Monthly Archives: July 2016

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.

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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(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.

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(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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

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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/

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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.

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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!

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