In 1973 Country Coach was founded by RV pioneer Bob Lee. Beginning with two employees in a small garage, Lee built the company from its beginnings to its present day facilities spanning nearly 500,000 square feet over several city blocks in Junction City, Oregon.
Lee retired from Country Coach in 1995. Lee returned when a gloomy economy affected the RV industry and also impacted Country Coach, causing bankruptcy, followed by the company going out of business. “I was here in the beginning when we were called Country Camper, and I just have this, I guess it’s a passion for this company,” states Lee, who purchased the company in 2010 and started operations January 3rd, 2011. Lee declares his aim for the company is to assure owners that Country Coach will be there for them long after he is gone.
With plans for new goals and a new purpose, Lee came back as the new owner of Country Coach to rescue the company. Now Country Coach is building coaches on an “order basis”. Lee tells us, “We now can build any part of a Country Coach, including doing it totally, but we still have excess space. I have re-hired 16 of the original employees, giving Country Coach a combined total of over 400 years of RV experience. Country Coach tells us they now have 22 employees and are continuing to “bounce-back” strongly, including in the areas of parts manufacturing, parts shipping, and sales which has picked up dramatically. Lee adds, “If you have some sort of faith in mankind and especially this American spirit, you have to know that it’s (Country Coach) going to come back. By means of innovation, ingenuity and a lot of perseverance, Country Coach is shaking off the effect of the recessions and re-building.”
Lee hopes for Country Coach to start building coaches by early 2012. His business plan calls for a modest start with 25 coaches manufactured in the first year and an increase of 80 employees. Keeping Country Coach strong and keeping jobs are their main objectives. Lee has been instrumental in creating some of the RV specifications we take for granted today such as a motorcoach systems monitor with speech processor, air leveling for the motorcoach, Infotronics HVAC control technology, and hydronic heating coach systems. He also introduced the first code-compliant custom bus conversion built on a production line. Lee was inducted into the RV/MH Heritage Foundation, Inc. Hall of Fame in 2000.
The company is still recovering from bankruptcy and trying to get its feet on the ground as a “new” company, Country Coach has yet to manufacture many new models. Despite the foreclosure, we did find the 2012 Country Coach Magna 630 offering new floorplans. A diesel pusher, with a length of 40’, tow capacity of 10,000 lbs, four slides, the magna sleeps four comfortably. While the MSRP is $768,995, we found it for under $599,000. Country Coach President and CEO Bob Lee says the company is currently in the design phase for an electric-diesel hybrid RV, which should double or triple the mileage compared to a traditional coach. Lee also tells us Country Coach now has a full coach service center, their Dyno center, capable of complete chassis and mechanical services. In addition, Country Coach has begun a newsletter, Country Coach Destinations, in order to keep you up with the latest happenings at Country Coach.
Country Coaches media tells us that the Country Coach Lexa was used “…in a move that will placate both Democrats and Republicans,” as Sarah Palin chose to travel across the nation in a uniquely American recreational vehicle product. The Lexa coach is offered with six floor plans, with a double or triple slide out configuration (galley, bedroom and living room). The diesel pusher motorhome was produced by Country Coach in both a 42′ and 45′ version. When it first debuted, the Lexa’s “futuristic” design, full-height windshield, awning styled windows and a sleek European look both inside and out, was enthusiastically received by motorhome owners.
On March 19, 2009 Country Coach announced the re-opening of its manufacturing and sales operations in Junction City, Oregon. Though there is no word yet on any NEW lines for 2010, Country Coach is very optimistic about the quality of coach they will be able to sell now that they are a factory-direct manufacturer. As the economy improves we expect to see some exciting products from this company. We speculate at this time the company will not introduce any new lines for 2010 as they are trying to re-establish themselves and hire back the workers they lost eight months ago.
The most popular Country Coach model for 2008 is the Inspire 360 MSRP $385,000 which features an 82” interior ceiling height and a one piece panoramic windshield. The company unveiled the mid-range Tribute in 2007 retailing for about $250,000, an upper-end Rhapsody priced in the million-dollar range, its 2007 Intrigue 520, Magna 630 and Affinity 700.
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