Monaco Coach Corporation’s newest motorhome manufacturer begins its second year.
By Lazelle D. Jones
To the average motorhome enthusiast, the name McKenzie may not ring familiar. That’s because, until recently, the company’s focus has been on building quality towable RVs. However, the company took on a new dimension in 2002. That’s when McKenzie, a Monaco Coach Corporation company, introduced the type C Rogue, its first motorhome product. During the Rogue’s development, McKenzie designers utilized the resources available at Monaco to produce a high-quality, affordable, type C motorhome. With the Rogue’s successful debut, McKenzie designers have made only a few minor changes to the motorhome for 2003.
For instance, the number of Rogue floor plans offered increased from four to six with the addition of the 29PB and the 29PBD configurations. These join the previous 24RBS, 27PBD, 30PBS, and 31PBS floor plans. Five of the six floor plans feature a slideout room in the front of the coach. The 27PBD and 29PBD take the slideout concept a step further with the addition of a queen bed slideout in the rear. For those who prefer a less conventional interior floor plan, McKenzie offers two options. The 24RBS features a rear-coach galley and bathroom; the 29PB features a rear-entry door that leads directly into the living area and includes a sofa and an entertainment center. The six floor plans each have different lengths, ranging from 24 feet 11 inches (24RBS) to 31 feet 5 inches (31PBS). All models are 100-1/2 inches wide.
McKenzie engineers chose the Ford E-450 chassis with the Triton V-10 engine and a four-speed automatic transmission as the foundation for the Rogue. All models have a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 14,050 pounds. For 2003, the gross combination weight rating (GCWR) was increased to 19,050 pounds, making the vehicle capable of towing 5,000 pounds, up from 3,500 pounds in 2002. To utilize the vehicle’s increased towing capability, McKenzie upgraded to a standard 5,000-pound hitch receiver as well.
A noteworthy feature that can’t be seen is how the coach portion of the vehicle is integrated with the frame rails of the factory chassis. McKenzie uses what is called a saddlebag configuration design. Fabricated from welded tubular steel, these saddlebag structures are welded to the frame rails. Instead of the storage bays hanging from a structure above, they are supported from below by this saddlebag design.
The design provides exterior storage capacity of approximately 90 cubic feet, which includes coach-wide center bays for stowing long items such as fishing rods and skis. The bays themselves are one-piece molded polyethylene compartments that can be wiped clean with a wet cloth or even hosed out if needed. Another storage compartment is located above the rear bumper. Because of its location and height, little if any bending is required to gain access to the gear stowed inside. Each storage bay is equipped with an electric light.
For those who enjoy RV camping during all four seasons, an optional cold weather package that features a 12-volt electric heater, positioned to keep the holding tanks from freezing, can be added. The fresh water holding tank capacity is 35 gallons (32 gallons for the 27PBD); the gray water and black water capacities are each 40 gallons. The LP-gas tank holds 24 gallons, and the standard 6-gallon water heater is designed so that either LP-gas or shore power can be used as its energy source. The chassis has a 55-gallon fuel tank, giving the Rogue a driving range of approximately 400 miles.
Utilities include a 31,000-Btu forced-air furnace with an above-floor ducted heating system. The single 13,500-Btu roof air conditioner is centrally ducted through several adjustable registers that lace the ceiling from front to rear. Electrical service includes a 25-foot shore power cable that connects to 30-amp AC power at campsites. A 55-amp converter is standard. An optional 4-kilowatt Onan generator can be added to make the motorhoming lifestyle a truly stand-alone experience whenever the need or desire arises.
McKenzie employees use several design techniques unique to Monaco Coach Corporation when building Rogue motorhomes. First, they incorporate Monaco’s Alumaframe superstructure design, a structural configuration that uses aluminum C-channels and J-channels at the points where they interlock; the channels are spot welded on the inside and outside of the intersection. The Alumaframe construction provides strength (the vertical C-channels are placed every 24 inches; the horizontal J-channels are placed every 24 inches) while reducing coach weight. The aluminum exterior skin on both the roof and the walls (0.040-gauge) is riveted to the structural members.
The roof is constructed using the company’s nine-layer system that, from the outside to the inside, includes structural 2-1/4-inch I-beams. Contoured bead foam insulation gives the roof both its crown and radius. The layered roof includes residential fiberglass insulation, ductwork for the air conditioning, vapor barriers, a foam thermal insulated barrier, bead foam, and foam padding. The interior side is covered with low-maintenance, visually appealing padded vinyl. The roof is lagged into the perimeter aluminum frame members of the walls.
Wall construction features a five-layer system. The residential insulation used in the walls is sprayed with an adhesive to preclude any effects that gravity might have on it. The insulation is tucked in and around the channel members to prevent heating and cooling losses inside the motorhome. The walls include a vapor barrier, a thermal insulative barrier, and an interior paneling. During assembly, the walls are lagged into the tubular steel structural perimeter members of the floor assembly.
McKenzie employees build a floor that features a welded tubular steel infrastructure. This is the foundation that provides the interface between the chassis and walls, interior fixtures, and ultimately the roof above. Between the welded steel members, bead foam insulation is cut to fit. Structurwood (3/8-inch) is placed atop the tubular steel frame and foam insulation, and lauan paneling dresses the Darco underside lining. These layers are sandwiched together and laminated. The floor is then anchored to the welded steel saddlebag support system.
All slideout rooms come with an electric slideout mechanism. Automotive-type bulb seals create an impervious barrier between the interior of the Rogue and the outside world. Standard topper awnings direct rain and moisture away from the slideout roof and keep debris (leaves, twigs, dirt) from collecting there.
Three interior décor groups are offered: Shamrock (green), Surfside (blue), and Suede (tan). Nylon carpet dresses the living area and bedroom floors. Vinyl flooring is used in the kitchen and bathroom. With the exception of drapes in the bedroom, mini-blinds are standard throughout the unit. However, day-night shades can be added as an option in the living and bedroom areas. Fabric-covered valances and lambrequins surround the tinted, single-pane sliding windows. Autumn Haze Oak is the new standard cabinetry wood, with the option of upgrading to Regal Cherry, Maple, and Walnut. Raised-panel hardwood cabinet doors are now standard in the Rogue after being offered as an option in 2002. Laminate surfaces dress the galley countertop, dining table, and lavatory countertops. A dinette-style booth with bench seats is standard, but a table and chairs are optional.
A bunk is standard above the driver’s cabin. However, customers have the option of replacing it with a state-of-the-art entertainment center, which includes a 25-inch TV and a VCR, and either side windows or wraparound cabinets. In addition to the large double-door refrigerator, microwave oven, three-burner range with 17-inch oven, and range hood that are standard items, the galley can be further appointed with an ice maker, a microwave-convection oven, and a water purifier. An outdoor grill also is offered as an option.
The center-aisle bath features a shower and tub combination with a glass door. All floor plans include a private water closet with a lavatory and a medicine cabinet. Four models feature a rear bedroom with a queen-size bed and a wardrobe.
The base suggested retail price range for the Rogue is $63,700 to $71,736, with no optional items.
McKenzie is the new kid on the block at Monaco Coach Corporation as far as motorhomes go. But by tapping into the breadth of experience and the collective corporate wisdom that goes into building motorhomes, the company has developed a solid entry-level RV in the Rogue.
McKenzie, division of Monaco Coach Corporation, 606 Nelson’s Parkway, Wakarusa, IN 46573; (800) 650-7337; www.mckenzierv.com.