Tag Archives: teardrop trailers

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.

Little-Guy-Logo-large Serro_Scotty_logo-660x330

“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.

4355299164_4810ac292f_z

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.

$_3

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.

IMG_1571[1]

(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.

7771186402_bdd50b59ba

(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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

14 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

In 6 Short Years…

It was this afternoon in 2009 when I hitched up our brand new red 2010 T@B, “Cherry Bomb”, and headed for our first camping trip, a weekend trip to Summit Lake State Park near New Castle, Indiana. We had the T@B for about a month, but when we bought it, I had to borrow my dad’s truck to haul it from Tiara RV in Elkhart, Indiana to Indianapolis. You see, we didn’t have a tow vehicle when we bought it. And the reason we didn’t? Prior to September 2009, we weren’t RVers, let alone campers.

3936811843_298bd1ce8c_z

Buying a teardrop trailer was something we always wanted to do, and I always had an interest in the “Airstream of teardrops”, the Camp-Inn. I spent many a night in the mid 2000’s browsing their website and thinking “one day” we’d be in a position to get one. In 2009 when we saw our first T@B while in Missouri one weekend, the following Wednesday we made a deal over the phone with Tiara RV on one of a few T@Bs they had left, as then manufacturer Dutchmen had ceased production of the T@B about a month prior. Sight unseen, other than the pictures on their website, we took the plunge and bought it without having anything to tow it with. 4023631479_90de42e073_zOur first priority was to get it and get it home. After that, I found a high mileage 1997 GMC Sierra that fit our budget, so we were set. And the fact the Sierra was red too was icing on the cake. By the time I replaced the rusting hitch on it, we were ready for our first camping trip. That happened on this day in 2009. We were on a T@B online forum on Yahoo Groups when we found out a small group of T@B owners were meeting for the weekend at Summit Lake State Park. We decided this would be a great way to meet other owners and for them to educate us on what we had. It was a rainy afternoon when we arrived, but we were met with open arms. We got a tutorial on how to set up our awning and we ourselves got an indoctrination into the “process” of camping, because when you’re new at camping, there are a lot of new processes to learn.

4023631603_1695692a97_o

4023631685_47dbbd7ce2_o

That weekend started a new way of life for us. We’ve made more new and close friends than I can count and that purchase has opened more doors than I ever imagined it would. I never thought that chilly weekend in October that 6 years later I’d be reminiscing about it on a website dedicated to small travel trailers I created that nearly 2,000 people visit a day either. If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you already have a trailer, but if you don’t and need a life change, you won’t find a better way to change it.

 

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Little Guy Featured in FOX Reality Show

Little Guy Worldwide has jumped into the national spotlight with the debut of a new FOX network reality show called “Home Free”, which airs Wednesday nights at 9pm ET.

The premise of the show involves a competition between eight different families who are renovating homes in the Atlanta area, with guidance by contractor Mike Holmes. While they’re on location, the families are living in Silver Shadow teardrop trailers by Little Guy.7734505778_fbf9d47653

(photo courtesy http://golittleguy.com)

Chris Baum of Little Guy Worldwide has been making the rounds promoting the show and Little Guy’s participation. He was here in Indianapolis where he spoke with affiliate FOX59 at their studios (Hey Chris, don’t forget your friends at The Small Trailer Enthusiast the next time you’re in town! :-D).

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

New Canadian Teardrop Manufacturer Emerges

Often times I’ll search the internet to add manufacturers that build travel trailers, pop-ups, teardrops, and fiberglass trailers to our Manufacturers page. And sometimes, those manufacturers come to me. I’ll go ahead and add them with little fanfare, but when Craig Elliott of Sun-Fun Campers contacted me this week, I felt compelled to put them on the “big stage” with a post.

securedownload

Sun-Fun Campers is a new…as of 2015 new…teardrop trailer manufacturer in Warman, Saskatchewan. Canada. Craig told me in an e-mail, “It appears that we are the only manufacturer of teardrop trailers in western Canada and we are hoping to grow the trend of teardrop trailers in Canada, as there are very few ever spotted here.”

10421469_834517373279684_3174268329065631874_n

Sun-Fun is so new that they don’t even have a website up…yet. “We do not have a website, but are currently developing one. We are on Facebook and wanted to make you aware that we are now in full production”, Craig tells me. Once Sun-Fun gets their website up & running, I’ll post a link on the Manufacturers page. Until then, for those of you on Facebook, be sure to give them a “like” and check them out for those of you in western Canada in the market for a teardrop. A link to their Facebook page with contact info can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/sunfuncampers

10898285_834516413279780_5105982633746518207_n

 

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Manufacturer’s Update: Little Guy Worldwide

Fresh off the heels of the highly successful “Rolling Home” rally for T@Bs and Little Guy teardrops, Little Guy Worldwide VP of Sales Dylan DeHoff tells us things are are moving along very well with the Ohio based teardrop trailer manufacturer. First, total sales of all models are up a whopping 130% from 2012, with nearly 1,500 units to be produced in 2013.

