Current Issue | Family Motor Coaching
By Mark Quasius, F333630
Renegade RV has earned a reputation for building big, beefy, custom Super C motorhomes using Class 8 truck chassis. That may be how the company got its start in the RV industry, but today Renegade RV offers a wide range of motorhomes. The lineup includes the Villagio, a Type B-Plus motorhome built using a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis; the spacious Verona LE; and the powerful, luxurious Ikon, among others.
Renegade RV, now a REV Group company, recently introduced the Valencia, a Super C motorhome with the high-quality construction of its high-end siblings but a lower price tag. The Valencia is the first coach to be built on a Freightliner Custom Chassis S2RV chassis. Unlike the Freightliner Truck M2 chassis used in the industry for many years, the S2RV is specifically designed for motorhome use and offers many benefits not found in the M2 series.
For instance, the suspension is designed for a smooth ride, rather than to accommodate the large swings in load capacity a box truck would be subjected to. The frame offers many features a motorhome builder can take advantage of. I recently tested the Valencia 38BB and was impressed.
Many of the construction features found in the company’s flagship motorhome — the Ikon — have been incorporated in the Valencia. This includes 3-inch-square steel tubing laid parallel over the top of the chassis frame rails and separated by 3/4-inch-thick corrugated high-density polyethylene (HDPE) barrier. This corrugated barrier absorbs vibration and eliminates squeaks between the chassis frame and the floor support rails.
Next, 2-inch tubular-steel cross members are placed laterally atop this and around the perimeter to serve as the platform for the bed of the vehicle. This welded structure is then U-bolted to the frame; it actually would be possible to remove the entire coach from the chassis.
Renegade’s “Super Sandwich” residential-framed floor begins with a galvanized-steel sheet to serve as a vapor barrier. The 2-by-4 residential floor framing begins above that and is filled with 3 inches of Roxul Safe’n’Sound thermal barrier insulation before being capped with a 3/4-inch fir plywood floor. This floor is extremely durable, has excellent insulation properties, and is very quiet.
The sidewalls rest on steel angle-iron rails that are welded to the frame. Large self-tapping bolts are installed every 6 inches to attach the sidewalls to the frame. Every structural member in the sidewall is framed in aluminum. Gel-coat fiberglass forms the outside of the sandwich. Azdel composite panels (a blend of polypropylene and fiberglass), which are impervious to water, form the inside of the sandwich. This is vacuum laminated together with foam insulation board. No wood is used in the exterior walls and is found only in interior partition walls.
The roof consists of a one-piece crowned fiberglass cap atop trusses and foam insulation. In order to maximize its insulation qualities, the foam runs continuously throughout the roof and is not cut for any ductwork. Ducting and wiring are run beneath the roof in a lower cavity.
Freightliner introduced the S2RV chassis a few years back, but Renegade RV is the first RV manufacturer to adopt it. The Renegade team worked closely with Freightliner employees to make a few desired changes and helped to develop the Valencia chassis. The Cummins ISB engine used to power the S2RV supplies 360 horsepower and 800 pound-feet of torque. An integral variable-geometry turbocharger provides considerable engine braking. The Allison 3000MH transmission allows for greatly increased towing capacity.
The Valencia has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 31,000 pounds and a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 46,000 pounds, a significant improvement over the comparable M2 series chassis. The Valencia also is equipped with a hitch rated at 12,000 pounds, which is substantial for a mid-range Super C.
The 12,000-pound-rated front axle incorporates a tapered leaf design with specially tuned Sachs shock absorbers. The 19,000-pound rear drive axle comes equipped with air-ride suspension. The stated occupant and cargo carrying capacity (OCCC) is 5,100 pounds on the placard. When I weighed the coach with full fuel and water tanks, I found 5,800 pounds of remaining capacity. Actual axle weights were 8,810 pounds on the front and 16,390 pounds on the rear, for a total weight of 25,200 pounds. The Valencia rides on Bridgestone 295/75R 22.5 tires mounted on polished aluminum wheels. The coach is equipped with Equalizer dual-acting leveling jacks.
Rather than use a pair of smaller saddle tanks beneath the cab, the Valencia has a single 100-gallon fuel tank located between the frame rails in the rear of the coach to help remove weight from the front axle. The tank has a driver-side fill location. The 10-gallon DEF tank with a fill location beneath the driver’s door is a welcome improvement over the 6-gallon tank used in the M2 chassis and will allow longer distances between DEF refills.
The Valencia test coach was finished with Sapphire graphics, one of four available full-body paint schemes. Other choices are Bronze, Garnet, and Titanium. Each includes three colors.
A chrome front bumper is standard. The one-piece molded front cap of the cab-over bed fits over the sidewalls to ensure a leak-proof seal and a very quiet drive. The attractive sculpted front cap incorporates a molded V to add rigidity and a nice decorative touch.
