Hi, I am the CEO to Cortes Campers. - Fiberglass RV
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Old 02-04-2021, 07:07 PM   #1
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Name: Paul
Trailer: Cortes
Ohio
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Hi, I am the CEO to Cortes Campers.

Hello everyone,
I want to introduce myself. I am the CEO of a new camper company called Cortes Campers. Our parent company manufactures electronics for the automotive and RV industry. We also are associated with MIG Marine that manufactures speedboats. On a tour of some well known RV manufacturers in Elkhart Indiana, we could not believe the use of wood and staples in a product that is manufactured in the 21st century. We thought, "why wouldn't they make these out of molded fiberglass?" After some researching, we found Scamp, and Casita and Oliver. So obviously someone is thinking ahead. However when we went to buy one, we again could not believe what the lead times were and that they had NO dealer network to support the owners. We also saw that Airstream had the Nest but it weighed more than the metal version. We also could not believe the reviews that are on YouTube. Especially the 5 month Scamp review! This is why we decided to get into the business. We decided that we are going to build a camper as though each and every camper was going home with us. We're going to build them the same way an offshore speedboat is built. Strong and light and can take a beating. We also started out with a Casita, just like Oliver did, however we did not just wax it up and make a mold off it, we highly modified it by adding more headroom, but we added a lot more room up front where the shower is. We also decided to use Vacuum Infusion instead of a chopper gun. We add to our website on a daily basis. If you have any questions at all, just call us anytime.

Sincerely,
Paul Spivak
CEO Cortes Campers
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Old 02-04-2021, 07:15 PM   #2
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Welcome! Updates are always interesting. Hope you plan to post here too.
Fred
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I'd rather do it myself, done right or not. Isn't that what a hobby is all about?
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Old 02-04-2021, 07:55 PM   #3
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NEST NOTE

[QUOTE=CortesCampersCEO;804400]We also saw that Airstream had the Nest but it weighed more than the metal version./QUOTE]


I have found only ONE Nest on the road. That was in Washington last fall at a gas station. We were both in a hurry to get out of the wildfire smoke.
When I checked this winter I found this....
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Old 02-04-2021, 10:01 PM   #4
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Shortages in the RV and Trailer world

Quote:
Originally Posted by CortesCampersCEO View Post
However when we went to buy one, we again could not believe what the lead times were
And it is not just molded fiberglass. I am in the market for a 14X7 enclosed trailer with a few simple options, a $10,000 empty box on wheels. Most dealers hide their email addresses, so I filled out 12 “contact us” forms. I got six replies with email addresses. Of the six I sent the request to only 3 replied. Only one quoted what I want and is willing to take my money. One quoted a differently equipped trailer, and the other said their builder could not get the materials to make it.
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Old 02-05-2021, 11:47 AM   #5
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Name: Bill
Trailer: Lil Snoozy / Jeep Cherokee
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Paul
Thank you for the information. I was always amazed at the poor quality I see in RVs. This is especially true for stick builds.
Wishing you success in your venture and the possibility of a dealer network. I have always been under the assumption that the higher cost of FG RVs negated the possibility of supporting a dealer network as the middleman markup would make the RVs cost prohibitive to consumers.
Keep us informed.
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Old 02-05-2021, 12:59 PM   #6
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Name: Bill
Trailer: Scamp
CA
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Cortes Camper