DSC_0677

Look for upgrades in the T@B for 2014. Among them is the addition of the Alde 110-LP Water Heater & Central Heating unit, which replaces both the furnace and water heater with the one single unit. Benefits of the Alde unit is that it distributes heat evenly around, is extremely quiet, has programmable controls, and has a 93% efficiency equivalent. Starting in 2014, this will be the standard heating device in T@Bs.

cutaway_3010_169

Other changes for 2014 include

  • S and CS-S Models:  Equipped with 6 gallon black tank in addition to 19 gallon gray.
  • Italian SMEV Stove. Inset, Hinged 2 Burner stove with Glass Cover
  • Electric Brakes replace hydraulic brakes

smev_inbuilt_stove

Coming some time in September will be the introduction of two new models: The T@G and the myPod. There’s no indication yet what the T@G will look like, but as Dylan tells it, “It’s a true “tweener” between the T@B and the Little Guy, with modern, T@B-inspired, European lines.” There currently aren’t any images available of the T@G, however Dutchmen also created a T@G around 2009 that never advanced any farther than the prototype stage, which was really nothing more than a teardrop trailer without any kind of galley. So right now there isn’t enough info to warrant a guess as to whether or not this is what it’ll look like.

1996777_tab1

As for the myPod, I think it’s safe to say what it’ll look like, as Little Guy gave a sneak peak on their Facebook page back in February. The myPod will have a “futuristic”, 100% fiberglass molded, rear loading galley-free design. It will be available in several colors including the option to match a particular paint code. It will also boast an optional roof rack, entertainment center, and air conditioning unit.

488017_421807161237017_420344498_n

As always, we’ll have more on all of this info as it develops.

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

A Look at Whetzel Trace Travelers…

It was January 2010 when I first met Dan Sutton. I was a relatively new owner of a T@B and  heard some local teardrop trailer owners were gathering at Mounds State Park in Anderson, Indiana for a weekend camping event affectionately known as “Shiveree”.  For those who aren’t too familiar with the climate of central Indiana in the middle of January, things can get downright cold….ice cold!

My better half would not entertain the notion of cold weather camping, so I made this trip solo. Upon my arrival and set-up, Dan was the first “regular” to make his way over to introduce himself. It was a good “ice breaker” for me, as I had not camped with any of these folks before. My only interaction with them was through an online forum for teardrops & tiny trailers.

It wasn’t long into our conversation that I found out that Dan was not only a teardrop enthusiast, but he was also a builder. Dan’s trailer for the weekend was a relatively new 2009 teardrop that he had built, checking in at 5′ X 9′.

Since I’m the kind of guy that could put all of my skill of building a trailer in a thimble, it wasn’t hard for me to be impressed with Dan’s work. Plus, his Route 66 themed curtains were made of the same material as a shirt I had, so that scored big points with me. That, coupled with a turquoise boomerang Formica counter top in the galley, made this teardrop one worth having.

Dan’s been an outdoorsman practically all of his life, thanks to parents that introduced him to camping at a young age and then progressing through scouts. It was his time in the scouts where Dan got the inspiration for the name of his trailer business: Whetzel Trace Travelers. Jacob Whetzel was a pioneer in Indiana in the early 1800s and cut a trail across south central Indiana, later known as Whetzel’s Trace. Dan’s scout troop was part of the Whetzel Trace district, so as a tribute to his scouting days and to Jacob Whetzel,  he incorporated the name in his business in Greenwood, Indiana.

Ironically, Dan has a floundering economy to thank for becoming a full time teardrop trailer builder and vintage trailer repair specialist. “It was a hobby at first, but as the economy faltered, so did my primary business of home repair. But my campers started selling and it became full time”. It was at an outdoor show when he first saw a teardrop trailer at a display. “I knew I would somehow end up with one. After building my first one, many friends and family members asked for me to build them one as well”, Dan tells us. That was in 2004 and 16 trailers ago.

Dan still has plans to gradually expand his business. “Growth plans are in flux, as I have been getting a lot of calls regarding restored vintage campers, which I do also. But, I currently still work out of a small shop, and as most business’ needs grow, I too am looking for a larger shop and maybe even a store front”.

One of the advantages Dan has as a “mom & pop” trailer business is that he’s able to offer several designs, most to suit customer needs. And to ensure each trailer he builds gets the attention it deserves, he only works on one trailer at a time and doesn’t start another one until his current build is completed.

His designs vary quite a bit from each other. Contrasting his black 2009 (which has since been sold) is probably his signature trailer: The 2007 “Touring Lodge”, built of redwood and cedar…and a few antlers:

But the options don’t stop there. Dan is especially fond of the Kit Manufacturing teardrops, and has restored vintage Kits from the 1940’s…

and has built Kit clones as well:

Dan’s work as a trailer builder hasn’t gone unnoticed. In 2010, the Touring Lodge was voted Best Custom Built Teardrop at the East Coast Nationals in Virginia. But as good as his work as a builder is, his abilities in restoration are just as impressive, as evidenced by the before & after photos of this 1970 Yukon:

Here’s a brief TV segment from WTIU in Bloomington, Indiana, featuring Dan starting at the 3:40 mark, discussing the 1947 Kit, as well as another homebuilt model owned by Kurt Schlesselman:

Dan’s skills, as well as his flexibilities in customer needs, make him a rare commodity in the teardrop & small trailer business. Whether you want a modern style teardrop built, a vintage style teardrop built, or have a vintage teardrop or smaller trailer (pre-1975)  that needs restoration, Whetzel Trace Travelers can handle the job. Scout’s honor!

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized