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Old 05-27-2013, 08:17 PM   #15
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Drv makes a front living room model, Tradition. I saw one at the Wheels RV dealer in Springdale, AR. Drv is very accommodating as to buyer's requests. I'm sure the floor plan must be on the Drv website, www.drvsuites.com.
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Old 05-28-2013, 06:34 PM   #16
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@ hjsdds. I got to say. Your trailer looks like a Grand Suite at a top notch hotel ... Btw. Those steps? Is that something you installed ?
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Old 05-28-2013, 10:28 PM   #17
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Rushmore2011, the steps come out hydraulically and came with the fifth. Everything is hydraulic on this fifth,

the four slideouts, the steps and the four jacks which are self leveling like on a class A.
The heating and hot water system in this fifth is hydronic, hot water circulates through radiators throughout the fifth. It's whisper quiet.

It has two Swedish made furnaces to do that. Redundant, you can use either one or both. The furnaces are around two grands each (if you can find one).
The toilet is all ceramic, air activated, the chamber empties under air pressure horizontally.

Where do they use and install such toilets, on passenger trains. These are still being made for $1,500 bucks each and you need a special $500 air compressor to run this contraption.
Brakes on this unit (it weighs loaded 22,500 pounds) were vacuum over hydraulics on three 8,000 pounds axles.

I have since changed those to air over hydraulics so that I could drive them directly from my converted semi.

Everything that need to come out has sliders, in (note the Nutone system built into the Corian counter)

and out.


The fifth has 4 fantastic fans and two solar panels and no air conditioners on the roof. It has two air conditioners, one for the main area and one for the rear bedroom, both are in the basement. Note that the front cap, the rear cap and the roof are one piece of fiberglass, no seams.

It came with full audio-video system,

driving full 5 speaker Bose surround sound system.
The gray and black water valves are electric and remotely activated.

The reason,the fresh water, black water and grey water are clustered together in the basement compartment that is fully isolated, insulated and heated (by that hydronic system).
It has built in washer and dryer.


If you are wandering where you can buy one you can't. I researched these at the RV museum in Goshen and found an article on Carriage Homesteads in Trailer Life published in May of 1993.

Carriage made couple dozens of them in the early 90's and they sold then (20 years ago) for around $125,000.
But this one is "special", it was built as a showpiece for Clarence Yoder the owner and President of Carriage in 1995 over a period of around 6 months at a cost of around $150,000 (according to Clarence). He only took it to RV shows to showcase what Carriage was capable off. Not another one like that was ever built. When Clarence sold Carriage (after running the company for 30 years) he kept this unit which always "resided" in it's own heated 60 foot garage on Clarence's property. Clarence eventually bought a Prevost Class A and decided to sell the Homestead through one of his top Carriage dealers. The rig was spotless and like new, even though at that time it was 10 years old.
The price was $60,000 and there was no negotiating, I barely got it ahead of two other buyers. I think I got a bargain.

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Old 05-29-2013, 11:54 AM   #18
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hjs.... I think you got a bargain too!!!
Like I said earlier.... Wow, That is out of this world! I bet you could re-sell it 100 times over, which leads me to this.
Why is there not another manufacturer out there to produce a similar unit?
I realize the cost is out of my reach but there are plenty of other's out there that cost
is not a factor for them.
Thank you for sharing the photo's!! Very nice!!!
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Old 05-29-2013, 02:35 PM   #19
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Kro1957, you are right I could have sold it many times over in the years that I owned it. We keep it "exhibit ready" for most of the time for those who want to take a "tour". Both Phil Brokenicky (New Horizon owner) and Marsha Trautman (SpaceCraft owner) have been through that unit with a fine tooth comb and both said they could "duplicate it", if there was a customer that really wanted one, but it would be north of $200K in today's market.

I can a share a funny story here. When we bought it we took it to the Carriage Club National Rally in Florida. Most Carriage owners knew of the unit but they also knew that Clarence retired (the unit was designated as A1 in the Carriage Club registry). As I was pulling through the Rally sites, there were these whispers, "the A1 is here, the A1 is here". And "who own the A1 now"?
I was asked by one person on the way to town "if they could see it". When we came back from shopping there was a crowd of 50 people waiting outside of the rig. We were running tours through it for the next two days.

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Old 05-29-2013, 03:47 PM   #20
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You might get sick of people wanting to tour all the time and I could certainly understand why but it really is fascinating to see and I am sure if the DW and I were any where close by would go out of our way to sneak a peek also if you will still doing so.

The photo's at first glance make someone who has no idea of the history behind this unit would make you think it was all photo shopped.

We have the large electric patio on our KOTR. From what I am told, they were the only units to offer this option.

When people see it they are shocked and say they have never seen that before.

