National RV Trade Show: Orion P24RB by Coachmen RV

Editor's note: Here's another RV that caught my eye at the National RV Trade Show in Louisville earlier this month. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures of it.

The interior of the Coachmen Orion (Photo by Shawn Spence
RVBusiness magazine - my employer)
Add Coachmen RV to the growing number of RV manufacturers -- the Winnebago Travato comes to mind -- which are building a Class B+ motorhome on the front-wheel drive Ram ProMaster chassis. The Middlebury, Ind.-based division of Forest River Inc. debuted the Orion P24RB, powered by a V-6 Pentastar 3.6L gas engine, at the National RV Trade Show.

Given the future of government-mandated fuel economy standards, Mike Bear, Coachmen RV’s president of Class B and C motorhomes, told me the timing was right for the Class B+ Orion to enter the market.

“I think really what we’re offering here to the public is a coach that really will do what a van camper will do from a handling and fuel economy point of view, but for a lot less money,” Bear said, adding MSRP on the mostly standard Orion starts at $86,000, and its fuel economy is estimated at about 16-18 mpg.

With a nod to a sister unit in the Forest River family, the Dynamax Rev, Bear said they launched the Orion with an industry standard floorplan -- featuring a rear bath and a drop-down queen bed over the living area -- and expects consumers will use it more as a touring coach than as an RV.

“They aren’t necessarily going to be RVers or weekenders, but it’s more of a situation where they’re going to be driving from their house in Michigan to their house in Arizona and they want to be able to have a restroom and cook and pull over and sleep if they want to,” he said.