Chat with the inventor of the PLAYPAC - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-01-2008, 12:30 AM   #1
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Just found this site and soooo happy to see that my dream/reality still lives on. All those PP owners who want to learn more about the PP's conception and birth and share their experiences are welcome.
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Old 11-01-2008, 06:37 AM   #2
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Welcome Steven. Why not start the discussion by telling us some of the history? Inquiring mind want to know
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Old 11-01-2008, 12:56 PM   #3
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Donna, Back in 1971 I was a Volkswagen dealer. I had many customers who were trading in big cars for a VW who loved trailering and could not find a solid wall trailer light enough to be towed by a BUG. Of course there were light weight collapsible camping trailers available. I did market research and determined that there was a sufficient market to explore. I found the Boler then being built in Winnepeg and negotiated for the rights to build and sell it in the U.S. When the terms became too onerous I decided to start from scratch. I hired a well established industrial designer, Toshiko Sako,and the rest is history. I will discuss in future epistles the building, marketing, distribution and its demise if there is sufficient interest.
Steve
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Old 11-01-2008, 01:42 PM   #4
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Steven, Thanks for posting! There are many people who are interested in the history of these little trailers in general, and I'm sure there are several who either have a Playpac, used to have a Playpac, or wish they could lay their hands on one. How absolutely cool that you are around and willing to share your experiences!
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Old 11-01-2008, 01:51 PM   #5
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Mary, it will be fun sharing my experiences with all those who love white eggs.
Steve


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Steven, Thanks for posting! There are many people who are interested in the history of these little trailers in general, and I'm sure there are several who either have a Play Pac, used to have a Play Pac, or wish they could lay their hands on one. How absolutely cool that you are around and willing to share your experiences!
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Old 11-01-2008, 04:05 PM   #6
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Steven, you are a treasure!

There have been many times I have fantasized about interviewing the creator of my trailer, the Fiber Stream. Your story would be just as compelling. Being a Dealer for an automotive company must have given you an interesting business perspective. I have known inventor types who might have tried to build something and then fail selling it. It interests me that you had sales expertise, and went out to hire a designer, with maybe greater success. I am interested in your learning experiences along the way, and how you overcame obstacles. The Playpac is so different from the Boler. How did you choose that design?
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Old 11-01-2008, 07:33 PM   #7
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I posted something similar to this a short time ago. I often wonder how the original members of the manufacturing team appreciate that the fruits of their labour are still being enjoyed. I also wonder if there's bitterness that this support didn't exist in sufficient quantities when the trailers were originally produced.

So many questions are forming, but I would mostly just like to say thank you. Your efforts helped spawn a special way of looking at the out-doors.
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Old 11-01-2008, 07:48 PM   #8
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Steven, Welsome and yes do tell us more, I don't have a PlayPac but I'm always interested in the History of any trailer. I think anyone here would like to hear it from the Horse's Mouth. Thanks for joining in
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Old 11-02-2008, 12:21 AM   #9
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Frederick, when I commissioned the Industrial Designor he was given the following guidelines: It must be light enough to be towed by a VW bug, Have a private bathroom, be able to sleep up to 6, have an ultra modern design(for 1971). He determined that it would be based on a fiberglass body. He first presented drawings of possible designs. When the final design was picked he built a 2 foot scale model. We started attending RV and auto dealer shows with the scale model and based on the super reception we decided to go ahead and build a life size model. The story will take many more messages and I will continue the history as my time permits.
Steve



Quote:
Steven, you are a treasure!

There have been many times I have fantasized about interviewing the creator of my trailer, the Fiber Stream. Your story would be just as compelling. Being a Dealer for an automotive company must have given you an interesting business perspective. I have known inventor types who might have tried to build something and then fail selling it. It interests me that you had sales expertise, and went out to hire a designer, with maybe greater success. I am interested in your learning experiences along the way, and how you overcame obstacles. The Playpac is so different from the Boler. How did you choose that design?
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Old 11-02-2008, 12:27 AM   #10
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Paul, I have no bitterness. The Playpac was very well received and sales were flourishing in the Eastern half of the U.S when the Arab oil embargo helped put us out of business. It was just a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, something that I had no control over. The day before the embargo we had approximately 23 dealers (RV and VW dealers) I believed we shipped about 75 trailers before the embargo.
Steve


Quote:
I posted something similar to this a short time ago. I often wonder how the original members of the manufacturing team appreciate that the fruits of their labour are still being enjoyed. I also wonder if there's bitterness that this support didn't exist in sufficient quantities when the trailers were originally produced.

So many questions are forming, but I would mostly just like to say thank you. Your efforts helped spawn a special way of looking at the out-doors.
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Old 11-02-2008, 05:24 AM   #11
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I own a stripped down PlayPac and I'm busy refitting it. One of 75. That's a neat tidbit to know. Please do continue your story.

There are, I think 5 other PlayPac owners on this board. And I know of at least one other owner. So we are approaching 10% still in use.
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Old 11-02-2008, 05:39 AM   #12
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Maybe we ought to try to find a PlayPac. We have a '69 Beetle that we hope to take to a VW show some day. We already have a trophy we got when we showed our Eurovan pulling our renovated Burro.

Thanks, Steve, for your willingness to share. We currently own a 16' UHaul trailer. Over on uhaulcamper, we had someone like you drop in. I think we scared him away with all our questions. He answer a couple and then did not return. But it was still great to talk to someone who, while he did not design the trailer like you, worked on the original ones. Being both a VW and fiberglass owner, I am enjoying your posts.

CindyL
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Old 11-02-2008, 06:26 AM   #13
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Steven (and anybody else who is new here), you may have seen it already, but we have an ongoing topic called Egg History - Boler Descendants, Can You Fill In the Blanks? that you might find interesting. It's 7 pages long, and I only made it through page 3 (for now). Not sure if the Playpac is represented or not, but we need to add it to the timeline.



Or, maybe I misunderstand??? Is the Playpac ineligible for that list because it was a new design? (Aren't all these things Boler descendants?)
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Old 11-02-2008, 06:54 AM   #14
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Sir, the old brochure said it could be configured to sleep 6. How was that done? No kitchen?
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