Thanks again for the photo's!!
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Old 05-29-2013, 05:53 PM   #21
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Kro1957, I actually attended a King of the Road Rally in Iowa in either 2000 or 2001 as an exhibitor, I think your deck was introduced couple years later. Looks like your unit was built about a year before they shut down the RV business.
I dabbled in writing articles for RV publications and in humor. Few years back I wrote about my "experience" at that particular Rally. This was not too long after they moved their manufacturing operations to a new location with new employees and the quality of Kings built during that "training period" was absolutely awful. Kings were always considered an upscale fifth and the owners were furious about what was delivered to them.
I included the following article to give the readers some perspective about what I was talking about

Quote:
King of the Road Shuts Down Operations

January 30, 2007 by Sherman Goldenberg
Grand Island, Neb.-based Chief Industries Inc. announced Monday (Jan. 29) that its King of the Road subsidiary in nearby York would close immediately.
According to TV station KOLN/KGIN, the fifth-wheel and diesel pusher plant employs 53 people. A call by RV Business magazine to the King of the Road facility confirmed the closing.
The parent company said half of those 53 workers will be employed at other Chief operations.
The corporation cited the high cost of energy and consolidation in the RV industry as reasons for the closure. Chief said workers will complete units currently on line while winding down operations.
King of the Road was founded by Chief Industries in 1983 in Russell, Kan. – the home of former presidential candidate Bob Dole – as a manufacturer of low-end travel trailers.
Over the years, the company moved into the high-end fifth-wheel market and in 1990 discontinued travel trailer production. It currently markets fifth-wheels under the Crown Marquis, Royalite and Royal Villa brand names.
King of the Road entered the Class A motorhome market in 2004 with the 40-foot, $300,000 Genesis diesel pusher.
In October 2000, to expand its manufacturing capacity and be closer to its diversified parent company, King of the Road moved from Russell to York, 220 miles to the north.
In 2002, King of the Road introduced the patent-pending “SlideDeck,” a $2,300 optional retractable porch for fifth-wheels.
With products meant to appeal to full-time RVers, King of the Road in 2004 had 36 dealers, most of which were in the Sunbelt states of Florida, Texas and Arizona.
Because of its location so far from the RV production centers in Indiana and the West Coast, King of the Road manufactured its own fifth-wheel chassis, fiberglass sidewalls and front and rear caps.
Chief Industries, founded in 1954 as a residential construction company, has more than a dozen divisions manufacturing products as diverse as steel buildings, intermodal trailer chassis, railcar accessories, manufactured homes, ethanol and wastewater treatment systems.
I owned then a Corsica fifth which I consider the biggest piece of RV crap ever delivered and I pulled it with an MDT.

My feeling back then that I was an owner of a "latrine wagon" was genuine and spot on.
And here's the article.

Quote:
This tale is based on actual events which occurred few years back, although I chose to place them in a more distant past (scribe’s prerogative).
Before I spin my bard’s tale, it requires a bit of a prologue to set it up. As my “fans” have gathered by now, I employ parody and cutting humor (giving the Administrator a pause). Not unlike a jester in a king’s court kept there for the amusement of the monarch and the nobles. Good jester would routinely insult the king and the nobles and many a king wanted to “introduce” the jester to king’s other “employee” who wore a leather mask and carried a broad axe. The jester would keep his head by alternating the “targets” so that all would laugh heartily and few would be chagrined and in the nest sentence chagrined would laugh while others would grimace. Now, I know from the interest expressed by some readers in goose neck hitches, that there are those who cherish things equine. To them the mention of a glue factory or horse meat must surely be worthy of the broad axe on the neck. But I promise that I shall NEVER utter those words beyond this tale and I only wish to use it as a literary tool. The events I describe took place in a real Kingdom (a King of the Road Rally) which I attended few years back as an exhibitor for my brake controller. This is a substantial tale deserving a subtitle of it own which shall be:

Chariots, Genghis Khan, F-250s and 350s, Clydesdale and a guillotine.

You must have doubts whether I can knit together such disparate themes but I can assure you that I can.


The recent years have not been kind to the King of the Road Monarchy, which earlier this year abdicated and let their lands be overrun by the hordes from Fleetwood, Thor, Forrest Rivers and other lesser tribes. I was present at their Rally in the early 2,000’s and the signs of internal rot were already in evidence. You see sometimes monarchs make grave errors which do not bode well for their first born hopes to succession.
King of the Road was known to produce fine chariots on which its subjects could ply and conquer the roads of the kingdom. But, the King and the court decided to move the seat of the monarchy and thus the place where the chariots were made. They overlooked an important detail that the peasants who assembled the chariots and become artisans in the process could not go with them. The peasants in the new location were willing and eager but one can’t expect a potato farmer of yesterday to become a chariot artisan tomorrow. As in any Kingdom, in order to reach its loyal subjects the monarch relied on its landed gentry and various nobles (dealers) to push the chariots and enlarge King’s treasury. What the loyal subjects were discovering, in spite of what the nobles were telling them, that the chariots they were buying and spending their children dowry on, were not chariots at all. More like the supply wagons which would follow the King’s army drawn by oxen and carrying cannon balls, gruel for the troops, tool implements necessary to dig latrines whenever the army decided to bivouac and Lord have mercy, even an occasional gaggle of harlots plying on the lonely soldiers. It was in this atmosphere that I arrived at the annual gathering of the loyal subjects called by the King.
And a sizeable gathering it was, over 300 chariots (supply wagons) in the midst of Iowa.
I arrived in my International MDT pulling a Cobra Corsica which was not a chariot at all.
By now I knew that the Cobra people sold me a wagon of strict utility, most suitable to carry only latrine digging and latrine maintenance implements and I felt quite out of place at this gathering, but let’s leave that for another story. All day long I watched the subject arrive and I was beginning to get this feeling of a lone knight on the eastern fringes of Christianity being overrun by the hordes of Genghis Khan. Not one more MDT appeared, only F-350s and alas even occasional F-250 (must have been a “real” peasant). The F-350 and F-250 were numerous and they were swift, but in comparison to my International Clydesdale they were insignificant ponies. The King himself was not in attendance, but his court nobles were there. The nobles carted with them few peasants to deal with the malfunctioning chariots. Good thing, since the chariot repair list and schedule (on display) reached the proportion of a parchment that would significantly age a monk trying to duplicate it at a monastery. It was a difficult gathering bordering on anarchy. Torrential rain midweek did not help the matters, particularly when the leaky chariots were fixed and made “leak proof” but leaked again under the torrents. In that atmosphere the nobles called a meeting with their subjects to “feel their pain” which the subjects thought was a good idea, literally.
The nobles assumed a position of importance on an elevated dais which only exposed them more directly to the angry throngs below. The scene resembled the French revolution with the mobs ready to erect a guillotine and see some noble heads hit the wicker basket. A garbage can was deemed a suitable substitute should the wicker basket be unavailable. It was also a good thing that overripe fruits and vegetables were not in season. It was indeed a sad situation. I have no doubt that the nobles made the journey, expecting adulation from their subjects and were truly surprised, no shocked, by the level of hostility emanating from the mob below.
You might ask what I was doing at this gathering with my latrine wagon. I was plying the highways and byways of the Kingdom trying to peddle a new brake controller I designed, which I felt every chariot could use. I knew that for certain since I installed it on the latrine wagon and it was capable of stopping the wagon and the MDT, with no MDT brakes in use.
I recall one particular poor soul who sought my help, which I was unable to render. You see his territory and therefore chariot distribution was controlled by a Barron of Deception who persuaded this poor soul that the 7,000 lb axles on the chariot in stock were “axles adequate”. This soul had some doubts and wanted to wait for the King’s tradesmen to deliver a better chariot with 8,000 lb axles, but the Barron of Deception was just too convincing. This soul hoped that my controller would help, easiest sale I could have made, but I couldn’t do it. I had to explain that no controller in the world would help on a chariot equipped with “axles (and brakes) inadequate”, that rightfully only belonged on oxen pulled supply wagons. He walked away chagrined as I chose to keep my feelings to myself. His pony was definitely not up to the task to stop the chariot and belonged in the glue factory, or as a source of protein. Only a Clydesdale, like mine, could have given him a relief from the Depends moments that he dreaded on his downhill travels. I also felt that should a Clydesdale not be in his future, he needed all our prayers to negotiate his chariot behind his F-350 pony and not meeting the Lord before his prime.
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Old 05-30-2013, 06:28 AM   #22
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Absolutely ...WoW again. Unit outclasses the Prevost Every inch utilized and convenient. I will look out for the A1 !
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Old 05-30-2013, 10:41 AM   #23
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By the way, A1 is currently "residing" in Florida in the vicinity of Port St. Lucie, it is not open for "inspections", since I am in New Hampshire and will be here till late August.

You can see the A1 designation under the Carriage Club logo, the dealer was supposed to take it off before they sold it to me. Normal "registrations" were just numbers and mine was something like #17,582, the A designations were "reserved" for Carriage executives and club officers, I think there were 60 or 80 of them and obviously Clarence was A1 since he owned the company.
You mentioned Prevost, it just happened that Clarence bought a brand new Prevost bus chassis and had his friends and ex employees convert it to a class A motorhome and guess what, he had it done just like A1. Once he had the Prevost done that's when he let the A1 go for sale.
The Club designations are issued "for life", I've spoken to Clarence and his wife on few occasions, delightful folks and very gracious. They felt that the A1 ended up in good hands, therefore "I didn't have to take the number off".
This is not a rig for "newbies", it's huge and heavy and most of the stuff Clarence put in it is custom (like the steps) or one of the kind. I had to learn how to service these and fix them since most dealers and RV techs had no clue about these. But it has been a fun trip of "discoveries".
By the way, if you look from this angle, the horizontal stripe that runs from the back all the way to the front, that's the level of the flat floor from the back to the front (40 feet). The unit has a massive dual frame, one that runs under floor and ends up having the hitch pin attached to it and the second frame under the cellar with axles attached to it. In between is the massive basement for "everything" including two domestic (not RV) air-conditioners.

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Old 05-31-2013, 01:32 PM   #24
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We have a 2012 Montana 3750FL. I am 6'5" tall. No issues with the living room height. The openness from the living room back through the kitchen and dining areas make the space feel bigger than it is. The double slides and high ceiling in the bedroom make it very spacious. We love the rig.
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