Brookfield, Wisconsin based REV Recreation Group announced today plans to add an assembly plant and component warehouse in Decatur, Indiana for its Lance Camper line of travel trailers.
“With the growing interest in and demand for travel trailers, our Decatur facilities will help to better serve those dealers in the Midwest and in the East,” said Mike Lanciotti,president, REV Recreation Group. “Adams County is known for its loyal and diligent workforce, many with expertise in RV manufacturing; we look forward to more employees joining the Lance team.”
This expansion will create more than 100 jobs in Adams County with initial recruiting expected to begin in early April.Preliminary startup is planned for July, with production ramp-up to follow for six to eight months.
Lance received support both from Adams County and the Indiana Economic Develop Corporation in the form of property tax abatements and incentive-based tax credits. Tax credits are performance-based, meaning the company is eligible to claim incentives once Hoosiers are hired.
“As the RV Capital of the World, Indiana offers a business-friendly climate and skilled workforce for a variety of RV and camper manufacturers to increase production and meet rising demand of Hoosiers wanting to explore,” said Ann Lathrop, executive vice president of global investments for the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. “We’re excited Lance Camper has chosen to expand operations in Indiana and look forward to supporting the company’s continued growth.”
Located just 20 miles south of Indiana’s second largest city, Fort Wayne, Lance will join one of REV’s other brands in Decatur, Fleetwood RV, makers of motor homes Bounder, Discovery, Southwind, Pace Arrow, and others.
The addition of Lance manufacturing trailer in the eastern half of the United States should be good news for dealers in this part of the country. Currently Lance’s manufacturing facility is in Lancaster, California, and shipping trailers to the east coast adds a good chunk of change to the cost. This should help ease some of those costs.
Having owned a teardrop trailer for a couple of years, I’ve got somewhat of a baseline to gauge others. I always thought mine was a well-built, solid unit that was put together well and one I felt confident in recommending to others. I found out this week I was quite naive on what a well-built, solid teardrop was. That’s because I met this.
The RŎG 12RK is the initial offering by Elkhart, Indiana based Encore RV. Encore RV founder, Rich Schnippel has over 20 years of experience in the motorsports/cargo trailer, RV, and marine industry. Schnippel has worked for some of the top manufacturers in the industry including ATC (The Aluminum Trailer Company) and inTech Trailers/RV. After parting ways with inTech in August of 2019 he waited out a non-compete and then formed Encore RV.
“This was an opportunity to create some incredible products,” Schnippel stated, “I’ve always been passionate about developing new products and building brands.”
The RŎG utilizes an all-aluminum frame construction that was designed, engineered, and built in-house at Encore RV. The entire camper is 100% wood-free. The floors, walls and ceiling utilize lightweight composite materials instead of the wood you will find in traditional campers. This not only saves weight, it also will not rot, mildew, or promote the growth of mold that can occur in campers using wood-based materials. Simply put, this is a trailer that will last for generations.
Starting with the frame, Encore chose aluminum instead of steel to eliminate rust and corrosion as the unit ages. The frame chassis, walls and roof utilizes Encore’s exclusive Tri-Bond Construction. The components are first assembled together with an industrial adhesive, mechanically fastened and then welded, creating a bullet proof yet lightweight cage frame.
The RŎG features lightweight aluminum cabinets that are CNC laser cut, formed and then powder coated. I was very impressed with these in the galley. They had excellent fit and finish, opened and closed without a hint of struggle, and were quite spacious.
While we’re back there, let’s talk about the galley. It’s a very well thought-out design with everything you need to get your supper ready. The sink and range are the perfect size for this layout, which allows a nice center section between the two for excellent space for food prep.
Below the counter you have a microwave and handy bottle opener, and below the sink you find storage that stretches to the back wall, amongst the sink plumbing, which actually you won’t find taking up hardly any of that area like you’ll see on most RVs. Above the counter you’ll find two cubbies for more storage, which is centered around two stereo speakers, and a spice rack on the left wall. I like the little attention to detail back here with the addition of the rounded trapezoids integrated in the two cubbies and the spice rack. It gives you some handy spots to hang some hooks for your utensils when you’ve got your campsite set up, which allow you to maximize your counter space.
To the right of the sink, you’ll find a spacious 12 volt, 3.3 cubic foot refrigerator/freezer, which sits below a generously sized cabinet with a handy automatic interior light. Want a little shade and shelter from the elements while you’re back there? You can opt for the awning package, which includes a rear awning that measures 4′ 7″ wide X 6′ 7″ deep.
