Any place for a new manufacturer in the industry ? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-26-2017, 06:52 AM   #1
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Any place for a new manufacturer in the industry ?

Do you think we could see a new player emerge soon in this industry of fiberglass or composite trailer a bit like Tesla did with electrical cars.?
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Old 02-26-2017, 07:15 AM   #2
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We have actually seen quite a few new players over the last few years: Happier Camper, Nest, Relic, and Armadillo. Going back a little further, but still relatively new compared to the "old guard" Scamp and Casita: Parkliner, Lil Snoozy, Oliver, and EggCamper.

A number incorporate innovations, including use of structural honeycomb fiberglass that eliminates wood (Lil Snoozy, Oliver, Happier Camper, Nest, and- I believe- Parkliner 2.0). Nest is a monocoque design.

Unlike the automotive industry, there has been a steady trickle of new molded fiberglass companies entering the market. The RV industry is very cyclical, so only the strongest survive the downturns, and new ones pop up during the booms. Only Escape (2001) has made an appreciable impact on the market as a whole. The others are low volume, one-model, specialty manufacturers (Oliver has two models).

Most are like Tesla in one respect: they eschew the dealer distribution model in favor of factory-direct sales. Of course, they lack the resources and margins to set up glitzy showrooms in upscale malls.
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Old 02-26-2017, 09:03 AM   #3
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Is there room for a new manufacturer?

Well said, Jon. I would just add that most of the current manufacturers are running at capacity, which is much better for survival than excess capacity. Airstream/Nest is ramping up. They have the potential to add significant capacity, but their price point will be a factor.
It is hard for me to imagine big makers like Forest River have not noticed the swarm of flies building Fiberglass eggs.
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Old 02-26-2017, 09:20 AM   #4
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It is hard for me to imagine big makers like Forest River have not noticed the swarm of flies building Fiberglass eggs.
My previous trailer was an A frame. At the time there were two competing manufacturers, Aliner in the east and Chalet in the west. Now there are trailers made by Rockwood and Flagstaff, both Forest River. Some have argued that the lower cost direct sales model the current egg manufacturers use has kept the big boys out, but with Parkliner going to a dealer network it may only be a matter of time before we see a Forest River egg.
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Old 02-26-2017, 09:26 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by MikeCanada View Post
Do you think we could see a new player emerge soon in this industry of fiberglass or composite trailer a bit like Tesla did with electrical cars.?
Like Tesla? Do you mean a battery powered Taurus "look-a-like" with government subsidies and a $100,000 price tag?

I saw a Tesla in Sebring with Ohio plates. I assumed it must have been trailered there behind a bulgemobile. How could you drive it from Ohio to Florida?

One advantage would be free charging at Campgrounds for your Tesla Towed.
Imagine what a battery powered bulgemobile would do to campground rates!
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Old 02-26-2017, 09:41 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
We have actually seen quite a few new players over the last few years: Happier Camper, Nest, Relic, and Armadillo. Going back a little further, but still relatively new compared to the "old guard" Scamp and Casita: Parkliner, Lil Snoozy, Oliver, and EggCamper.
Great post, but I must add Escape, which appears to be the most successful relative newcomer. They have also been a leader in taking the the genre off the reservation by continuously increasing the size.
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Old 02-26-2017, 09:52 AM   #7
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There's another new kind being made in Cambridge, England now with plans to expand to America "soon." It's 16' has a bed/dinette, nicely-done kitchenette with sink and 2-burner stove (both with lift up cover lids) and a bathroom, which wasn't shown. Propane, etc. More rounded than some; shower pan is set below floor level for better head clearance...very egg-like from outside. Several colors of paint and upholstery and you can even get some interior items in colors to match yourchosen theme. It was one of the quiet little ads between the thread and this reply box.


We're seeing prices on new models going up and up for the various eggs.


What worries me is the number of trailers sold vs the number of campsites out there. Seems like they're overloading the capacities! But then I think we've seen threads about this before.


Also another new manufacturer here in WA-- the Relic. It's way cool with fins and retro touches everywhere-- 50s or even 40s looking. Again, choice of several colors.


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Old 02-26-2017, 11:20 AM   #8
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Relic Trailers

Kai, I thought you were pulling our leg about the new manufacturer in Washington making the 'Relic', but it's true.

Very cool, vintage-looking trailers. The interiors are beautifully done with total wood walls and cabinets. Take a peak:

Relic Custom Trailers | Build Your Dream VIntage Trailer


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Old 02-26-2017, 12:39 PM   #9
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Fran, thanks for the link--
Would I pull your leg about an egg?
Never!~!


South Prairie, WA...perhaps one could go have a look if one called them first and made arrangements.


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Old 02-26-2017, 12:51 PM   #10
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Carbon fiber?

Having driven a formula road racing car I wonder if and of the FB trailer folks would consider using carbon fiber in their molds as a much strong and much lighter construction. A honeycomb approach with two thin CF layers with a matrix of insulation would be very strong and light, albeit more costly.

Pondering a "Tesla" like start up idea for someone.
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Old 02-26-2017, 01:19 PM   #11
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The Relic is very attractive and very appealing. But if I read right it comes with bathroom OR kitchen. Sorry, but I would want both.

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Old 02-26-2017, 01:23 PM   #12
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One drawback of egg manufacturers running at capacity

One drawback of being at capacity is that they lack incentives to update their products. Why fiddle with carbon fiber, honeycomb, different molds or components if you can avoid capital costs of development? If backlogs disappear, then more likely. They probably regret that these don't rot.

By The Way, This may be the new one in Great Britain:
They look innovative. I wish someone would license the design for U.S.
Barefoot Caravan - Barefoot Caravans
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Old 02-26-2017, 01:54 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by BatDude View Post
Having driven a formula road racing car I wonder if and of the FB trailer folks would consider using carbon fiber in their molds as a much strong and much lighter construction. A honeycomb approach with two thin CF layers with a matrix of insulation would be very strong and light, albeit more costly.

Pondering a "Tesla" like start up idea for someone.
With 6 pounds of CF costing $1200 in a bicycle frame. the "Tesla" comparison may well be apt.
Even with the lightest possible trailer, where do you attach the hitch on an F1? Should be fun though apexing the ramps onto I-80W!
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Old 02-26-2017, 01:59 PM   #14
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Escape puts the lie to your "drawback" comment. Escape had over a one year back-order time frame. Their solution was not to retrench but to invest in expansion and continue their very flexible build options. So far it's being very successful.

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