Welcome and good luck with your new venture. One suggestion. The designers and engineers of RV's love squeezing in as much as possible, and I admire that. They don't seem to take into account that something might need fixing or replacement. They install a sink, water tank, stereo or other electronic device, then build around it. Often it's difficult or impossible to get to something to make it better. That can't be helped in a lot of cases (Structural integrity in the Scamp, for example), I realize, but I have had situations in RV's where the manufacturer saved fifty cents by making a panel, bracket, etc. non-removable when there could have been an alternative.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CortesCampersCEO View Post
Hello everyone,
I want to introduce myself. I am the CEO of a new camper company called Cortes Campers. Our parent company manufactures electronics for the automotive and RV industry. We also are associated with MIG Marine that manufactures speedboats. On a tour of some well known RV manufacturers in Elkhart Indiana, we could not believe the use of wood and staples in a product that is manufactured in the 21st century. We thought, "why wouldn't they make these out of molded fiberglass?" After some researching, we found Scamp, and Casita and Oliver. So obviously someone is thinking ahead. However when we went to buy one, we again could not believe what the lead times were and that they had NO dealer network to support the owners. We also saw that Airstream had the Nest but it weighed more than the metal version. We also could not believe the reviews that are on YouTube. Especially the 5 month Scamp review! This is why we decided to get into the business. We decided that we are going to build a camper as though each and every camper was going home with us. We're going to build them the same way an offshore speedboat is built. Strong and light and can take a beating. We also started out with a Casita, just like Oliver did, however we did not just wax it up and make a mold off it, we highly modified it by adding more headroom, but we added a lot more room up front where the shower is. We also decided to use Vacuum Infusion instead of a chopper gun. We add to our website on a daily basis. If you have any questions at all, just call us anytime.

Sincerely,
Paul Spivak
CEO Cortes Campers
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Old 02-05-2021, 02:49 PM   #7
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Name: Paul
Trailer: Cortes
Ohio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill in Pittsburgh View Post
Paul
Thank you for the information. I was always amazed at the poor quality I see in RVs. This is especially true for stick builds.
Wishing you success in your venture and the possibility of a dealer network. I have always been under the assumption that the higher cost of FG RVs negated the possibility of supporting a dealer network as the middleman markup would make the RVs cost prohibitive to consumers.
Keep us informed.
Hi Bill,
I'm also from Pittsburgh

The only reason there no molded fiberglass dealer network is not because of the pricing. Look at our prices vs Oliver. The reason is, there so much demand that why should they share in the profits? We did our homework before we started this and found out that is are NO dealers and there is a HUGE backlog. That's why there is no dealer network.

You're not far from us. You should consider going on our website, filling out the form to become an exclusive territory dealer, sign the NDA and you will be surprised to see how much money you can make on each trailer that you sell. We're right up the road from you!

We already have YouTubers that have an RV channel signing up with us. They're going to make a ton of money by just showcasing our campers on their YouTube channel and then their followers could be customers that go to their new website and after taking the order, we then ship the camper directly to the customer. There is no need for a huge inventory, etc.

We are not doing anything like anyone has done before. We are not only using much higher quality fiberglass, that will make the camper stronger AND much lighter, we are also using Vacuum Infusion to make the fiberglass. That process eliminates so much labor, you will wonder why isn't everyone doing it. The simple answer is, If it's not broke, why fix it?
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Old 02-05-2021, 02:56 PM   #8
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Name: Paul
Trailer: Cortes
Ohio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damp Scamp Tramp View Post
Welcome and good luck with your new venture. One suggestion. The designers and engineers of RV's love squeezing in as much as possible, and I admire that. They don't seem to take into account that something might need fixing or replacement. They install a sink, water tank, stereo or other electronic device, then build around it. Often it's difficult or impossible to get to something to make it better. That can't be helped in a lot of cases (Structural integrity in the Scamp, for example), I realize, but I have had situations in RV's where the manufacturer saved fifty cents by making a panel, bracket, etc. non-removable when there could have been an alternative.
Hi Bill,
Trust me understand what you're talking about. We are doing the exact opposite. For example, if a Casita loses a bearing, there is a good chance it will take out the spindle on the axle. Unfortunately, if this happens to you, your vacation is now over. You have to buy a whole new axle and then you have find someone to cut it out and weld in a new axle.

Our system is completely different. To start with, we are using Timbren axles. So if for whatever reason, you lose a bearing and spindle. No big deal, you just unbolt your spare tire and then behind it, we include a new spindle, new bearing and a small tube of marine grease. Also, the replacement Timbren part numbers are molded right into the fiberglass so that when you reorder replacement parts, you have the exact part numbers.

