Tag Archives: retro travel trailers

Little Guy Debuts Serro Scotty Line at Hershey

Beginning Wednesday, September 14 through Sunday, September 18, the annual Hershey Pennsylvania RV Show will feature the first look of the resurrected Serro Scotty family of travel trailers from Little Guy Worldwide. Today I got the lowdown and first pictures from Little Guy VP of Operations Dylan DeHoff. As well as the introduction at Hershey, Little Guy is also updating the Serro Scotty website to reflect the new models as well as introducing the new Little Guy logo.

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To some, the first wave of Serro Scotties may be a surprise, as their shape and floorplans are similar to other brands on the market. However, their plan to me makes sense. Their goal with the initial wave of Scotties will be focused on an affordable trailer that just about anyone can get into. As Dylan tells me, “We do get many calls and complaints about the teardrops being too expensive for the size offered. These first Scotty’s are built with price in mind. They are wood construction and can be built stripped of features or loaded up depending on what the dealer wants to stock. We will still be coming out with other Scotty’s that have the HiLander and Sportsman shape but we wanted to create this line of Scottys for the entry level buyer who is looking for an inexpensive camper.”

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There are some five floorplans available ranging in lengths from 17’2 up to 22’7″, including basic couples floorplans as well as bunkhouse floorplans for smaller families. The interiors mix in the modern with the classic Scotty turquoise. Dry weights will run from 2230 lbs to 3927 lbs. Additional specs can be found on the Serro Scotty Trailers website here.

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But Dylan wanted to make it clear that this first wave of Serro Scotty is just the beginning. “We are also featuring a graphic on the home page of the website which shows a cropped version of our first model with two silhouette images of what models are to come. I wanted to put that on there to give the customers an idea of what is to come. But we are really excited to offer this first Scotty as an entry level camper. We want to get the Scotty into as many people’s hands as we can so they can enjoy camping with their family. It was referred to back in the day as the “every man’s camper” and that is our goal with this first model line. Every man’s camper in terms of affordability but unique enough that you stand out from the crowd”. You can expect the 2nd wave of Scotties to be like those of the traditional HiLander (My old 2010 pictured) as well as the Sportsman. Note, these are models from previous Scotty manufacturers. I’m only offering these for reference sake.

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The entry level Scotties will be available sometime this year, and you can look for the more retro HiLander and Sportsman styles sometime by mid-2017. As for MSRP, the five initial floorplans will have a respectable MSRP ranging from $15,000 up to around $20,000. When comparing to other brands with similar floorplans, the prices for the Scotties will be right in line with some of the name brands out there. And considering the throwback color scheme the Scotties will wear, in this era of everything “retro”, I can easily see the Scotty as the choice for many.

I’ll continue to keep tabs on the Scotty through the rest of the year and into 2017 as the new models come out. Stay tuned…this is a fun time for this segment of the RV industry.

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2016 White Water Retro 177SE: Firsthand Report

Back in May, I told you of a special edition version of the White Water Retro 177 that was scheduled to hit the dealer lots in June. Through the summer, production of the 177SE has been brisk, and as of October, they’re still being produced.

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This past weekend I had the opportunity to get a firsthand tour of a 177SE, courtesy of the fine folks at Braun’s Fun Time Campers, an Indianapolis White Water Retro dealer. Since I first became aware of White Water back in 2011, I’ve paid close attention to the quality of the units, as I’ve gone on record in the past how disappointing some of the craftsmanship was early on.

DSC_0397However I began noticing great improvements in quality around 2013 and it’s been getting better ever since. The 177SE has some pop to it with the baby moon hubcaps and Coker whitewall tires. The paint schemes you can get on the 177SE are many, but I’m fond of both the red on white and the turquoise on white, both of which Fun Time Campers had on their lot that day.

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DSC_0398From a construction standpoint, all indications show the Retro is a well built unit, starting with an aluminum frame sitting on a 3500 lbs axle. The dry weight is around 2600 lbs and length is 18’6″. There are two exterior storage hatches, one on the front street side that is accessible from inside, and one hatch in the rear.

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The interior of the 177SE is well laid out. Up front there’s a dinette with sliding table that has storage underneath the booth.  It also converts to a bed for increased sleeping capacity. DSC_0381As wet baths go, the size of the 177SE’s is larger than most that I’ve seen. Comparing it to the Scotty I used to have, it’s probably about 1/3 larger, and should be more than adequate, as long as you understand a wet bath isn’t going to give you the size as a regular RV bathroom.  Next to the wet bath is a 6 cubic foot refrigerator/freezer that runs on electric or propane.

DSC_0382  DSC_0394 Across from the wet bath and refrigerator is the kitchenette, which includes a 2-burner stove, overhead microwave, sink, range, 3 drawers, 2 cabinets, and a wall mounted air conditioner. To aid with extra counter space, a flip-up counter top extension on the side next to the stove. DSC_0391

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The rear walk around island bed measures 60″ x 74″. There is plenty of storage around the bed with two wardrobes and 5 overhead cabinet doors, as well as storage underneath the bed as well. Atop the wardrobes are shelves for smaller items. Both sides have 110 electrical outlets and one side also has a combination USB and 12 volt charging outlet. There are also two LED reading lights overhead with each having its own on/off switch. DSC_0384

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What really sets off the interior is the birch wood that is along not only the walls, but up on the ceiling as well. That along with the black & white checkered floor and 1950’s era design on the dinette cushions completes what is a really well thought out interior that complements the exterior quite well.

Other key features of the 177SE include a 20 gallon fresh water tank, a 32 gallon gray water tank, a 10 gallon black water tank, and a 6 gallon DSI water heater. The floor is a stout 5/8″ thick plywood, and is supported by 4 stabilizer jacks. It’s also insulated with Radiant Barrier technology and includes a 16,000 BTU furnace.

