Girl Camper Talks Serro Scotty with Gary Pirschl

scotty-logo-red-bg-gradient

(image courtesy serroscottytrailers.com)

The history of Serro Scotty trailers dates back to the 1950’s when a retired John Serro built his first trailer. The history of the beloved white and turquoise “everyman’s camper” is long and storied in the annals of the recreational vehicle industry. Podcaster and blogger Janine Pettit had the pleasure of interviewing the grandson of John Serro, Gary Pirschl, in her latest podcast for Girl Camper, her blog and podcast dedicated to the camping lifestyle for the ladies.

gcplaidlonghr

(image courtesy girlcamper.com)

It’s a very good listen and lends some interesting insight into not only the Serro family, but also the history of the company and his thoughts on Little Guy Trailers reviving the Serro Scotty brand in a big way.  The link to the podcast can be found here: http://girlcamper.com/girl-camper-51-gary-perschel-grandson-of-serro-scotty-founder/

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

T@B 400 Unveiled at Elkhart RV Open House

 


After months of anticipation, nuCamp RV has unveiled the T@B 400 prototype at the Elkhart RV Open House. Thanks to this pic from Rusty Eckstein of Mount Comfort RV in Indiana, this is what the exterior of the 400 will look like. And before you ask, this was the only picture that I got from it, so currently no interior shots, but I suspect other media outlets who attended the Elkhart Open House will be following up in the days to come.

image

Now if you’ll excuse me, back to my regularly scheduled northern Minnesota vacation. 😀

image

6 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Little Guy Debuts Serro Scotty Line at Hershey

Beginning Wednesday, September 14 through Sunday, September 18, the annual Hershey Pennsylvania RV Show will feature the first look of the resurrected Serro Scotty family of travel trailers from Little Guy Worldwide. Today I got the lowdown and first pictures from Little Guy VP of Operations Dylan DeHoff. As well as the introduction at Hershey, Little Guy is also updating the Serro Scotty website to reflect the new models as well as introducing the new Little Guy logo.

lg-logo

To some, the first wave of Serro Scotties may be a surprise, as their shape and floorplans are similar to other brands on the market. However, their plan to me makes sense. Their goal with the initial wave of Scotties will be focused on an affordable trailer that just about anyone can get into. As Dylan tells me, “We do get many calls and complaints about the teardrops being too expensive for the size offered. These first Scotty’s are built with price in mind. They are wood construction and can be built stripped of features or loaded up depending on what the dealer wants to stock. We will still be coming out with other Scotty’s that have the HiLander and Sportsman shape but we wanted to create this line of Scottys for the entry level buyer who is looking for an inexpensive camper.”

scotty-2

There are some five floorplans available ranging in lengths from 17’2 up to 22’7″, including basic couples floorplans as well as bunkhouse floorplans for smaller families. The interiors mix in the modern with the classic Scotty turquoise. Dry weights will run from 2230 lbs to 3927 lbs. Additional specs can be found on the Serro Scotty Trailers website here.

scotty-int-1

scotty-passenger

But Dylan wanted to make it clear that this first wave of Serro Scotty is just the beginning. “We are also featuring a graphic on the home page of the website which shows a cropped version of our first model with two silhouette images of what models are to come. I wanted to put that on there to give the customers an idea of what is to come. But we are really excited to offer this first Scotty as an entry level camper. We want to get the Scotty into as many people’s hands as we can so they can enjoy camping with their family. It was referred to back in the day as the “every man’s camper” and that is our goal with this first model line. Every man’s camper in terms of affordability but unique enough that you stand out from the crowd”. You can expect the 2nd wave of Scotties to be like those of the traditional HiLander (My old 2010 pictured) as well as the Sportsman. Note, these are models from previous Scotty manufacturers. I’m only offering these for reference sake.

IMG_2870[1]

 

NEW_SCOTTY_13

The entry level Scotties will be available sometime this year, and you can look for the more retro HiLander and Sportsman styles sometime by mid-2017. As for MSRP, the five initial floorplans will have a respectable MSRP ranging from $15,000 up to around $20,000. When comparing to other brands with similar floorplans, the prices for the Scotties will be right in line with some of the name brands out there. And considering the throwback color scheme the Scotties will wear, in this era of everything “retro”, I can easily see the Scotty as the choice for many.

