An Overview of the brands we carry at Kansas RV Center, and why. By Mike Mitchell
Staff of Kansas RV Center / NuWa Industries, has designed, manufactured, and used 5th wheel RVs for 40+ years, and during this time hopefully earned the respect of customers and the industry. Listening to customers has taught the importance of product reliability and livability. Working with customers to optimize ownership experience has influenced efforts to seek superior results in the RV manufacturing process and to create a culture that is more responsive to the “total” service needs of customers.
This “manufacturing culture” with a focus on reliability, livability and response to service needs will uniquely serve the expectations of customers. As we search for products to represent at Kansas RV, our manufacturing background is used to identify unique products, which offer exceptional construction and cold weather capability to meet the demands of full time use, and which meet our own livability standards. Knowledge of manufacturing and design provides the skills needed to know what to “look for” in a product for the benefit of customers.
I am comfortable with any price point of a 5th wheel, but expect it to perform as the reasonable person should expect it to perform, and I admit that many brands don’t meet this basic set of standards. We continue to seek those brands, which do meet these standards, and are properly supported by the manufacturers who build them.
Below are some of the brands presently represented by Kansas RV Center, the general features they offer, and why I believe they are of exceptional value. Some are expensive and some are less expensive, but value at any price point is what we seek.
Several of these brands are new to Kansas RV Center and were recently chosen based on my review of product and company and the value I believe each of these brands offers our customers.
MOBILE SUITES / ELITE SUITES BY DRV:
These very popular “high end” trailers have become the choice of full timer/extended stay RV owners, who want the best and will pay the price necessary to build such a trailer. We at Kansas RV are very much at home selling this trailer, which has so many similar features to our HitchHiker Champagne. We have quickly become one of the top dealers in the nation for DRV products. I have toured this company’s production facility to satisfy myself that the product matches the reputation, and it does. I am a believer in larger capacity axles, springs, tires and disc brakes on large 5th wheels, and DRV understands the importance of this as well. The optional MorRyde Independent Suspension you will typically find on the trailers we order is based on our 35 year knowledge of the value of this unique rubberized suspension, which actually eliminates the axles. Too few people have been educated about the “interstate “taming” characteristic of this suspension investment. I like the fact that many of the graphics on the suite are painted rather than applied as decals, which means that one has exterior graphics look that will last without having to spend the money for full body paint. The DRV frame and suspension is designed to carry the admittedly heavy weight of this trailer and to support the hydraulic six point auto level system. Insulation is one of the best in industry including a wall thickness that is 1’ greater than most. Units are tested to five degrees below zero to ensure that utility systems will function in extreme temperatures. The 102” wide body design offers increased interior width, which can improve livability. I have a passion for exceptional and practical livability/storage and give DRV a nine out of ten for doing it well. The cherry cabinetry is not only beautiful, but is residential quality and appearance. Every aspect of the interior materials, furnishings and furniture of the Suites is similar to that of a fine residential home. You will see a lot of residential refrigerators, dishwashers, and inverters on the ten or so 36’ to 44’ models we keep on display inside our showroom building. Dual pane windows, heat pumps and extreme cold weather capability are also important features in my opinion.
The Mobile Suites is top of the line, and we proudly represent it at Kansas RV. What sets us apart from other Mobile Suites dealers is knowledge of “all things 5th wheel” and an ability to add components, do cabinetry work or frame/suspension work on new or used units. These are reasons we have quickly become one of the top DRV dealers in North America. People from all over the U.S. complete purchase transactions with us via email or phone, because of a reputation for knowing the products and patiently helping customers with purchase decisions. As well our prices are competitive, and we are comfortable taking the “high end” 5th Wheel and motorhome trades, which so often come with the transaction. If you’re looking for the Suites product or just want the best, visit with our sales staff for help in deciding which model or price point fits your needs. If you special order a DRV unit, plan for a 10 to 12 week lead time.
