Welcome to another Hooniverse Weekend. What is the first thing that comes to your mind when the name Sarah Palin is mentioned? Staunch Conservative Politician? Former Alaska Governor? Former Vice-Presidential Candidate? Tea-Party Founder? Right Wing Nut-Job? Whatever your views of Mrs. Palin and her family, you will have to admit that everyone has an opinion of how she conducts herself, and how the media is practically falling all over themselves to cover her trip through the Northeast. This tour seems to revolve around a the Palin family and their chosen mode of transportation, which looks like a tour bus that has been wrapped in a very noticeable color scheme complete with an homage to the Constitution, the Stars and Stripes, and Mrs. Palin’s Signature. However, this is no ordinary tour bus. It is a very high-end Motor Coach, complete with all the luxuries one would expect in a high-end home. Let’s take a look….
While I can’t confirm what year this coach is, it looks like a 45 foot Affinity built by the Country Coach Corporation of Junction City, Oregon. Country Coach has been around since the 70s, and reinvented itself after the company concentrated on building luxury coaches during the 80s. After 1995, the company was sold to a publicly traded company – National RV Holdings – which declared bankruptcy in 2009. One of Country Coaches founders – Ron Lee – purchased the assets, intellectual property, drawings, as well as the property of the former company, and began to rebuild the company.
So, what does this have to do with Sarah Palin and her Bus Tour. It is the perfect example for the budding Presidential Candidate. Country Coach has been rescued by an entrepreneur with little or no Government intervention, leasing excess factory space to “incubator companies”, and added “God Bless America” on the company web site. The Palins also own own a Country Coach Affinity.
Take a look at this image lifted from a video on Palin’s Political Action Committee (PAC) site. The wrap looks like it is being applied to the 2007 Affinity that is currently offered for sale to the public, but I later found out that this is the Palins own rig. This particular coach is built on the proprietary DynoMax chassis, with a Cummins ISC Diesel engine that produced 800 pounds per foot of torque, and an Allison Automatic.
Other equipment that is part of this Luxury Coach include: Quad slide-out sections, GPS System, entertainment system, Dishwasher, Radiant floor heat, California queen bed with power adjustments, Central vacuum system, Electric window awning package, Stacked Washer/Dryer combo, Power drive/passenger seats with heat, and a vorad collision avoidance system.
One more thing… You don’t need a Commercial Drivers License to operate a vehicle that has been classified as an RV. You could have Todd doing the driving duties…. hell, even the Mama Grizzly herself could be behind the wheel at any given time. And once the Palin Northeast vacation is over, you can simply peel off the vehicle wrap, and the “Bus” becomes a “Motor Coach” once again.
So, what do you think of this Tour Bus, and would you want to own one like it? Whatever you think of Palin and her family, you have to remember that she makes great television moments.