Workhorse Custom Chassis

Triz Engineering develops a new RV chassis for Workhorse.

Workhorse Custom Chassis contracted Triz Engineering to develop a new chassis for their 24,000lb GVW Class A recreational vehicle product. This was to be the first custom designed chassis for Workhorse, thus an experienced engineering partner was essential to meet the specifications and timelines for the project.

Founded in 1998, Workhorse manufactures step van and recreational vehicle chassis. After only four years in the recreational vehicle market, Workhorse surpassed the 50% market share threshold for class 3 through 6 vehicles, before eventually taking over 65% share of that same market.

Class A recreational vehicles are considered to be the extreme of luxury in the motorhome industry, and the chassis themselves need to be robust enough to accommodate all of the weight concealed within the packaging of these lavish amenities.

Equally as important are the ride and handling aspects. With luxury motorhomes, the drivers and passengers want to enjoy their driving experience. Triz Engineering thus needed to balance reliability and comfort with the design of the frame and the integration of the suspension and powertrain.

For this project, we began with a feasibility study to help Workhorse understand the costs, our development approach and the possible outcomes. This ensured that Workhorse knew exactly what kind of chassis could be manufactured and how best we could design it.

To meet the Workhorse requirements for the new chassis, we specified and integrated the following major components:

Engine: GM Vortec 8.1L V8, 340 hp

Transmission: Allison automatic 6 speed with overdrive

Brakes: Hydraulic anti-lock Quadraulic4-channel, 4-sensor ABS system

Suspension: Single stage constant rate parabolic with aux. Like-Air™ spring, gas-charged shocks and rear track bar.

The outcome of the project was a new W24 recreational vehicle chassis that exceeded expectations and opened new market applications for Workhorse. The chassis was pre-engineered with three different wheel bases (208, 228, 242 inches) to maximize market opportunities by meeting customers’ need for customization. Furthermore, its best-in-class 30,000lb GCWR capacity allows the user to tow up to three tons, which enables them to easily bring along a truck, van, or boat.