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Family to travel in hybrid motorhome

Winnebago Industries has provided a 2009 Winnebago Adventurer hybrid motorhome to Brad and Amy Herzog for their summer travel tour.

The Herzogs, spokespersons for the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), will be traveling in this concept hybrid motorhome this summer as they promote the benefits of RV travel.

The Winnebago Adventurer hybrid rides on a Freightliner Custom Chassis' ecoFRED chassis, the motorhome industry's first hybrid-electric chassis featuring Eaton hybrid power components. This is a full hybrid system in that it utilizes two independent power sources (a diesel engine and an electric motor) that work in conjunction to optimally power the vehicle.

The Adventurer hybrid also features regenerative braking for less brake wear. With regenerative braking, the hybrid electric motor uses electricity to create torque, while also being able to reverse the process to use torque to create electricity. By reversing its electric engine to become a generator, electricity is fed back into the battery resulting in energy savings.

"We are excited to be the first RV manufacturer to begin active testing of this hybrid technology," said Roger Martin, Winnebago's vice president of sales and marketing. "This hybrid concept can bring many benefits, including improved fuel efficiency in select driving environments, reduced noise and emissions, improved acceleration and reduced maintenance."

The Herzogs will be lving in the new 35Z floorplan as they travel in the United States this summer. Introduced in 2009, the 35Z offers three slideout rooms for added spaciousness when parked.

The rear wardrobe of the Adventurer 35Z can be easily turned into bunk beds. Doors open fully to reveal the beds, which fold down when not in use. For further relaxation, this area offers 8.5-inch flip-down video screens, integrated DVD players and headphones.

When the beds aren't in use, the space is perfect for clothing, bedding or other storable items.

In the rear of the motorhome, a king-dize bed is nestled in the slideout room. The living area features two slideout rooms that create social space. The fully equipped galley, includes a four-door refrigerator/freezer,a 32-inch LCD TV and a home theater sound system.

Brad Herzog, author of more than a dozen children's books, said he is thrilled to be driving Winnebago's concept hybrid motorhome. "There are many ways in which RVing teaches Earth-friendly lessons -- just by doing things like visiting natural wonders, shopping at farmers' markets and reducing consumption and home energy use. But the Adventurer hybrid is an exciting step forward in the industry's green initiatives. I've always reduced the RV vacation advantage to four Fs -- fun, family, flexibility and financial savings. But now I can add a fifth -- facing the future."

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