into the driver’s seat of The Bounder and then unblindfolded I would immediately say, “OK, I am sitting in a ford truck.” The steering wheel and cockpit should have a connection to what’s behind it and THE BOUNDER should be no exception. This RV would look even better IMO( along with your amazing interior design changes) than that awful FORD LOGO’D steering wheel staring at me. IMO why can’t Fleetwood do an interior cockpit area just like their PROVIDENCE RV cockpit? Now we’re talking cockpit area!! The details are where it is at for me when deciding on any purchase. I personally think that The Bounder is a very well thought out interior
(excluding their aesthetic design choices) and is one of my favorites on the market, unfortunately I just could not purchase this RV with that horrific cockpit design as the way it looks now. Thank you for your time!
I’m so glad you guys are doing this!!! I think that the RVs out there are mostly ugly (my opinion, of course). And it has been really hard to find something I felt really good about fulltiming in.
Amen to the Wynn’s for finally opening the eyes of the RV manufacturers (or trying to, I saw the video). They are so far off the mark on what we want. Their designs are awful!!!! That being said, I would like to throw my two cents in on the refrigerators. Why is the only choice huge house size or tiny rv size. I would live to get some sort of one in between. I want to have more room, yet not sacrifice the space that could be used for other storage. I am so looking forward to what Fleetwood does with your suggestions. I hope they won’t chicken out and stay with what they have been doing since the dawning of time. 🙂
Tom Van Soelen
It seems the RV manufacturers have always “built behind the curve” of design and decor. I don’t know if it has to do with thinking that all RV buyers are old people, or the RV designers/ manufacturers are generally located in rural Indiana where cutting edge decor design does not originate. However, I believe these two issues are a big factor in what is available for purchase in the market.
Hi Guys, Great work you guys are doing in the industry! My husband, Rich and I invested quite a bit of time upgrading (re-decorating) our 2012 32-foot Winnebago Aspect. Like you, we prefer a cleaner canvas from the manufacturers, where we can add our own style in the form of home decor, photos, etc. Essentially our efforts allowed us to take out some of the overly-bold (gaudy) graphics in our RV and start from scratch with softer linen and muted colors. We just made a YouTube video about our process. We support your efforts, just filled out your survey, and are with you in spirit on this monumental task of educating RV manufacturers. Best to you both! K
I really can’t vote because I’ll probably never buy a new RV. My first two gas class A’s cost $10k and $12k. I just picked up a nice diesel for $17k. If you ask most folks how much a motorhome costs they’ll probably tell you $100,000! We started rving in our late 30’s and like you – we’re much younger than most class A drivers!
My husband and I are just starting as full timers and really appreciate your helpful blog and high quality videos. We heartily agree with your thoughts on how the industry and products need to get with the 21st century program. However, just a thought, but the goals you mention above have little to do with age and it is a bit offensive to suggest that they do. I am 65 and work full time as an attorney using technology. I communicate, do legal research, and make court filings over the net. I need an office in the RV just like you do. We love wild camping and it was the big draw in getting our RV. We immediately began adding a solar installation much like yours, wifi, cell booster etc completely independent from your website, although your suggestions are certainly very helpful. We are concerned with the environment and support and use alternative energy. In fact our toad is an all electric car which we owned before the RV. We are certainly active and enjoy the same pastimes you do. My point is that the need/desire to work while traveling, concern for the environment, fondness for wild camping and attraction to adventure are not limited to those under 65. Lots of us have been interested in these same things for a long time and haven’t outgrown it. It is hurtful to be discarded as irrelevant to moving the industry and the lifestyle forward.
In no way are we stating that retirees don’t have similar desires or abilities (age is just a number). I am sad to hear you thought that is what we are saying. This isn’t an ageism issue or poke at age. The thing is when we talk with a lot of the RV industry (manufactures, service centers, dealers, organizations and so on) we are often told they are geared towards “retirees that go to RV parks” as that has been their main idea of who their customer is for a while now (and a lot of their current customers concur with that). However, there is a shift happening with more and more younger non retired people being able to RV (especially young families) and most don’t think we make up enough of the market to bother with. I wouldn’t even mention age if it wasn’t for the fact that it is consistently thrown at us as if somehow our younger age makes us a minority not yet worth addressing/marketing to with some of the industry folks we speak with.
Thank you for being so kind as to answer right away. It seems we both feel “stung” by the same silly stereotypes. We too have been hit with these ideas. When we started to work with a dealer to get the solar/battery configuration we wanted, the management of the shop expressed shock that we would not be spending all out time in full hook up RV parks. (Quote “Are you saying you actually want to go off grid?!?”) The image of “retirees that go to RV parks” is a silly and false assumption on the part of the industry, regardless of the age of the customer. I think there are far more customers of all ages out there that are like us than they think and they are missing a huge market opportunity. Keep up the good work.
Love your videos and site!! I have learned so much from them as we gear up for a lifestyle change into full timing with two teens. I especially agree with you about resurrecting dinosaurs! I love your attitude and graciousness while you were in the process. Your ideas were spot on and I am afraid they missed it for the most part. It is helpful to know many of their reasons are sound but some one out there will figure out a way to meet the majority’s desires if enough people are looking for it and it translates to making money! ; ) In the meantime we are looking at a fifth wheel toy hauler that is pretty close to a more contemporary design
and meets the needs of our family of four. Thank you, thank you for your great site!
They did listen more than maybe they lead on in this video. They have/are already making adjustments with the feedback given so far to future products and even some rolling off the lines now. I do believe all the manufactures are realizing there is more than one type of traveler out there and making an effort to create a product for us. The question will remain…how long will it take before we see big major changes? Only time will tell. Good luck with the fifth wheel hunt!
RV manufacturers should really give some thought to aerodynamics to help improve fuel mileage.
Finally, someone gets it! Younger couples/singles/families will buy RVs if they fit their lifestyle. Look at the success of tiny homes, utilizing space-saving eco-friendly, smart design to incorporate all the conveniences of modern life. Similar ideas can be used for RV design. There should be an “Eco-RV” that comes prewired for solar, composting toilet, wifi boost, and sleek, modern cabinets and fixtures. I don’t want to walk into an RV and see nothing but BROWN. Brown floors, brown wallpaper, brown cabinets, brown sofa, YUCK. I think they should focus on a small Eco-friendly RV, but they need to be bigger than the camper vans to accommodate couples/families/pets etc. Also the outside should be sleek and contemporary and less boxy.
Thanks so much for all you do-I appreciate all your thoughtful, informative videos. I plan to purchase an RV when they come out with a modern, eco-friendly design and hopefully you are getting the message to the industry. They are missing out on a huge market, glad you brought it to their attention 🙂
Unreal. You have said exactly what I have been thinking. They do need to lighten up the decor. It’s either living in a disco or rooming with the Clampetts. I get that solar and lithium batteries are expensive and not for everyone. But why torture those trying to embrace some really useful technology? It’s taken the industry years just to pre-wire HDMI cables. Luddites.
An under 30 footer Class A , Thor 27K is nearly my ideal rig. A few of your design aesthetics and tech upgrades and I’ll be on my way.
Just want to say that what you are doing needs to be done. The industry needs to wake up and move on.
Being purely scientific is not mandatory but that 14 question survey is leading and unclear at best. I could rewrite that survey in a manner that you would deem fair and neutral – and elicit opposing responses. I grok where you are going with this and I agree, in principle. But you need to look much deeper and work with a manufacturer who is willing to throw the baby out with the bath water and start fresh. These boxes on wheels available today are not helping the industry grow. Used RV sales are through the roof because there is nothing special about the new RVs (except maybe greater complexity and stratospheric pricing that they hope you don’t know is 30% inflated.)
I feel like I could overlook a lot with the decor if they would just step away from the prints. Keep it simple.
So glad to have found this… we are currently looking at what to get in order to go full-time rv-ing with our family… that’s no easy task we realize, as we have 10 children still living at home, however, in order to make some great changes, we’re willing to change some big things, and so we’re looking at what motorhome to buy. We’ve found ourselves with a similar feeling… wishing we could “customize” things to fit our needs. It will be fun to watch this process with you! Thanks for sharing!
YES! this! we are doing the same … but with only three kiddos and a few pets that may or may not be coming along for the ride! and we are going CRAZY trying to find something that is suitable with enough beds that doesn’t make me want to poke my eyeballs out with the design! i’m to the point of wanting to purchase something older that will allow me to completely redo it. and to think … i just wanted to take my family on the road for a bit. GAH. there is honestly nothing out there currently that is family friendly for potential full timers. time to put on my design hat.
We totally agree that often times it’s best to purchase a coach that’s a few years old then retrofit it to your style. You can also look for used tour buses as they are typically outfitted to sleep an entire band.
Right now is a rough time to buy a used tour coach. The music touring biz has recovered very well and the glut of used coaches from 3 or even 2 years ago has faded. While you can still buy them they’re currently on road, earning an income for their owners and that’s keeping the prices up. That said, a 12 bunk coach with rear state room for mom & dad isn’t a bad idea. Bunks are in groups of 3, so one bay could removed and become laundry, storage, or office cubby (or all 3). Entry price for 20 year old chassis w/700k miles, and dated interior is about US$90k. Newer chassis command higher prices even with higher mileage.
A new Prevost chassis/shell can be had for US$500k for anyone interested in a truly custom coach. The conversion can cost as little as $100k or go to the end of your imagination.
Frank “has been on a few tour coaches” Lingo
Vincent (Flightdoc) Lugg
I’ve just purchased my first motor home. A 2009 Monaco Monarch 30SFS. I don’t actually have it yet. This week coming. I am very interested to many of the upgrades you’ve done with solar and the composting toilet. Please keep all the amazing information coming.
As a marketing team, I understand Fleetwood’s desire to design “something” for the masses. They do have an advantage where they have many motorhome brands to meet different price points. I know you wanted to see more floorplans in the 30′ to 32′ size, which I don’t see in the Bounder, only their lower end (Storm, Flair) coaches. We camp 95% in the state parks and national parks of OH,PA,KY, WV, NY & VT. where 35’+ could limit a person on finding a site. Our next RV (trailer) I’m looking for a 26′ – 30′ unit that meets our needs. Prefer to stay closer to the 26′ length. Also planning a trip to AK. in 16′.
We also have a Bounder (2013) and already can see huge changes from our to the new ones… but sill much more need to be changed!
10000% agreed with you when you said that not everyone is wiling to pay $300K – 600K for a RV and “younger RV’s” don’t have much options for Class A’s. This must change and you are on the right direction!
We are also planning our trip to Alaska but for the Summer of 2016. For sure will use your trip as our “bible”!
Hi, I have enjoyed following your travels and the advice offered on this site and your YouTube channel. unfortunately being on the other side of the planet Fleetwood may not see my input as valid, but ideas are ideas and often times a different perspective helps. I like the design changes you have proposed so far and perhaps can offer some ways around some of the RV manufacturers reluctance to change.
I have not had a chance to read all the preceding posts so if I cover an idea again just consider it support for a good idea.
As mentioned in one of the first posts RV makers are shy of moving away from what sells, and RV dealers are the largest buyers from a Manufacturers point of view. This skews the sense of style to what dealers think is cool, or what they can sell. After all they don’t have to live with it, at best they borrow one off the lot to go for a holiday one or two weeks a year, Most purchased RVs are only used for a few weeks a year or to go tailgating so the owners will be more willing to put up with what they get, to a point.
Perhaps this is due to the I want it now factor, or most buyers not knowing they can get a better suited RV by ordering it instead of taking one off the lot.
The other issue is the manufacturers need the build process to be as uniform as possible to keep costs down, that’s why there is usually only 1 or 2 interior layouts offered, less variation = easier mass production.
I see a few ways to fix this:
1- Exterior paint, the current Tribal Tattoo style of paint needs to be layered up in the paint process so haw about a Photoshop style paint scheme chooser where a talented designer matches the available layers match the layers in the paint process where all 5 layers gives the current tribal style but a buyer can chose only layer 1 for a minimalist scheme or a combination of layers along with a colour pallet. this gives flexibility while having minimal changes in the manufacturing process. The other option is 2 or 3 schemes with a colour pallet, an example of this are the paint configurators on the Cessna Aircraft (Piston section) and Bell Helicopter web sites.
2- Solar and Tech, I will say up front, I am not a fan of pre-wiring in my opinion providing conduits and pull through is a much better option to balance differing needs, wants and technological progression. a prewire for 120w solar may be fine for 60% of buyers but those who want more will still have to rewire. With conduits the owner / installer can pull through what ever grade cabling is required. The same goes for WiFi and Cell repeaters and in coach networking. Have a location, such as the AV centre cabinet, with 4 or 5 extra mains power and 12 V outlets which can be the base for the connectivity equipment with conduits to appropriately sealed and guaranteed cable exits. A good idea would be to look at what could be installed and where cabling would best be run for it, such as , Solar, TV antennas, Ham radio, Cell phone boosters, WiFi Boosters, Satellite Dishes ect. This could be as simple as a 2 inch PVC Pipe with waterproof vent cap from roof to the electrical bin to sort out solar and a 1 or 2 inch PVC Pipe with waterproof vent cap from roof to AV centre cabinet for connectivity.
I would Suggest also Looking at the roof structure, can it support a carpet of solar panels, satellite dish, ect. over a period of years.
As for Lithium Batteries, the Price difference between 12V 100Ah AGM Deep Cycle and 12V 100Ah LiFePO4 Deep Cycle at my local supplier is $1000 with the MSRP of 2015 Bounder on the website as $121,310 that is $2000 or about 1.6% cost increase to replace 200Ah over the standard AGM. I am sure if a manufacturer like Fleetwood decided to go lithium across their whole line up they would be able to get a much better bulk price resulting in a lower cost difference.
