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Old 10-17-2006, 04:44 PM   #1
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Has anyone seen the new UFO chassis?
Does anyone know if Winnebago will be using this chassis on any upcoming models?
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Old 10-17-2006, 04:44 PM   #2
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Has anyone seen the new UFO chassis?
Does anyone know if Winnebago will be using this chassis on any upcoming models?
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Old 10-17-2006, 05:55 PM   #3
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Was just at the Pomona RV Show at the fair grounds. It is awesome. I drove it on a George Town (not my style) but, it is so quiet, had to keep looking at the tach to see if it was running. I was disappointed that there was no pass through in the basement, but then again this was just one manufacture. Talked to National RV while I was there and they would not commit to it, if they were or not. I can't see how any would not jump on this wagon soon. The feel was great it is like a whole new suspension system, well, in fact it is a whole new suspension system. So, when I decide and if I decide to change MH in the future at this time it would be the UFO with rear engine gas.
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Old 10-17-2006, 06:12 PM   #4
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Drove the new UFO chassis at the RV show this past weekend in Pomona, CA. I was definately impressed with the overall handling, braking and quietness of the rear mounted engine. Unfortunately, IMHO, it was very difficult to really get the feel of this new chassis because the coach built on it (by Forest River) rattled so badly, it was difficult to concentrate. Among other things, the shower door latch was broken so consequently the shower door kept flying open and crashing against the bathroom wall. I would definately consider the UFO once it is offered by a different coach mfg. My 2003 Newmar Scottsdale on a W22 chassis has far fewer rattles and is quieter overall, even with a front mounted engine.
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Old 10-17-2006, 08:51 PM   #5
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My wife & I went to the Show on Saturday. We were the first ones on Sat. to drive the UFO. What a GREAT job Workhorse did on this chassis. They had a bare chassis set up at the booth that they showed us prior to the drive along with a motorhome on the chassis. The test dive started on the back lot were all the extra motorhomes were parked. My wife really really really like the flat floor by the front seats. No hump to step over. No swiveling the pass seat to get in. Just walk right up and sit down. The first item they showed us was the 55 degree turning radius. Ron, our driver, pulled straight ahead toward the MH parked in front of us till we were about 6ft away then he turned full right and it felt like we had made a 90 degree turn. Very responsive & quick. As we pulled out of the driveway on Arrow Hwy you could notice the lack of swaying of the body due to the addition of the torsion box on the rear axle. Once on Arrow Hwy (divided 6 lane) we quickly got up to about 45-50 mph. Ron then performed several emergency lane changes (no other cars around). We were in the center lane and turned sharply into the right lane and then left across all 3 lanes and quickly back to the right lane in about 50 yards. I was so impressed. It felt like we were in a sports car. Minimal body roll, no tail wagging and very much in control. We then went onto the Fwy (up hill ramp)and easily merged at 60 mph. The Fwy was fairly empty so he took it up to a number that starts with 7 (don't want to get anyone in trouble). Very solid feel and ride. I think the tires were a little over inflated for the weight of the empty MH so we had a fairly harsh ride, like when your tire are rock hard, which made the MH squeak and rattle. We took a couple of off ramps rather quickly, above the posted off ramp speed limit, and the chassis handle them easily.
Then it was my turn to drive, I was pretty excited after seeing all this UFO could do up to now and how easily it handled. Ron stopped on a two lane road with parking on one side, so basically a 3lane road, and gave me the wheel. He said 'drive forward a little and then turn hard left and make a U turn'. OK... it did it with about 12" to spare. The UFO felt very solid driving and once we got off the Fwy very quiet also. Made a few more turns on the way back to the show and each turn was solid. Turning back into the driveway was once again very comfortable with no body rolling or rocking. Also was able to make a very sharp turn into the parking area which was very easy.
Workhorse in my opinion has hit a home run with this chassis. The 8.1 is a great gas engine and once they add the diesel options it will fit the bill for a lot of RVers. By the way the floor in the bedroom is flat also. Just a carpeted hatch for engine access.
We currently drive a 2004 Dolphin 5342 on a W22 Workhorse with Biltein shocks and LOVE it. I sure hope National RV can fight it's way out of their current financial problems because when we are ready for a new MH we would sure like to get the UFO under a Dolphin.
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Old 10-18-2006, 04:31 AM   #6
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Has anyone checked with Forest River/Gerogetown on the pricing and floorplans of their coach built on the Workhorse UFO???

Was Forest River in attendance at Pomona???

My understanding was Workhorse was supposed to announce at the Pomona RV show the other manufacturers that were going to build on the UFO.
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Old 10-18-2006, 09:21 AM   #7
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Tom N:
My understanding was Workhorse was supposed to announce at the Pomona RV show the other manufacturers that were going to build on the UFO. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Tom, I don't know who told you that but I do believe that they are going to wait until the RVIA Show in Louisville. The manufacturer's are going to be the ones to announce. Workhorse wouldn't want to be be the one to steal their thunder.

