Gulf Stream’s New Class C Conquest Rides on Transit Chassis – RVBusiness

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NAPPANEE, Ind. – Nimble, affordable, yet fully featured was the goal as Gulf Stream Coach Inc. went to the drawing board for its newest Class C Conquest, the company’s first build on a Ford Transit chassis.

Paul Campbell, director of marketing, explained the evolution of the Conquest line into the Transit.

“We’ve had good success with the (Ford) E350 and E450 for our Conquest, and the little BT Cruiser, too,” he said. “The Conquest brand is very popular with rental fleets. … It’s an economical choice and it’s road proven over the years of doing what it’s supposed to do well. It’s not intimidating to someone who’s renting and maybe hasn’t driven motor home before. So it’s a big player in the rental market, and it’s also a successful choice, especially as a first choice for people new to motorized.”

Enter the Transit, which has found a place with many other manufacturers in the Class B and Class C segments and magnifies the consumer-friendly characteristics of Gulfstream’s existing Conquest offerings.

“It brings a little smaller footprint and a lower entry height. It’s just a little less intimidating all around. And people see it as a gas saver compared to the E350 chassis with a smaller motor, lower weight, that kind of thing,” Campbell said. “And it also is available with some of the bells and whistles that RVers are looking for, the crash avoidance and the driver assistance packages.”

With nimble and fully featured covered, the final hurdle was affordability.

Vice President of Sales and Marketing Scott Parker explained that price point is different on the Transit compared to other cutaways.

“You can buy them all different ways,” he said. “With a two-wheel drive, a four-wheel drive, all-wheel drive and different amenities, so we’re really  focused on hitting that price point with the new Conquest.”

He said the MSRP on a two-wheel drive model should fall in the mid-$120,000s, which is highly competitive when compared to many Class Bs and smaller Class Cs on the market.

The new Conquest should land in the market as a solid option for someone moving out of a towable into a mangeable-sized motorized unit.

“That’s what we’re seeing. People are very apprehensive when they go to the C-Class, even on our BT Cruisers,” Parker said. “They’re not used to driving that type of vehicle. While something like this, this is more like driving a minivan. So it makes it very user-friendly for that person who maybe hasn’t had a truck in the past.”

Despite it’s smaller size, the Transit-based Conquest has a generous amount of storage inside and out and comes with a tankless water heater, lighted awning and Onan generator all standard. Solar and lithium packages with a 200-watt panel and 30-amp controller are optional.

One fairly clever feature is a storage area underneath the entry step, a place where a battery might normally be found.

“It comes in two different interiors. This is what we call our smoke interior, which is dark fabric, light cabinets,” Parker said. “We also offer in dark cabinets, with light furniture.”

With generous lighting throughout and white cabinets, “It realy opens everything up and brightens everything,” he added.

The initial floorplan is based on the most popular one currently in the Conquest line and new, clean-framed window treatments. A large shower and lavatory in the bathroom are featured, with plenty of storage in the pantry area and adjacent to the bed. The sleeping area above the cab is large enough to accommodate and adult.

“And even in this smaller unit,” Parker noted. “you have a bigger air conditioner and we still duct the air.”

The range hood actually vents to the outside so it recirculates and doesn’t create moisture on the inside of the kitchen, which features a 12-volt refrigerator.

“We’re pretty excited about it, about introducing it to the marketplace,” Parker said.

The new Conquest should start appearing on dealer lots within the next 30 days, Parker said.
“We have a line going and they’re in production. We’re able to secure chassis and build them now. We’re right in the middle of during our first run of the chassis,” he said.

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