Alternatively offer Lithium as a upgrade, add a marketing campaign about Lithium being the new best thing in RV batteries, you would probably end up with it being widely accepted.
3- Cabinetry and interiors, I can understand an unwillingness to change the structure of the cabinetry, economies of scale and ease of manufacture ect. However designing a skeletal cabinet structure which can then have any style facing added to it should be relatively easy. Over here that’s what most Kitchen companies do. Perhaps something for a 2 or 3 year plan which could be done over the whole range to reduce overheads.
The soft furnishings and door hardware seem the easiest to fix, there seemed to be a huge selection of stuff in the sample room. Have some designers put together a selection of more modern stylized looks to add to the existing offerings.
I like the idea of providing toilet options, perhaps if they seriously looked at a composting option they could find a toilet manufacturer who could produce something quite stylish and neat compared to most composting toilets, another option is incinerating toilets such as the Cinderella toilets from Norway
Get the AC off the roof a split or ducted system with the compressors elsewhere and remote heads in the coach would look much better and allow more free space for solar if desired.
If you are stuck pushing against the numbers of who likes what perhaps a better education of the buying public that if they are prepared to wait, they can order a coach better suited to their tastes, instead of settling for what is on the lot. Also creation of an interactive ordering site or program where Dealers can guide buyers through the various options for Model, Paint, Decor and other options. This would have pictures with the selected colours, soft furnishings, cabinetry ect. This could give a real bespoke feel to the RVs and has the benefit of buyers being able to take away renderings of their choices to show friends or to think about before finally ordering. It would also give the factory a direct link to what the Buyers want, instead of what dealers want to stock.
TL:DR Love the ideas and the new look of your RV and keep up the good work.
I want to thank the Wynns for their RV insight and travel reviews. Regarding the design changes, I’m very impressed with the direction that you are going in. I too would love to see a change in the cabinet design and hardware. Something I always look for is a work station that pulls out at the front passenger seat. Not having one is almost criminal. Thankfully you’ll be able to enjoy that feature. While I do not own an RV at this time its something that our family has shopped for a long time. I’ve been in almost every make and model of Class A available. We’ll go to PPL in Houston to see whats available and to get ideas. We’ve shopped new as well. While design changes have gotten better over the years, they still cant seem to let go and get into the current century. One of the changes I’d really like to seem them make is in the ride of a Class A gas. I’m not sure what they can do, but I”d love for them to strive for the feel of a 40′ coach in a 32′ package. Hopefully you’ll be able to see improvement in the new chassis.
Again, thanks for your time and best wishes!
Well, now we know who the grandmotherly decorator is at Fleetwood. Sirs, your past customers whom you are counting on for resales will never replace market innovation that will open the concept up to the future and the buyers who will be alive then to buy Fleetwood product. It is also a strong likelihood that many prior customers merely “tolerated” the stale design elements you are clinging to in fear of innovation, and would joyfully embrace you for clearing out Grandmother’s curtains so to speak, and relegating such fabric light & color design elements and themes to the dust bin of “excessive decorating”. I have to laugh, and give thanks to all you may consider as your design gods and inspiration (Auntie Em?) that you don’t have access to lace or rose florals. If its helpful for you, my demographic data is 50-60 years old, at 160K on a conservatively low average year. We are able to travel, do so often, and your standard interiors are a prime reason, if not THE EXACT reason why we chose NOT to embrace the RV as an acceptable product to spend any time in, or as a means of a traveling lifestyle.
I really like many of the design ideas you discussed and were able to get. Our new 2015 trailer has swooping decals across the picture windows, why? I feel that the designers have taken exterior colors to the opposite extremes of RV’s just 10 years ago, from a basically white box to too much color and all those swoops? I much prefer the mono colors option you choose, and agree even then a bit less wouldn’t hurt.
I’d love to see simple cabinet doors, less scratchy fabrics, smaller window treatments. So many RV’s come from the factory looking like they’re ready for retired folks, not necessarily families, and families should be who the manufacturers should be catering to in my opinion. Keep RVs nice and keep people interested to keep coming back!
Hi Nikki and Jason. Thanks for the new video of the 2016 Bounder. In it, Jason said that it’s built on a “new chassis”. Can you tell us who makes it?
Thanks in advance,
I really like your choices for the interior of the 2016 bounder. I find your tastes very similar to mine. I really think the wall sconce lighting is dumb so the personal print is a great idea. The color palatte is great and the fabric selections are inspired. The Bounder does have a great floor plan and the 2016 improvements are just that, improvements. My only wish is that more RV manufacturers would offer Diesel in the 28-30 foot segment. I like the quiet power, towing capabilities and better riding chassis. Currently Tiffin Allegro Breeze 28BR is the only coach in the segment and while Tiffin is a very good coach builder they are not too into the young look (you could give them a lesson) with lots of tech options such as prewired solar, WiFi rangers, Cellphone booster, Lithium batteries, or composting toilets. Oh well, I may still invest in one of these coaches as they are a great ride and most of the noted items can be updated, unfortunately it will cost more $ than if done at the factory during initial construction.
If I had a choice on things I’d pick some of the same things as you, i.e. the lighter palette, less busy interior; the wonderful floor plan; high tech electronics, the less-is-more exterior paint; and sideless window valance.
PS you guys rock! Would love to talk to you about membership camping pros and cons.
In the 70’s I was involved in the design of several new lines of RV’s. It was all bright colors and shag carpet but we came up with some really nice designs that stood the test of time. Back then you did not have many specialty items for RV’s just Mobile home parts to work with. We created the first fiberglass front and rear caps on class C coaches and even used custom fiberglass counter tops and tables. It is great to see a manufacturer work with full time RVers to address issues that can go untouched for years. I now travel in a very compact RV a Winnebago Rialta that I have literately re-manufactured to meet my needs.
It was painful to watch the Fleetwood Designers keep boxing themselves in by invoking ‘our traditional customers’. The reality is (and they said so) they can configure an RV in multiple option packages and styles so why constrain yourself when you are really just talking about options or styles. Second, when you invoke your traditional customer you are in fact saying ‘we don’t care about all the people who didn’t buy our product because we have anything to offer them’. In a world where Class A’s sell for big bucks clearly there are a lot of customers not buying their product for reasons other than price. I have looked at so many RV’s and come away thinking ‘no way, it looks like something my mother designed’.
The Fleetwood guys should go camping in an Airstream for a week. That might get the dark, valence clad, drab grey, mahogany dour depressing designs out of them. When I bought my RV this year we just gave up on the fabrics, wood and wallpaper – it was like choosing between 5 bad choices. We threw out their fabrics and are looking for new tile in the kitchen. I will likely replace the wallpapers myself and are stuck with the blinds, valences and loss of view for a while. At least the flooring is a natural ‘wood’ finish although it is dark and dreary too.
1) Every motorhome should have as standard equipment enough solar capacity to keep the batteries from going dead when the coach sits a while.
2) Your ideal motorhome sounds an awful lot like a streched, technology updated version of a 1960’s UltraVan – youall should take a look a one of the surviving ones.
I would love to see a Class A unit that is no longer than 30′, no slide outs, gas, a non-rubber roof and a full queen size bed (80″ length). My current 27′ Fleetwood (no slide outs) is a decent fit for the two of us with the exception of bed which is only 75″ and has access from only one side and the foot. As my wife and I get older, we find that one of the most important features is the bed (I am 6’4″). We want 3 side access and a standard size mattress.
I am probably in the vast minority when I say I do not want any slide outs. I am not looking forward to my next upgrade as it seems every coach in the 28-30′ range has at least one. I see them as one more thing to go wrong and not necessary for my camping style. Furthermore they add a bunch of weight to the vehicle. I have had to repair a whole bunch of stuff on my rigs over the years so I just want to keep things simple.
The most important change that Fleetwood could make is to improve the quality of their products. I have seen some atrocious workmanship issues on my rig. I am okay with less than top of the line interior finishes and plastic toilets and faucets. I just do not want to crawl under my coach and see an exhaust pipe hanger deliberately mangled during the construction of the unit to make room for a waste tank that was clearly not sized for the truck chassis it was built on.
Good luck. I really enjoy your videos.
Derek L Wilkins
I’ve gotten really tired of the ‘swirl’ designs and dark color paint on exterior of new motorhomes. While I really doubt I’ll ever get rid of my Airstream Motorhome, there isn’t anything on the market at the moment that I would even consider.
Why aren’t the mainstream manufacturers paying attention to Airstream? They let a major designer get hold of their trailer, did a complete overhaul and Airstream had a HUGE bump in sales due to his radical interior design.
Even though I’m getting closer and closer to retirement age myself, the designs of todays RVs are boring. Can you even dry-camp in a black exterior motorhome without trying to find electricity to power the AC units? I know that the newer rigs are much better insulated than my 26 year old motorhome, but black exterior? Really? Even brown?
Swirls are over-rated in my opinion, and I’m eligible to be a member of AARP.
I’ve said it on the Motorhome Magazine website, since when did $300,000 become ‘affordable’?? Guess I’ll be looking at used till I die.
Can’t wait to see your design on your website.
Thanks, Derek Wilkins
We are past owners of 2 class A gas (Ford Chassis), 30 ft and then 35ft. Winnebago and Tiffin both with 2 slides. We like the simplicity of gas and there is Ford dealer in every town in North America for any engine service issues if needed.
As we see this market developing here are some considerations. If manufactures want to sell “new” to us it better be a design that is 28 to 32 ft, height of coach under 12 ft, (prefer under 11 ft). Must have solar as option or pre- wired and designed into the coach, with quality inverters, electrical management, LED lighting, etc. We Like National Parks, State Parks, and some Boondocking. Get creative on how to best utilize the floor space, but don’t compromise on the shower, and bathroom- we prefer shower split from toilet/ sink…not all crammed together.
Improve the gas chassis handling: plenty of new developments in last 3 years on this issue.
More sound insulation around the front gas interior cover….this is a no brainier probably add only $300-400 I’d done at time of design and production. Not expecting diesel pusher cab quiet in our gasser, but it can be improved!
Better bed options: 2 single beds ( in shorter coaches) so floor space between beds is where we stand to put on clothes , or get ready for bed, easy late nite egress to go to bath room, etc. Design a convertible/ slide mechanism to convert push two singles together for the “snuggle times” ??
Hello….Murphy bed options. Some manufactures in B-Class all ready there. Why not Class A?
Decent furniture with quality cushions, and finishes. Good quality faucets, not plastic junk.
We love motor homing, the adventure, the people we meet, the freedom to go..or not go and stay for longer than planned. However, we are tired of driving a 13 ft tall profile, almost 9 ft wide, 35 ft long , and limited in where you can go.
You want to sell “new”???…..then design a better coach. We want smaller profile, and gas, in a Class A design.
See ya on the road!
Norm & Bette
We have been looking at the Tiffin, around 30′. The Fleetwood in this size hasn’t had the level of quality that I’ve been looking for, however, I will definitely put the Bounder back on my list to look at next year.
The buttons didn’t appear. Did you show them some of the European rv designs that do not have swirls?
Thanks for the great video! I am so glad Fleetwood is listening to younger RVers. I know you said this is not about Fleetwood….but for our next purchase (2017 model year), I will add them to the list and look forward to seeing the changes they incorporate.
Leisure Travel Vans and Airstream both manage to use fabrics that don’t look like my seventh grade cords, so why can’t other manufactures? Also, I think we should stop talking about the “over 60s” and “over 70s” as if they like the current state of RV decor. I believe they have the same concerns as many of us.
We feel the same way about leisure travel and wish there were more of that style in other manufactures. Hopefully together we can all help make that change.
As for the age comment, I don’t think we mentioned an age? If we did somewhere and it came off as ageism, I apologize. For us, we see it as a demographic/keeping up with the times, issue because we all have different needs/wants/styles yet that isn’t represented in the marketplace.
Tim & Ann Smith
While we enjoy the Wynn’s sites and find their features interesting and entertaining we do not feel that our age group (late 50’s/early 60’s) is their target audience. With that said, this current project they are doing “Resurrecting Dinosaurs” has got it’s ties to our thoughts about RV manufacturing in that manufactures need to move out of their old ways and stay ahead of the potential customer base tastes or they will loose market share. We are, our generation, the next big wave to hit the RV market (Baby Boomers). We (as in our generation) have worked hard and saved for 40 to 50 years and in the next two to five years we are going to want to relax and enjoy ourselves. For Ann & I there is a whole country out there we want to see and an RV purchase has got to meet our needs or we will not purchase it.
While the Wynn’s may be younger than my children and the site has a bit much (at times) over production, it did attract our attention and in turn the manufacture’s. I can only hope the manufacture’s read our inputs and are working the comments into their future designs. We may very well see an influx of our generation and the Wynn’s generation on the road in a few years and the manufactures need to be able to supply options for both at a price point that is attractive. Like you said, the 60’s & 70’s share some of the same concerns as the 20’s & 30’s in RV design. I am sure the manufactures will meet that challenge, I just hope it is sooner than later.
I hope the Wynn’s keep up the good work and if they are not sailing by the time we retire we would love to share a camp fire with them and swap some stories.
