Monthly Archives: March 2012

Go RVing Giving Away 2012 Lance Travel Trailer

Go RVing will be giving away a 2012 Lance 1685 travel trailer as part of their Ultimate Country Music RV Giveaway this spring. Entries can be made daily up until April 16, 2012 at the GAC (Great American Country) web site. The grand prize includes the Lance as well as two roundtrip tickets to Nashville, Tennessee including a six-night hotel stay for the CMA Music Festival in June. Anyone else find it slightly humorous they’re giving away a trailer and a separate trip to Nashville where you stay in your…..hotel room?

(image courtesy Go RVing — tow vehicle not included)

Nevertheless, the Lance should serve its future owner well, as the brand is one of the better built units on the market today. The Lance 1685 is a tick over 20′ long and weighs just under 3500 lbs. It comes with a slide out for the dinette, queen bed, dual propane tanks, and a lot more. And if you’re the one who wins it, we want to know!

(image courtesy Lance Camper Manufacturing Corp.)

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The Fastest Shasta Around…

Having lived in the shadows of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the past 10 years,  it’s not been too difficult to get absorbed into the world of IndyCar racing. After all, the famed 2 1/2 mile oval has been around for over 100 years and is arguably the most iconic race track in the world.

I follow a few of the drivers (past & present) on Twitter, one of them being the legendary Mario Andretti. Retired from active racing since 1994, Mario still finds time to get behind the wheel of an IndyCar. A two-seat IndyCar, that is. A few days ago I was intrigued by one of his Tweets that showed him in front of a campground sign:

Then on Saturday, Mario quipped about arriving in St. Petersburg, FL in this, for the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg:

Unfortunately I’ve not been able to find anything regarding the story behind the picture. However, the sign in the background is the same as the one Mario was standing next to in the picture above. The trailer “in tow” appears to be that of a 1950′s era Shasta.

If anyone reading this happens to know the story behind it, please leave a comment. We’d love to hear about it!

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The Small Trailer Enthusiast Now Offering Advertising Space

In just over the 6 month existence of The Small Trailer Enthusiast, we’ve grown a nice following of readers. We currently have 56 followers via our “Subscribe” feature, we have 44 people who have “Liked” us on our Facebook page, and we have 73 followers on our Twitter feed. The visits to the site have been steadily increasing as well. Over the past 30 days, we’ve compiled nearly 12,000 page loads (nearly 400/day), and nearly 7,400 unique visits (about 240/day).  These are pretty good numbers for a relatively young, niche blog.

After moving the blog to WordPress.org earlier this year, it allowed me to offer advertising to RV dealers, manufacturers, and camping related companies interested in getting their company or products up on a unique blog dedicated to serving those interested in the small travel trailer segment of the RV industry.

Ads are created by those buying the ad space. By clicking on the “Advertise Here” banner on the right side of the page, ad buyers can create their ad using Komoona, the ad service I’m using. You can also upload your own artwork for the ad if you prefer. Here’s a 3 minute video showing how simple it is:

Rates vary depending on the length of the ad purchased, starting as low as $10.00 and conveniently payable via PayPal through Komoona. Currently I’m using just one ad size, 175 X 250 pixels, but that may change in the future depending on interest. The size of your ad would be the same size as the “Advertise Here” banner. Right now there’s space set aside for four ads, but that too can be increased based on interest.

So if you’re interested in getting your brand exposed to an audience focused on small trailer camping, this is the place to do it. As always, thanks for reading.

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Camp Lite Fuels Livin Lite’s Sales Increase

Wakarusa, Indiana based Livin Lite RV is quickly making its way to the top of the lightweight travel trailer segment of the RV industry. The proof is in the numbers. A look at various Google searches will find that Camp Lite is #1 within several search terms, covering everything that includes the words “aluminum camper”, “ultra lightweight”, “lightweight aluminum trailer”, and any combination of those words you could come up with. Nearly 20 combinations of those words will bring up Livin Lite as the first search result. And all this has been done without paying for the top spot on Google as many companies are known to do.

Livin Lite president Scott Tuttle credits the Camp Lite travel trailer line with increased sales of late. “Consumers are loving our new round front end and wood “look” interiors. Our exterior colors are so hot right now – especially since we have been fine tuning our “black-out” package with all black trim and diamond plate, black exterior appliance doors and grills, and  black air conditioning on the roof”.

 

As well as Livin Lite’s travel trailer division is doing, an up & coming part of their business is in their truck camper line, a segment which is making a comeback throughout the recreational vehicle industry. Based on the same features as the Camp Lite trailers, their truck camper division has done so well they’ve created a separate production line for them. Says Tuttle, “We have traditional RV dealers who have NEVER sold a truck camper now selling Livin Lite truck campers to a whole new generation of truck owners who want to take their families camping.”

For more info on Livin Lite, visit their web site at http://livinlite.com.

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Serro Scotty Worldwide Loses Third HiLander Manufacturer

What appears to be a familiar situation Serro Scotty Worldwide president Bill Kerola would rather not be in, he faces the task of lining up a new manufacturer for the popular Serro Scotty HiLander. When one is acquired, this will make the fourth manufacturer of the HiLander since Serro Scotty Worldwide was formed in 2006.