There’s an active Facebook page for White Water Retro owners that I keep tabs on from time to time. I see very little in regards to any type of major problems with White Water products, and after spending quite a bit of time with this one this past weekend, I’d personally have no hesitation about having it for my next trailer. It’s really an ideal camper for two people. Coming from a Scotty where the bed was perpendicular to the length of the trailer, it left that unavoidable task of having to climb over my wife at night when I needed to use the bathroom. The island bed completely eliminates that and makes for a comfortable arrangement. Often times I get asked where a reproduction Serro Scotty HiLander can be found, but since they’re no longer in production, I often point those folks to the White Water Retro 177. Especially if you go with the turquoise on white, it gives you the same color scheme as the Scotty, with a similar floor plan, but with a bit more length and overall comfort.

Special thanks to Matt and Austin Braun at Braun’s Fun Time Campers for the chance to give the 177SE a look at their northeastside Indianapolis dealership. Matt’s been in the RV industry for nearly 40 years and he told me the White Water products are excellent, quality built products that haven’t come back for any type of serious issues since he first started carrying them in 2013.

For more info on the 177SE and other White Water products, check out the Riverside RVs website at http://riversidervs.net. To join other White Water Retro owners on Facebook, join the White Water Retro Trailer Owners page by clicking here.

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Update on the Winnebago Winnie Drop

One of the new trailers unveiled at last week’s dealer RV Open House in Elkhart, Indiana was the Winnebago Winnie Drop, as I first told you about on September 24 in this post. I received a batch of photos of the prototype from Winnebago towables dealer Austin Braun of Braun’s Fun Time Campers in Indianapolis.

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The Winnie Drop will come in 5 exterior colors and eventually four floor plans. In an e-mail today, Austin told me, “They have just the one floorplan built, but have 3 others on paper for the December show in Louisville. From what my rep told me they got off to a great start at the open house and received praise and, more importantly, plenty of orders from the dealers.”

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The initial floorplan, the 1780WD, will have an exterior length totaling 20’4″, a generous 6’5″ interior height, a rear 60″ x  74″ queen bed, a large front U-shaped dinette, a slide out for the kitchen, a wet bath, a dry weight of 2780 lbs, a GVWR of 3800 lbs, a 31 gallon fresh water tank, and a 25 gallon black water tank and gray water tank, as well as the usual 6 gallon water heater, all while sitting on a 3500 lbs single axle.

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20150923_110510The Winnie Drop should be available sometime early in 2016 and although an MSRP is not officially been set, Austin tells me it should be somewhere in the upper teens. I’ll provide updates as new details become available.

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White Water Retro Going More Retro

LaGrange, Indiana based Riverside RV has announced a new addition to their White Water Retro lineup. The popular 177 floor plan will be the basis for a Special Edition model that will hit dealer showrooms in the coming months. Additional features to the newly named 177SE will be a new paint scheme with three color options, whitewall tires, birch interior, upgraded LED exterior lighting,  and wheels painted to match the trailer’s color.

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Screen-Shot-2015-04-24-at-1.52.14-PMWhite Water Retro 177SE – courtesy RV Business

 This looks like it will be a very popular addition to the Retro lineup, and I’d venture to say it’s an answer for those who’ve had concerns about the 1961 Shasta Airflyte reissue’s sleeping set-up, as the White Water utilizes a rear island queen bed and front dinette.

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I’ve got a call out to Bob Taulbee of Riverside RV, so once I get more info, I’ll post it here. Stay tuned!

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A look at the Bowlus Road Chief

The Bowlus Road Chief. In the history of travel trailers, the Road Chief might possibly be one of the most iconic trailers ever built. Built by Charles Lindbergh’s “Spirit of St. Louis” Superintendent of Construction, Hawley Bowlus, the Road Chief had much of the same construction methods of airplanes of the early part of the 20th century when it first debuted in 1934. However, it took Wally Byam to take control of Bowlus’ struggling company, and in 1936 rename the Road Chief the Airstream Clipper, which ultimately put Byam’s Airstream on the map for generations to come.

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Now in 2013, a new version of the Road Chief is back in production. Owner and designer John Long started building the Road Chief in 2013 after a 10 year restoration of his own 1935 Road Chief.  The new Road Chief looks as vintage as it gets on the outside, but the interior is anything but that. Creature comforts on the inside include a private “stateroom” in the rear of the trailer that features a king bed that converts to two twin beds, a full size 6 foot sofa with storage drawers underneath, birch interior, 120 watt portable solar panel, separate dinette, 3′ X 5′ bathroom with shower & cassette toilet, 2-burner stove, 3 cubic foot refrigerator, microwave, and as they say “much, much more”.

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However, the exterior is as close to the original version as it could get. Like the original Road Chiefs, the 2013 version also boasts aircraft grade aluminum that is riveted and bonded. And of course it wouldn’t be a Road Chief if it didn’t have its distinctive front entry door (with screen door) on the front of the trailer.

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The 2013 Road Chief checks in at 2800 lbs and just over 23′ long. However, the hitch and bumper are removable, which makes it possible to store one in a 20′ garage, although the 7’10” height would require a minimum 8′ door. The 6’4″ interior head room also makes it comfortable for most.

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Built in Ventura County, California, the Road Chief isn’t for every pocketbook. There is no dealer network and the $1500 reserve is just a fraction of the $100,000 price tag. However, for those with the means, the Bowlus Road Chief is a trailer that will garner the attention of everyone at the campground, and one that will send you back in time.

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To find out more about the Road Chief, visit their website at http://bowlusroadchief.com, or their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/BowlusRoadChief

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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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