I’ll continue to keep tabs on the Scotty through the rest of the year and into 2017 as the new models come out. Stay tuned…this is a fun time for this segment of the RV industry.

6 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Pleasant Valley Teardrops Sets Its Own Path as nüCamp

As the news of last month bombshell announcement of Little Guy Worldwide and Pleasant Valley Teardrops’ split set the small trailer segment of the RV industry on its ear, we’re now hearing from the Pleasant Valley side of things. After Little Guy Worldwide told of their future in July , we’re now hearing from Pleasant Valley Teardrops, who up until now were manufacturers.

In a press release today, Pleasant Valley CEO Scott Hubble stated, “Frankly, I never envisioned a future without Little Guy— personally or professionally. However, given the situation, we wish our friends at Little Guy Worldwide nothing but the greatest success both now, as partners, and in the future, as they embark on an exciting new path. We believe that this segment of the market will continue to grow, thereby offering both companies an opportunity to collaborate and create synergies with other niche OEMs.”

To rehash why the split occurred, discussions began to consolidate Pleasant Valley Teardrops and Little Guy Worldwide into one company. However, due to differing objectives of each company, it was decided to part ways when their contract expires in April 2017. Enter nüCamp RV.

nucampWith Pleasant Valley now moving on without the marketing and distributi0n savvy of Little Guy by their side, they are starting anew in name as well. Pleasant Valley Trailers has recently adopted the nüCamp RV brand name for use in day-to-day operations. The company will use this new name alongside the Pleasant Valley Teardrop Trailers brand through the end of 2017 in an effort to ease the transition to the new brand. Hubble reiterated that nüCamp RV is Pleasant Valley Teardrop Trailers—just operating under a new name. The nüCamp RV website is located at http://www.nucamprv.com and will continue to be developed over the upcoming months as the company incorporates all of its product lines under the umbrella of this single site.

 

tb

nüCamp RV is the owner of the T@B teardrop travel trailer, which was acquired from Dutchmen RV in 2011, as well as the T@G: a teardrop trailer Pleasant Teardrop Trailers Valley developed in 2013. nüCamp RV will continue manufacturing these extremely popular lines of recreational vehicles and will continue supporting their very loyal base of T@B and T@G customers.

tg

Pleasant Valley expects to produce more than 3,500 campers in 2016, representing substantial year-over-year growth for the past five years. “Our company has responded to the explosive growth in the small trailer segment of the recreational vehicle industry by expanding our manufacturing facility in Sugarcreek, Ohio—the heart of Ohio’s Amish Country – by an additional 91,000 square feet,” reports Hubble. “We employ some of the most highly skilled craftsmenand craftswomen in the world, and their continued dedication to quality is renowned in the industry. This is our second plant expansion in three years, and we continue to manage this growth through a dedication to the core principles upon which our company was founded.”

As 2017 rolls around and the separation of nüCamp and Little Guy is complete, I’ll be watching to see how well nüCamp manages the marketing aspect of the business, previously handled by Little Guy. There’ll be a few growing pains, as I’m sure Little Guy will also find out as it ventures into manufacturing. But the real hope of those who’ve been fans of the Little Guy/Pleasant Valley marriage is that both will find success along their respective paths. But with a loyal legion of owners spreading goodwill on nüCamp’s behalf, I’m pretty sure they’ll be just fine. If you’d like to find out firsthand, Hubble states, “nüCamp is delighted to host current and prospective customers as well as dealers and prospective dealers at their facility in Sugarcreek, Ohio to see firsthand how they are reinventingthe recreational vehicle industry one camper at a time.”

To find out more about nüCamp, visit their website at http://nucamprv.com.

 

 

 

 

 

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Aliner to Debut Breast Cancer Awareness Designs

In a press release from Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania based Aliner, they will be launching two new designs for their Scout-Lite and Ranger 10 trailers, with a portion of the proceeds to benefit breast cancer research. With October being breast cancer awareness month, the announcement was no coincidence.

14138303_1280924738641063_1251749401_n

The two color options will be pink on white, or white on pink. The designs were the inspiration of Aliner president and CEO Brett Randall, who has had personal experiences with breast cancer. 14159836_1280924741974396_175668567_n

“We are very honored to introduce these two special units. We feel a strong connection to all of those who have been impacted by breast cancer,” said Randall. “We are proud of the opportunity to provide our loyal followers a product that may touch them as well.”

