Earlier this week, I had a chance to talk to Joe Kicos, founder of Little Guy Trailers, regarding some of the changes happening with them since the assets of parent company Liberty Outdoors were purchased by Xtreme Outdoors – http://smalltrailerenthusiast.com/2019/07/28/xtreme-outdoors-purchases-liberty-outdoors-assets/.
Production is still happening with their three models they’ve had – the Max, Mini Max, and Camp Rover – albeit at a slower pace. And that pace is due to Xtreme Outdoors using their expertise in operations to re-imagine the way the factory in Somerset, Pennsylvania functions from start to finish.
Several steps have already been made at the factory to redefine the Little Guy brand, including the hiring of a new plant manager with a manufacturing background, as well as being an RVer himself for over 30 years. Also a major change is a total revamping of the warranty department. One of the pain points with customers has been a responsive warranty department, and that’s one of the things being address by the new ownership.
While talking to Kicos, he stressed how Extreme Outdoors’ number one priority is the customer experience. This is why they’ve temporarily scaled back production in an effort to work out the bugs that have plagued Little Guy and streamline the production process itself. An example of the financial commitment Extreme Outdoors has brought to the table is the addition of a rain booth to the tune of some $80,000. Leaks have been an issue for some Little Guy owners over the last two years, and the upcoming rain booth will be a big improvement as it will be a high pressure system that will hit each trailer from various angles, simulating a rain storm while traveling down a highway.
While the changes have not been fully implemented, they have a plan in place to regain the confidence of their dealers, customers, and vendors. And expect some new models to hit the market next year in the Micro Max, as well as the likelihood that the myPod will be reintroduced at some point in 2020.
As for Joe Kicos, despite the fact he’s no longer an owner, he is still on board with the title of Director of Sales. He still owns the popular teardropshop.com website, where you can find all sorts of teardrop and camping supplies. And with that, he’ll be able to focus on the marketing of the Little Guy brand, which is what he did for more than 10 years before they took production in house back in 2017.
Extreme Outdoors will be on hand at the RV dealers open house in Elkhart in late September, and I’ll be spending some time there to give you a sneak peek at their latest offerings, including the Micro Max.
To get another viewpoint on the changes at Extreme Outdoors, Paul Chamberlain of Beckley’s Camping Center in Thurmont, MD paid a visit to the factory in Somerset this week to interview some of the key players at Extreme Outdoors and get their take on what lies ahead.
To find out more on Xtreme Outdoors and Little Guy, visit their website at goxtoutdoors.com.