New Toyota-based Motorhome - "Made in Japan"

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Gary RV_Wizard

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Apparently somebody in Japan is building a  motorhome on a Toyota chassis.  Take a look at this B-sized beauty now available in New Zealand. It's called the Zil and is produced by Vantech for the Japanese and Asian-Pacific market..  They have several similar models of "motor caravan"

Zil Motorhome in New Zealand

Vantec Motor Caravan

Vantech models

Look out RVIA members - your worst nightmare may soon be coming true!  :p
 

chaajoad

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Wow! Real cool little unit. A bit small but very well thought-out. Might be perfect for a family of 2-3 on weekend outings. A single guy? Like a rolling bachelor pad. I like it a lot ...
 

N Smock

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Gary

Looks like you could fit two perhaps three of those in the new Tradition! Sure looks a little small for me.

When we were out in Torrey over the summer we saw a bunch of Germans touring in a special Mercedes bus. In the day they all squezed in the coach quarters in front. Come dinner time a special galley section opened up. On the opposite side were the beds, more like little coffins that went in and out, not for me.

Nelson
 

King

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A tad tall, nowhere could I find either furnace or generator even as an option, the "rear" air conditioner runs off the engine....    and two people would be a crowd.  But it's cute.  Can't wait to see the US price, the B's available here now have priced themselves almost out of the market.
Art
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Vehicles in general are much smaller in Asia, so a rig like this probably seems huge there. Here, it's a whole different story and I don't know if a rig like this would ever find much of a following.  But if Asian companies are getting into RVs, can a product designed for the US market be far behind? If it follows the traditional path, they will start in the econo-box niche and work their way towards the top of the food chain!
 

scottydl

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Awwwww, they're so CUTE!  ::)  I'd agree a little small for what the U.S. market is used to tho.


King said:
Can't wait to see the US price, the B's available here now have priced themselves almost out of the market.

I agree with this... still can't understand why folks will pay upwards of $70k for a Class B motorhome, when large entry-level Class C's and A's can be had for the same price.
 

JerArdra

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Oldcurios,

No problem!  Looks like a piece of cake to fit into the shower.

JerryF
 

Bob Maxwell

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I know a lot of singles and young families that would love a unit like this. With a roof air or swamp cooler for the southwest it would fit into every place I'd like to take it. Put an awning and or add-a-room and it's like a Japanese vanaggon on Miracle Grow! Beats the normal class B.
 

Shayne

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Not sure I could get get my fat belly in it.  But then I sure wouldn't have to yell and see if the Boss was in the back when I left the Flying J.  I'd be able to feel her breath on my back.
 

King

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I'll take my "normal" class B.  It has a generator and rooftop AC, not available even as an option.  (The rear AC is engine driven.)  We make up the beds for a whole week.  They have to be made up from scratch every night.  They are a foot higher overall.
Art
 

JerArdra

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ALL,

This is what the American RV industry has to face.  As you
already know, the Japanese car makers are overwhelming Ford,
GM, and Chrysler.  Today all three of these companies are fighting
for their very existence.

Companies like Toyota and Honda started small with copycat cars but
this year, 2007, Toyota is predicted to overtake GM as the world's
largest automobile company.  They are already number three ahead
of Chrysler

When I read the car magazines it is obvious that the Japanese have
beat us soundly with their quality control and this has given them
more and more market share each year.

I wonder how long it will take the Japanese to do the same thing
to our RV industry.  Furthermore, I wonder whether the American RV
companies are even starting to prepare for this quality-based
competition.  It took the Japanese 40-50 years to beat the pants off
the American auto manufacturers quality-wise but, more recently, the
Korean auto maker Hyundai seems to have done the same thing quality
wise in less than 10 years.  Things move faster in today's world!

JerryF
 

Ron

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One really really big advantage Japan and other Asian manufactures have is they do not have to contend with unions that have the attitudes the unions here do.  While in Japan there are unions but they realize where the paycheck is coming from so if a grievance come up or pay issue the union and the employer work out the differences and if a strike does occur it does not cause a work shut down but the employees wear bands showing their support for the union.  We lived in Japan for 6 1/2 years and never seen a work shut down strike yet differences were resolved.  Also employer employee relations are much more friendly.  The employees strive to make their employers successful and the employers are very considerate of their employees.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Yeah, it "deja vu all over again". Japanese company makes a small version of a successful American icon. It's not for everybody, but the product is good and meets some basic needs that American companies just don't seem to address, primarily great value and sound quality. The product is successful enough that follow-on products are made and they begin to move upscale, attracting an ever wider share of market. Meanwhile, other Asian companies begin to make similar products, targeting the entry niche the upgraded Japanese products left behind. American companies now fight multiple competitors at several market levels.

Did you know that Toyota makes diesels worldwide? Are you surprised that they are known for being quiet, reliable and very responsive, often compared to a gas engine? Or that Toyota makes commercial trucks via its Hino and HMM affiliate brands? They could field a Class C or Class A diesel chassis if the market attracts them. And then maybe start building a body shell as well, with the customary Japanese attention to getting all the details right??? It could happen...
 

KodiakRV

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RV Roamer said:
Yeah, it "deja vu all over again". Japanese company makes a small version of a successful American icon. It's not for everybody, but the product is good and meets some basic needs that American companies just don't seem to address, primarily great value and sound quality...
I remember the first Honda Civic I ever saw 31 years ago.  I thought, "Man, who would ever want to buy a car that small?!?!"  Now I've got two Hondas in the garage -- the second & third ones that I've owned.  Of course they ARE a lot bigger nowadays...
 

raedmunds71

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I'm a class B owner so I'm used to "little space". Not necessarily the most comfortable but they do have their advantages.
Anyway, this Toyota interests me, does anyone know how much something like this costs?
I also think the converted Sprinter vans are kind of neat.

I am also a Honda and Toyota owner and for the reasons you have all mentioned. I will have to admit that many of them are "Assembled in America".
Can anyone explain why these cars seem to have better quality than the American Cars?  Is it the parts?  It also seems that now a days these parts are made all over the world.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Generally the components of the vehicle are made and assembled to finer tolerances than what American workers typically achieve. And they are consistent as well, so you don't get the "built of Friday afternoon" (or Monday morning) syndrome.  That gives smoother and more reliable mechanical operation, reduced vibration and excellent fit and finish. But there is also what I call "attention to detail", meaning they take the time to do everything right.  Human ergonomics get a lot of attention. Knobs & levers have convenient shapes and locations. Lights are bright and well placed to do their job. Tire jacks are easy to handle and use. Seats are supportive.  Etc etc etc.
 
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