According to the press release, as the project proceeded, it became evident that breast cancer touched the lives of many Aliner employees. Several concepts were considered over a period of months before these two designs were chosen, as they believed they represented the Aliner brand and breast cancer awareness.  One touch I noticed is how they incorporated a ribbon as the “A” in Aliner on the sides. Nicely done.

Randall will be available via a Facebook chat on Thursday, September 1 at 6pm Eastern to discuss the designs as well as Aliner in general. You can access the Aliner Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/AlinerInc/

The breast cancer awareness camping trailers can now be ordered via a local Aliner dealer.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

A Tour of Riverside RVs

A couple of weeks ago I was able to get a tour set up of the Riverside RV factory in LaGrange, Indiana, thanks to a one of Riverside’s dealers, Austin Braun of Braun’s Fun Time Campers in Indianapolis.

I was interested in checking out their facilities for a couple of reasons. First, I’ve been following Riverside’s steady growth since I first found out about them at the RVIA trade show in 2011. The second reason has to do with an order I made for one of their teardrop trailers. I was hoping to see it in production, but it wasn’t slated to hit the assembly line until August 29. I’ll cover that in a future post, but here’s a sneak peek at what it’ll look like, as there was one on their lot awaiting a trip to a dealer in Sacramento.

My tour was led by Riverside sales manager Bob Taulbee. On the Friday I was up there, they had finished production for the week, so it was just about empty except for a handful of office personnel. Bob told me Riverside consists of about 50 employees, and about 45 of those are local Amish.

IMG_3270[1]

Despite the production having been wrapped up for the week, Bob told me that they’re producing about 40 units a week. That’s some pretty impressive output for a smaller independent RV manufacturer. Right now there are just under 600 Riverside Retros listed on rvtrader.com, so that’s pretty good coverage for anyone looking to buy one from any part of the country.

Ever since 2011 when I first laid eyes on a Retro 155, the quality has vastly improved. One aspect of that better quality is in some of the little things they do. One such example is in leak testing. Each unit that is produced spends about 5 minutes in the shower, where water soaks each trailer from various angles while one person inspects from inside.

When I brought up the topic about Little Guy soon reviving the Serro Scotty line, Bob made no bones about it. “We know they’ll be coming after us”. Despite their market share of retro style trailers facing this pending threat from the coming of Serro Scotty, Bob feels good about where they stand in the market and the continually growing base of Retro owners who seem to be quite satisfied camping in their Retros, according to some of the Riverside Facebook pages out there.

The back lot at the Riverside factory is a nice array of just about every model they have available. These are completed models awaiting shipment to dealers all across the country.

That includes even some of the newer models, such as the new Retro toy hauler that’s just coming out.

One last thing I was intrigued with during my visit there was a new project Riverside is coming out with that will debut in September. And that is a Retro fifth wheel. Granted, it doesn’t fit the criteria of a small trailer, but once I saw it, I was more than wowed by it. It’s the first prototype and was still a work in process when I saw it. They didn’t even know yet what it’ll weigh or the MSRP on it. However, it’ll have the same retro interior and graphics as their other models…plus baby moon hubcaps.

If you’d like to check out more of the Riverside Retro models, you can visit their website at http://riversidervs.net.

7 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Little Guy Acquires Serro Scotty Brand – Breaks Ties With Pleasant Valley

Green, Ohio based Little Guy Worldwide has announced they will be adding the iconic Serro Scotty trailer brand to their lineup of small travel trailers and teardrops.

Little-Guy-Logo-large Serro_Scotty_logo-660x330

“Scotty trailers are a big part of the rich camping heritage of America,” said Joe Kicos, owner and president of Little Guy in a press release. “We are very excited to add the Scotty trailer brand and history to the Little Guy family.” Little Guy is one of the most well known teardrop trailers on the market since it first rolled out 20 units in 2002.

4355299164_4810ac292f_z

The Serro Scotty name dates back to 1957 when John Serro first built, coincidentally, a teardrop trailer. In a short time, Serro Scotty campers became one of the most affordable and mass produced family campers throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s, and ultimately had manufacturing facilities in Irwin, PA, Ashburn, GA, and Bristow, OK. After the Ashburn and Bristow plants closed, the Irwin plant burned to the ground in 1997, ending Serro Scotty’s 40 year run of building trailers.

