Backus, Minnesota based Scamp travel trailers is in the midst of its annual participation at the Minnesota State Fair in St. Paul, MN. Scamp’s presence in their home state’s fair has been a constant for several years. This year, the foot traffic in their display has been heavy, according to Scamp’s Micah Eveland. “At the quietest times the lowest number of people looking at our trailers has been about 10. At the busiest times there are so many people swarming the trailers that I cannot even see the furthest trailer away from my table!”
That foot traffic creates somewhat of an expense for Scamp, but in a good way, says Eveland. “We have so much traffic throughout the fair that we actually have to replace the carpet in the trailers! It gets matted down and looks like the carpet is about 30 years old!” It all points to the 41 year old family owned company’s prominent stake in the fiberglass travel trailer market.
Scamp will have their display open daily at the fair through closing day, Monday, September 3. At the fair, they’re located on Underwood Street between Wright and Randall Avenues.
Here’s a little walk-through video (without audio commentary) of the 2013 Serro Scotty Sportsman I had taken at the Big Little Rally earlier in August. I forgot I had taken this with my iPhone, so I put it up to give you an overall feel of the unit. Expect to see some changes with the next prototypes, as Bill Kerola had a lengthy punch list on this one.
Recently Serro Scotty Worldwide introduced the 2013 Serro Scotty Sportsman prototype at various rallies. I had a chance to see it recently at the Big Little Rally in Transfer, PA, and many of you will see it for the first time here.
Serro Scotty president Bill Kerola told me over the weekend there are a lot of things that will need to be tweaked with the next prototype. However, there’s no doubt the Sportsman has received an extreme makeover from the previous model that existed from the 2008-2010 model years.
Some savvy Scotty devotees might notice at first glance it’s similar in styling to that of the now defunct Serro Scotty Pup, which lasted from 2009-2011. While the Pup (pictured below in the foreground) was smaller than the ’13 Sportsman, the design resembles that of the Pup more than that of the previous Sportsman.
While the Serro Scotty website currently does not have any info on the ’13 Sportsman, one spec that I can share is it weighs in at an impressive 1700 lbs. Impressive in that it’s very lightweight for its size. The previous Sportsman checked in at a base weight of 2100 lbs. Kerola tells me there are many composites in the ’13 Sportsman. So many composites that it could probably pass as a “green” RV. Another attention-grabber is the skylight that stretches over the back of the trailer, above the gaucho sofa. Currently the prototype’s floorplan consist of a toilet and fridge in the front. However, another floorplan is being developed that will feature a dinette in the front and bed in the rear. I was impressed with the headroom as well. I’m a tick over 5’10”, and I’d guesstimate the headroom in the ’13 Sportsman to be around the 6’3″ range.
Kerola tells me he’ll be sending out a press release in the next couple of months, so we should know more about this as well as what the production of the popular HiLander is looking like. The Sportsman is being produced by a group of former Coleman pop-up trailer employees in Somerset, PA.
Mt. Pleasant, PA based Aliner has enjoyed a successful 2012 thus far, according to Melanie Spires of Aliner. “The first 5 months of 2012 Aliner retail sales were up 33% across the board. The Classic, Expedition and Ranger are the three top selling models, they are the core.”
Helping fuel the increase in sales is the new optional storage compartment. Located on the front tongue, the 100% waterproof, 30 cubic foot compartment features lockable full-length top and side access doors, as well as interior lighting. Better yet, the entire box is removable, leaving in its place a tray for transporting larger items. Competitors offer either a storage box or a tray, but not both. Removing the box takes less than 10 minutes.
“As we became aware of the strong consumer demand for such a product, we decided that we could best utilize our technology to provide a cutting-edge option that is unique to the camper industry”, according to Aliner parent company Columbia Northwest CEO Ned Collins.
Aliner has always been synonymous with hard-roofed, pup-up campers. Most would say they’re the torch bearer for such a niche market. With innovations like the removable storage box, that claim is hard to dispute.
Dating back to the early 1970’s, the Winnebago Minnie Class C motorhome traversed America’s highways, bound for camping destinations near & far. It was a basic, minimal frills motorhome that lasted until the 2006 model year.
Winnebago Industries has dusted off the name, but this time it’s on one of their new towables. The Minnie travel trailer offers floor plans ranging from 19-26 feet in length, all but one having a slide out. The colors offered are white, bright lemon, and lime fiberglass exterior. These appear to be sister trailers to Winnebago’s SunnyBrook Harmony division, as the styling and floorplans are nearly identical, with the exception of the Minnie’s bold color schemes.
Currently the Winnebago website has not been updated to include the Minnie. However, RV Business reports the MSRP of the Minnie to be just under $16,000 for the entry level model. There are a few popping up for sale on rvtrader.com as well.
Pop-up camper maker SylvanSport is offering up one of their multifunctional GO campers to a lucky winner who can, in 250 words or less, describe their ultimate adventure in a GO and how they’d promote it.
The GO is a camper by nature, but has many other useful benefits, including hauling loads, bicycles, ATVs, and small watercraft. Due to its aluminum construction, the GO is extremely lightweight (840 lbs) which means it can be hauled by most 4 cylinder cars.
The top three essays will receive thousands of dollars in outdoor gear. The best essay of the three gets the gear plus a new GO, total value well over $10,000. Essay entries for the contest end May 31, 2012 and can be entered via their web site.
The weekend of May 11-13 marks the debut of the newly redesigned Serro Scotty Sportsman. It is scheduled to be introduced in Hermitage, Pennsylvania at the Shenango Valley Mall RV Show. The look of the new Sportsman has been kept under wraps, so what it will look like is known by just a handful of folks.
The 2007 Sportsman was the first model reintroduced by Serro Scotty Worldwide when it was formed in 2006. It had a more rounded look to the bodies, similar to the Sportsmans of the original era Serro Scottys of the 1960’s.
That lasted about a year. When production moved from Yoder Toder to Sierra Motor Corporation in 2008, a new body style for the Sportsman came with it, which was a little taller and had more of a squared look to it when compared to the 2007.
When I talked to Serro Scotty Worldwide’s Bill Kerola in December, he told me the new Sportsman would go back to a rounded look, but I suspect it will look different from the 2007 version. He mentioned it will have hints to the former Serro Scotty Pup, but a little larger.
If all the stars align during my return trip from the east coast this coming week, I hope to be able to come through Hermitage and get a first hand look at the show.
The Shenango Valley Mall is located at 3303 East State Street, Hermitage, PA. The show will be held outside the mall. Admission is free and hours are Friday: 12 Noon – 8:00 PM; Saturday: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM; Sunday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
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.”
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.
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
The Small Trailer Enthusiast is a home for news on small travel trailers, typically 20' or less. Here you will find info on new models, industry news relating to small trailers, and any other stories I think you might find interesting. Have some small trailer news you'd like to pass along?