It seems like it is going to be very tough for you to innovate on the interiors with the restrictions put in place. I find most Coaches gaudy. I prefer the look of the Airstream Land Yacht series, or even some of the refits people do with their older Airstreams. I don’t know why manufacturers are allergic to flat flush cabinets, straighter lines, and nicer synthetic flooring like Amtico. Not to mention the weird style graphics they put on the outside of the coaches. Good for you though for trying to influence change
Your video seems to indicate that your involvement is mostly appearance items, though I saw the solar and lithium battery mentioned. How about other things like your composting toilet? why not have a cartridge that you remove from outside the RV from a panel? For years researching RVs, (I don’t own one yet), the industry improves quality and conveniences every year, but to have a voice in building “your” motorhome is an option not many can afford. You are considered experts from your experiences, and you are probably the best resource for Fleetwood to help design an RV for the masses. What I will probably do is, once I get one, is to upgrade the areas that appeal to me. That is another good option for RV design is to make it where upgrades are easier.
I watched the video a second time today. Interesting to see how many design choices are limited due to due to issues that aren’t obvious to the consumer. most of their design decisions are, by necessity, a compromise. It must be hard to come up with anything revolutionary when there are so many competing factors to be considered for each decision. I really am looking forward to seeing the finished product of your efforts.
I am thinking that after helping with the design issues that next itemon the list would be improving the dealer experience. I just recently made a conscious decision to avoid my dealer’s service department as much as I can. Our coach has been in twice for minor warranty issues with each visit lasting several weeks. Nothing was fixed. They say it was due to waiting for approval and parts from the manufacturer. If true, it would make sense for dealers to be able to make the decision themselves (at least for minor issues). My factory warranty runs out next week. It looks like parts are going to run me about $120 and the repairs will take maybe 2-3 hours of my time. And I don’t have to leave our motorhome parked in an open parking lot waiting for weeks for minor repairs. Hopefully this choice won’t come back to bite me.
Our buying experience wasn’t terrible once I figured out that the prices they giving me had nothing to do with reality. After that I used RV Trader to find a similar coach for a reasonable (and much lower) price and asked them to match it. They did. We ended up with our second choice coach. I was not able to find a similar coach online for our first coach so I had no leverage. They ended up selling the coach 10 months later for much less than my offer.
Ursula & Roland
You two are amazing you talk directly from our hearts.
We have been traveling for over 30 years with various rented RV`s throughout your beautiful country. We would love to spend more time boom docking. But with the current RV`s this is only a limited pleasure.
Although there have been some improvement, we are wondering why in this big market there seems to be no RV that suits our requirements. In 2 years we get retired and then we will purchase a Class A bus. Hopefully we will find one in North America so we will not be forced to import a German built bus.
Although they have really nice ones (check out: http://www.concorde.eu) we would really hate to do that.
That’s why people like you are so important as to bring the industry to rethink their strategy. Keep up your good effort.
Couple from Switzerland.
Those Concordes look beautiful! Very nice inside. I wish we had more options like that here in the US. I love the look of Airstreams and their sleekness and great use of space, but we don’t want to tow anything. If I could get a 30 foot class A Diesel with no slides and the interior design like an Airstream that would seem so perfect to me. 🙂
I looked for many years before purchasing our first coach. I wanted a used coach because of the cost and I wanted an engine built before 2007 for the fuel flexibility for trips to Mexico or where ever. We ended up with a 36 foot as I knew I did not want a 40 foot. Now I’m wanting a coach that can easily camp in our National Parks, so in the 28 to 30 foot length. I still want to pull a towed, so diesel is the choice. Like you, camping where there are no, or few, hook-ups is often the choice so having water and a place to put used water is a necessity. I like the concept of a composting toilet and would purchase a rig if offered as a factory option. I don’t like the idea of having an unused, or under utilized, black tank. Wasted space that could be used for a larger Fresh or Gray tank. Really like the Idea of Solar. Currently we enjoy three large 12 volt batteries on the house and have a 2K inverter so we can go dry without using the generator. I like the Tiffin Allegro Breeze 28BR but not sure if it’s the one. Wish there were more choices in that segment.
What is with all of the big TVs? Who has time to watch TV: there is so much other stuff to do. I would rather have a fireplace and some great book storage with maybe one little 26″ TV.
1. Lots of HOT water: think on-demand or Aqua Hot. Two toilets would be a gift from heaven.
2. Power to pull the toad up hills and to stop going down if needed
3. No bowling alley: we hate everything pushed to the walls with an aisle down the middle. Who has two sofas facing each other in their homes? I personally love the U-shaped banquet: my grandkids are small so this fits well and provides an extra sleeping area.
4. A work area desk/closet that can be converted into a set of bunks for the grandkids or closed off to allow hubby to work in quietness. Drawers and storage under this would be excellent.
5. Washer/dryer and fridge off of the slides (all that weight plus shaking makes a nervous husband)
6. High speed internet, Iphone/Ipad charging, sirius radio with surround sound, enough power to juice up 4 computers, 4 phones, and 3 iPads while still allowing the family to function
7. Room for our children and grandchildren to feel welcome (like we never did with some of our family). I can’t imagine ever telling my kids that they had to find somewhere else to sleep because it is “six for drinks, four for dinner, and two for bed.” What a waste of precious family time.
8. The ability to be “off grid” if needed. A week without utilities during El Derecho taught us the blessing of self sufficiency.
I am not sure why but I have tried using both Firefox and Internet Explorer and cannot see your voting boxes on either systems. I would really like to vote!!
Well dang, I will look into it. Thanks for letting us know!
I tried Firefox, IE, Chrome and Safari without success as well.
We are working on fixing the issue, hope to have it resolved by tomorrow. So sorry.
I could not vote on my IPad. 🙁
Dang it, I am trying to figure out what is going wrong.
David & Lee Abell
We have been vintage travel trailer owners for over 10 years because we like the smaller sizes and simplicity of the older units and then we modernize them with what we need. We have been looking to upgrade to a motorhome for the past year but we have been very frustrated with what’s available. We are still young(ish) and not looking for a big, tall, “rolling condo” to park in a RV resort somewhere. We want something reasonably sized (28-32′) to travel and explore in with a rear diesel motor, solar, led lights, good storage, and a well thought out floor plan. Mid-door with screen, NO carpet! We don’t really want slides from all the problems we hear they can have and it seems silly the way the floor plans are laid out. Either you can’t get to part of your kitchen, closets, etc. while driving or there is all this awkward open space when they are slid out or you’re hitting your head on them while walking around the outside trying to access storage. If the floor plan is well thought out are slides really necessary? I actually like to cook and want to have room to store cooking utensils. We don’t need 2-3 TV’s. Just 1 placed somewhere you can actually see it from a comfortable location would work! We are with the majority of you about the hideous “swooshes and swirls” of paint. If the manufactures made the units more reasonably sized they wouldn’t need all of that paint to disguise the size of the thing. Quality of construction of the framing and siding is important. Who wants a rig that is going to delaminate and and have buckles in the body? Eco-friendly starts with a product that is not disposable after a few years.
Tim & Ann Smith
Did not see much about the roof material. After our research we are only looking at solid roof coaches. I do like some of Fleetwood’s coaches but the rubber/vinyl roofs are top on my “No List”. The larger selection of 32-36 foot DP coaches is encouraging for us as this is where we want to be when we retire in a few years. I have also noticed the HP ratings slowly raising for smaller DP coaches, thank you to the chassis manufactures. Our tastes are over on the simple side and we like some of the older coach designs, lighter colors inside and out with clean lines but we will require the technologies of today and tomorrow. Like the input from others and we will add some of those to our list. Thank you.
Rubber isn’t really being used anymore on roofs, that is a thing of the past so you don’t have to worry about that on any coach that is newer.
Tim & Ann
Rubber is still being used in the RV industry on all three Classes. Most have gone to TPO or a vinyl-poly product if they are not using fiberglass or aluminum. Fleetwood uses different roof material on different RVs they manufacture. I have worked with gel coated fiberglass for years when I worked in the small yacht/boat industry (under 70 feet) and it is very durable and has proven it’s self. The new formulas of TPO out in the RV market now are only about 5 years old so they still need to prove their durability. 10 years or more will be the real test. With the thicker roofs on RVs now , so they can imbed the AC duct work and add R-value to the roof, the noise issue of a hard roof is all but eliminated. With the RV manufactures moving to more fiberglass/aluminum roofs the owners should see one less headache to own an RV. Hard roofs still need to be maintained (we still had maintenance with the gel coated fiberglass on our boats) but you should see lees of the wholesale replacement or coating of the membrane roofs. The RV roof sees probably the harshest conditions the coach will experience and should not be treaded lightly. The video of you guys dancing on the roof of Roy sent shivers down my spine (not just for the roof but from a safety point). Don’t over look the roof of your RV one little leak can kill a very expensive toy/home.
I think tv placement is a huge deal.
Air circulation through the coach no matter the size
In our Class C, there are no USB charging outlets in dash.
Supportive driver and copilot seats
We looked for a couple of years. Several years at Hershey and several shows in between. We have owned several motorhomes over the last 20 years. I agree with a lot of the comments above. Solar ready, extra outlets in the kitchen, and LED lighting throughout are important. I will say that I think some of the new layouts are fabulous. They are really starting to look like home. But whether or not they need to is another question. After all, a boat still looks like a boat. Regardless, the final decision in pushing us to a vintage bus, was color. I absolutely hated all the brown, black and beige. Yes I could redo the interior and have the exterior repainted… But what would that do to resale? And why spend all that extra money. If you buy new, you want something you can work with at least. So in the end we bought a vintage Bird. But that was a decision made this past summer. Remember we looked for about three years. If I had found something I liked, we would have bought it.
One word: Solar.
I dont like paint swooshes, no plastic water faucets, yes for solar prewired, an italian stove for real cooks(article in Motorhome magazine) LED lighting, 3 electric plugs at the kitchen counter top, Air conditioning that also has a vent in the bathroom, electric tankless flash water heater, water filtration thru out, a sewage maciator, privacy shades thru out, quality Sony HD TV/BluRay, double pane windows that allow you to open the windows w/out the rain coming in, electric wide steps automatically come down as you open the door. Love amish wood work wood & special coat so no fingerprint marks show, appreciate 3m on front cap & door grab handle to eliminate key scratches. Led lit awning. Hood range, 4 season insulation, no outdoor TV nor shower hose, the bathroom has to have a one piece seamless floor to wall with a bench built in, shower door should be quality piece not flimsy nor sliding. Wall paper should be something OTHER than that drab, morgue-like color all RV’s tend to have, love to have a portable remote for inside or outside controls for the jacks & slideouts, slideouts should have upper & lower rails to guide the slide w/out any issues & have a little roof awning on the slide itself, no inflatable sofa beds but a flex steel quality type, pipe lining the furniture with a diff. Color shows fine detail, drop down electric bed at the front w/ secret stow cabinets that dont show till the bed is lowered, no curtains nor blinds at all, pre-hitch installed, squeeze in space for a washer. Anyways, I heard those “corporate answers” given, but the company may turn out to be a trailblazer for being innovative, forward thinking (like the Prius or Tesla) or test the waters by toe-dipping, taking incremental baby steps. Kudos for bringing this to the table!!! Lets see what happens y’all and how long!
I drove commercial buses so I like to check out the drivers area while my wife checks out the living area of RV’s. I want an RV: 34′ to 37′ in length with a super comfortable driver’s seat; excellent visibility to the front and out the side windows to enjoy the scenery; mirrors that are easy to use (I dislike split mirrors & like large, round, convex mirrors to see the area beside the RV and the curb and a large flat mirror for seeing traffic behind the RV); a comfortable steering wheel and steering which won’t make my arms ache after an hour of driving; a retarder or exhaust braking; POWER to climb hills and pass other vehicles when needed and a rear engine to keep the noise level down. My wife would like 2 doors on the curb side; a full wall slide on the road side; a washer/dryer to avoid trips to the laundromat, insta-hot water heater; solar panels; cavernous pass-through storage; vinyl flooring (no carpet); a mid bathroom; bunk beds, pleasing wooden cabinetry and living room seating like the Forest River Tsunami has and a plainer exterior without the swirly, busy paint jobs.
I drove commercial buses so I like to check out the drivers area while my wife checks out the living area of RV’s. I want an RV: 34′ to 37′ in length with a super comfortable driver’s seat; excellent visibility to the front and out the side windows to enjoy the scenery; mirrors that are easy to use (I dislike split mirrors & like large, round, convex mirrors to see the area beside the RV and the curb and a large flat mirror for seeing traffic behind the RV); a comfortable steering wheel and steering which won’t make my arms ache after an hour of driving; a retarder or exhaust braking; POWER to climb hills and pass other vehicles when needed and a rear engine to keep the noise level down. My wife likes 2 doors on the curb side; a full wall slide on the road side; a washer/dryer to avoid trips to the laundromat, insta-hot water heater; solar panels; cavernous pass-through storage; vinyl flooring (no carpet); a mid bathroom; pleasing wooden cabinetry and living room seating like the Forest River Tsunami has and a plainer exterior without the swirly, busy paint jobs.
After viewing the vid (which I should have done first) I wanted to add some more comments.
1. The chassis suspensions –
All front engine coaches should have either independent front suspension or have a system similar to Jayco’s Precept with J-Ryde. The key elements are helper springs, thicker stabilizer bars (front and back), and a system to assist steering such as Safe-T-Steer.
2. Body –
A more aerodynamic design that increases fuel efficiency. Lighter weight composites are probably out due to cost considerations.
3. Paint schemes –
Instead of stripes why not look at paint color transitions? Many paint manufactures offer this and it can be seen on newer model autos. Send the design engineers to the SEMA auto show in Vegas! They can get some really good ideas there and have a good time to boot.
Hope that all helps.
