New Front Gas Chassis Coming in Spring 2013

New Gas Chassis Coming in Spring 2013

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(Source:   Jones & Son Press Release Archive)
(Photos by:   Mike Pelchat)
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December 1, 2012 — Union Gap, Wash.-based Jones & Sons Chassis is in development of what the company calls the “next generation” of front-engine gas chassis design, with the work in progress scheduled for an unveiling at the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) 50th Annual National RV Trade Show, Nov. 27-29 in Louisville, Ky.
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The GM 6.0L Vortec engine sits nicely inside the rails of the Apex.  Note the engineering change which show a separate belt for the air conditioning compressor.   Speaking with Gary at the exhibit he stated that he is planning on splitting out the Hydro-Max from the power steering making those systems independent.
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Gary Jones, who founded the company in 2005, tells RVBUSINESS.com that this new platform is specifically designed and engineered for the RV body builder and will be available in a standard stripped-chassis format or in a coach-ready version in which a great deal of componentry like outriggers, leveling jacks and generators are already in place for the body builder.
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The 6.0L engine is coupled to an Allison 2100 5-Speed automatic transmission.  This is going to be a a rock solid powertrain combination for the weight rating of this chassis.  Seen are dual cats which feed into dual mufflers.  A drum brake is fitted to the drivetrain and will be controlled by an electrical actuator similar to a Spring Apply Hydraulic Release/SAHR canister.
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“We can’t release any specifics prior to the trade show,” said Jones, who declined to elaborate on drive train details on his new gas chassis project, which has been in the works since February. “But it sure has been fun to work on.”
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The front wheel ends are shown fitted with Arvin Meritor 70mm Quadraulic calipers.  The brake system is an HPB design which provides excellent braking and shorter stopping distances than any RV in its weight class rating.  The wheel cut on this chassis is 50°.
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The chassis will be “competitively priced with significant product improvements” and is intended as an innovative alternative to Ford, Workhorse and Freightliner units, said Jones, adding that his company is targeting the entry-level segment of the Class A gas market with chassis measuring “up to 30 feet” in length.
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Displayed in the lower foreground is a 2.5″ stabilizer bar that uses opposite torque moments to control body roll.  The chassis is fitted with tuned Bilstein shock absorbers.
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Jones & Sons Chassis’ veteran staff members have previously worked on a wide array of proprietary chassis for companies such as Fleetwood Enterprises Inc., Safari Motor Coaches Inc., Country Coach Inc., Western Recreational Vehicles Inc. as well as Tiffin Motorhomes Inc.’s Power Glide Custom Chassis program, which supports Tiffin’s Allegro Breeze, Allegro Bus and Phaeton luxury lines.
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Looking at the chassis one can see the opening forward where the engine sits on its mounts.  This arrangement lowers the engine deeper into the rail thereby lowering the doghouse inside the RV. The frame rails are constructed from 50,000 psi steel and have a 3″ x 9 5/8″x .25 inch cross section.   The Apex was fitted with 19.5 inch Goodyear tires and mounted on bright aluminum alloy wheels.
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About Mike Pelchat

In January 2000, Mike assisted in forming the iRV2 Nor’easters Regional Group and by September of 2001, the 1st National Rally was held at the Ocean Lakes Campground in Myrtle Beach, SC. As an iRV2 member; Mike has served as a Moderator, Administrator and is currently the Marketing Director for iRV2.com. Mike writes photo essays which range from RV Industry News, product reviews, component installations, travel and general interest topics.

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