HITCHHIKER BY NUWA:
Kansas RV Center is owned and operated by NuWa Industries. NuWa manufactured the HitchHiker 5th wheel product line for many years (40+). During the last economic downturn, it became clear that the market for high end products did not exist in sufficient volume for us to be able to continue to profitably produce HitchHiker’s in our facility. We chose some other quality brands to represent and sell, as detailed on this page, and continue to have many customers interested in purchasing a used HitchHiker. At Kansas RV Center we specialize in 5th wheels and especially “high end” 5th wheel brands. For this reason a lot of larger “high end” used 5th wheels are taken on trade and many of them are exceptionally clean late models. Because we purchase, consign sell and trade for so many HitchHikers, customers can choose from the largest selection of used HitchHikers in the nation. These units are run through our “refurbishment” process, where staff repairs and upgrades the units as needed.
This relatively new brand is going to become a strong player in the “high end” 5th wheel market. “Generation 2” is being introduced in early 2016, as Lifestyle listens to the desires fo their customers and creates new floorplans and greater value through cost reduction of their intensive hands on labor style of production. The new units are lighter and more affordable and will include full body paint as standard equipment. Most experienced RV’ers are aware that Lifestyle was developed by employees, who left Carriage when that company closed. Touring this production facility was a very positive experience and I am impressed with the steps taken to improve upon the few negative features of the Cameo by Carriage. This unit is properly constructed, therefore design features and after purchase maintenance have been well thought out. Cold weather use has been properly designed and the structural aspects of this trailer are impressive. The unique rear storage area is a strong feature. Cabinetry is solid cherry and fit and finish is as one would expect on a “high end” trailer. I view Lifestyle as a unit that meets some of the desires of our Discover America Hitchhiker customers with lighter weights and lengths than Mobile Suites, but at a lesser cost than Mobile Suites. And the Lifestyle will meet the livability and reliability expectations of the customer looking at HitchHIker Champagne or Mobile Suite. The new wide body models will fill an important price/quality/weight niche that is not available elsewhere, and the new sidehauler model for those who want their motorcycle without loss of livability is a very exciting concept from Lifestyle. The result is a quality built, reliable trailer that meets the budget of more extended stay users and unlike most dealers, we bring in most Lifestyles with disc brakes, the larger 8K axles and in many cases the “H” range tires. For a special order, plan for ten week lead time.
RIVERSTONE BY FOREST RIVER:
Riverstone is Forest River’s new “high end” 5th wheel. Designed and built in a dedicated factory by experienced production staff, this unit offers a lot of value for the price. Full body paint is standard as are almost all components which are typically optional. A wide body trailer, this unit has 3 ½” wall as does our Mobile Suite to provide increased insulation and strength. The cabinetry is a rich and dark with curved cabinets and use of glass to provide a residential look. A unique electric heater in the bedroom provides improved control of sleeping temperature during cold nights. This trailer is similarly priced to the Lifestyle and offers unique features, which we feel will earn it a place in the high end market.
VILANO BY VANLEIGH:
This exciting new trailer “exudes” value. And it is backed by the experience of the Tiffin family, known for providing value to the RV market. That is why we are so excited about it. Unique in appearance and features, the quality and fit and finish are immediately visible to the experienced eye. The price is very reasonable for a unit of this quality and the Vilano price point is about $12K under that of the Lifestyle and Riverstone. And Vilano offers the shortest 5th wheel of this quality level on the market. The 325 model is 34’7” long and can be towed by today’s 250 trucks with increased towing capacity. Look at the cabinetry fit and finish, the memory foam mattress, the soft touch vinyl ceiling and the touch pad lighting system to show evidence of the value of this trailer and the obvious reason why I chose to represent it at Kansas RV Center.
OAKMONT BY HEARTLAND:
The largest selling price point of the 5th wheel market is in the $50K to $60K price range. The success of the Oakmont at our Oklahoma City store helped me realize this well designed trailer needs to be represented by Kansas RV. It is now being added to our showroom display. Floorplans are new and exciting for families or for the Snowbird couple. Construction and features are good for a unit of this price point. The value will be obvious to those who inspect this trailer.
HERITAGE GLEN BY FOREST RIVER:
This extremely “high value” 5th wheel is part of the Wildwood trailer family, though we don’t carry the Wildwood brand. I’m so impressed by the appearance and features of the Heritage Glen for the price. A great entry level price, but not an entry level trailer. This unit will compete with our used trailers and will hold its value well because of the price to features ratio it provides. We will stock it “deep” as they have many models in the 29’ to 40’ range priced $6K to $8K less than our Oakmont models.
