Lil Snoozy has closed shop - Page 5 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-06-2019, 06:04 PM   #81
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Name: Kevin
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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.

Kevin
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Old 03-06-2019, 06:25 PM   #82
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Maybe all that are affected could hire a SC attorney and share the cost.
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Old 03-06-2019, 06:36 PM   #83
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Best of luck Kevin.
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Old 03-06-2019, 06:43 PM   #84
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You have our sympathies, Kevin, along with the others impacted. Money aside- and I donít make light of that- there is just nothing else like it out there at any price. Some are clearly moving on to other brands. Hope a used Snoozy turns up for you soon. I agree, the warranty doesnít add much value.
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Old 03-06-2019, 06:50 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by Huck View Post
Maybe all that are affected could hire a SC attorney and share the cost.
I hate to sound pessimistic, but for what? To chase assets that probably no longer exist and/or are not within reach?

An attorney can't do anything if there is nothing there. And given the way this went down, there is nothing there.

And believe me, I hope I'm wrong! So sorry for everyone's loss. Snoozy should have been a huge success.

One thing I'm curious about though, is why did he go to the trouble of cleaning out the building? Where did he put the few things left? Why not just close the doors and walk away? He even shut down the website.

I'm curious too as to why only a couple of people were working there when they apparently had so many orders. Seems like they could have easily ramped up production. The slower the production, the less you make.
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Old 03-06-2019, 07:16 PM   #86
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Dang shame about Lil Snoozy and the people who had deposits with the company. Maybe the property and building will have some value, and as cash deposit buyers they might be at the front of the line for getting money back, ahead of businesses that may be owed money. Vendors are in effect extending credit, buyers are purchasing something not delivered which I think may give them some priority in the recovery. But I don't know I'm not a lawyer and don't even play one on TV.

I would think even a brief consult with an attorney might be advisable, it may seem like good money after bad but sometimes getting a bit of good advice up front can help a lot. Even if the advice is just how to get the best tax write off on the loss.

I know a lot of small dedicated "mom and pop" operations that while they can be a bit quirky or lacking in some of the features we expect after dealing with larger businesses can also be some of the best to work with, and provide a vastly superior product. The only place I take my trailer to for work is a pair of brothers that are the third generation to run the family trailer and fabricating shop. I stopped looking for a utility trailer when I saw the welds on the one they built. Having done that work as production and fabrication I knew it was built by someone who was good at it and paying attention that the skill showed up in every weld. I can live with why don't you call us the middle of the week after next and we will see when we can work you in.

The long build time can cripple a business. Operating costs of building and payroll don't stop to wait for a unit to be completed. In order to have components on hand so production isn't halted for lack of parts one has to sink money into inventory. My guess though is they just didn't produce trailers fast enough to cover operating expenses so ended up having to dip into future earning in the form of the deposits for future orders to meet the monthly bills. Which of course left them short for building that unit so some other future orders deposit gets raided and so on.

That taking money from a deposit to use for other purposes might have legal ramifications, I don't know but it could. Just one more question for an actual legal beagle. Construction in general has seen that sort of thing with deposits made for work and materials not delivered happen a lot so it would not surprise me if there is a body of law around it. Remodeling is an area that sees this situation. Thin margins and a couple of over budget jobs can eat up the operating capital. Causing a slow collapse as new job deposits are dipped into for current operations. Almost like a Ponzi scheme but small business owners tend to be optimistic and think a couple of profitable jobs will land them back on their feet. If they were not slightly delusional they wouldn't even try to be in business for themselves.

I hope folks can recover funds already set out, or at least can recover from the loss. I wish them well in finding another camper that suits their needs.
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Old 03-06-2019, 07:55 PM   #87
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Deposit from one pays for building the earlier units and so on.
Many companies finance current work with deposits from new.
They are called "headed for bankruptcy"
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Old 03-06-2019, 08:22 PM   #88
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When our Snoozy was built in 2017, they weren't painting any fancy swirls or any other artwork per se on the builds.The Snoozy's they made were solid white and have some black stickon letters that say LilSnoozy.com. Richard did put a decal on the sloped front. But we removed it last year because it was creased and peeling off. Think now we'll remove the small black letters that reference the website and call it The Galileo as it looks like the Shuttlecraft from Star Trek!

Just trying to lighten the mood. I feel so bad for the 45 left out in the cold!
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Old 03-06-2019, 08:38 PM   #89
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[QUOTE=RogerDat;735117]Dang shame about Lil Snoozy and the people who had deposits with the company. Maybe the property and building will have some value,

A previous post indicates that it was a rented building, owned by the former owner of Lil Snoozy. Another poster stated that there was very little for tools and equipment in there while the business was operating. I haven't seen any information of them being evicted, and the whereabouts of the equipment and any incomplete trailers is unknown.
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Old 03-06-2019, 08:57 PM   #90
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The simple fact is, if there is enough money to pay the creditors they wouldn't be bankrupt. And as mentioned prior, those with deposits paid are going to be in line after the other creditors.