$_3

In 2006, Pennsylvania RV dealer Bill Kerola revived the Serro Scotty brand, having a series of manufacturers build a limited amount of HiLanders and other models of Scottys. Before news of the acquisition of the Serro Scotty brand by Little Guy broke this week, I had confirmed with Kerola that he in fact had not renewed his licensing agreement with the Serro family. Under the Kerola-era of Scotty production, the 16′ HiLander was by far the most popular of the models.

IMG_1571[1]

(2010 Serro Scotty HiLanders)

Having owned a 2010 HiLander for five years, I had a pretty close relationship with Kerola, as well as some other owners of the revived brand. While there was a small dealer network at first, it later moved to a factory direct concept. After going through several manufacturers, all production ceased by 2015.

7771186402_bdd50b59ba

(2010 Serro Scotty Silver Pup and 2013 Serro Scotty Sportsman)

Today I spoke with Little Guy Vice President of Operations, Dylan DeHoff. They’re very excited about acquiring the rights to Serro Scotty and the plans they have for it. “The first few models will strictly be retro designed. Our plan to keep the retro look on the outside with the white/turquoise colors, teardrop shaped fender cutout, etc. The outside would also feature some basic RV designs like white framed windows. On the inside a standard unit would not be retro at all, but rather a neutral interior: Neutral colored cabinets, counters and floors. It would feature your typical RV components such as a Dometic stove, fridge, Coleman AC, etc. We plan to make a line of retro models ranging from 13 to 23 feet. For the customers that want the entire retro experience there will be a retro package which will change the flooring, curtains and other cosmetic items to feature a retro design.

“Right now we are prototyping a 16 foot bunk floorplan and next is a 17 foot front queen floorplan, both modeled after the Highlander look with the “bump up” in the roof. Next would be the 13 foot floorplan and the 15 foot floorplan. The 13 foot floorplan would be modeled after the Sportsman Gaucho but we would also like to create an extended 16 foot box version of the Sportsmen.”

To kickstart the Serro Scotty brand, Little Guy has created a new website for the Scottys at http://serroscottytrailers.com, where for now you can add your name and email to receive Serro Scotty updates from Little Guy.

As big as the news is of Little Guy reviving Serro Scotty, probably bigger is news of their pending separation with long time manufacturer Pleasant Valley Teardrops. The agreement between Little Guy and Pleasant Valley ends on April 1, 2017. While details are a little murky on the separation, what is known is that Little Guy has secured a 169,000 square foot manufacturing facility (rumored to be in the Elkhart, Indiana region) that will handle current and new product lines, with another 200,000 square feet of space in reserve for anticipated future expansion. But what is not known is how this split will affect all the brands that have been built by Pleasant Valley and marketed and distributed by Little Guy: T@B, T@G, myPod, Little Guy Teardrops (5-wide, 6-wide, Silver Shadow, and Rough Rider), and Cirrus truck campers. Some are owned by Little Guy and some are owned by Pleasant Valley. Obviously this is a pretty big deal and I’ll be gathering more information and sort it out for you all in a separate post here on The Small Trailer Enthusiast. Look for much, much more on this in the months to come.

 

 

 

 

 

 

13 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Trailer Life Opens Voting for 2016 Readers’ Choice Awards

Trailer Life magazine has announced the voting for their annual Reader’s Choice has begun. The voting for the annual survey runs until September 23, 2016 and the winners will be announced in the 2017 issue of Trailer Life.

2016TL-RCA-banner

There are 29 categories to vote on, with the top 3 in each category receiving recognition. The results prove to be a valuable tool for RV owners, as the results are based on the experiences 0f fellow RVers. Some of the categories to vote on include travel trailers, tires, best state to RV in, RV retailer, and many more which may or may not apply to your camping style.

To cast your votes, you can visit the voting page on the Trailer Life website at this link: http://www.trailerlife.com/readers-choice/

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Airstream Unveils NEST Details Via Survey

Not long after it was announced by Airstream of their acquisition of NEST Caravans, I signed up on the Airstream website to receive updates on the NEST. Today I received an e-mail from Airstream with a link to a survey regarding the NEST.

nest-2

A lot of the questions had to do with comparing NEST to a traditional Airstream and what other brands you’ve considered. When I got towards the end of the survey, the page consisted of an overall description of the NEST followed by survey questions. It was in the description where it was revealed where the NEST have a starting price of $40,000. You read that right.