SEQUOIA BY REDWOOD:
Sequoia is the “baby Brother” of Redwood and is designed by the same people, built in the same plant and shares many of the components and features of the Redwood. But the significantly lesser cost in relation to its features is what caught our attention. We search for value, and the Sequoia offers great value for the money and will give our high end/full timer customers another choice for less cost than some of our other high end brands.
It looks and feels much like a Redwood, which has earned a reputation for great features, livability and appearance. The frame is the same as is the insulation and R factor values. The Sequoia shares many Redwood traits and performs better than most similarly priced 5th wheels, and is much less costly than our Lifestyle, Riverstone or Mobile Suites. Available with full body paint and most of the upgrades of our higher end trailers.
Full body painted models loaded with options are priced in the low $80’s and non painted models are priced in the high $70’s. Capable of full time living use, the floorplans are today’s popular designs and Sequioa is one of the few brands that continues to offer a “split bath” design as well as the “all enclosed” side bath design. Look at Sequoia for its exceptional value, which is why we’ve chosen to represent it at Kansas RV.
VOLTAGE TOY HAULERS:
Thor’s Voltage and “V” series have quickly become the “powerhouses” of large 5th wheel toy haulers. Overbuilt like a Cadillac, I describe them as targeting an “adult audience” rather than the younger toy hauler crowd. This means to me not as “flashy”, but a very classy appearance. Superior R Values and laminated floors provide exceptional cold weather capability. Their furniture is extremely comfortable. They’ve also done their homework on how people use the toy hauler. Not inexpensive, but impressive in appearance, construction, insulation and features, the response from nationwide for these products has pleasantly surprised us. We continue to order new inventory only to watch it disappear. The Voltage models come in 35’ to 42’ lengths and the lesser expensive “V” series comes in 34’ to 40’ lengths. Some have ½ bath in cargo area and some have lofts for extra sleeping. Most sell with generator, side by side refrig., multiple awnings, air conditioners and TVs, heat pads, auto level systems and cargo area electric bed and dinette and patio surround, which also lets pets be outside but confined to the deck. Before buying one of the other popular brand toy haulers, give us a chance to show the benefits of our models. We have “toy hauler row” in our showroom with several models on display. Allow six weeks for a special order.
SUNSET RESERVE AND SUNSET SUPER LITE TRAVEL TRAILERS:
A beautiful trailer at the upper end of the price scale, the Sunset is an elegant look and has all the features desired. We tend to focus on the “couples” floorplans in this lightweight high end brand and the bunkhouse models in the lesser expensive even lighter weight Super Lite models. Popular sellers are the 26’ rear bath, the 30RE, the 30RK and the new 32RL. The 32RL is a magnificent floorplan with huge outside kitchen for the extended use RV’er.
PUMA BY PALOMINO:
Metal sided travel trailers are gaining in popularity because of less cost and ease of exterior repair. This top selling metal side, wood framed trailer is not light, but it is well built and insulated. More affordable than our other travel trailer models, yet great fit and finish, we bring these in with upgrade options including a cold weather package called the Rocky Mountain option. For 2016 the Puma has upgrade features without an increase in cost.
USED 5TH WHEELS:
At Kansas RV Center we specialize in 5th wheels and especially “high end” 5th wheel brands. For this reason a lot of larger “high end” used 5th wheels are taken on trade and many of them are exceptionally clean late models. Because we purchase, consign sell and trade for so many HitchHikers, customers can choose from the largest selection of used HitchHikers in the nation. These units are run through our “refurbishment” process, where staff repairs and upgrades the units as needed. This often includes glide repairs, and replacement of tires, furniture and carpet in older models, as well as replacing sun worn awning fabrics, water heater anode rods and lots of UV effected plastic parts on exterior. Expect to see or view on website more used 5th wheels at Kansas RV than any dealer in this part of the U.S. And have confidence that the used unit purchased will be in more reliable condition than you will find at most dealer locations let alone a purchase from someone’s front yard.
Any Questions about specific models or products? Call 800-835-0676, or email us at email@example.com and we will do our best to help you choose your next RV!
–Mike Mitchell, CEO