Nest Caravans — Building a new FG trailer, step by step - Page 39 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-13-2015, 08:46 AM   #533
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So are you saying that with your process the walls are stronger than conventional f/g units.?
When drilling through your walls there is less ragged tears due to less brittleness? Interesting build. I would assume your units would be more practical to those near the ocean and exposed to salt water, no frame to rust. Plus with cleaner holes, less chances for leaks caused by poor sealants.A lot of positive results to your process.
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Old 06-13-2015, 09:12 AM   #534
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I have a contractor friend who is retired now. He would build one - two high quality homes each year. He would use plywood instead of OSB, 50 year shingles instead of the cheap ones, Anderson Window.... Etc. I asked why he didn't build more and his response was something like this... Most people are not willing to pay for quality, they just want the house to look nice.

Innovation and quality comes at a price!
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Old 06-13-2015, 09:12 AM   #535
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Jim,

Rusting frames could be a small problem. It's obvious from the rust durability of cars that steel can be painted for the long term.
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Old 06-13-2015, 09:17 AM   #536
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I truly think you do have a marketable concept, Robert. Turning your efforts towards marketing, now that the production planning is done, will certainly help sales.

Not sure if you remember, but when you first announced the concept, my first question was whether you would be building a bigger model in the future. I think if you used this same construction, and built a larger trailer, say in the 20' plus range, you would draw the attention of a larger segment of the buying crowd, as most folks paying this amount of money, would be looking for more room for the money. Look at Escape for example, having now dropped their 13, then 15 foot models, as the costs to build those are marginally less then the 17 foot model, which offers more for the buck. Yes, it does eliminate a few tow vehicles, but very few. I know I was looking at their 17, right at the time Reace announced the 19, and was all over that. Since then they have offered two even larger units, and the popularity of those immediately soared.

Oliver is another example, as since they started offering the 22', it seems like that has been the bulk of their sales. For me, They also are comparable, as they offer an upgraded fit and finish compared to most other FG brands. For me personally, if you had a similar sized and priced Nest, I would definitely go for the Nest for the way it is built, and the better looks. I much prefer the warm wood cabinets you have incorporated, and the smooth simplistic look of the design.

I wish you all the best into the future. I love the concept and the thought that went into the planning, as well as the finishing with much better than industry standard product.
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Old 06-13-2015, 09:24 AM   #537
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Being the owner of a LiL Snoozy. I can testify to the quality and strength of the vacuum infusion method. Some people are willing to pay a little more for quality. This looks like a nice product. I believe with a little marketing it will sell. LiL Snoozy has sold quite a few of their trailers and yours is similar. Blessings!



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Old 06-13-2015, 10:23 PM   #538
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Robert, I side with several others - don't wait for customers to come to you, get a couple Nest campers out where your prospective customers are hanging out - at the rallies - where people who live and breath camping can crawl around inside and out, see the quality and compare to other campers at the rally. Seasoned rally participants saying, "Did you see the Nest in the next loop over? Let's go take a look at it!" will create a real buzz in the camping world. There is another high-end manufacturer who has arranged for a retired couple to travel around in one of their models and hit as many rallies as they can. They reserve a very visible campsite near a high-traffic area, the camper is always available for tours, they know the details of the camper inside and out from a user's perspective, and they have a stack of company business cards to give away with photo of the camper (to spark their memory of it), website and phone number of the manufacturer. I'm not sure how many units the company actually sells as a result of such direct marketing, but it caught our attention, we took a tour, and we came away impressed and wishing we had a rich uncle. Even if you currently have only one Nest to show, I think it would serve you far better to have it at a rally where everyone there can see it rather than having it sit in your showroom hoping maybe someone will stop by to look at it. Besides, if a prospective customer comes by your the factory, you've still got the process and various components to show them the quality and construction. And if the showroom is empty, they would likely appreciate the fact that the Nest is out doing what it was made to do - camping. Get your Nest out to the rallies and real world camp settings where real camping enthusiasts are and where they can see it, touch it, smell it. That's the only way to get real world feedback and then decide if you need to change your course. By the way, have you spent a weekend camping in your Nest? Don't forget to "take time to smell the roses".... Dale
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Old 06-14-2015, 09:20 PM   #539
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Robert, Just another thought - let Donna D (highly respected on this forum; lives there in Oregon) take a Nest out for a weekend to run it through it's paces and give you some honest, unfiltered feedback on functionality and value. If she's willing, she, as much as anyone, could sure enough give you a list of what, if anything, might still need more thinking or tweaking for your target market. (Donna D, I hope you don't mind me name-dropping....)
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Old 06-14-2015, 09:45 PM   #540
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Thanks for the vote of confidence Dale, but Robert knows me. I hope he'll bring the Nest to Fall NOG. We have folks attending from many different states and Canada. It will be THEIR impressions that they take home and talk about that will build the Nest reputation. If I was retired, I'd happily take Nest on a country-wide/rally tour. But, I think Robert will figure out what works best for him and his company.
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Old 06-14-2015, 10:00 PM   #541
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Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
Thanks for the vote of confidence Dale, but Robert knows me. I hope he'll bring the Nest to Fall NOG. .
I was kind of hoping he was going to bring it to Bandon as he has some of his other fine trailers!!!