Hope springs eternal, but it doesn't look good for your deposits I am very sorry to say.
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Old 03-06-2019, 09:17 PM   #91
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Mickle may have made a bad deal (overpaid) when he bought the business. He might have been saddled with a massive debt payment, plus building rent, and then trying to pay suppliers and employees besides having money to pay his personal living expenses. I see no reason to automatically assume a likelihood of fraudulent behavior, even though it can't be ruled out completely.


We may never find out exactly what happened.


JBB, to complete the shuttlecraft look all you need is some 'nacelles' (pods for extra storage?) on either side of the Snoozy.
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Old 03-06-2019, 10:21 PM   #92
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Someone mentioned why would the website be closed...because websites are generally rented space on servers that businesses don't own themselves.


Why would a building be left empty? Because tools and materials are easy to sell and bring in cash money.

Why is it clean inside? That is a standard requirement of rented/leased properites if they want to get the damage deposit returned.
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Old 03-06-2019, 11:02 PM   #93
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Originally Posted by k corbin View Post
Someone mentioned why would the website be closed...because websites are generally rented space on servers that businesses don't own themselves.


Why would a building be left empty? Because tools and materials are easy to sell and bring in cash money.

Why is it clean inside? That is a standard requirement of rented/leased properites if they want to get the damage deposit returned.
KC,

It's laughable to suggest Richard might expect the cleaning deposit back. That won't happen without proper notice, usually 30 days and is nothing compared to the amounts owed. Some of which may be owed to Alan, the building owner. Meanwhile the rent goes on, unless the owner was notified 30 days ago, and Alan didn't seem to know anything about it.

My websites were always paid in advance for a period of time. This one didn't just magically end on the same morning the business was closed. It must have been deliberately shut down. Probably because there was no further need for it and no need to get all the angry comments. It reinforces the idea that the shutdown is real and permanent.

He probably just took the few basic hand tools home, but who knows about any unfinished hulls. From Kevin's description there wasn't much going on in the shop. Anything left behind would probably just become Alan's property to offset what was owed him.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Did Richard go broke through mismanagement, did he over pay himself and run it into the ground deliberately, or did he just run off with a bunch of deposits? We'll know before long.
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Old 03-07-2019, 06:42 AM   #94
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Raspy,


Hulls were just in time delivery AND COD with the boat builder supplier. I was there when they delivered a set last spring and the delivery guy was waiting for a check. The latest shell supplier was having difficulty keeping up with Lil Snoozy's demands. It is safe to say there are no hulls lying around. There should be a plug some place and a set of molds (maybe) at Engineered Composites. I think a person with good business practices could resurrect the design if they could find and purchase the molds or the plug.
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Old 03-07-2019, 07:01 AM   #95
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Oh, I hated to see this!
Someone wanted to know how many had been built. JBB what production number was yours? Mine, picked up 12/01/16, was #191.
I was just about to call to ask on warranty work or recommendations for a bent axle.
At least we got the leaking belly band fixed last autumn by Richard
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Old 03-07-2019, 07:21 AM   #96
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Oh, I hated to see this!
Someone wanted to know how many had been built. JBB what production number was yours? Mine, picked up 12/01/16, was #191.
I was just about to call to ask on warranty work or recommendations for a bent axle.
At least we got the leaking belly band fixed last autumn by Richard

Mitzi - We were never specifically told. But, possibly in the low 200's. When we placed our order in November 2016, Richard was not there. Alan came in and took our order and deposit that day. He then told us that our wait time would be 5-6 months. We ended up waiting 9 months before picking it up.
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Old 03-07-2019, 08:05 AM   #97
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I placed my order and deposit on October 18 last year and was told the wait would be 14 months. I retired in December and have enjoyed reading about full time RVing, studying solar power systems and slowly aquiring hoses, cables, adapters and scissor jacks. A generator is on order and a manual laundry machine is in the back of my truck. Luckily 99% of the things can be used on another brand of fiberglass camper.

Scott aka Dekcrab
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Old 03-07-2019, 08:06 AM   #98
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JBB it should be marked on the zipper bag given you at pickup with all the info about the title, warrenties for appliances etc.
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Old 03-07-2019, 09:36 AM   #99
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Name: Pat
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Love my Lil Snoozy

Quote:
Originally Posted by kilmerk15 View Post
I am one of the very unfortunate people that have just found out that after waiting a year for our Lil Snoozy, they have closed their business. We put down a rather large some of money back in April of 2018 and just today found out that the owner, shut the place down. I do not know any details further than this, I just wanted to get the word out. Very sad day indeed, great little campers.
This is very sad that the owner has run this company into a wall . I bought a 2014 in 2016 from Richard and I love this little trailer. Sad indeed that you were ripped off.
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Old 03-07-2019, 10:06 AM   #100
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I am very sorry for those of you (45) who have deposits on these trailers.

Something "stinks" here. As I read all of these posts, several things jump out as alarming.
1. It appears the last announced lead time was 14 months.
2. There are 45 deposits on un-started trailers
3. The factory was working on 2 units at a time.

If all of this is spot on 100% correct, and I suspect it's pretty close it would appear the real lead time for the 45th order is 26+ YEARS.

A rotten situation.
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