Courtesy: Motorhomes of Texas
What is it that makes a house a “Mansion”? Is a 6,000 square foot mobile home a mansion? What makes a car a “Luxury” car? We think of Cadillac and Mercedes as luxury cars but what about the cheaper versions they now offer? Aren’t they still luxury cars?
While those questions will get different answers from different quarters, there is a blurred line that separates one from the other. In the case of motorhomes, some will hold forth that the qualifier is price and they cite a figure $100,000 to $200,000 or higher as the threshold of high-end coaches. Some will say that it’s the size of the coach, or addition of a diesel engine and generator, air ride suspension or air brakes. Still others insist that it’s a combination of these factors and possibly more. While any manufacturer can call their product a “Highline,” there is no official designation or dictionary description of features that allow or disallow use of the term. And to be fair, the term is in fact open to an individual interpretation.
Not to pick on any particular brand, but some manufacturers are not known within the industry as building what industry veterans consider to be high-end units. Still, that outfit might well build products from entry level to those with air ride, air brakes, and $200,000+ price tag units. The folks in that plant may then consider their top-end product to be in the Highline category. Their high-end unit might even be better built and equipped than the lower end offering of a high-end manufacturer, but the former is not thought of as a Highline while the latter is!
Then there’s the manufacturer well-known for building high-end coaches that decides to offer entry-level units. Are their entry-level units automatically “Highline,” as might be with a Cadillac or Mercedes?
Back in the ’70s and ’80s there were many gas-powered rigs like Executive, Vogue, Sportscoach, Kings Hiway, Apollo, Revcon, Country Coach, Foretravel, Landau and others that were considered to be Highline units. That means the addition of diesel and air-operated features were not a requirement for entry into the Highline club back then. Even to this day coaches like Chinook and Born Free, though small, are still considered to be Highline, so size doesn’t make a “Highline” either.
Well, then, what is it?
Most RV industry veterans will agree it’s mostly a process of perception, often connected more to the manufacturer than to the product. We won’t attempt to go down a list of manufacturers designating who is and who is not (in our opinion) considered to be high-end producers — but some are just a “given,” like Prevost conversions, Newells and Blue Birds. Quality cabinetry, superior body frame construction, and custom chassis are regular features of Highline motorhomes, but even those items don’t automatically make a unit anything more than just expensive. It’s hard to imagine a half million dollar motorcoach as anything other than belonging in the Highline category, but there again, it’s really not just price either. It’s the whole package from the manufacturing plant, to the final product, and everything that happened in between.
If you have an RV, sell RVs or build RVs and you want to think of it as a Highline, go right ahead. You may get an argument from the folks in the next campsite, but they’ll have a hard time proving you wrong.