NEST is an all-new, compact, 16’6” trailer that provides all the luxury and quality one would expect from an Airstream, plus the added benefits of exterior color options and the ability to be towed by smaller vehicles (such as mid-sized SUVs, light trucks and crossovers).

Within its fiberglass shell, NEST contains a wet bath (toilet, shower), queen-sized bed, dining area, galley with refrigerator and cooktop, plus many other thoughtful appointments — all in a comfortable, light-filled space with 6’6” of standing headroom.

NEST was conceived and developed by entrepreneur Robert Johans in Bend, Oregon; and automotive designer, Bryan Thompson, is responsible for the trailer’s sophisticated and modern exterior styling.

Recognizing Airstream’s DNA in NEST, Airstream purchased the company in 2016 with a goal to improve upon the concept by building it with advanced components and manufacturing techniques. Augmenting its iconic travel trailer line up with NEST’s progressive product design aligns with Airstream’s ambition to further its long legacy of refined innovation within the RV industry.

NEST will start at $40,000 (or $325/mo., if financed). The trailers will be built at the Airstream facility in Jackson Center, OH, and available for purchase the summer of 2017.

So after reading this last paragraph, I think it’s safe to say most of you remotely interested will probably feel like you’ve been priced out of purchasing a NEST.  I hear a lot from readers how a new Scamp in the upper teens is overpriced. I’m completely expecting negative comments on the pricing, but if you’re someone who’d be willing to pay that kind of money for a NEST, I’d really like to hear from  you.  I’d be interested to know a buyer’s rationale in spending more on a fiberglass NEST than you would a traditional 16′ aluminum Airstream Bambi. And one of the questions on the survey is “How likely are you to purchase NEST for $40k?“. You’d think they’d have asked consumers this question before buying NEST and setting a starting price of $40,000, wouldn’t you?

As production starts in the next year, I’ll provide any additional updates as they come along. As always, stay tuned here!

7 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

A Look at the A-Liner Limited Edition Retro

When the 2016 Aliner Limited Edition was unveiled at the Louisville RVIA trade show last December, it was an addition to the ever growing retro trailer segment of the RV industry that seemed to come out of left field. After all, the A-frame pop up company didn’t come into existence until 1984, well after the era of canned ham trailers that the recent wave of reproductions has meant to mimic.

DSC_0441

According to Aliner president and CEO Brett Randall, “We like to stay on top of what our customers are looking for in a camping trailer and we believe we have done so with the Aliner Limited Edition as it has a retro graphics package, new exterior porch light, tires with chrome moon hub, tire cover and a certificate of authenticity.”

alinerse12

Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania’s Aliner has committed to building 84 Limited Editions, which commemorates when they went into business in 1984. It’s based on an Aliner Classic, with a few standards that are options on a standard Classic. Some of the standard features on the Limited Edition include chrome baby moon hubcaps on 14″ rims, a retro graphics package, a 5,000 BTU air conditioner, a rear sofa that converts to a 60″ x 76″ bed, a front dinette that converts to a 40″ x 76″ bed, a 3.0 cubic foot refrigerator, microwave,  a DSI water heater, LED exterior lighting, an exterior shower, and an off-road package.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

alinerse17As for the specifications, the Aliner Limited Edition has a box length of 12′, total length of 15′, and a width of 78″. The gross vehicular weight rating is 3,000 lbs and the unloaded weight is 1635 lbs. The tongue weight is 190 lbs and the maximum carrying capacity is a generous 1365 lbs. The Limited Edition also comes with a special 2 year warranty.

alinerse11

Recently, Aliner dealer Mount Comfort RV received one of the 84 Limited Editions on their lot in Greenfield, Indiana. They put together a really nice walk through video of the Limited Edition Aliner with President Rusty Eckstein. Rusty tells me the video has received nearly 3,000 views in just a week, so that’s a pretty strong statement as to the interest it’s drawn with potential buyers.

As of this writing on June 10, there are just 7 on rvtrader.com, with prices ranging anywhere from $18K to $28K. You can check out more about the Aliner Limited Edition at http://aliner.com/campers/limited-edition/  Not sure where the closest Aliner dealer is to you? You can find that out at http://aliner.com/aliner-dealers/

 

(photos courtesy Mount Comfort RV, Princess Craft RV, and Aliner)

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized