The report of my death was an exaggeration. – Mark Twain
That famed quote by Mark Twain in a letter he wrote in 1897 is something that popped into my head on the drive back home to Indiana recently after visiting Liberty Outdoors’ facility in Somerset, Pennsylvania. For after the split of Little Guy Worldwide (now Liberty Outdoors) with longtime manufacturer Pleasant Valley Teardrops (now nuCamp RV), a lot of people left the Little Guy team for dead.
Destined to become more than just a teardrop marketer, Little Guy entered the arena of manufacturing, something quite new to them. With the recently acquired rights to the Serro Scotty brand, Little Guy formed an alliance with Gulf Stream to manufacture an “everyman’s camper” in the Serro Scotty. The Scotty took a beating on the internet, and especially in the vintage Serro Scotty community, due to its perceived lack of styling with its standard travel trailer boxiness prevalent in the industry today. Little Guy assured everyone that this was just the first wave, and more products were yet to come that would be more in line with their roots that they would manufacture themselves.
That day has come.
Fresh from their own plant in Somerset, Pennsylvania, comes the Little Guy Max.
The Max is just the first of many new lines you’ll be seeing coming out of the plant in Somerset over the next two years. And based on my first hand observations of the Max last month, the product offerings from Little Guy will undoubtedly set the small trailer community on its ear. But until then, let’s first take a look at the Max.
I met Little Guy Director of Operations, Dylan DeHoff, at the Liberty Outdoors Somerset plant one Wednesday morning last month. Along with Dylan to meet me was a celebrity in the world of camping podcasts, Janine Pettit of the Girl Camper podcast. Janine was lucky enough to be taking the 3rd Max built back to her home in New Jersey, as she was going to do some hands on critiquing of the Max for Little Guy on a 4 week trip out west starting this month.
Janine and Dylan took me on a tour of hers before she took it back to New Jersey. The first thing you notice when you first step into the 21′ Max is the incredibly open feel, due in part to the seven dual paned windows throughout, including a window in the door that opens up for additional airflow.
There are also two windows in the rear of the Max that also open, including the vertical window above the spacious 60″ x 80″ queen bed, with a mattress locally made exclusively for Little Guy.
If there’s one word that really defines the Max it would have to be space. You really feel the space in the actual physical size of the Max, including an impressive 6’7″ ceiling height. In addition, the light tones of the real maple hardwood cabinetry open it up to create such a refreshing environment that’ll rival the great outdoors for your time spent camping.
Space is also highlighted in the form of storage space. And for a trailer of this size, I don’t recall anything have the storage, and it’s smart storage, as the Max. A total of two pantries, a deep drawer below the fridge, storage below both the queen bed and the front dinette, as well as three kitchen drawers, and overhead cabinets and cubby holes at every turn.
This doesn’t even cover the storage under and around the front dinette either, which there is plenty there as well. You’ll notice in the photo above the 24″ Furrion TV at the foot of the bed. There’s also another Furrion TV concealed at the front dinette that opens up with the press of a button. That front dinette also folds down to make a single bed, as typical in most RVs.
As for construction, the Max is built quite a bit sturdier than your typical trailer in this class. First, it sits on a tubular steel frame that is powder coated to automotive standards. As is the case with most of the components Little Guy uses in production, the frames are locally built. The cage is aluminum and insulated with block foam insulation and covered by Azdel paneling. The one piece fiberglass roof and sidewalls can come in either a white or silver base, with exterior trim in your choice of black, silver, or red.
The floor is made of a 3/4″ thick product called PerforMAX 500, which is a wood product engineered to better withstand moisture and be more stronger and stable than plywood.
The construction really shines especially in the cabinetry. The dovetail construction used throughout is something you just don’t see much in the industry. I learned during my visit there that they’re building trailers to last you a long, long time. They have the confidence in their trailers that they’ve put a standard 2 year warranty on them, which in the industry is still the exception.
As for bathroom facilities, the Max has a wet bath with a height of a generous 6’2″, giving ample headroom for most. It also includes a full size multi-speed fan, which is a rarity when it comes to trailer bathroom vents.
The standards on the Max are plenty, and things you wouldn’t even see as options on other trailers in this class. As for some of the exterior features, they include a 6’3″ Thule awning with LED light strip, 2″ rear receiver for the optional bike rack, 15″ aluminum wheels, sliding screen door, exterior speakers and TV mount, pass through storage with slam latch doors, illuminated aluminum entry step and illuminated grab handle.
On the inside of the Max, you’ll find (aside from those features already mentioned), an 8″ deep stainless steel kitchen sink with residential style high rise faucet with sprayer, a flush mounted 2 burner gas stove with glass top, a stainless steel microwave, stainless steel 4 cubic foot stainless steel refrigerator, 13,500 BTU roof mount air conditioner, traditional 6 gallon Dometic hot water heater, LED touch screen and switch panel for monitoring tanks and lighting controls, LED lighting throughout including various accent lighting above cabinets, and Furrion Stereo, Bluetooth, MP3, MP4, DVD.
As for standard specifications, the Max checks in with a dry weight of 2,900 lbs, tongue weight of 281 lbs, and is an even 21 feet long. The holding tanks are 20 gallon fresh water, 14 gallon gray water, and 9 gallon black water. Overall width is 7 feet and height comes in at 9’1″. There’s also an optional Rough Rider package you can buy that gives you a 3.5″ axle lift, black diamond plate, and 15″ matte black off road wheels and tires.
The options on the Max are four: solar panel, bike rack, power tongue jack, and stained cabinetry, if you want your interior a little darker.
Even though I’ve given you a lot of information here, chances are I’m probably forgetting a few things, which is testament to how loaded this “little guy” really is. It packs a feature punch that honestly I’ve not seen in a trailer this size in the years I’ve been doing this. While some will balk at the $29,999 MSRP, once you see one for yourself, you’ll soon realize that you’re not going to really find much on the level of the Max’s build quality and features. And that MSRP isn’t as high as other similar high end trailers within its size range. And from my visit to their factory, I would consider the Max a high end trailer that will last you many, many good camping years…and look pretty cool rolling into the campground to boot.
I asked Janine a week after she took to the Max what her impressions were of it and she told me, “Liberty Outdoors just raised the bar in the light weight towable market with their Little Guy Max. It’s built to an exacting standard, thoughtfully designed and affordable. It’s a win, win, win for all RV enthusiasts.”
Based on what I saw of the Max and the other projects set to come online in the next year, that bar will be raised even higher. Their story is just beginning.
To find out more of the Little Guy Max, visit their website at http://golittleguy.com/lg-max/
17 Responses to Little Guy transformation kicks off with the Max
I like it. It reminds me a little of the Gulfstream Visa from a few years ago.
Wow! Love Janine and the Girl Camper podcast. Looks like an amazing product. Personally, a little disappointed in 14 gallons of grey water capacity. Not enough. Other than that, what an exciting small trailer. Almost enough to tempt me to consider something other than molded fiberglass. I would still go for an Escape 19′ or 21′, but I am holding out for that retirement Oliver 23.5. Until then, I will keep on rolling in our Casita! Love the article.
We hope to increase tank sizes in the near future. Our fiberglass trailer, the ParkLiner is in development right now
I’m excited to see the Park Liner makeover. When should we expect to see it?
Pat, do you know the cargo capacity of the Max? There’s a ton of storage spaces, and it would be very easy to overload the trailer. I know the dry weight is 2900. I once read the GVWR but now can’t locate it. I’m interested in the cargo capacity. Has it been stated? I know we are waiting on brochures and specs…
personally, I think the axle size tells it all.
The GVWR is 3,800
It looks very much like the new T@B 400.
It reminds me a lot of the Safari Condo Alto travel trailer.
Exterior looks a lot like the Alto Safari.
just retired in the market
I cannot find anywhere in the specs or reviews if the Max is equipped with electric brakes. Seems that would be an important feature.
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Little Guy trailers have quality control and warranty problems. Stay AWAY from them!
Would you like to hear about them? Get a cup of coffee and get comfortable for reading.
We purchased a 2019 Little Guy Mini Max Rough Rider, serial number 38, on Nov 30th, 2018. We only went as far as 30 miles to the house, and the problems began.
1. The blind had fallen off the wall over the dinette/bed area window.
Our dealer told us that the rear blind had a change out order from Little Guy to replace them. The dealer had performed the work, and it fell off before we even got it home.
2. The battery in the trailer was DEAD.
I read the voltage as 9 volts and only a 10% charge. Either the battery was defective to start with, or there are electrical issues with the trailer. There was a factory installed solar panel on the roof. It didn’t make any difference. They have had lots of time to look at it in Service.
3. TV rf input jack was completely snapped in half.
It’s hard to ensure things are operational, when they refuse to let you have the remotes to test anything until AFTER the sale has completed. Did this broken tv come this way from the factory? Probably.
4. WATER LEAKING fore and also aft “somewhere” from the roof.
It was raining when we picked up the trailer. There was water coming in through the holes where the blind “was” before it fell down on the way home. There was also water on the floor in the kitchen area. Little Guy has been arguing with my dealer over replacing the panel around the microwave, that has been soaked with water. We had just sold an RV that was MOLD infested. Now we purchased a BRAND NEW Mini Max, and already have water/mold issues, and we haven’t even gotten it home from the dealer as of Jan 14th, 2019. The dealer has had it, fighting with Little Guy for 45 days, as of today, with NO END in sight. This is, (or is SUPPOSED to be) a NEW UNIT. They don’t even want to take care of the issues with the DEALER interfacing with them. We have not had the unit at the house more than an hour, since we bought it, 45 days ago.
I could probably describe MORE problems, if we actually had it at home. These were just the “off the truck” problems found on the initial walkthrough. Little Guy prices come at a VERY HIGH premium. We could have purchased TWO, larger trailers from the “other guys”, for this same price. Do NOT be deceived, as we were, about better quality control, and better warranty service, in exchange for this premium price tag.
Take my advice, and stay away from Little Guy Trailers, unless you like to waste money, and time. They are definitely NOT worth the value associated with the prices. I am a REALLY hacked off new owner of a trailer that has never been home yet. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Purchase from Little Guy at your own peril. I wish someone would have warned us, before we took the leap on this MiniMax.
Thanks for sharing, Carl. I was really intrigued by how it looks on paper. Guess, we’ll have to do more research on other trailers.
Are these problems the result of growing pains? Is Little Guy making reasonable efforts to remedy these problems? It’s only their third year of production. I’ve been looking at some of their competitors and the problems with their competitors’ products. It’s conceivable that Little Guy underestimated demand.
We have a 2017 Little Guy Max. Bought it new. We have had it 3 years now and camp often. We have traveled across country twice with it. LOVE IT!!! No regrets. Great space. Great storage. Company stands behind their product.