Beneath the cab entry doors, where saddle fuel tanks generally are found on similar coaches, the Valencia has a fiberglass enclosure topped by stainless-steel nonslip tread inserts. As noted, a DEF tank filler is molded into the driver-side enclosure.
The rear cap also features an attractive molded V shape, as well as a high-mounted third brake light, LED taillights, and polished stainless-steel trim insert panels for an attractive finish. The coach has a Carefree of Colorado electric lateral-arm patio awning with LED lights. Frameless windows and a keyless entry system also are standard.
The Valencia incorporates unitized welded-steel basement compartments for maximum strength. All utilities are placed on the driver side of the coach, leaving compartments on the patio side available for storage. The front-most compartment, right behind the driver’s seat area, houses two chassis batteries and a large, 260-amp-hour 8D-series AGM house battery.
Basement compartment doors typically flex a bit at highway speeds from the wind suction and can allow dirt to enter the compartments unless the latches are set really tight. Renegade designers eliminated this issue by using dual latches on every door. A single handle is linked to a pair of latch mechanisms, one at the top and one at the bottom of the door. Each latch connects to a U bolt that can be adjusted easily by anyone. This design also eliminates any need to slam a door closed.
The 38BB floor plan of the test coach is one of two 38-foot plans currently available and features two slideouts. The front slideout houses the dinette and sofa, while the rear unit is home to a bank of cabinets and a set of bunk beds. The 38RW floor plan also has two slideouts but eliminates the bunks and has a rear wardrobe. Renegade officials indicated that a shorter floor plan would be released soon.
The test coach featured the Butter Rum interior decor, one of three available choices. The cherry hardwood cabinetry and woodwork combined with the light interior colors and LED lighting to create a bright, cheerful environment.
Renegade is known for its quality hardwood interiors, and the Valencia is no exception. You won’t find any wrapped particleboard in this coach. The front slideout fascia and rear curbside slideout fascia each boast an attractive Valencia logo carved into the head piece.
The hardwood cabinets have Shaker-style doors and satin-nickel hardware. Solid-surface countertops are used throughout the coach, and every drawer is equipped with soft-close guides. Stone tile-look vinyl flooring is used for low maintenance, and all furniture is covered with a soft-touch synthetic leather. The Mastercraft furniture is custom-built to Renegade’s specifications and was very comfortable.
The 60-inch-by-80-inch cab-over bed area provides plenty of room, and the sofa also makes into a 60-inch-by-74-inch bed if additional sleeping space is needed. The unique “slide-a-bed” sofa opens up to create a sleeping space on thick, high-density foam cushions. A 40-inch LED TV mounted on a swivel arm across from the sofa allows for easy viewing. Between the cab-over bed, the sofa, the bunk beds in the rear, and the king-size bed in the bedroom, the Valencia test coach can comfortably sleep nine adults.
The galley area contains an overhead stainless-steel microwave-convection oven and a recessed, sealed three-burner gas cooktop. The cooktop and the deep-bowl sink feature covers that match the polished solid-surface countertop. A stone backsplash covers the walls next to the stove. A 19-cubic-foot stainless-steel residential refrigerator with ice maker flanks the galley workspace; a Dometic 13-cubic-foot propane/electric refrigerator is available as an option. Next to the fridge stands a laundry center equipped with an optional stackable washer and dryer. Across from this area is the booth-style dinette. Buyers have the option of switching this out for a table and freestanding chairs.
The street-side bathroom features a fiberglass corner shower with an adjustable shower head, a glass door, and a glass shower surround; a skylight; a porcelain electric macerator toilet; and a hardwood vanity with a solid-surface top.
Opposite the bathroom is the aforementioned set of roomy bunk beds. The upper bed can be removed in a matter of seconds if you want to use the area for hanging clothes. As an option, each bunk can be equipped with a 19-inch TV that has an integrated DVD player, an auxiliary input, and a headphone jack to provide entertainment for the occupants.
The centerpiece of the master bedroom is a king-size bed that measures 72 inches by 74 inches and is topped by an iRelax memory-foam mattress. A 32-inch LED TV is located opposite the bed amid an array of closets and storage cabinets set in the rear slideout.
Air-ride pilot and copilot seats made by National Seating add to the comfort in the cockpit. These seats are a real treat. Simply press the lever to adjust the seat to your weight, and the seat absorbs any bumps or jolts to provide a nice, smooth ride. Each seat is equipped with air-adjustable lumbar supports and adjustable armrests, and the chairs swivel to face the rear when desired. They look great, too. Renegade removes the seats and has them custom-upholstered with soft-touch synthetic leather.
