Can a concept like this really work? I came across a picture of this unique mid-engine (yes mid-engine!) TRAVEL SUPREME coach with a garage in the back and I started wondering exactly that. It sounded like a great idea for someone with just a couple of bikes, a golf cart or something that would fit in a 10ft. garage. It’s always easier if you don’t have to pull a trailer around. Besides, in California, we can only drive 55MPH, and well, 55 is 55.
So we called SPARTAN CHASSIS INC. (the builder of the chassis) to find out if we could get some pictures of this very interesting recreational vehicle. After Tim Gearhart from Spartan checked out our magazine he said “Yes! Sounds like a great idea. We were thinking that this could be one of the best toyhaulers ever.” Then to top it off, Tim was willing to drive it to Phoenix for our photo shoot. Life was indeed good.
We went to Lake Pleasant just outside of Phoenix, AZ, to get some pictures of this 41ft. bus and to check out how everything worked. It had two slide outs in the front section making for tons of room inside the coach. A small faux fireplace inside was a real nice touch, along with the king size bed in the back with a little over 6ft. of head room clearance. The clearance in the back bedroom might be a concern because it was over the garage area, but unless you’re REAL tall, it shouldn’t be a big issue. The kitchen was huge with granite counter tops and a nice dinette. Leather interior covered a very comfortable set of captains chairs in the front. Full battery power was available inside so no need for propane and there was also a huge diesel generator that couldn’t even be heard inside the coach. The drive train consisted of a Cummins ISL 400, with an Allison 3000MH fully electronic 6-speed automatic transmission. It can tow 5000lbs. and carries 125 gallons of fuel.
Now the reason that we are really here....THE GARAGE! It’s a 10ft built-in garage with a 2000lb. capacity. The platform in the garage is fully hydraulic and operates much like a flat bed tow truck. The bed comes out and lowers to let you load your toys. Then you just tie them down and hydraulic them back in. Off the chart good idea! I am thinking that each configuration of toys may have to be loaded a little differently, but that’s the same in almost every trailer. Once loaded you are on your way...no trailer lights to check, no trailer brakes to adjust, and no air pressure to check in extra tires... the list of extra things to check on a standard trailer just goes on and on.
Now that we had checked this TRAVEL SUPREME Me2 MID ENGINE CHASISS out, it was time to take some pictures. Of course, the pictures wouldn’t be right unless we put some equally impressive toys in the garage!
But, what should we put in there? Why not call one of the best custom bike builders in the world to see if they would let us take some pictures of their cycles with this coach? We called BOURGET’S BIKE WORKS INC, (BBW) of Phoenix, AZ, and talked to Brigitte Bourget. Thumbs up there! Life was getting better all the time!
While we were at the lake getting set up, here came the awaited BBW Featherlite trailer with four of the best- looking custom motorcycles that I have ever seen inside of it. Not only that, Roger Bourget had sent over his own personal bike with his wife and kids painted on the tank...awesome! Also included for your enjoyment was an “old school” aluminum retro rigid chopper, a diamond anniversary model, AND a brand new bike just completed called the MAGNUM.
We were in bike heaven! These bikes are pure works of art. The people that BBW sent to work with us were completely first rate as well. If you’re into custom bikes at all check out their web site at www.bourgets.com. It’s well worth the trip!
Too bad we didn’t have enough time to take a trip in the coach! It would have been fun to see how well it rode, and how quiet it was while underway. Overall, the coach was excellent. Spartan says they have some new designs in the works for next year’s models. We can’t wait...it should be great!
For specs on the chassis, you can go to www.spartanchassis.com. Finally, we know you want to know how much a great rig like this will cost....we were told starting at $330,000.00. We’ll take two! - Terry Gluckman