But the fall NOG will do also!
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Old 06-14-2015, 10:19 PM   #542
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But the fall NOG will do also!
I don't see you on the participants list Carol
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Old 06-14-2015, 11:06 PM   #543
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Sorry Donna will fix that!
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Old 06-16-2015, 11:28 AM   #544
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Seems like the "better engineered" or "better manufactured" is something of a mixed blessing. People seldom seem to care unless they do then it is suddenly a big deal. Who concerns themselves with how their car sheet metal is treated and painted to prevent rust? Unless one has restored a car and paid for a premium painting process.

How much does frameless matter? Probably not much to most people is my guess, how many purchase campers with torsion axles without any thought about axle type or design? Frame is just that thing that hooks up to the hitch. Now if being frameless saves on manufacturing cost AND provides a selling point then it is a great thing.

The other thing is kind of hard to quantify but what is the point of owning product made from premium materials if no one knows it? In a house 15 year shingles look like 40 year shingles for about the first 10 years. Then the quality shows up in the pocket book or for resale. Airstream everyone knows those are expensive high end trailers, same with some auto brands. The Cadillac badge is not subtle.

I guess what I'm saying is if it costs a lot more it is sort of human nature to want folks to know you spent all that money to get the "premium" product. That is where the marketing comes in I guess. If you can establish the rear door & tapered propane tank design and your color scheme as a known premium brand.... or not. Otherwise like the person said about building houses, most people won't pay for premium quality in something that lasts for many decades (a house) getting them to pay it for a camper is an even tougher sell.
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Old 06-16-2015, 01:06 PM   #545
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According to the article, the price is ~$30K. Is this correct?



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Old 06-16-2015, 01:06 PM   #546
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A quick search of a local dealer's inventory tells me that for the same $30k, I can buy a 28.5' fifth wheel camper, or a 34' standard trailer, with sliders, fully loaded with options and out-the-door. While most of us here aren't interested in those big trailers, that is a really, really large difference in bang for the buck. Now, we know the difference between a glassie and a stickie, and the stickie will be gone in a decade.

However, at the same dealer, for that $30k, I can purchase THREE Jayco 20' trailers. I can buy one now, and a new one every 10 years for the rest of my life, and not spend more than $30k.

So, I agree that there is a market for way-upmarket small campers, but I fear it is a very small market. How many do you need to sell, Robert, to make it worth your while? If you can present me with compelling reasons how the frameless design will make my life better or make people love me, that's great.

A few years ago, I built a new house. For reasons of my own, I decided to put a 12"-thick concrete foundation under it instead of the usual 8". It is an amazing foundation -- if you care. An 8" wall would have done the job, and nobody cares that it is 12". But, if that allowed me to claim it is a doomsday shelter (it isn't), and that you will be the only survivors of the apocalypse, then some people might care. A few.

So, Robert, tell us why we SHOULD care about the frameless design. It is an intriguing design feature, but we don't really know why it is so wonderful. If you can convince us here, you can convince people elsewhere, and you can start selling some trailers. It is a gorgeous trailer, and it shouldn't just go away.
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