The Kenwood dash radio features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the latest trend. These systems make it possible to use iPhone or Android smartphone apps to listen to your favorite tunes, make and receive phone calls, and use your preferred GPS app rather than rely on outdated software embedded into the radio head. JB Lansing speakers and a surround-sound system complete the audio experience.
The Valencia’s 120-volt power needs are met by a 50-amp electrical system with a power cord reel, as well as an Onan 8-kw diesel generator. A 2,000-watt Magnum true sine wave inverter completes this package. The aforementioned 260-amp-hour 8D series AGM battery handles 12-volt power. The Valencia comes cable TV ready and prewired for satellite and can be ordered with a Winegard in-motion satellite dome or Winegard Trav’ler satellite dish if desired.
The utility bay has a nice touch. Rather than use stick-on labels for the various valves and controls that manage the fresh- and waste-water systems, Renegade employees use a water jet to cut the labels into the steel panel. They’ll never fall off or fade with this method, and it adds an upscale look to the compartment, which also holds the whole-house water filter, optional power hose reel, and the exterior shower connection with slinky hose.
Holding tank sizes are huge for this coach. With 150 gallons of fresh water, 75 gallons of gray tank capacity, and 75 gallons of black tank capacity, you will be able to dry camp for extended periods of time with the Valencia.
A 10-gallon propane/electric water heater provides domestic hot water, while a 34,000-Btu propane furnace supplies heat for the coach interior and holding tanks.
A pair of roof-mounted 15,000-Btu air conditioners cool the coach, and they come equipped with heat pumps to provide an additional heat source during cool weather. The rooftop air conditioners also have purge pumps and drain lines that deliver A/C condensation all the way to the underside of the coach, eliminating that annoying water runoff and sidewall streaking issue.
The Valencia is packed with features not typically seen at this price level. Both inside and outside, it is very attractive and exudes a sense of quality wherever you look. The S2RV chassis, combined with Renegade’s construction techniques, gives this coach a smooth ride and nice, crisp handling. Driving the coach seemed effortless, and the air-ride seats and improvements to the suspension made my test outing enjoyable. Cameras mounted in the side-view mirrors provided navigational assistance. Remarkably, wind noise was minimal, and the corrugated 3/4-inch HDPE barrier between the coach and chassis frames absorbed any vibration or squeaks.
The base price of the Valencia 38BB I tested was $229,460. The as-tested price was $233,905. That included the following options: stackable washer and dryer; pair of 19-inch monitors with DVD players in bunks; one-piece vinyl flooring in the bedroom instead of carpeting; and a power-retract water hose reel.
Both the 38BB bunk bed floor plan I tested and the 38RW rear wardrobe floor plan are well thought out and provide comfortable living quarters. The coach interior was roomy even with the slideouts retracted, so moving around during transit isn’t an issue. Everything was nice and solid, and it was evident that Renegade quality exhibited in the company’s higher-end coaches has been passed down to the Valencia.
Renegade RV, 52216 S.R. 15, Bristol, IN 46507; (888) 522-1126, (574) 846-1126; www.renegaderv.com
Cummins ISB 6.7-liter diesel; 360 horsepower at 2,600 rpm; 800 pound-feet torque at 1,800 rpm
Allison 3000MH Series 6-speed automatic
4.10 to 1
Bridgestone Ecopia R283A 295/75R 22.5
air with four-wheel antilock
front — tapered leaf with Sachs shock absorbers;
rear — air ride
chassis — (2) Group 31 12-volt, 950 cca each;
house — (1) 260-amp-hour 8D-series AGM
2,000-watt Magnum true sine wave inverter
Onan 8-kw Quiet Diesel
38 feet 2 inches
12 feet 6 inches
GROSS COMBINATION WEIGHT RATING (GCWR)
GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT RATING (GVWR)
GROSS AXLE WEIGHT RATING (GAWR)
front — 12,000 pounds;
rear — 19,000 pounds
(weighed with full fuel, full water, driver, and optional accessories)
front axle — 8,810 pounds;
rear axle — 16,390 pounds;
total — 25,200 pounds
OCCUPANT & CARGO CARRYING CAPACITY (OCCC)
FRESH WATER CAPACITY
HOLDING TANK CAPACITIES
gray water — 75 gallons;
black water — 75 gallons
10 gallons DEF
20 gallons/84 pounds
propane/electric, 10 gallons
propane furnace, 34,000 Btu, electronic ignition
(2) 15,000-Btu with heat pumps
19-cubic-foot stainless-steel residential with ice maker; 13-cubic-foot Dometic propane/electric refrigerator, optional
porcelain with electric macerator
coach — 1 year/12,000 miles, limited;
structural — 5 years, limited;
chassis — 3 years/50,000 miles;
engine — 5 years/100,000 miles
BASE SUGGESTED RETAIL PRICE
PRICE AS TESTED