P.S. I have made the suspension upgrades to my 02 Damon and the new ride is amazing. I also tore out the carpets and replaced them with laminate and the appearance and mood of the coach reflects a more modern feel.
A while back I sent a YouTube video to your Facebook page about a company (Resource Furniture) that does convertible furniture and suggested that the RV industry incorporate those ideas. Have you heard of any Class A manufacturers designing that way?
The new trekmotorhome.com has a very cool bed feature that reveals a wardrobe and leisure travel has a murphy bed. Beyond that it’s all pretty standard. I wish there were more.
A major improvement all the Class A gas manufactures should look at, is pushing Ford to redesign the F53 RV chassis. Coil springs in the front would improve the ride and a 6 speed transmission would help when towing. And maybe have them offer the front engine 6.7L V8 Turbo Diesel as a option. Now that would be a nice compromise between a Class A gas and DP!
Wynns, We enjoy all your videos, but Resurrecting Dinosaurs was an interesting departure. I came away with a couple thoughts. First, I felt your initial premise of providing your (younger than the average RVers) input as a possible fresh change for the industry, was shunted at almost every suggestion ! Basically you got to pick some carpet and fabric colors! I’d really like to see the RV you two would design, given free reign. I hope you will keep trying with this! Some manufacturer may listen. Another approach (or video) might attempt to address the initial build quality issues within the RV industry. While an RV is basically a collection of subsystems on a common chassis, I’ve seen some absolutely unacceptable initial quality issues that could easily and not expensively be avoided. BTW we are boomers – getting ready to retire this year – but your videos are so enjoyable that I think young and old should know of them and enjoy them. Keep it up!.
Hey Bruce thanks for the feedback and now you know why we called it Resurrecting Dinosaurs. 🙂 We are just two people with opinions which is why we will launch a series of polls so we can have others chime in too to help with the battle. We could day dream about the perfect RV but there isn’t going to be anyone that would build it because it would be way to expensive.
One of the main reasons we bought an old Airstream was that we could redecorate to our heart’s content. The interior design of most new RVs reminds me of my grandmother’s living room, only not as stylish. It’s a horrible, fake, off gassing world.
By contrast, our Airstream is all natural wood and shiny metal.
After reading many of the postings. Here are a couple of simple thoughts.
Lets take the Excursion 33D, I personally wish it had a king bed, but the hide a bed makes an interesting option for separate sleeping arrangements, it just needs a good firm mattress like you can get at IKEA for a couple of hundred bucks, and maybe some headline mods so when closed it does not jam.
Second, take pictures of the standard 33D with dark leather and woods, and use a computer program to change the colors to nicer light colors, and fabrics and wood, should be easy and see how a natural bright interior looks.
Three, get rid of the propane and put in a diesel / electric on demand water heater and water based furnace, supplemented by spot electrical heaters if the buyer feels it is necessary. Put in a good induction range top, or coil based electrical system for stove top, energy efficient units are now available..
Use the propane area for multiple lithium batteries, more fuel and or water, clean / grey, black… and put 6 or more solar panels on the roof, let’s not spend money redesigning, just getting the coach into this century of technology.
Do a simple visual review by changing colors on the computer, and price out the differences of all electric versus the current 33D and I bet it is less then $10,000 difference… A 33 D/E…should not be a big deal if you get the politics out of the way… and if possible run the plastic conduit from point to point as stated earlier to make upgrades easier. Change the Wynns dislikes and suggestions and let’s see what you get and when it could be built.
Thanks for listening.
Just wanted to thank you for taking this issue on. My wife and I, who are in our mid 30’s, are in the RV market and are seriously looking at a Class A for our growing family. We’ve looked at a number of Class A’s and have wondered why you have to spend $1 million + to get something that looks sophisticated and upscale. This is especially frustrating when there are a number of Class C’s that have some great interiors. We’d love an RV that is more REI than BassPro Shop, if that makes sense. I really think that the RV industry should look to the yacht industry, especially manufacturers such as Beneteau or Chaparral, for ideas.
Good luck with this project!
PS…would love to hear how you end up liking the gas power vs diesel.
I love the “more REI than BassPro Shop” analogy! I will definitely pass that one along!
Thanks for sharing this with us!
I am curious to see if the majority of RV’ers agree with the decor the industry thinks we like. I personally do not like the big patterns and browns or blues. A solid color sofa or chairs can allways be dressed up with a print throw pillow! Thank you again for giving us a place to voice our opinions – Nancy
Thanks for doing this.
I’ll be honest, I’ve got “design blindness”, so the exterior swooshes and the look of an interior kind of misses me, but I can see how important it is for a lot of other people.
However, as a DIY guy, I do see the importance of easing aftermarket installations, particularly since technology is changing so fast and building in some of these technologies ( Solar, 4G amplifiers, Wifi Extenders, etc. ) are not to everyone’s tastes.
Additionally, the lifespan of an RV is greater than the prominence of some of the current technology and the technology cycle is only speeding up. Early WiFi antennas used coaxial cable, but most of the units today use Ethernet, so a manufacturer pre-running coax might have been fine for a while, but it wouldn’t help much if you were upgrading to a WiFiRanger down the road. Time to pull a new cable.
The same thing with solar. Most of the pre-wire’s I’ve seen use small ( 10 or even less ) gauge wiring or in some cases go to the side of the RV to allow connection of a portable solar panel installation. All of it would be inadequate for a higher wattage system ( >150W ) unless you wire it in series and buy an expensive MPPT controller, yet the packages I see from GoPower and the like generally have PWM controllers which require wiring the panels in parallel.
When I did my latest solar install, the hardest part was running all the wires. Two 4 gauge wires as big as your little finger through a hole in the roof ( wow, that hurt to drill….) along the vent pipe, through the wet bay ( drilling holes next to the fresh water tank ), along the chassis, crawling under the RV, zip tying it as I went. What a PITA.
And as I contemplate a 4G amplifier install, I know I’ll have to do it again and I’m not looking forward to that.
Pre-wiring is too specific – putting in today’s technology isn’t enough, they’ve got to be doing what they can to future-proof their RV’s. How about asking the manufacturers to run conduit from the electric/electronics center to the roof, and from the center down to the chassis. Add another conduit from there to the battery box. Perhaps even the full length of the vehicle. Make it EASY to add, upgrade or fix the wiring. It could clean up their own wiring and make maintenance easier, just make sure they leave room in the pipe for additional wiring. When they sell add-on packages for specific technologies, it will be easier for their dealers to add it. Finally a good junction box on the roof could help prevent leaks and everybody likes that.
Want to add solar? There’s no existing wiring, but you can just buy wire in the gauge you need and feed it down the junction box on the roof, through the conduit to the electrical cabinet where you’ll wire up the controller and pull wires through the conduit to the batteries. 4G? same deal. There’s a spot with power and a pipe to the roof. Just pull the wire, seal and cap the conduit on the roof and connect the wires. CB? No worries, no need to cut the end off the antenna cable to get it through, just pull it down the conduit to the back of the dash to the radio.
Every time I’ve added something to the RV, it’s been a struggle to run the wiring. I’d have given a non-major body part to have had conduit in the major cable pathways already installed in the RV. Plastic pipe is CHEAP. It will take some planning and minor changes to the design, but accomplishing this is part of what the manufacturers need to be doing more anyway: making it easier for people to use their RV’s in the way they do, rather than just making it easier to crank them out or ludicrously cheap to entice dealers ( rather than buyers ) into purchasing them.
Last thought: Perhaps if the dealers are the problem preventing modernization of the RV, maybe a new sales model ( like Tesla Automotive’s ) is needed?
Thanks again for working with the dinosaurs.
We totally agree! Running wire and aftermarket installs are a nightmare! Everything is so closed off and sealed up. We have been talking about (but didn’t make it in the video) about running some sort of (don’t know the right word here) tube or gutter?… along the entire length of the coach that could serve as an easy access for running wire and such.
I personally do think the dealers are a big part of the problem (sometimes, because not all are bad) but not sure of what the answer to that problem is. It’s such a free for all and they have heavy influence in decisions because they are the manufactures customer. Not to mention the pricing games and dealer incentives from manufacturers. Its all such a mess. I feel like there should be something we (the customers) could do but not sure what that is. If someone comes up with a solution or a movement, I am in!
I would like a Class C. I would probably be travelling alone, but would appreciate the over cab bed for when my sons would visit. (Yes I’m hoping they would want to visit). Also I don’t want to tow anything so a 22 – 24ft would be the best size. I’m in great favour of “Wild Camping”. I love nature. Also love the idea of being completely self contained, so prewire for solar would be great and also 4 season traveling with the increased insulation and covered and heated tanks. I’m Canadian, but I’m sure that would come in handy for the USA as well. Nothing to ornate. Something sleek, easy to clean and care for and purposeful. The pullout racks are great. As you said you can’t reach everything, organize or see what you need if it’s just a deep cupboard. Well good luck and I’m happy to come along for the ride. Love your videos. Keep up the good work.
Gloria, take a look at Couch House, Inc. Platinum models in Venice, Florida. They have both Ford & Mercedes Chassis.
I too have felt your pain… I own an Airstream TT. I was asked to help at an RV show and as an owner answer questions customers may have. While there, I was able to talk the AS managers and designers from Jackson Center, OH. Before the customers arrived they asked me my opinion of the “New Design”. We walk-thru inside and out and I was surprised!!!!! The two younger designer & manager followed me and asked questions. It was a very pleasant conversation and we all were agreeing on the problems and changes “we” would like to see. Then it was noted that we lost the older manager in our group (his name will be withheld) It was explain to me in this way… When this group of aging management came onboard, the company was in a slump. Together with their new ideas and changes and the up flowing economy the company pulled thru those troubled times. They moved up within the company and now hold positions that give the final “Okays” to changes within style and design. They hold firm to their type of design and will not waver. Until these employees retire or die off; Airstream will not see much change. Fortunately for AS; their loyalty base; “I always dreamed of owning one” and good economy; sale are sky rocking.
Don’t get me wrong “I LOVE MY AIRSTREAM” and do a lot of traveling in it. I’m in that middle age group, empty nester, not yet retired but starting to make plans. Would I buy a new one? Well…… not any of the new ones now on the market. They have past their prime.
I’m a loyal follower of yours and hope your new designs come true…. And you never know in the next two years when I’m looking for that full time RV it may just be a Fleetwood. Thanks for all the videos. We love them.
This is very exciting, I keep saying I wish I could design a new Rv, too bad you can’t play around with the floor plan.
I’m really curious though, why the preference for motorhomes? I understand everyone is different but I’d love to see a post about why you guys prefer them over a trailer.
mary alyce owens
I agree totally that the RV industry as a whole needs to step it up. I am a boomer, I feel like my generation bridges the gap between the analog generation of my parents and the digital generation of my children. I am not a techie, but I work virtually now, left the corporate world behind. Having kids that grew up in the digital world helps to keep us up to date and moving forward. Who needs cubes/offices anymore to work in? We want to take that on the road as we move forward on our life adventure and the options for connectivity installed in an RV are DYI, which we are currently working with the help of Technomadia’s book. We just bought a 5th wheel toy hauler after an extensive search, where we spent much time talking about tearing things out and redoing them. The main reason for the toy hauler is that all the furniture is removable and there is not huge dinette taking up space. We can design the interior pretty much how we want with the furniture we want. The built in cabinets are actually nice clean design and a warm brown, Corian counter tops and stainless sink in the kitchen and bath. The shower is glass and chrome, the bathroom roomy enough that we are putting a slim storage closet in there. The RV valences are a horror show,(ours not as bad as most we saw) and we are working on a solution to soften those. We are also redoing the drawers and expanding the closets to maximize the space available which is another thing the RV manufacturers do not do well, production cost benefit is my guess. Best of all the whole back comes down, we have an add a room wall, so we can have an back porch if we want to. Lots of light and big windows are definitely needed, another reason we went with the toy hauler, the class A’s and even standard 5th wheel have too few small windows and felt dark. The wall covering are the standard beige/grey mix…boring, but once we update the valences hopefully it will soften the blandness. Another issues is FUMES. RV’s are toxic. Greener solutions are needed in the building process, more battery space, we have a solar panel that was optional, and we plan on expanding on that. Solar is not new, why it is not standard on RV’s is a mystery to me. We sailed before this and boaters have to use solar. Our toys for the hauler are our bicycles and kayaks. We are not our parents generation as we move into our 60’s, we bike, we kayak, we do yoga and tai chi, we climb mountains and backpack here in our home state of CO. We need different and more versatile RV options than have been offered in the past. A class A is probably in our future at some point, but only if they change it up a lot. I already commented on the Nike swishes on the outside in another post…sigh..that will be a big project if we take those off.
Kate and I are interested to see if your project with Fleetwood actually results in the changes so many of us yearn for in the US RV market. We love our Airstream for the iconic style of the exterior matched with the modern clean lines of the interior fixtures and finishes. We have yet to see a motorhome that matches the appeal of our trailer. Airstream have recently increased their manufacturing capacity by 50% to keep up with the increased demand proving that there is a market out there inspired by modern design and are willing to pay for it. If Fleetwood (or any other motorhome manufacturer) want to widen their appeal beyond the existing 30,000 customer base they would be wise to study the results of your survey.
An appreciation of design style is not necessarily dictated by the age of your customer base. Like someone else commented already, we think a large portion of buyers choose the least ugly option offered by the manufacturer. Take a look at the video on the page below from a European horsebox manufacturer who is expanding into the motorhome market to see what is possible.
The video shows the clean lines, modern style and a no swooshes approach to their product. True design with mass appeal in a modern market. We would buy one of these in a heartbeat if we were looking to switch things up from our Airstream trailer to a motorhome.