I would be very surprised to hear any announcements from Pomona. Forerst River is in attendance in Pomona. They were moving the 1 retail unit they had to that show and it wasn't for sale in Hershey.
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Old 10-18-2006, 03:38 PM   #8
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Think I hear a faint rumble --- could be coming this way ---
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Old 10-18-2006, 04:31 PM   #9
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I have heard that Winnebago is thinking about a gas pusher and it must be the UFO.
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Old 10-18-2006, 06:12 PM   #10
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I was at the Pomona show last Saturday and a friend drove up from National City to test drive it. He was really impressed with the chassis too. Unimpressed with the Georgetown also.
He liked the turning radius and the ride. He was really impressed with how well the torsion box worked with sway and he said he could barely hear the engine but kind of expected it to be totally silent.

It really sounds promising. Good thing I will not be buying for about 2 years. Hopefully they will have that as an option in a floorplan the Wife will like.
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Old 10-18-2006, 08:49 PM   #11
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I heard from one WH rep at the Pomona show that Winnebago would be introducing a UFO equipped model in November. We'll see.

Drove the UFO Sat. I started out right from its narrow parking spot in the maze of 100's of demo mh's. It was like an obstacle course getting around a k-rail & parked rigs & the 55 deg steering was tested to the max. No way my W22 would have made it. Handling was fine, not much sway pulling out of driveway to street, but a pretty rigid ride. I noticed how high the GeorgieBoy was riding on the chassis and my guess is that it is way under the 26K, like maybe 19K, thus the rougher ride. From the drivers seat I could hear the motor if I thought about it, otherwise nice and quite. My wife was on the couch towards the rear and could clearly hear the motor anytime, more like our W22. I had it floored going from I-10 west to I-210 north where there is a very steep uphill for about mile. My W22 will drop to 3rd gear and the motor will be roaring. You could hear the UFO motor working but was not loud enough for me to count the down shifts. I wanted to compare the 5 vs 6 speed tranny pulling hills, but I missed the opportunity to know what gear I was in. In that same stretch the concrete is very, very choppy on the expansion joints, the UFO was not too bad.

I'm a small guy & the other test driver was a big guy so the adjustable pedals was a very convenient feature. The flat floor makes access to/from driver seat wide open.

Looking at the naked chassis, I noticed how big the radiator is along with the large funnel shaped shroud from the fan to the radiator. That setup should be equivalent to 70 mph wind to keep her cool. On the negative side, I would think that with rear engine, the fan clutch would be engaged more of the time and it would have a significant drop on the fuel mileage.

This test rig with 6800 miles on it sure seemed like a prototype to me, referring to the coach on top. I'm used to Winnebago quality and all the rattles, creaks, groans in this test drive make it very distracting. Maybe in Nov somebody can report on a Winnie UFO test drive!

All-in-all, looks like this will be a big winner and really blur the line between diesel & gas.

Happy trails,
Bill
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Old 10-19-2006, 05:33 AM   #12
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Duner:
On the negative side, I would think that with rear engine, the fan clutch would be engaged more of the time and it would have a significant drop on the fuel mileage. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Bill, The fan clutch is a viscous coupled thermostatically controlled fan clutch and free wheels most of the time. The reduction in the friction in the drive train more than makes up for any possible short MPG expectations with the fan clutch.

Your MPG concerns are now assuaged!

Thanks for posting ....
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Old 10-19-2006, 06:56 AM   #13
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by DriVer:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Duner:
On the negative side, I would think that with rear engine, the fan clutch would be engaged more of the time and it would have a significant drop on the fuel mileage. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Bill, The fan clutch is a viscous coupled thermostatically controlled fan clutch and free wheels most of the time. The reduction in the friction in the drive train more than makes up for any possible short MPG expectations with the fan clutch.

Your MPG concerns are now assuaged!

Thanks for posting .... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Assuaged, assuaged! Ilike that word. Don't know the meaning, but sure like the word.



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Old 10-19-2006, 05:21 PM   #14
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Old 10-19-2006, 05:43 PM   #15
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What was the length of the test coach?
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Old 10-19-2006, 05:48 PM   #16
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I bet it was a 36 footer.
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Old 10-19-2006, 06:03 PM   #17
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I may be wrong, but just looking at it I thought it was a 34 or 35 and very empty, no special stuff at all, so it was light, but regardless, it handled just great. Oh, he did say the gas and water was full, propane empty for some insurance reason, no water in holding tanks. We did run the generator part why through the test drive and I noticed I could hear it more than the rear engine.
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Old 10-19-2006, 06:19 PM   #18
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Driver, some of us have been discussing the efficiency of the engine cooling when operating in the Southwest where the temps go on forever over 100 degrees. WCC has stated the system was tested in Death Valley. Our question is what time of year was the test conducted and was the engine installed in a motor home or some other type of test mule? Info would be helpful.

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Old 10-19-2006, 06:37 PM   #19
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Has Workhorse made any comment on the heater and defrosters??
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Old 10-20-2006, 01:58 AM   #20
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Tom N:
Has Workhorse made any comment on the heater and defrosters?? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Aside from delivering "hot" coolant to a forward mounted, manufacturer installed heater core via in frame hoses, I see no appreciable difference between front or rear engine placement. Just more heater hose in the UFO.

I'll respond to Fred & Bonnie when I get back from MYR later today. PS: It was summer, measured 118 degrees, and it was in a stock coach body - the driver needed A/C, gets kinda hot riding around on a rail unless you had on a space suit with an A/C unit attached.

I can see it now - "Astronaut drives UFO!", pictures at eleven.
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