Well, this posting brings me no joy.
Now that I've had a day to digest this disturbing news and get my blood pressure down to the point where I can act rationally, I've begun the process of discovery. I'm hoping that by sharing information, perhaps we can all learn a lesson; for some of us, a rather expensive one. I would hope that this forum and others can continue a running dialogue, as this has been, so far, one of only two sources of information for me regarding the demise of Lil' Snoozy, LLC.
I suppose I should begin by saying I am one of those with "skin in the game", as was previously posted. My wife and I traveled to South Carolina and signed our Lil' Snoozy order form on October 16th, 2018. The deposit was wire transferred direct between banks. At the time, we were told to expect a completed build date of December, 2019.
We had spent the year prior, investigating and discussing the various attributes and detractions of trailers that interested us. I don't care to discuss tastes in campers; suffice it to say that the Lil Snoozy
was the one that most suited us. I have owned many rvs and have spent most of my life camping in various modes at least once a year, if not more often. Our last unit was a 27' Shasta travel trailer we had had for 15 years, the sale of which partially made the down payment on our Snoozy possible.
Trying to acquire a used Snoozy was an exercise, if not in futility, at least in patience and perseverance. They are not widely distributed and apparently highly coveted. In order to see one in the flesh even required an inordinate amount of effort. Find an owner willing to show their Lil' Snoozy to us (several offered, through this venue and others), arrange a mutually agreeable time, and then travel the many hours from our home necessary to get there; it all took logistics. The nearest ended up being 5 hours away. That visit, however, convinced us beyond any doubt that the Lil' Snoozy was the unit for us.
Eventually my wife and I agreed that, perhaps to get a Snoozy with just the amenities that we desired and without any of the typical "worn-in" characteristics requiring repair and replacement, and to avoid further futility looking for a used one, for only the third time in our lives we decided to buy new. That, of course required the trip to South Carolina, a good 14 hour drive from our home in Michigan. But, we were able to order it with just the details we wanted.
Reading the various posts about the Lil Snoozy
production facility and it's capabilities has been fascinating. The facility is quite small. There is a drive-by view of it available in Google Earth. Though, if you call up the address in Google Maps, it will take you to a nearby residential area. To get the drive-by view of the facility I find it easier to the get to the street view of Alaglas Pools, the next business to the south, and "click" the view north until Lil Snoozy
is visible. Anyway, it wouldn't take much to remove everything from the building; as I remember, there was only one completed Lil' Snoozy on the property in October, and that was the one in their small showroom. There was one LS in process in the assembly area and one rough shell just north of it. I didn't see any machinery beyond hand tools and material handling devices, and materials were scant, with a few sub assemblies and pieces waiting to go in trailers.
I saw two employees working in production. That would bring to a total of four people on the property with my wife and I, that I saw, though a small truck delivery was made while we were waiting to sign papers, the delivery man coming and going. In my working life I was accustomed to much larger manufacturing facilities, employing hundreds, if not thousands of people in highly integrated processes. Lil' Snoozy appeared to me to be more of a hand-building process (one could probably guess at that by their very low output numbers) where the trailers were pushed to an open space on the floor to allow further processing. We used to refer to businesses like that as "mom and pop shops", where everyone's role was fluid. I've known businesses of such configurations to operate successfully for years, especially when producing a product such as the Lil Snoozy; one well priced in the market, of obvious quality and attention to detail, and highly sought after. We can agree to disagree on any of those points, but it is moot, simply my impression, though one shared by many. There is a similar company in Canada, Taylor Coach, who has documented their process well in Youtube. They have been in business through two generations, hand building trailers to order.
Nothing in our visit indicated that the purchase of this trailer was a mistake or an inordinate gamble, beyond any transaction requiring that much time to complete. Richard and Amy were very amiable, as were the gentlemen in the back. Everyone seemed enthused about the trailer and spoke at length to its many attributes. All in all, a rather pleasant visit and transaction, apparently a typical experience for many buyers before. It is hard for me to understand what has happened in such a short period, from mid-October to the beginning of March, to bring what I thought was a viable business to it's non-existence. I have seen first hand what can happen to a small, single product business when conditions change or a bad decision is made... but in four months? Beyond the pain and disappointment of loss I'm more than just a little curious as to what has happened. Beyond all the "I told you so" and "you should have known better" blather, I want to know, beyond conjecture.
None of this reflects negatively on the Lil' Snoozy trailer itself, in my view. I think, if we are able to recover our purchasing power from this loss, we'll probably still look for one. I don't have a problem owning a trailer whose manufacturer no longer exists, I did for many years. Even if we had been able to completely purchase a new Lil' Snoozy, I had long ago come to terms with not being able to have it serviced by the company. In fact, all
of my experiences with service on rvs for warranty work have been negative and prefer to do my own work, if possible.
Meanwhile, discovery and recovery...
I have called all the numbers we have, so far with no response. I think it was Keith who first posted the bankruptcy lawyer's number and I will continue to try to contact him. Also, someone mentioned the South Carolina Attorney General's office, which I think is also a good idea, for all of us that have been impacted.
Thus ends my long winded rant for the day.