Good luck with the project. We will follow with interest.
We are interested to see how it all goes down too! Thanks for sharing the cool website, we love all the euro stuff. Nice to see a larger European motorhome for comparison as everything else I found was much smaller. I really like the interiors! I think I would order some kind of stickers in cool modern stripes or something for the outside, but at least its something I could choose to do vs. being forced into.
How about looking at the sofas and finding a way to accommodate a deeper hip to knee lenght. Also a firmer cushion is whar I’m looking for. I am disabled and need to rest a lot! My 5’7″ body feels cramped both sitting and laying down. Thanks for representing us with the manufacturers!
I think its all about which coach you are looking at and which furniture manufacture they use. Our current sofa is super stiff and our vesta was super soft.
Windows, big ones. We got lucky with our 2010 Damon Tuscany as it has 4 very tall windows on the drivers side of the front slide, and it makes a huge difference with lighting and openness when we are parked. Another window is the windshield – a full width single piece of glass really enhances the view as we are driving, for both seeing the sites and for safety.
Retractable power cord and water hoses are nice.
Sewer discharge points that are as high up off the ground as possible, many parks make it a challenge to get good velocity when emptying tanks, taking way more time and effort to keep gray and black tanks clean.
I am so with you on the windows. I would be willing to get rid of a couple of pairs of shoes (big deal for me) for another window. The big windows are one thing that makes airstreams so nice.
Nikki, I literally LOLed at your facial expression at 9:17 when Paul said while laughing “It’s based on your taste, which isn’t really necessarily where everyone else in the world wants to go”. That was a thorn to the side that I felt through the computer. You’re WRONG, Paul. And excellent job keeping your composure there, Nikki.
I’d say most people WANT to go in the direction that you both are trying to push the stubborn RV design manufacturers to go. Instead, the bulk of what we have to shop from is beige, heavily patterned, monotonous interiors which force us into a reluctant game of picking “the lesser ugly of the ugly” for our big purchase.
Well guess what Paul (and Steve), and every other RV manufacturer out there who’s listening- We all LIKE Nikki and Jason’s taste, as it’s our taste too; it’s stylish, simple, modern, neutral, clean, and current. Having a coach start with a neutral palate isn’t boring or plain, it allows people to bring in color and personality with their own personal items instead of permanently mounted furniture and fabrics dictating the decor and feel of the coach with highly specific ornate patterns, dark colors, and generally off-putting aesthetics.
Hopefully the RV manufacturers listen and loosen their grip on the idea that they’ll lose their “retiree customer base” by changing the interiors to more current designs. I don’t know many in the 60+ age group that would look at your fresh design selections and not buy that coach because of it, yet I know many in the below 60 age group that would look at the typical RV design and NOT buy a coach because of it (myself included).
My husband and I just purchased a Newmar and a large part of our decision to go with that manufacturer (besides quality) was based on our ability to pick and choose our interior options like you did (something most RV manufacturers don’t allow). We went to the factory and saw in person all cabinet finishes, fabric, tile, countertop, and backsplash options and we were allowed to mix and match from 25+ options to create the interior of our coach. Most manufacturers don’t allow this, but if they all just created finished products similar to what you designed in the first place, we wouldn’t have been put off by so many and our buying options would have been wider.
Thanks Nikki and Jason for your work to make a difference in this area, and as always for all your fantastic videos and information. It is much appreciated by many!
Gabi, I love all of your encouragement! We are really hoping with these polls and results we can prove it is more than just us that feels this way. These guys would like to see change too, but its hard for them too. Paul was joking when he said that. He loves good clean modern designs and we find that we agree on those things most of the time. He is a newer addition to Fleetwood (1 year I think) and we really like the changes he is making and trying for. Some of the late 2016 stuff is going to look really really great (if it doesn’t get the chopping block by the others)!
Just wanted to make a comment on your disclaimer. The Fleetwood web site says that Fleetwood has partnered with you guys and that you agreed to feature and promote the Excursion on your web site. You’re even shown on their web site. Your web site and disclaimer says you have no affiliation with Fleetwood and you state that you’re not getting the RV for free or paid to drive it. There appears to be a disconnect or vague area. I have no issue with folks making a buck or getting comp or incentive pricing for promoting a product or company. And I think what you guys do is great. If you’re doing this as a public service with no comp, special incentives, or promotion agreement from Fleetwood, then that’s great also. Thank you. You guys must really be Fleetwood fans. If its part of a partnership agreement to help promote Fleetwood products and you get incentives as part of the agreement, then please disclose it so we know that this is more being done as part or an marketing agreement or incentive based promotion vs a public service. Its still a very good endeavor and helps the consumer and a clearer discloser helps the reader better assess what you’re doing. Thanks.
I understand your concern but I am not sure how much clearer you want us to get and I fear you are taking things out of context. We are not partnered with or affiliated (meaning we have no stake in the company, are not tied together, and do not get compensation based on any performance of the company). Check out our full disclaimer page (on about page). Everything stated in our disclosure is true and we have always been very clear about our relationship with Fleetwood and always note which pieces are compensated. We don’t get compensated for everything we do (80% at least is un compensated). We are fans of being nomads, RV’ers and travelers. Naturally, the products we use and the vessel we travel in is a part of that but it doesn’t mean everything is a marketing ploy.
Here is what the fleetwood website states: “Throughout their adventures, the Wynns will be featuring the Excursion 33D in videos, on their website, on social media sites and more. “The Wynns have a loyal following of fellow RVers who share their sense of adventure and love of life on the road,” states John Draheim, President of Fleetwood and CEO of Allied Recreation Group. “They’re a perfect fit for the Fleetwood brand and we look forward to seeing them showcase the Excursion along their adventures.”
Sharing is not part of an agreement, that is naturally what happens as we travel by RV. I hope this helps clear things up, and thank you for taking the time to write and share your concern.
Tank (grey water) capacity is foremost on my list, nothing worse than having to deal with towable tanks (storing them using them) because you have a small grey water storage capacity, make boon docking MOST unpleasant. Counter space I know lots of you eat out when camping but I LOVE to cook and trying to prepare meals in 6″ of useable counter space is insane. I Love the kitchen layout on a 35A 2005-2007 era Winnebago’s, counter space galore and a window to look out while doing dishes (that you don’t have to bend down to see out of) and pull out counters for when you need even MORE space. They make cars with built in wifi why not RV’s??!!??!! Oh and NO carpet in the kitchen area make them so you can sweep out the door ,tile all the way to the door. Oh and a water pump switch IN the bathroom, duh!!
Great video! I can’t tell you how many RV’s we’ve looked at and just walked away from just color schemes alone. Most RVs are 15-25 years behind times in design. Ugh! When we found our RV in 2014, I really started to have hope for the industry again. Our 5th wheel is a Dutchmen Komfort with a darker scheme but with all polished chrome and wood-like flooring (Beaufloor), Corian counter tops and lots of great features.(Sadly, no longer available) We’re not quite sold on solar not because it’s not a great idea but because of ROI. So as products become less expensive and better then so will our perceptions on Solar. I think what you guys are doing is great! I think the tug of war you guys are playing with Fleetwood will result in some much needed face lifts of these old girls. We will not always be part time RVers and Fleetwood is on our short list so keep stretching the possibilities!!
Thanks! We are sure hoping that we see some changes from all of this and I believe we will (otherwise we wouldn’t have agreed to it). I can understand the hesitation with Solar but if you camp without hookups very much it pays for itself pretty quick. We have saved thousands every year on campground fees because we are able to opt for $10 (no hookup) forest camping over $40 a night rv parks. But it really is all about how and where you camp.
Well, first, great concept, hope Fleetwood can pull it all together. My background is technology and as a homebuilder in my retirement life.. so I have done a lot of research… so I suggest research, research and design from the ground up first, do not modify old. Select a length.. 30 to 35 feet max so people can see North America. Select an energy resource, not 3, or 4, elec, propane, and diesel, gas, and make it simple. I wish “Green” was easy, but watch the Wynns energy video, solar is expensive, and the weight to cost to return on investment is huge and requires adjustment in life styles. New materials for floors, walls, insulation can make a huge difference in weight. Why 50 amp, why fixed heating, low volt heaters you can move and high volume filtered power vents to move air. GOOD wiring for personal electronics, wifi, cell, tablets, why 4 tvs. GET PEOPLE OUTSIDE..we travel to get outside you don’t need everything on the road and we don’t need it inside, if you do, maybe it’s not for you. Build the best basic “kit” open plan model you can, so people can add the nice to haves if that’s what they want, you can’t make everyone happy. Finally, choose good components and focus on quality, my background forces me to look at quality, most smaller rv’s are poorly built, go beyond the surface finishes, which is the only changes I have seen you affect so far, sorry to say. Best of luck, but let’s not slap a new coat of paint on basically flawed old world design, build quality that works.
Oh my God, I’m so with you about TVs! I just parked overnight on the casino parking lot in NM and ALL RVs here put their TV antennas even before leveling the coach. I personally carry my 2 TVs in storage compartments outside as I can’t find the proper place to dump them (or recycle). But I still see LOTS of discussions on which satellite to choose and how they can make stock antenna get more than 50 channels… insane
One of the reasons we have not purchased an Rv yet is the ugly interiors. I want contemporary, clean lines with curved cabinets and light colors. Split bathroom and more thoughtfully designed space to watch tv comfortably. More counter space and smaller efficient refrigerator. Until I see changes like this I will hold off buying an Rv for now. Thanks for all you do to improve rv’ing.
Great project – I hope RV manufacturers listen. People who do up older RVs seem to go for the clean, simple almost Scandanavian look. That’s a look that appeals to me and I suspect to many younger people. Modern houses are cleaner in looks and interior decor also. The dark look is also changed in renovated RVs to a brighter palette; after all many RVs have smaller windows and few have skylights.
I wish mine were brighter, lighter, with less fussy patterns; but my wife and I are working on it.
Thanks for your work.
How about some sort of fire suppression system? Even one with only two outlets, one by the stove and one by the fridge. I would pay more for that, and I bet others would too.
How about air pumps available on all class C & A. Dual pane glass on both. CB installed at factory as option. Arctic pkg option for both. Solar option pkg in various size packages installed at factory or even a basic that owner can add panels to. Just my thoughts.
I’m not a techie but it would be nice to have better electronic options like Bluetooth radios and solar panel wiring.Being under 50, I would also like to see more contemporary interior design options. Unlike most of the readers here, I prefer a 5th wheel to a Class A because of the versatility that it gives. Some of the things mentioned here are already available in a 5th wheel.(ex: two bedrooms, larger bathrooms, traditional dinette delete) Toy hauler models offer a large space which can be converted into just about anything you desire.
Great project and video! Can’t wait to see the results.
the one thing that I wish manufacturers would consider is that not everyone who wants an RV travels with four to six people. there are some people like you that are just a couple, and myself, I am looking to travel solo. because of that, features like multiple pieces of furniture becoming bedding space is unnecessary. I would truly prefer and honest to God computer workstation area, because my ability to take my work on the road is what makes a full-time life possible. I understand that a sizeable desk will take up some room, but for me it is an absolute necessity into consideration that I make with every floor plan I look at. I have to think which piece of furniture am I going to tear out to make room for my desk, and then I have to worry about the fact that I paid for it and figure out some way to recoup the cost.
Another deal breaker with RVs is the bathroom. you two are relatively fit young people, and by no means am I in that category. Unfortunately, 95% of the RVs that I look at are inadequate for my needs. If I can’t use the toilet or shower in my own home, then why would i want to make it my home in the first place? for me, I am perfectly happy with giving up a couple of feet in the main living area to expand the bathroom facilities. I know this may be controversial with many people, but I find that the option not even existing is almost to the degree of being offensive. it is though people with special needs are not even considered in the business model. I understand that I’m not talking about a full handicap style rebuild, but honestly an extra 1 to 2 feet in the bathroom area would make a world of difference toward improving my lifestyle.
on the same note, guys like me do not fit into the showers that are provided. I am ok with ceiling dimensions, but the shower pans are usually so small that I can’t even bend over to wash my own feet. if Fleetwood considered things like this, I would be loyal for life. unfortunately from what your article said, it does not seem that any actual design influences for the architecture will be affected by what you say, but I would consider it a great personal favor if you could please pass my sentiments along. looking at the nitty gritty, this is America, and as such we are classified as the country with the most overweight citizens per capita. although this is not a pleasant thing to think about, it is a fact. if Fleetwood intends to manufacture recreational vehicles for Americans, then these should actually be factors that they consider. if they dont, I’ll never be in a position to spend a dime with them.
Couldn’t agree more on the shower size. That is the biggest reason for leaving the Class C Navion/View for the class A. I like the Tiffin Breeze 32. It has the shower on one side and the rest of the bath on the other. Hallway on both ends can be closed off with pocket doors on both sides making the hallway part of the room. Shower is 28 inches wide by I belive 38.
A HUGE and fabulous project you’ve taken on here. Love the video! My ideal size is right around 30 feet just like you.
I just want a clean, bright interior. Basically, I want beautifully-painted white cabinets, a solid light-colored PAINTED wall, like a light blue or green. I want a nice rather solid-color countertop — probably a dark gray or near-black. This.. this is what I want: http://www.houzz.com/photos/73700/Expansive-Kitchen-traditional-kitchen-portland
I want couch surfaces made of microfiber and made of a corresponding green or blue to go well with the walls. I want PLAIN valences. They should be painted — not covered in a gross fabric.