A few weeks ago, current manufacturer Cozy Travler, the HiLander’s manufacturer for less than a year, ceased production of their units, and along with it the HiLander.  Kerola had an order over the winter for 20 HiLanders to be built to create a solid inventory at his Transfer, Pennsylvania dealership. However, that order wasn’t fulfilled and currently there are just a couple of 2012 HiLanders available between Kerola’s Camper Store and Randy’s Trailer Town in Collinsville, Illinois.

In a phone conversation today, Kerola had just received word from a potential manufacturer in Indiana that they would not pursue building the HiLander due to the investment it would’ve taken to start building. His next step in the process is to approach the manufacturer of his Serro Scotty Sportsman model, which is currently building the first prototype of the new design. It’s under construction in a section of the old FCTA plant in Somerset, PA, which is where Coleman pop-ups were last built before closing in January 2011. The crew is comprised of mostly former Coleman/FTCA employees. Should they choose to stick with building only the Sportsman, Kerola tells me he’ll then “hit the streets” to line up a new manufacturer.

Taking production “in house” doesn’t appear to be an option just yet. Serro Scotty Worldwide general manager Tom Benedek explains, “It would take 150 units a year to make it work financially”. And demand for the retro travel trailers isn’t to that point. Where ever production of the HiLander lands, it will take approximately two months before they hit the market, due to engineering and getting familiar with them by the new manufacturer. The third unit in the Serro Scotty line, the Scotty Lite, continues to be built in central Florida by Trekker Trailers.

We’ll have more on the story as it develops over the coming months.

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Little Guy Brings Back Two T@B Floor Plans

Starting April 1, Little Guy Worldwide will be taking orders for two new floor plans for their highly popular T@B. The floor plans aren’t actually new, per se. They’re two floor plans previous T@B builder Dutchmen used. Both will utilize the “L” shaped front kitchen galley. The difference among the two will be the dinette. One will have vertical floor to ceiling cabinets on the back wall with a smaller dinette, which measures 70″ X 58″ when in bed format.

The queen bed “L” kitchen format will feature a “U” shaped dinette that converts to a 70″ X 73″ queen bed. As a former owner of a Dutchmen T@B with this floor plan, and having seen them all, I can honestly say this floor plan is the best one of them all. You get a nice sized kitchen counter and the comforts of a queen sized bed.

An option on the L and Q models will be the Stargazer front window, like those optional on Little Guy’s teardrop line. This is a slight difference from Dutchmen in that it’s a stationary window and a little more narrow, but should still give ample daylight to the front counter.

All three floor plans with descriptions can be found by clicking here: floor_plans[1]

For more info, contact Little Guy Worldwide at http://tab-rv.com.

 

 

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ParkLiner Hiring Production Workers

As posted on their Facebook page, upstart fiberglass trailer company ParkLiner is hiring production workers for the assembly line in their Gibsonville, North Carolina facility. The ad on ziprecruiter.com describes the positions as follows:

 

Full-time ssembly workers needed for travel trailer manufacturing business in Gibsonville, NC.  We manufacture small all-fiberglass travel trailers and need help immediately on the assembly front.

The job entails assembly, and perhaps oversight of others helping with assembly.  We need multi-trade multi-skilled individuals with good ethics and motivation as assembly includes everything from cabinets to plumbing; leadership skills are a plus, communication skills and a willingness to learn are a must.   We will provide training.

Starting pay is between $12 and $15/hour; summer hours begin earlier than winter due to heat.  If you have the qualifications, please submit the online questionnaire and your resume.

As we discussed in February, ParkLiner has plans of increasing their production numbers dramatically in 2012, and this hiring phase is a positive step in that direction.

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Gadget Review: The Grill Gauge

Periodically I may let you know about some camping & RV gadgets that I’ve come across that I use & like. First up on the list is The Grill Gauge.

I’ve had a few devices that claim to measure the propane in your tank, including an inline gauge….

and a magnet you slap on the side of your tank that changes color according to the amount of propane in the tank.

Both gauges technically worked, but the readings were unreliable at best. When I first had an inline gauge, it read that I was on the line between red & yellow. I decided to have the tank topped off at Camping World in Indianapolis while on our way to a weekend camping trip. After the tech filled it, the bill was just $9 & change. Expecting the bill to be in the $15 range, I asked him if he filled it, and he told me that it was already half full. So, that’s when started looking for something else. I picked up the magnet thinking maybe this would do the trick. Well, I’m not sure if it did or not. The magnet is a series of bars that change color as the propane level drops. But figuring out which column of bars you’re supposed to read was a little confusing and made for a lot of guesswork.

I then continued to look for the perfect gauge and I think I’ve found it in The Grill Gauge. It’s really simple to use. After loosening the strap that secures the tank  to your trailer, attach the hook on bottom of The Grill Gauge to the tank handle:

Then, while holding The Grill Gauge handle, pull up on the tank about 3 inches…just enough to free it from the trailer tongue. You don’t even need to pull it out of the loosened strap. This will give you your reading on the gauge.

I know this is an accurate reading, as this was a full tank I picked up last fall, with minimal use. So now my search for a reliable propane gauge appears to be over. And as an added benefit, it has a handy 40″ tape measure built in to the bottom of the gauge. I picked up mine for about $10 through Amazon.com, but you should be able to buy it locally at hardware stores and propane dealers. Highly recommended!

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