Chuck Woodbury's
Roadside Journal

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

New RV has slideout balcony: just what the world needs!

I nominate the new Veranda by Country Coach with its very own slideout balcony as the stupidest RV to come around in a long time.

The Veranda's balcony can hold 3,000 pounds, so about a dozen people can occupy it at once, which would be like like standing at a busy street corner in Tokyo. The deck adds extra weight to the rig, which is good news for Exxon and Shell. But the best thing about this new and "exciting" RV is that its owners never need to step on actual grass or dirt to get some fresh air -- a great savings in shoe leather (or rubber). In this picture, Dad is tossing a football to little Linda and Billy. Dad doesn't even need to get out of his rig to do it. How 'bout that?

Manufacturers of big coaches are having tough times right now because what people really want are smaller, more fuel-efficient rigs. So Country Coach, which laid off 100 workers earlier this month because its product sales are tanking like its competitors, has answered with this.


  • Isn't this just SO typical of American business. More bling, more luxury, more excess is what they're making. The auto industry had a chance to stop making the gas guzzlers in the 1970's but didn't so Honda, Toyota, Isuzu, Hyundai, and others now dominate the market in petroleum burning cars. IMHO the foolhearty American public would still buy this if their overextended financial institutions had the money to lend to them. It didn't take long for those home equity loans to be upside down when the real estate market became REAL again!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:35 AM, September 27, 2008  

  • We full time and require a larger motorhome. But, this model has no appeal. It may work for people with physical disabilities who once they are in the motorhome and would like to step out without ever getting out.

    By Blogger BW, at 7:57 AM, September 27, 2008  

  • They aren't the first to offer a sliding patio or extension to the rig. They are trying to offer what their customers want. If you don't like it the response is simple, don't buy it. If no one buys it they will stop offering it. In the mean time you might start just try not worrying about things in a company you do not own or run and save yourself some stress.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:00 AM, September 27, 2008  

  • I agree with 9:00am "anonymous" comment. It could easily be argued that nobody "needs" an RV - unless a hurricane has just blown down your house. RV manufacturers are desperately trying to stay in business. Everyone has different ideas of how to lure their niche customer. You don't like it, oh well. The market will respond, or it won't. American business does go wrong, but it's also built the greatest economy in the world.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:06 AM, September 27, 2008  

  • So Woodbury in content here. Why would you slam a luxury coach maker here at this time. Yep, I said "luxury coach maker." Some folks in this country can afford these types of coaches and that's why they are still made. I have no problem with those that are trying to make fuel efficient little bird cages like what you bought, but leave the rest of us the hell alone. The Veranda was designed for unique purposes, like tailgating, racing events, etc., and so, not everyone will buy one, but it is different and shows that CC is not sitting still like other manufacturers in these tough times - they are still innovative! America has changed since the 30's, Chuck, and not everybody enjoys going off by themselves in a bird cage outfit to just sit alone in a forest service campground listening to birds sing like you do.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:17 AM, September 27, 2008  

  • my goodness, aren't we testy today. You must have a really big RV payment.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:35 AM, September 27, 2008  

  • I am glad that I'm not the only one who thought this was the stupidest idea for a motor home. If you look closely at the floor plan there is only one seat in the living area. I suppose if you have a spouse they have to sit at the dining table or sit out on the Veranda, even in the rain.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:13 PM, September 27, 2008  

  • The one advantage I can see is that it has a big patio door which would open up the area inside. There are lots of times when you can't sit outside due to bad weather. Shame it isn't on the back, so that you are not looking at the neighbor's rig ! Then it would be great to sit out there in your PJ's with your morning coffee overlooking a lake.
    Happy Trails, Penny, TX

    By Blogger LakeConroePenny,TX, at 2:58 PM, September 27, 2008  

  • At first look it seems like a great new idea. Then looking at the space needed to open it up, we find most parks don't have the space needed to properly use the patio. I was in a park in Oregon that I barely had room to open my 4 slides, and keep my car alongside my 43 ft rig. Even going to a Nascar event, I found space wanting if I would open it up. All in all, it still is a nice idea.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:12 PM, September 27, 2008  