Pre-wired for solar would be amazing. A square/rectangle shower. Being 6’2″ is tough in those half-circle showers.
Honestly, I prefer they don’t give me any TV’s. Just leave the HDMI port in the wall, and if I feel like it, I’ll buy a TV that fits, that fits my budget and personal quality choice, and hang it up myself.
I also want a workstation. When my girlfriend and I get going on the road fulltime, we’ll be working from wherever, and that will be super important.
I also prefer somewhere between 30 and 35 feet in length.
The outsides need much help as well. Simpler is better!
I want to add a few thoughts:
Yes to Bamboo,
Yes to Stressless/Ekornes sofas/recliners
Design dinettes that are comfortable to sit at, and adjustable height (for keyboarding)
Yes to higher quality cabinets
Yes to true queen-size bed that is EASY to put sheets on and easy to get in and out of.
More hooks (We add hooks, but sometimes it isn’t easy to put them in)
Better place for children to sit during travel (Can anyone really take a toddler or baby along? The carseat attachments and locations seem designed to meet the letter of the law but show no thought to what it would be like to travel with a child for real.)
Location for garbage and recycle items. (I think lots of people have made modifications to handle trash cans, but EVERYBODY has garbage. Might as well plan for it in the design.)
I’m interested in giving some feedback. I agree too many RVs look like my mother-in-law’s home: Brown florals, valances around the windows, etc. blah! I’m 66 and I find the styling old-fashioned. I really wonder if those customers they say they need to stay loyal to actually like that styling, or if they simply never had other options.
Something that would be nice is more European -style sleek cabinets. Why did the Fleetwood guys say the cabinet’s are off the tables? That’s a major part of the ‘look’ that needs changing.
I’d say drag them to Ikea and force them to look around. That’s the style my 30 something daughters-in-law seem to like. If that’s the demographic they want to appeal to, that might change their perspective.
Regarding the swirls on the outside, we bought an RV in the past year and it has that kind of paint job. We weren’t willing to spend extra for it, but that’s what was ‘in stock’ when we were ready to buy. The interesting thing is we have had very positive comments on the look, so apparently not everyone hates it.
OK, something that is really needed. What I would love to see is more infrastructure. For example, WiFi range extender with a local area wifi net in the coach. Computer workstation option, cell phone range booster, make is simpler to add more coach batteries and interface for solar chargers on roof and portable.
Kudos to you and to Fleetwood. You have a great deal of experience to put into this project. Warning: Don’t ask me what I think – I will tell you. Here it is.
I would like to say 28 to 30 feet but I will be very happy to keep it under 35 feet in a Class A diesel pusher. We agree “more aerodynamic” would be helpful along with lightening up weight where it makes sense to improve mileage. e.g. We have seen lovely tile floors but believe we would prefer a good/tested bamboo because it is beautiful and eco friendly and considerably lighter than tile. Perhaps a choice of hammered copper or hammered stainless counter top and back splash – seamless – would also lighten the weight, be very clean/classic and easier to maintain.
I like Joe’s idea of doing something retro with the outside – sounds like fun. Baring that, many of us have our own tastes and styles. Since those exterior paints are done in layers, how about being able to skip some layers and go to the finish clear coats so that we have a simple look and/or we can put our own decals on the rig.
On the subject of colors and patterns, how about a simple tone on tone option (stripes?) and let us pick our own throw pillows, bedspreads, or whatever to “redecorate” at will. I prefer light earth tones – shows less dirt. (When I cleaned my fake tan leather auto upholstery I was amazed at all the dirt I had not seen.) A very light cabinet color option is also good. Light colors open spaces and darks close them in and, while we all want to go out and play, we cannot always do that.
Solar pre wire is a must option – done well – along with a lithium battery option. I have heard Jason opine about solar and batteries. If the RV manufacturers don’t want to get involved, at least let us have the hooks to do it easily aftermarket. A really good battery management system and pure sine inverter are important.
I especially like the split bath that you currently have in your 33D. We are all different so how about a space that we can put whatever we want in. I believe I have figured out how to do this with the model we have our eye on. Generally, it would be similar to the bunk beds that can be removed to make an office or something else.
Really good slide outs – 3 or 4 (preferably without a step so the floor is always flat) as well as good insulation.
“Extra” counter space via pull out(s) – even something small like a cutting board” would be very helpful. Adjustable pull out panty space is very nice.
I want the sofa with the air mattress and one or two large pull out storage drawers.
I think the 14 cubic foot Norcold is the most practical option for us for a frig but their new 17 or 19 cubic foot is nice. I like the ice and water through the door but am not so enamored with it that I am willing to give up pantry space to get it.
I want a dish drawer. I believe I can easily get two days of dishes (I am frugal with dishes, too) for two people in a dish drawer and I cannot wash all those dishes with 2 gallons of water.
I also want a good quality washer/dryer combo. I would like to have the LG 4.3 cubic foot combo. The 39″ height is not so much the problem as the 27″ width and 30 depth plus, I believe, 4 extra inches behind it.
Quality, efficient appliances and electronics are important. Being able to monitor and control electronics from a tablet or phone would be helpful and possibly eliminate additional wiring.
I need to learn more about staying connected on the road but if an auto manufacturer can put WiFi in their cars, RVs could have it and need it more. IF that is possible, we could run a GPS from a tablet so we would need a convenient place for said tablet. If the WiFi is not a doable option, how about boosters.
Just for fun, is there a way to put a solar fan in the bedroom wall to move the air around and leave the roof space for more solar? A actual queen mattress (60 x 80) is important so sheets, etc. fit and we can replace it at Sam’s Club or any mattress store – a must for us.
What’s the big deal about making a composting toilet an option – along with having the black water tank available for fresh water or storage?
Seatbelts attached to the seats not the wall and passenger work space.
Let me add extra outlets and have some outlets that also have USP ports.
There are other things but most are generally available and a matter of manufacturer and model choice.
I like some of your ideas. For me the size between 32 and 35 is fine, but I would like the width to be no more than 96″ or 8 feet, the hight to be under 12 feet. A completely flat floor with no wheel wells. Four slides, two in the main living area/kitchen and two in the rear bedroom. With only eight feet, the slides can be no more than 2.5 feet, that would leave a three foot path thru the middle when closed. Split bath with shower on one side, rest on the other and doors that close off the hallway making the bath room a single room, maybe a small fifth slide in the bath for the sink etc so there would be room for a 3 foot wide shower. That might also leave enough room for a washer/dryer combo.
I like your thoughts about weight. I love Bamboo and it normally holds up well. I also like the adjustable pull out pantry, and exrta counter space with a pull out L after the slides are extended. Like I said before I do not like dinettes but would rather have a computer workstation/dinning table with two chairs, extending to hold four chairs (two folding chairs in storage). Look at some of the material being used in the Navion/View class C as there is a very strict weight limit with that rig and they are using very light material from europe.
But as I mentioned in my first post, the best area they can really improve on is infrastructure. Base plugs with USB built in, WiFi repeater/booster for better WiFi reception in campgrounds, connected to your private inside WiFi network. (The WiFi repeater/booster is to connect to the internet. The internal WiFi is for private network of internet ready devices). Cell Phone reception booster for greater cell phone range. Which if need be becomes a hot spot for your internal private WiFi in case there is no internet connects where you are parked, or for internet connection while on the go.
Make it easy to add coach batteries, and of course true sine wave inverters. Also look at newer genset designs. A Bandon Microjet from UK looks very promising. Very small, light and requires no cooling or oil system. Just a fuel source. We also need good shades not only for driving but also the rest of the windows. Maybe look into those solar panels windows. Clear like a window but also generates electricity like a PV panel. If you don’t want to offer the options, at least give us an easy way for third party after market add ons. and That includes an energy star refrigerator .
I’ve never seen a rear drive gasoline unit, this would give a lot more storage for full timers, with the benefits of diesel without the cost. How about a boondocking model as an option, I bet they would sell. Also every full-time unit must be 4 season. I’ve seen all electric units with NO propane. Look at all the plumbing you save with composting toilets, on demand hot water, LED lighting, solar, the list goes on & on. The big question is will they sell !!!!!!! Or a better question, can they be priced to sell !!!!!
the real advantage of diesel is power. The power to climb hills. If you want to stay in Fl or the plains IE flat country then go gas, But if you really want to drive 30,000 or more miles a year, then diesel is the only way to go.
COMPLETELY agree with Sheila Hagadone! The baby boom generation is THE market now for RV’s, not our greatest generation parents. RV design should be predicated on modern design to reflect this simple fact and RV mfrs should obviously know this but I guess it’s safer for them to drive with one eye in the rear view mirror.
Scan design is in my opinion the only way to go for my “tiny house” but I know some will always prefer the “man cave/caveman” look with dark leathers and oaks etc. Give me light colored ash or maple cabinets/floors, simple clean lines in the furniture (Ikea anyone?!?) and subtle exterior colors/themes that don’t suggest a drunken sailor created them.
And given the awesome convenience, superior performance and much longer life that lithium batteries offer over flooded cell/gel batteries well I think the Fleetwood guys are only looking at it from a simple dollars/cents perspective and not looking at it from a true cost/benefit level that includes all the upsides of lithium. That is all.
We’d like to see a coach with 1/2 bath near the kitchen/living area. Leaving the full ensuite bath with the bedroom .I’d appreciate a desk area either in bedroo, or living room. Also a small desk with area for wireless printer. That would take care of our needs. Thanks for listening. Sam & nancy shortet
Sorry, just saw the map, you are in Indiana. How long will you be here? I’d love to get together for coffee!
My husband is a designer for RV furniture, this is very helpful! He’s been trying to get his employer to go more modern, but the industry isn’t ready to buy it yet. I will show this to him. Maybe we can start to shake things up!! Thanks for all your work and sharing!
PS are you still in Indiana?
Audrey, yes please get your husband’s company to push for a bit more modern styling! Why can’t I have my beautiful modern white kitchen with gray solid stone countertops, microfiber couches, and beautiful laminate wood floors throughout? I’m excited we have reached someone directly! Woohoo!
I like the light colors of maple or cherry but white??? ugg!
Very cool Audrey! We are only here for a little bit longer. Shoot us an email [email protected]
I like what Brittney and Ellen had to say about designs. We don’t have an RV yet, and part of the reason is the lack of choices. We are looking for a Diesel Pusher – 24-35 feet (haven’t decided what ALL we want to do). The main design feature that is causing challenges is the position of the door. I would like to have the door just behind the passenger’s seat so that the Driver and Passenger are next to each other. Also behind the seat would allow the door to use the same awning for the patio area and easier access to the main portion of the living space. Solar ready will be a big plus. The TV positioned to be watched from two or more comfortable seats (recliner or leg up options preferred) is also necessary. I would also like to have intransit seating for three children seats plus one or two adults in addition to the driver and passenger. It is exciting to have who ‘lives the life’ providing fresh ideas.
My wife, Paige, and I have recently gone full time in our Class C. It was the family camper for many years. After the kids moved out and we found ourselves rattling around in 2000 sqft, we decided a change was needed. So, we revamped the Class C, or ‘IRV’ as we have come to call it. We stripped it down to the frame on the inside, replaced the floor and worked our way up and out. The total project took about 6 months of weekends. Most of the rebuild used real wood. Mostly because I like it. It added some weight, but I’m ok with the trade-off. We use our RV thus far, staying about 28 days in one RV park, then finding some other place to stay 28 days. We like this method so far, it gives us time to get to know a place. We also have a work consideration as we both still do that. We are blessed with jobs we can do online. So M-F 8-4 stability is a requirement. As is internet access.
Batteries would be my first item. You don’t necessarily need solar panels as there are many options to charge a battery bank already. You have the alternator in the vehicle when it’s moving, you have the generator and you have shore power. All of these can be used to keep a battery bank charged, if you had one to keep charged. Lithium is the way to go and the “too expensive” excuse, really isn’t true. You don’t really need enough batteries to run AC’s as in many cases AC isn’t required. Take that off the required list and batteries now become reasonable as you only need a system that would support about 3K watts of pull over say a week or so. Need be, you can fire then generator and charge theme back up. This is more than enough to run lights, kitchen appliances, etc… Sure, pre-wiring for panels / wind would be awesome as well.
12 v and USB as well as 110v outlets EVERYWHERE, you really can’t have enough of these, especially outside Low voltage lighting, 12 v appliances, efficient insulation, all work towards a better, longer lasting experience.
Outside low voltage lighting all around the rig.
An outside shower that actually can be used as a shower – in those boon docking situations, an outside shower with a roof, walls, a light etc would be an amazing addition. Even a simple fold up / down half circle curtain rod that you can attach a shower curtain to would serve. But I imagine something a bit more robust.
Work stations that aren’t add-ons. They should be integrated into the design, purpose built for daily use. Not a simple pull out shelf that holds a laptop – but an actual office area that has support for power, USB charging station and a desk type place to do office type work.
Beds that hide – there is a lot of room wasted during the day in the bedroom. A Murphy type bed system would be awesome as a space saver, especially in the 32 or under range – fold that bed into the wall and you have yourself a whole new room!
Well, there ya go – 5 minutes worth of my thoughts as a new RV’er.
Y’all have safe travels 🙂
Great video! I get what they said with the Federal regs, and not wanting the side of the RV looking like a huge slab. I’m encouraged with the pre-wire since for now soalr would be too much for my weekend warrior, but when I am able to full time I want the top adorned in silicon! I also heard a lot of design cues they still have anchored solid into old school bedrock. Good luck, looking forward to how it comes along, thanks!
Right off the top of my head:
Lose the swirls on the Outside AND Inside.
