We first spotted this wild looking black carbon fiber prototype at the RV industry show in Salt Lake City earlier last year and couldn’t get enough of it. While at the show, we sat with Aram Koltookian, president of KZ RV, and learned how this whole prototype project came about.
Aram Koltookian: This is the Sonic X, and we were challenged to build something new and exciting for the RVX here in Salt Lake City, and we really kind of got the team together and I had a dream of let’s build something that’s going to work any time you want to go camping.
So, we saw some different samples, you know, a little while back of some carbon fiber from LAMILUX and I said, “Man, we’ve got to make this in carbon fiber.” So, that’s the most dramatic thing. When you walk up to this coach, the carbon fiber exterior is absolutely stunning. And it kind of morphed from there. We said, “How would you go camping or what do we want this coach to do?” When you say you want to go anywhere anytime, what does that mean? So, then that’s when the wheel started spinning.
I’m an off-road enthusiast, I’m an outdoors person, and a lot of our team are. So, we just kind of got together and it just kept building it. The hardest thing about building this coach was saying no ’cause we pretty much said yes to everything. The outside of this coach is completely unique. From the ground up, obviously the carbon fiber is what you see first when you walk up to it, but you also see the real aggressive off-road stance. We put torsion axles on it with 30-inch tires, off-road tires to give it a nice high ground clearance. It also gives you a great entrance and departure angle. So, that was all part of the design that we said we want to go anywhere, we meant it.
As you look around the coach, there’s actually nerf bars completely surrounding the coach, 360 degrees. With carbon fiber, you want to make sure that you protect, you know, a valuable asset like that, so we wanted the nerf bars to take the hit. As you kind of walk around the coaches a lot, a nice thing to take a look at upfront, we have a custom, fully adjustable BAL bike rack system that will carry four bikes upfront. And then on the back, we have not only place to carry wood or your coolers, but you can carry two kayaks on the back. So, four bikes and two kayaks plus extra coolers and gear on the coach, you immediately notice that right away.
One of the things that you don’t really see right off the bat are the solar panels. We have 9 110-watt solar– flexible solar panels up top feeding down into a completely controlled 9-lithium ion batteries in its own compartment. So, this thing has virtually endless power. So, if you want to go out at night, you want to keep your lights on, you got more than enough power to go days. Even in partial sunlight, the thing will keep charge. It’ll charge whether you’re pulling it down the road with your car, it’ll charge if you’ll plug it in, or into a generator.
The other thing you’ll notice in the back is actually we did an infinite water system, which is kind of neat because what we wanted to do is, we put two 40-gallon holding tanks in it. Normally, a coach this size, you’ll have a 40 or a 45, we wanted to have more than that. So, we’re carrying nearly 100 gallons of water. And if you’re dry camping for a week, 100 gallons sounds like a lot, but it’s not that much. So, we put in an infinite water system that allows you to take a hose, put it into a stream, a lake, a bucket of water that you got from somewhere else, and refill your water tanks. And a lot of people are thinking, “From a stream?” Well, if you just want to fill your water tanks for flushing your toilets or anything like that, it actually has a water– fiber micron water filter system that can be expanded to any type of water system filtration that you want. So, no matter where you are, you can find some water and get it back into your coach and refill your tank. So, that was a real important aspect of it.
As an outdoor person, you know, one of the things that you can be doing is you have gear with you, and sometimes gear breaks. So, on the front and on the back, each on the front, there’s two 40-inch, and on the back there’s two 40-inch LED lights that are producing over 64,000 lumens of light. So, we wanted to really light up the back or the front of the coach so that if your truck breaks down, if your bicycle breaks down, or if your fishing rod needs to be repaired, you’ve got enough light to sit out there under the stars and kind of get it done.
We had a lot of fun on the inside of the coach. Not only does it have a Murphy bed, which has been done, we do that in our current Sonic lineup, but all of the furniture is custom made. We worked with a boat furniture manufacturer to really make the furniture soft, custom density foams, but it’s also very, very durable. You know, it’s meant to be out on a pontoon boat that can just withstand sun and spills and everything, with midnight black accents which tie into the, you know, to the exterior. So, we want it to be really comfortable so that if you are a couple and then you got some friends out in a tent, you have a bad couple of days of rain, you can get in, you can watch a movie, you can watch a movie on the outside as well.
The outside has a TV and Bluetooth soundbar and a PlayStation 4, so you don’t have to necessarily rough it without having your game system along with you. As you look around the coach, you got a custom butcher block dinette table, which is a little overkill, but looks absolutely fantastic designed by our own interior designer. Solid surface countertops, convection microwave are just a few of the examples in here. But we got a few trick features, too. Right when you walk in the entry door, there’s a hidden panel that you can charge your phones and check your different supplies of power. You also have Bluetooth ready leveling system with a four-point leveling system. That’s over by the entertainment center.
The bathroom has a custom vanity, that’s a two-tier vanity to give you more room for your essentials. And then in the wardrobe closet, we’ve got a few more surprises. We built in a fully lockable wall safe and then a hidden large compartment for other larger gear, for guns, fishing poles, any of your larger gear that you want to keep out of sight, out of mind when you’re out kayaking.