  • I agree with Chuck on this total waste. And to those who think this is OK just because you can afford it, I say you might look at your consuming attitude. Garret, Nevada City

    By Blogger Maha Man, at 2:38 PM, September 28, 2008  

  • This is so unbelievable! In a time when literally thousands of RV employees are losing their jobs you decide to post such a stupid review! CC has had over 300 layoffs in the last year and Monaco has had probably 3 times or more layoffs so I'm sure they all appreciate your stupidity. Mother used to say "if you can say something nice or positive then keep your mouth shut". You might want to consider this advice. I am hard pressed to keep reading your stupid online crap after this!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:31 AM, September 30, 2008  

  • When I first saw this only one thing came to mind. Who ever designed this has never been to the lakes in Minnessota in July and August. They put screens on doors and windows for a reason. Unless there is an "enclosed screen cover" for this thing it would never be used in the summer time in the cental states.

    By Anonymous Jerry Shea, at 4:01 PM, September 30, 2008  

  • Useless is the perfect descriptive word. Out of touch is another. If we want to enjoy the great outdoors we just step outside our rig, and we are there. We don't need a veranda. There is a cover story about this veranda thing in the most recent FMCA magazine. Not surprisingly, since FMCA gets a lot of funding from the RV manufacturers, the article was upbeat and praised the veranda. I'd bet they don't sell many of these contraptions, and the veranda will soon fade away like a lot of other bad, albeit well-intentioned, ideas.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:32 AM, October 04, 2008  

  • Well, everyone has the ability to state his or her opinion. I, personally, think, the idea is a waste of money and is stupid. That's my opinion. Others are certainly entitled to theirs. With the current state of our economy, curious to read just how many of these will sell. Not my cup of tea, however, someone else likes it or it probably wouldn't have been built.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:20 PM, October 04, 2008  

  • I like it. I love the idea of having a full wall of windows that can be open instead of my puny metal door to go in and out of. It doesn't mean I wouldn't go outside any other time, just means I'd have more of the outside inside when I'm in my rig.

    Only downfall is the space to open it. It would be a great thing on a solitary lake or ocean front, but even without it open, I like the way the edge is clear and becomes the window when it's closed, so you still have light from that side and it doesn't take up any room when closed, unlike slides.

    I want this and stairs to the rooftop when I retire to a motorhome! I might have to build my own!

    Cindy Fox

    By Blogger cindyfox, at 4:08 PM, October 04, 2008  

  • Different strokes for different folks, but I hope these folks don't park next to me and crank up their outside TV!

    These huge motorcoaches, weighing over 47,000 lbs, don't look like they are designed to do much "boondocking". Tailgating at a game or racetrack, perhaps. I hope the ground was good and dry when they drove this RV out into the field to set up for the photos.

    By Anonymous Sharon N., at 9:01 PM, October 04, 2008  

  • It is fairly normal for the peak of an excessive trend to happen about just at or before a crash e.g. the Empire State Building was built about 1930.

    Time will tell whether the balcony model is such an end-of-an-era excess or a viable luxury item.

    If this model sells enough to make a profit then it may stick around as a niche product for the luxury market. Otherwise it will become some quaint trivia piece for buffs of the departed Golden Age of RV'ing.

    By Anonymous Paul Alton, at 9:00 AM, October 06, 2008  

  • as the saying goes....."there's an a-- for every seat"

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:23 PM, October 11, 2008  

  • My guess is that those of you criticizing this rig have never stepped foot on it. I have, a couple of times -- it was named "Best of Show" at the big RV event in Hershey.

    As someone noted, the veranda creates a wall of sliding glass that really opens up the floorplan. You don't really lose much by adding the veranda (other than some storage space) but you gain view, plus the outside patio area. The fit & finish of the coach are beautiful, too.

    Is it excessive? Maybe, but so was my lunch today. Who are we to judge others for being excessive? If you want modesty, buy a tent.

    But if you've got the coin to buy one of these rigs, more power to ya. Enjoy it. I think the Veranda would be a blast at the beach, on a lake, etc.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:46 PM, October 24, 2008  

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