Make Work areas for computers and devices.
Better quality electronic equipment (batteries, inverters, chargers, converters)
Make Solar systems standard, or at least an OEM option.
Stop the ridiculous practices of “negotiating down” MSRP’s that are so high it makes both manufacturers and dealers appear dishonest.
Design a quality series of Models (In all classes tt, 5r, A, B, C) catering to fulltimers and boondockers with Solar, Larger tanks etc.
Make more accommodations for bicycles, canoes, kayaks, etc.
More accommodations for outdoor living (tables, rugs, screens for Awnings)
Add more, Larger, and better insulated operating windows.
Good luck with your journey transforming the Awful A’s. A huge step for RV manufacturers, a very small small step in the right direction for a new generation of customers!
I absolutely share your opinions on the subject and I’m older than your age bracket. I’m in my early 60s and semi-retired. I hated 99% of the Class A RVs we looked at and ended up buying the layout we liked and the least offensive décor. It think it’s more a matter of taste then it is age. And I think if Fleetwood did some customer focus groups they would find that a lot of people (women I particular) would prefer a less busy, less wall paper boarder, less ugly interiors. I’m not that interested in the outside. My problem with the outside is that the decals do not hold up over time. I hope you can have some influence with Fleetwood. You certainly are doing what you can to raise their awareness. I may end up redoing the inside of our rig in the fabrics and surfaces that I like. That’s probably the only way I’ll get something I can really live with. I’m not a full timer yet, but may be in the future. Thanks for all your efforts on behalf of us out here with good taste! 🙂
Thanks for sharing Rochelle! You know what’s really crazy, they do survey their owners (every year) and you would be flabbergasted (I was) by how many people say they do love the designs and the swirls! I think its important to remember that everyone’s tastes and likes are different and the idea is to round out the selection a bit more until another solution comes along. I think a lot of people would love a real bare bones approach that is made so the customer finishes it out. But the details of that are more complicated than you would think. We will keep pushing for what we can though!
Wow you guys are going in the right direction. We are retired looking for a diesel pusher but most everything looks kinda dated to us. Keep up the great work. I think there is a great need for a 32 ft diesel pusher, air brakes, air ride and solar friendly. I really enjoy taking all the trips with you (only in my mind) The Richeys
Id like a fiver with two bedrooms…not a master and bunk but two similiar size rooms …many couples sleep apart due to snoring…these rooms could have murphy type high quality beds, so during the day they could function as living or office space, easily convert at night…also, bring back the metal roof or rhino…something durable! Id also like to see skydecks or more lofts for extra storage….and lighten up the colors..sick and tired of dark wood, dark couches and leather…how about some bright, bold, patterns that have slip covers for easy washing (think IKEA) lastly, please make goosneck frames/hitches available, many of us would like to use our trucks as daily driver…and most important…please have built in solar available so we can boondock easily
This is great news! I was hoping they were going to listen to you guys. Right now the closest RV out there to what I like is the 2015 Winnebago Brave. As a couple we like 24-30, but probably I would end up preferring something just below 30. I like to camp at national and state campground or boondock. So ready to plug solar in would be great. No swirls on the outside paint pleeeeeeease. I like simple. And speaking of simple, how about that interior design? Very minimal carpet because I hate it, and want something easy to clean if we come in from dirt outside. So no swirls inside either. And flat front or shaker cabinetry. Solid surface countertops that look like solid white, or concrete, or something else plain. Clever pull out storage to get to everything easily. A true queen bed we can walk around. Bluetooth aware stereo so I can plan music from my phone or computer….
Great article guys! We love it. You’re helping the old trailer mentality move into the future of RVing. As younger 2012 fleetwood bounder owners we wish the factory guys would have listened a little more than just sticking to their old scripts. To be honest we picked our coach for the layout not the decor, because EVERY coach we looked at reminded us of our grandparent’s house. No disrespect Grams, but we tend to like sleek, simple, multifunctional, and clean. A touch of Zen if you will. Also, thinking that campers wouldn’t automatically love solar with lithium banks is insane and obviously out of touch with modern trends. Please give us a factory built solar with lithium option and let the consumers show you our choice. The only real reason that solar doesn’t sell is because so far no one has offered it! Not evan as an upgrade option! We would have definitely upgraded our 35K if they did. If campers want generators then why in the world would they not want the option to generate the same amount of energy via the sun instead of burning a gallon of gas an hour? Come on Fleetwood, please wake up on this. Make a “boondocking” model for those who choose this kind of off grid camping. If it is not something that people want then why are owners willing to foot huge prices of installing it after market. Every person in the RV industry should do a minimum of one continuous month in an RV along with a week long wild camping experience. I think this would solve a ton of motorhome layout, design, and technical problems.
I agree there are some changes that can be made on the inerior of some if not most on the Decor side there is one floor plan I love and have not seen it in many coaches it is the 2012 phaeton 36QS4 it has more of a living room feel and the kitchen is a little more opened. But I too am interested in your take on the Gas vs DP since you had one and can be a little more informed on your opinion. Look forward to your pieces.
The layout is everything isn’t it. We’re interested to see what we think about the gas too! 🙂
We’re just on the run-up to buying our first class-A for our retirement full-time life, but one thing I have found that I seriously look for in every prospective candidate coach on my short list is factory pre-wiring for what I know I will need on down the line as a full-timer. I was glad to see you bring it up for solar panels, but I think it could go further, into some of the traditionally RV-dealer add-ons or Amazon mail-order aftermarkets like powered Wilson 4g cellular boosters with external antennae (who wants to have to drill holes in the ceiling?), Winegard satellite dishes, TPMS, hardwired autoformers, and more. Some of those previously-aftermarket changes are trickling into mid-priced coaches at the factory, like dolby, wind-sensing awnings, LED awning lights, black tank flush points, propane tee sockets for outdoor grills/firepits, but I hope to see more. It seems to me that young folks (not just tech-savvy boomers like myself) would like to see this in the low-to-mid-priced coaches as factory options. And, for the record, I haven’t been impressed with the decor in the mid-priced RV’s I’ve looked at on RV trader, including some of the ones you’ve pointed out in your smackdown comparisons. I think you’re on the right path in your decor choices in the video and I hope they listen to you.
JP, we are so with you. In our next video we will go over a lot more and one thing we will discuss is pre-wire for all the must have gadgets (solar, wifi ranger, boosters…). The solar pre-wire is happening for sure on a lot of the coaches going forward but getting the others is going to take a little more convincing (which we hope we can do).
Give me something Retro on the outside. Something that makes people come over and ask ‘How old?” so I can shock them with ‘I bought it new last year.’
Solar – prewire with THICK WIRE. More than 1 12v battery, please. 2 6-V’s as a minimum. 4 6-V’s is great.
RV electronics are terrible. Horrible low end TV’s, speakers, and so forth. How about a spot to mount a Roku or Apple-TV box? Can I easily stream music from my phone throughout the RV?
Good Luck guys – the industry needs A LOT of help!
Is there any value to general buyers to remove dinette leaving the table against the sofa back and having either bench or separate chairs seating two side by side? Having a bench on one side only might still allow extra seat belt availability. Some type of extension or add on table space could be available making an L shaped ((similar to the couch area) work or eating area more on a on demand option. The space gained might be used for computer/hobby space or just another area to sit away the sofa and the images of cars crashing and body parts seperating then regenerating into new and grosser beings. We fight the computer overtaking the dining area. I think for fulltimer travel it would help to organize separate activities.
YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME! We just bought a 2006 winnebago journey 39 foot diesel pusher. We are a family of 5 plus a prescious puppy about to head out full time on the road. I personally love clean lines, simple decor. Im thankful our motorhome has practically no carpet, grey flooring, no yukky borders etc. But one sofa and the window trim are a crazy pattern. It could be worse! I love the idea of prewired for solar…I think that people would consider solar more. Im looking forward to the next video. My kids looove your videos on rving. My 10 year old son is begging dad for a composting toilet..lol. Its science dad! Lol
Ha ha, I love it when the kids get into the composting toilet idea! It is science dad, I bet you might even get some extra credit at school if you ask!
myself and my family will also like this series. As a family with four kids and fulltiming it would be nice to see some smaller coaches designed well and made well set up for a family, and prewired for tech and solar. Dragging these manufacturers out of the 80’s won’t be easy, but it is worth it.
Thanks for taking on the dinosaurs. I have always wondered why these manufacturers refuse to go with a cleaner, more contemporary look inside and out. It seems they are appealing to my parents’ generation, creating interiors that mirror 1980’s Cadillacs with large puffy leather seats and grandma-inspired cabinets and furnishings (and I’m 50). I think today’s RVs look like tacky cruise ships that belong beached in Las Vegas.
I travel to Europe regularly, and appreciate the clean lines offered over there–both in furniture and in vehicles, namely busses and small RVs. That is what I am waiting to buy when I retire early and hit the road.
Hopefully they will take this project to heart and listen, but I must admit I already sensed some resistance on their part.
Best of luck!
Jim and Kim
Thanks for your effort!!! We are currently looking for our mobile retirement home, one year out. We agree no one makes what we want for an active lifestyle (we are rock climbers), and do a lot of boon-docking. Want to stay under 35 feet like you. Important to be able to have good access with the slides in while traveling. The Tiffin 31 or 32 SA is a good fit, but why not make that size and layout in a Diesel???? The gas chassis works way too hard. The Diesel models then have 3+ slides. We just did a gas -diesel test drive. No comparison. Get the companies to use quality materials for full time use. We looked at the Excursion. Not bad, then the cheapest shower door I have seen??? Why choices like that.
Good luck… 🙂 We are currently trying to find a good used, higher end coach.. And still stay under 35 feet. Not many choices.
I think the first design change is to make the class A one foot narrower. My wife was uncomfortable driving the class A so we switched back to a class C (Dynamax Rev 24rb). Of course, you have said you are not allowed to make that kind of change. Thanks for all you do for RVing. I have learned a lot from you both.
we have a rough road with Fleetwood. It is by far the number 1 manufacturer we are looking at, and we’re actually between an Excursion and the Bounder 🙂 the single thing that leans us towards an Excursion is the hide-a-loft. Can you find out why they can’t add that awesome feature to the Bounder? It’s the only thing that keeps us from fully committing to a Bounder 🙂
Boy do I have good news for you…there is now a really nice hide a loft in the 2016 bounder and our new one has it too (the cats would have dis owned us). Our video with all the updates will come out this week but I believe the Fleetwood website already has the new 2016 info.
Hi, first time commentor and long time viewer. First thanks for all your videos and blogs they are very helpful and completed in first class quality. I’m looking to purchase my first RV and go full time finishing my working career on the road which is how I found your website and have been following you as part of my research.
Like so many others I have been frustrated finding the mythical perfect RV which is probally why I’m still looking and not adventuring. I’m with you on size, style and amenities ( too bad the Tiffin Breeze floor plans, etc miss the mark). I have found from my research that there is a huge percentage of the American population that also wants more environmental and contemporary options. It’s good Fleetwood is making an attempt to change. The only comment that upset me was about solar as I feel this should be standard and something the average consumer does want (probably my west coast mentality).
I think the change within the industry needs to be for customization letting the consumer pick the add on’s, colors, flooring, etc. similar to most automotive websites were you build your own. So far I’m leaning towards a Nexus B+ or C as you can make these customizations and get close to the RV of your dreams. I’m planning a trip to the plant this summer to see if it will be the fit I’m looking for.
All the best on your new RV.
Well thanks for coming out of the shadows. 🙂 You would be surprised how many people still resist solar (a few have already commented here). However, at least with the new pre-wire rolling out it makes it easier to add on and a lot more affordable. Its a small step in the right direction. We will discuss this in some upcoming videos but Fleetwood is one of the few manufactures with a special order process. So anyone can choose (from within their approved supplies) walls, fabrics, counters, and so on. However, not many people know this is an option and there are a couple of other manufacturers that offer it too. We are gathering info and trying to learn who all allows this so we can let at least our readers know about it.
I think the obvious middleground in the whole solar debate would be for Fleetwood to prewire for “serious” solar, so that those who want it in spades can have it in spades, but only throw a 5-10 watt panel up on top with the marketing spin of the convenience of keeping the chassis and house battery systems charged while the coach is in storage – since SO many coaches live the bulk of their lives in storage anyway…
I’m quite impressed with Fleetwood for taking this project on and you two for pushing forward your ideas. Applause, applause! I like your choice on the wood floors. Too bad they would not change the cabinet style – all manufacturers need to upgrade on that! I would like to see a more modern, sleek design in the motorhomes. I’ve seen a few German motorhomes and love their style and creative approach to small spaces. Nikki and Jason, I can’t wait to see your design choices put together. I’ll be anxiously waiting for your big reveal!
This is great! We are travel trailer/5th wheel people but agree that 28 to 32 feet is our ideal for myself, hubby and our two fur children of the dog variety. ..we would love a 5th wheel that could somehow accommodate our touring kayaks as well as not have grandma design OR huge bunk houses we don’t need….so excited to follow this project! !
I hope RV manufacturers start building renewables straight onto the van. They should all come together to make all connections standard so that adding solar panels and turbines are as easy as plugging in a phone.
I’d love to see no-leather packages (which is hopefully part of the greener designs, since leather is absolutely positively not green at all).
I’d also love to see a wider door and more accessibility: a hand rail for getting in/out, and maybe even a lift of some kind for people who are disabled in a way that affects their ability to climb and descend stairs safely. The needs of disabled people who want to enjoy RV living are definitely very low on the list of priorities for the vast majority of the RV community and RV designers… but I’m hoping that changes. RV life is not just for the able bodied 🙂
Jennifer, check out Newmar’s Ventana. There is a wheel chair accessable version. Newmarcorp.com.
