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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Greenlight 2016 Fleetwood Bounder RV



It was a pretty unusual sighting last year when Greenlight released it's first RV, a rather large one that can only fit inside the Heavy Duty trucks package used by the International Durastar variants, and also bigger than the GM Futurliner, which requires a 1:43 display case to fit.  Of course, you can thank the TV series "Breaking Bad" for providing this 1986 Fleetwood Bounder that is used to cook the blue stuff on the show (and ended its fate on the show as well).  What no one expected was an encore, and to celebrate 30 years of the Bounder Greenlight teams up with Fleetwood RV's to make a modern version to go along with the 1986 version.



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There are two different versions of the new 2016 Fleetwood Bounder RV: one specially made for the Fleetwood company as a promo, and the other for the latest Heavy Duty release; the difference is what shade of colors are used in the so-called Chocolate Malt design of gray, silver, tan, and dark brown colors with a white roof on the top; much more interesting than the pale yellow of the 1986 version. Unlike other modern RV's this one has its own set of headlights and taillights not shared with any other modern passenger car or truck.  The front has a large windshield with V-shaped grille, headlights with LED running lights, and large exterior mirrors.  The sides show off the flowing color detail with lower storage panels, windows, and full shade on the left, and access door, more storage panels, and smaller shade at the rear window on the right.  The rear has a charter-bus like rear with round taillights and a lower bumper recess for a trailer hitch.  The chrome wheels are large and feature aerodynamic covers for the fronts, while the rears have the typical dually setup.  The white roof features two AC units, three vent windows, an exhaust hose for the toilet (just like all houses have), and at the front is a V-shaped antenna for satellite TV service.  So far it has more content than what the Bounder could think of back in 1986.



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The chassis does not have the cool dual exhausts that the 1986 version has, but it does have the chassis frame, drivetrain, and the storage areas for the lower storage bins on the sides of the RV.  Also note the tanks for the fuel, shower, and toilet water at the rear.  I am surprised to find out that in the days where heavy trucks would do better with a passenger truck diesel engine, the Bounder uses a 6.8L Triton SOHC V10 from the Ford Truck line, mated to a 5-speed automatic.  Not fuel-friendly, but not weak either, and is much better suited for RV duty than what the 7.4L GM small-block V8 could muster in the 1968 version.  Oh, and this RV is not fast and requires extra care when driving or even parking (and that's with the help of modern camera's to aid in visibility.



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One problem with the 1986 casting is the interior:  From the front seats forward it has nice details, but after the front seats it's a blank canvas back there.  For the 2016 casting Greenlight learned their lesson (or read my blog review on the 1986 version) and finished the rest of the RV.  The front has captain's chairs that face a large dashboard layout; the front passenger gets a nice large flat space for a convenient work area, while the driver gets all of the controls wrapped around him with HVAC controls, radio, and a screen for video feed from the outside camera's and navigation system.  The 2-spoke steering wheel is Ford truck-based, and is rather uncomfortable to grip on long drives.  Behind the front there is seating for three with a fourth seat as a swiveling recliner next to the door.  Behind the three-person bench is two seats facing each other where a dining table would normally sit (missing here), while the kitchen stuff is the only missing item in this setup.  With a small area for the toilet and shower, along with closet storage the rear houses the queen mattress; now it does look tight back there but remember today's RV's have new technology unimaginable back in 1986: the right-side of the panel outside extends to allow more space (and walking room) around the mattress.  Same goes for the dining/living area up front where the left-side panel can extend out to make more room.  When not in use they fold back for a compact setup.



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I could go on more about what's inside the real Bounder RV, but that's too much to describe and it varies depending on the customer's taste; with more of it featuring high-tech stuff that was unimaginable back in 1986.  Overall Greenlight's 2016 Fleetwood Bounder RV is better executed than the 1986 version, especially inside, and makes a nice companion piece; one that shows how far we've come in the RV world.


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