The company chose motorhomes.
“We had the personnel to build high-end motorhomes,” explained owner Glenn Troyer. “We had trained to do high-end work.”
The craftsmanship that had distinguished Travel Supreme fifth wheels quickly translated to motorhomes, and the company just as quickly found a receptive market. Today, motorhomes constitute 75 percent of Travel Supreme’s sales.
For 2007, the company is expanding its motorhome lineup, adding two new models, the Alanté, retail priced at about $450,000, and the top-of-the-line Select Limited, which retails for $625,000.
Both are loaded with luxury features and are built on a Spartan chassis with a Cummins diesel engine. The Alanté has a 500 horsepower engine and the Select Limited has 600 horsepower.
Troyer said a growing number of motorhome buyers want to be able to tow trailers, and the extra horsepower gives them the ability to tow big trailers without losing power or speed. The trailers may carry a car, a golf cart, ATVs or in some cases even two cars. “People want to be able to take everything with them,” Troyer said.
The Select Limited has just about every feature imaginable in a motorhome and is designed to rival a Prevost conversion, but at much lower cost.
The Select Limited operates entirely on electricity (no propane required) and is equipped with two 2,000-watt inverters and eight six-volt batteries. A Hydro-Hot heating system uses diesel fuel to provide hot water and radiant heating, and to preheat the engine for easy starts in cold weather.
The kitchen has a 22.6-cubic-foot, stainless steel, side-by-side refrigerator with icemaker, and the basement of the coach holds a freezer that slides out on a tray. A Fisher & Paykel dishwasher is mounted behind a kitchen drawer, and a stacked washer and dryer are concealed behind a vented door.
Floors and countertops have extensive use of granite, pocket doors slide away, cabinets are glazed maple hardwood, halogen ceiling lights provide illumination, and the windows are dual pane. The interior is spacious, with ceilings that are seven feet high and with four slideouts that expand the coach to more than 400 square feet.
There are four television sets, including a 26-inch LCD in the rear bedroom and a 26-inch wide-screen LCD with DVD/VCR mounted above the passenger seat at the front of the coach. An exterior entertainment center has a 23-inch LCD TV with a slide-out DVD player and stereo CD. Inside is a complete home theater system with a 43-inch Pioneer high-definition plasma panel with a surround sound system, DVD player and in-ceiling theater speakers.
Among the optional features are an electric fireplace and an outside grill that slides out of a storage compartment.
The Select Limited is offered in nine floor plans, all with four slideouts.
Troyer said Travel Supreme tries to make its coaches not only elegant, but also highly functional. For example, clusters of electronic switches control all lighting, window shades, awnings and pocket doors. One control box at the front of the coach shows which fixtures are in use and includes a button that can operate all the lights simultaneously.
The Select Limited is built on the Spartan K3 chassis with zero camber, meaning the frame is absolutely flat, and with the power of a 600-horsepower diesel engine and a six-speed Allison transmission with two overdrives.
The Alanté has some luxury features of the Select Limited, such as the Hydro-Hot heating system, a seven-foot high interior, a king-sized bed and Flexsteel leather chairs for the driver and passenger. The engine is smaller, but 500 horsepower is still extraordinarily powerful, and some features that are standard on the Select Limited, such as a large exterior freezer in the basement, are optional on the Alanté.
Travel Supreme was founded by Troyer in 1989 after a career at Newmar Corporation that covered 14 years, starting in customer service and ending as vice president of sales and marketing. He started Travel Supreme to serve fifth wheel customers willing to pay for the best.
Troyer said the initial goal was to create a trailer with the craftsmanship of a well-built house. “We tried to make it as residential as we could,” he said. Troyer, his wife, and brother-in-law built the first model, and the company was on its way.
Today, the company has about 325 employees at two buildings in Wakarusa, Indiana. Travel Supreme builds five models of fifth wheels, including a new toy hauler called the Rally Sport. Motorhome models, in addition to the Alanté and Select Limited, are the Envoy, which is the entry-level model with a suggested base price of $254,000, Mid Engine, Insignia and Select.
For more information, contact Travel Supreme, P. O. Box 610, Wakarusa, IN 46573. Phone (574) 862-4484 or visit www.travelsupreme.com. Travel Supreme motorhomes can be seen at Holiday Motorhomes at 2661 E. Main St. in Mesa, Arizona; 6300 Pacific Highway East in Fife, Washington, and 12620 Highway 99 South in Everett, Washington. For information, call (888) 404-3999 in Mesa, (877) 309-1300 in Fife and (866) 423-9595 in Everett or visit www.HolidayMotorhomesRV.com.