Mary Alyce Owens
We are with you on the Nike swishes on EVERY RV around. We just bought a 5th wheel and my husband wants to heat gun the swishes away and have a blank slate to do what ever we want…we just my do it! We already peeled them from the windows…really on the windows !!
Most of the current offerings appeal to me as far as floor plan/amenities go; but then again I’m approaching the age demographic the manufacturers are aiming for. However my three suggestions would be (1) eliminate the cheesy electric fire place; perhaps a nice vent free LP log unit would be a great option for those folks up north, (2) is it me or does other folks feel the swirly exterior paint designs are a bit much? (3) Why doesn’t somebody include a computer armoire / secretary type thing, ya know a 24-36 inch wide door that folds down to make a desk and also hide the monitor or laptop when not in use? Wouldn’t that be cool for working folks?
Kudos to Fleetwood for allowing some consumer input. Tired of the beige/ brown colors, the wallpaper borders, the leftover loud fabrics used for couches/ windows etc. Love the idea of solar panels, clean design, gas, 28-32′ length…good luck, Wynns…
So glad to see a company at least considering designs changes. We bought a second hand Winnebago 33′ and basically renovated the living end. Painted the entire interior and I am still tempted to paint the outside to look like a house. .. Because we are living full time we installed cabinets where the sofa had been and s day bed with drawers underneath where the banquet had been, ripped out the carpet and installed flooring. As we were doing this al I could think was why don’t the rv makers have a mix and match approach with a far wider range of options. A choice between one tacky dark wood and an equally tacky lighter one is not what I mean. Great that you’re doing this. And I LOVE the pre wiring idea. We had solar installed but ate not completely happy with the job because the guy is not really up on it. Oh, perhaps in addition to prewiring they could reserve space in a place that makes sense for more than two batteries. (we have 6) so you’re not stuck with long wiring runs. Also flat bathroom floors with enough space to install a composting toilet if desired. We got lucky with our Winnebago and had it.
Oh and were retired. ..65 and 63 but not stodgy. And I grew up in the Caribbean so I NEED bright and light.
Lisa, my girlfriend and I are looking to go full-time sometime in the next 12 months. We’re brand new to RVing but all we can find are horribly-outdated designs and floorplans that aren’t anything like a modern home. I wonder if you have any pictures of your RV online somewhere for people like me to look at? We’re considering buying an older diesel pusher and renovating the inside and VERY curious about how others have done it!
Once, just once, I would like to see the option of WHITE cabinets and happy colors in an RV. Have they not noticed how many people are ripping the ugly brown-and-beige guts out of their RVs, painting the cabinets white and adding fun, colorful fabrics and modern finishes? I really hope you can convince them to pull their heads out of the sand and look around! 😉 (P.S. I am very jealous of this assignment!) Have fun!
It is my opinion that RV manufactures have lost contact with people that buy their products. I feel that most people want to RV in a comfortable manner, but not break the bank. My wife and I enjoy dry camping but so many of today’s rigs don’t allow for this. The fresh water tank and holding tanks are too small. The RVs are not pre-wired for solar or 12 volt appliances. There is very limited storage for extra batteries to hold the solar power. Propane tanks are not as large as they can be. Many upgrades can be made at the factory for a small cost instead of a large cost to the purchaser. When a manufacturer buys in volume the cost is usually a lot less. Simple small efficient changes will make a much better camping product. The RV industry has to have serious dialog with its customer base.
I don’t understand the intransigence of the people at Fleetwood, compared with what I see with Winnebago. Winnebago is already offering more modern, fuel efficient, attractive coaches with simpler and more elegant decor. They offer a wider range of choices on their products. Lance does the same thing with its trailers. From watching the video it seems like you guys had some very good points and ultimately got shot down to just picking fabric swatches. No changes in cabinets or interiorlayout for an experimental model? Come on. For me as a potential RV buyer watching the Fleetwood people in action with you was a real turn off.
I really like the innovation with new engine types, chassis, vehicle safety and product integrity that I see with Winnebago. The Reyo and Navion are perfect examples in smaller classes. Not sure about Class A except for the retro Brave. I’d be interested in seeing if maybe on your next coach you can work with Winnebago instead and see what they can come up with.
Hi Guys, is there supposed to be a photo or video between “…we couldn’t pass it up” and “We feel a little crazy…” ? Bernard
Just discovered you guys and can’t wait to vote! We are early-40-somethings, small biz owners with a baaaad camping habit and we find every excuse to take the coach when it’s even a remote option. We have just upgraded from a class C to an ACE, Thor’s (sortof)new A/C combo. We are over the moon happy. One thing that manufacturers should consider is height of users. I’m 5’3 and my wife is 4″11 so we have trouble reaching the gas pedal. The chairs are oversized for our smaller bods and are tough to adjust into place. I plan to build a foot ledge to place below the captain chairs so feet don’t dangle and accelerator can be properly controlled. While you have the ear of the Bounder ppl, throw this in front of them as a design consideration. Short ppl rv too! Thank you – looking forward to your future posts!
We have just celebrated the fist year of our Fleetwood Discovery 40E. We love the size and many of the amenities. We too have a small list of some design flaws. First thing to go was bedding…replaced by Pottery Barn. Not sure of the flame resistance factor. Can’t wait to see your new vehicle. Am impressed that Fleetwood is open and interested in the customer viewpoint.
Can’t wait to get the tour. Nikki, I love your hair.
Another great video! Fleetwood is no longer sold in my area. So I purchased a used Class C to get back into the RV world. I have been trying to change over to a composting toilet. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find anyone in my area that has any experience with installation.
It would be nice to have options to choose a more modern, eco-friendly unit. I agree with you on decor!
Will they start offering the option of a composting toilet?
I have been watching programs on the Tiny House movement. It is surprising how they can build such cleaver, space saving functional units. I just thought, “Why aren’t some of these being incorporated into RVs?”
Looking forward to the next step in Resurrecting the Dino….
We purchased a class A earlier this year and I think the manufacturers rely too much on the dealers’ ordering practices. I don’t think very many people buy direct from the manufacturer and I think manufacturers respond to what the dealers order. We bought at an RV show, not exactly a spur of the moment purchase as we knew which manufacturer and model we wanted, but we had not gone there planning to buy… but we did as we got what we thought to be a fair price. The one we got just happens to have 3 TVs. We don’t need three TVs. One would be fine. What we would like is a more Internet capable package… pre-wired for a cellular wi-fi boosted hotspot, for example ( a roof mounted antennae would be cool). I would like to see RVs pre-wired for solar and with the flexibility to add more high powered, compact lithium batteries. The fabrics and decor in the coach are fine; nothing outlandish, nothing that made me think of doilies or Grandma. Pretty neutral, but leaning toward traditional. More modern and simple patterns would be nice as well. The leopard pattern on the fitted bed spread should definitely go. But in the long run the layout is more important than the decor.
You nailed it Norm! The dealers are somewhat running the show because they are the ones who buy the coaches. We have talked about this issue until we are blue in the face with no solution. If it were all more factory direct things would be so very different.
Looking forward to the next installment! I think it’s great that Fleetwood is even having this discussion. I am a fan of the smaller diesels like the Excursion and the Winnebago/Itasca Forza/Solei. With the Excursion we couldn’t find a floorplan we loved. I really liked the living area of the 35B but the bathroom and bedroom were deal breakers. And some of the odd design choices. The Forza/Solei are evolving nicely but but the interiors are just too plain. We bought a 2014 Tiffin 36LA and the coach has been solid. The rear gas fill/gas station issues don’t fit well with the the way we use the coach. We both have jobs so we like to get where we’re going quickly. Sometimes that means 12-18 hours behind the wheel. The Tiffin has some odd design choices but has been relatively liveable for us. Definitely was interested in the Bounder as well but couldn’t find one in Texas with the floorplan we wanted. The dash design was off putting as well.
I, for one, would be willing to pay a little more for a small DIesel pusher that didn’t have the “entry level” interior and geriatric design choices. In the end we felt better with a “higher end” gas coach than an “entry level” DP. Especially considering the price difference.
michel le rouzes
totaly in accord with you
Enjoyed your video very much. We are newly retired, mid 50’s and just purchased our first RV, a 24 foot 1996 Rexhall to test the waters! We are having a blast and enjoy keeping up with you guys! Good luck in this new adventure!
Interesting how their hands are tied with regulations. I am of the thought process, that if it is there people will use it when it comes to solar panels. I understand the lithium argument, but with solar panels if they install them people won’t find excuses for not using them ( don’t know where to put them, don’t want to spend money on aftermarket parts and possibly lowering the value, lack of warranty to protect against leaks, will there be hidden costs, battery capacity etc.) theses are easy excuses not to invest in green initiatives and by installing them in the factory we can reduce some of the stigma of owning a gas guzzling RV.
FINALLY!!! No dark woods, swirly patterns! ICK!!!
It’s the same with furniture stores…country, big dark brown furniture…ICK ICK ICK!
Give me Scandinavian – Stressless Ekornes Furniture! It would be nice if THAT was in RVs!
I have ALWAYS LOVED the European design! Light greys, purples, brushed silver, mauves……
And I’M 63!!!!!! (going on 36)
Out with the people born in the 30’s, 40’s and in with the BABY BOOMERS!
Not to say YOUR baby boomers, but you have CLASS!
I can’t WAIT to see your next video!
I’ve followed your adventures with interest and your dissatisfaction with the American RV industry’s aesthetic when it comes to design. Coming from Europe and the clean lines of motorhome design here I can understand your viewpoint – American rigs do tend to look like “Grandma’s”. Here even retired people go for cleaner lines and a simpler less fussy aesthetic as well as smaller vans. Maybe you’ll bring old world style to the new world! Good luck!
Good stuff, guys. Looking forward to the process. From a personal standpoint of couple in their 40’s, way pre-retirement and using our Class A Forest River coach for several months each year, the idea that there’s a need to resurrect “dinasaurs” seems a stretch. We absolutely love the decor in our Georgetown and would use similar fabrics / patterns in a new home if we had the choice. If you look at the designs from most manufacturers today compared to the 80’s, there is indeed a significant difference. We appreciate the simple lines and your desire to get away from the “swirls”, however the Fleetwood guys noted something I’ve said before, that the swirls (or at least some element of varied lines on the side of a coach) serve to minimize or take the focus off the fact that it’s a huge box driving down the road.
I’m guessing the Bounder was the coach they were open to redesigning (and not their Excursion line) as I’m still intrigued why you guys would jump to a gasser from diesel. Perhaps we’ll find out in due time!
This is my opinions and not the Wynn’s but wanted to put in my two cents here. Looking at RV’s and my lifestyle, with the price of DEF and Diesel being what it is, there is little to no money saving on the traveling side. When parked it is nice not to have the generator under the bed, however with solar efficiency and frugal energy consumption the use of the generator diminishes greatly. I am not a fan of the doghouse but with the price difference I could live with it.
There are many advantages to diesel vs. gas than just the cost of fuel. You already touched on the point that, in a diesel, when you’re up front driving the engine (and all its noise) is in the back. And when you’re sleeping in the back the generator (and all ITS noise) is in the front. But the real differences surround the power and lifespan of the engine, the chassis and the resale benefits that accompany all of that and more. If you don’t need that power or plan on keeping your rig that long then those advantages don’t benefit you much, and a gasser may very well be the better choice.
To your point regarding the swirly lines – I’d prefer something a little simpler and sophisticated as well, but you’re absolutely right about it taking focus off the fact that it’s a huge square box rolling down the road. I saw one where the owner had “custom” painted his rig ALL white with just tiny blue pinstripes to accentuate the wheel wells, and it looked awful… like a rolling refrigerator! In my opinion, the sides of the box need some “movement” in the paint scheme… though I’d agree many manufacturers take it just a little too far.
Whoop! Whoop! Happy to help!
Judging by the reaction to suggestion of lithium……………..It is going to be a while till the manufactures are willing to put them in something the size and price point of a bounder. I would be very happy to toss out 5k almost anything in a coach to have 300ah of lithium, a decent size pure sine inverter and well done pre-wiring for solar from the factory. I have a bounder 2013 I am trying to “fix” now. 500 watts of solar going on very soon. Planning for lithium (may have to move the batteries from under the step to a new location along with the solar charger and inverter.
I would trade it in in a NY sec for one all set from the factory. Doing it after market cost a lot more and creates so many headaches as opposed to it done (or at least built with easy options to convert) at factory.
Keep beating them up. We (me and many others) want a boondocking ready rig in the 35 foot range rolling off the factory floor not re build at the dealer or done by third party after the fact.
The Hippie Gypsies
We are excited for the series and applaud Fleetwood for their cooperation in this endeavor! We will likely be ordering what they offer as soon as its available. We are currently in a 40ft 5th wheel but plan on a lot more wild camping in our future – while we work from the road. Two work stations – passenger seat, and bedroom desk, are going to be a must. This is ultimately why we went the 5th wheel route as it allowed for ‘separation’ for two people working – hopefully this is incorporated in your new vehicle!
George (Chip) Mauro
WOW! What an opportunity! I give Fleetwood props on two levels; (1) for being proactive in addressing the growing trend towards the nomadic lifestyle across various demographics and (2) for recognizing great style, quality of product and the appealing charm that is the Wynns.
That is fantastic! I can’t wait to vote. We have been looking at RVs for a year and I agree, they are geared toward the retired folks.
Michel Le Rouzes
Great video,and great project guys!