The automatic transmission is a Mercedes-Benz five-speed. To downshift, tap the shifter to the left, and the transmission shifts to the next lower gear. Bump the shifter to the right, and the transmission upshifts.
The Germans (this chassis comes from Dusseldorf) do interesting things when it comes to using mechanical seat-adjustment mechanisms. Once you learn the right combination of lever pulls, you can move the seats up, down, fore, and aft, and can tilt the seat bottom. These manual releases also allow the seatback to reclined. Electric seats aren't an option from the factory. The Navion's 24-foot length and 7.5-foot width make navigating through urban settings easy--but this convenience comes at a price. Base Navion models start at $78,872, while our test unit, with quite a few of the extras, was priced at $85,518.
About Diesel Motorhomes
Born Free--6.0-liter Power Stroke V-8
Doug Spencer, CEO of Dodgen Industries, told Truck Trend that before the 6.0-liter Power Stroke's introduction, four percent of all of Born Free's motorhomes were ordered with a diesel engine. Since that engine was brought to market, though, the figure has jumped to 20 percent. The diesel option adds about $5600 to the price, but customers want it for its durability. Over the long haul, the diesel engine, Spencer says, offers three to five mpg better fuel economy, plus the engine has greater longevity.
Conquest Super C--6.6-liter Duramax V-8
Introduced two years ago, the Super C (built on GM's Kodiak platform) is offered with the Duramax. The option costs about $20,000, but includes more than the engine. The package comes with an exhaust brake, a diesel-powered 5.5 auxiliary generator, aluminum wheels, and a 22,000-pound GVWR.
Steve Lidy, director of marketing at , says approximately 40 percent of the motorhome enthusiasts who buy the Super C are choosing diesel.