Moving to the living quarters, the interior of the RŎG exceeds expectations. With most teardrop style trailers, you have just a mattress to lay on. However, the RŎG features a 60″ X 80″ futon/mattress with 8″ thick posture foam. You have the option of sitting on it as a futon during the day, and then fold it out at night for a true queen size bed.
The back interior wall features overhead storages that covers the full width of the interior, complemented with LED lighting as well as two LED reading lights, two corner shelves, and both 120 volt and USB outlets.
Opposite the back wall, the front interior wall displays a recessed TV cabinet with an aluminum wall backer. And for that TV, your power is ready for it with 120V receptacle, 12V receptacle, and HDMI & Cable Outlets. To the right of the TV you’ll find an AM/FM/bluetooth stereo with HDMI input to TV with two speakers below the TV cabinet. You may also notice between those two speakers a couple of vents. Those are for the 8,000 BTU LP furnace with wall mounted thermostat. A propane furnace in a teardrop style trailer is nearly unheard of, but that coupled with the RŎG‘s Radiant Barrier insulation make it a trailer you can camp in in nearly any climate.
To the left of the TV cabinet you’ll find a nice sized cabinet (more like a mini closet) as well as two cubbies above the TV. It’s also in the cabinet where you’ll find the power converter and breaker panel for the RŎG‘s 30 amp service.
Moving to the exterior, the RŎG features fiberglass exterior sidewalls and roof, which is one piece and seamless. On that roof, you’ll find a 12 volt power roof vent and an optional 11,500 BTU low profile air conditioner, which will be more than adequate to keep you cool on those hot days. Also optional is the Roof Rack System with four 74″ crossbars, allowing you to carry multiple items of varying size while traveling.
A cool feature you’ll find on all four corners of the RŎG are 12 volt power ports each with interior switches.
The options for connecting 12 volt devices is limitless with this feature, but I suspect additional lighting would be one of the most popular choices.
On the front right side, there’s ample exterior storage for tools and other camping hardware. And below that is a removable floor that houses the 12 volt battery…and room enough for two for extended off the grid camping. As an option, you can go for the 12 volt AGM deep cycle battery with 90 Amp hours.
A feature on the RŎG that will really open the eyes of boondockers is the 38 gallon fresh water tank. You read that right. 38 gallons! It sits above the frame near the rear of the trailer. The fill neck for it is on the left rear side with a city water connection next to it, so you’re covered for water either way. And to clean off, you’ve got a hand-held shower head with hose. The RŎG is also equipped with a 12 volt water pump to get the water from the fresh water tank to both the shower and the galley sink when not on a city water connection.
The RŎG sits on a 2500 lbs torsion axle with ST235/75R15 load range C all-terrain tires, including the spare and electric brakes. With those tires, that creates an impressive 13 3/4” ground clearance. Overall height of the RŎG varies from a maximum of 81 1/4” if you option in the roof rack system to a low of 74” if you don’t option in the A/C or roof rack.
Some other key specs include a dry weight of 1,985 lbs as optioned. That coupled with the 2500 lbs axle gives you around a 500 lbs cargo capacity. Overall length from hitch to tail is 15’, with a box length of 11’10”. Overall width (including fenders) is 7’11”, and box width is 6’ 3/4”, making it a comfortable “6-wide”. Interior dimensions include a 4’ interior height, and floor length of 6’8”, which is also the length of the mattress when in bed configuration. Interior width comes out to 69 1/2”.
Choice of Exterior Graphics Color – Red, Blue or Grey (No Cost)
There are plans to develop 7 RŎG models that will range in size from a very small, lightweight utilitarian camper up to larger floorplans offered in both a toy hauler and traditional camper configurations. When asked about other products that Encore RV will be developing, Schnippel explained, “We have already started the design process of our next two product lines and we’re pretty excited at what we will be developing. So, to speak, we’re looking to break the mold on what’s already been done and bring some unique and exciting products to the marketplace!”
I’ve see a lot of trailers of all shapes and sizes in the nearly 11 years of doing this website, and I have to say the RŎG has left an impression on me of a trailer that’s tough as nails that will last not only your lifetime, but likely several generations. For those of you whose camping style meshes with what the RŎG has to offer, you’d be hard pressed to find one in this price point that offers this much. As for price point, this unit I looked over at Mount Comfort RV was fully loaded and checked in at time of inspection with an MSRP of $27,000. But when you compare other manufacturers and compare features, you’ll see the value.
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?