No muss no fuss, no ruined vacation!
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Old 02-05-2021, 02:58 PM   #9
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Name: Paul
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We just posted a video of our windows on our website.
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Old 02-05-2021, 03:56 PM   #10
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Name: Bill
Trailer: Lil Snoozy / Jeep Cherokee
Pennsylvania
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CortesCampersCEO View Post
Hi Bill,
I'm also from Pittsburgh

You're not far from us. You should consider going on our website, filling out the form to become an exclusive territory dealer, sign the NDA and you will be surprised to see how much money you can make on each trailer that you sell. We're right up the road from you!
I'm retired and a new career is not in the cards. People that still work scoff when they hear retirees say they have no idea how they ever had time to work, but it is sooooo true. Between my pleasures I have a difficult time finding time to fit them all in on a daily or even weekly basis. We have not owned a television in more than 25 years. For the life of me I have no idea how anyone would have time to sit and look at one.

Pittsburgh Bill (Sewickley to be more exact)
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Old 02-05-2021, 06:10 PM   #11
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Name: Arthur
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Quick Question ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by CortesCampersCEO View Post


we highly modified it by adding more headroom



What can we expect the interior height to be?


.
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Old 02-05-2021, 06:29 PM   #12
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Name: Paul
Trailer: Cortes
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I will get the exact height next week.

Thanx,
Paul
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Old 02-06-2021, 08:23 AM   #13
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Name: graham
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I don’t think I want a camper with that name.

Graham
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Old 02-06-2021, 08:42 AM   #14
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Name is definitely a turn off, it will cost you some business. At the same time, make a great trailer and you will have all the business you will want, probably too much. You could name it Uncle Bubba camper and it would still sell. But personally I would not pick a name that is offensive to many. I’m sure offending is not the intent. One person’s hero can be another conqueror that plundered a country, killed many and brought disease. Remember all that gold and silver sent back to Spain? It was stolen. You may not feel that way but some do.

The Aztecs themselves had conquered other groups as well. Of course, the “gift” of small pox from Cortes was perhaps the most deadly.

I am not an historian, so there definitely could be worse stuff.
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Old 02-06-2021, 09:32 AM   #15
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I agree with both of Bill's points but would like to point out that measles was probably a bigger scourge in the Americas than small pox in the 16th century.
Measles is much more infectious and just as deadly to the natives who had no immunity to measles.

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Old 02-06-2021, 02:07 PM   #16
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Paul - welcome to the Fiberglass RV website - I looked over your website and am pretty pleased with what I'm seeing so far. Good luck with your project. As you can tell from some of the other responses there are a lot of potential improvements that can be incorporated into a new from the ground up travel trailer - especially from someone who can take a critical look at each design element from the service and longevity point of view. I like the row of windows down the left side, the use of modern materials and Timbren axles and the promise of light weight. I've owned six or seven different trailers and as a retired engineer I've frequently thought "why the hell did they do this that way just to save a few dollars?"



My current favorite trailer on the market is the Backpack model from Armadillo trailers in Canada. The Airstream Nest was pretty but had an awkward layout and was way too heavy (and expensive). The Olivers are nice but very sterile looking on the inside (maybe a good thing in today's world). Good industrial design should work well and look good - and people will pay a small premium for stuff that just works.


With your experience with the boating world you should know what I mean about how the manufacturers of boats know how to present an upscale interior. The sea can be a very harsh environment so your experience with that should help you design a proper interior for the trailer. I was very excited about seeing the Hymer line of trailers as I've owned a couple of the German built European ones but the Canadian built ones were extremely disappointing. You could really tell that they had cut a lot of corners when they built them and they just seemed cheap and shoddy from the moment you saw one in person - not at all like their European cousins.


I'll be watching your website closely for updates and am especially interested in your 14' model.
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Old 02-07-2021, 10:24 AM   #17
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This thread was extremely interesting to follow:https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...tml#post447023


Anyone trying to get into this business might find a lot of useful info among those 500+ posts.
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Old 02-07-2021, 12:05 PM   #18
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Name: Paul
Trailer: Cortes
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This thread was extremely interesting to follow:https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...tml#post447023


Anyone trying to get into this business might find a lot of useful info among those 500+ posts.
Paul,
THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR THIS LINK!

It's obvious that Robert Johans is a GENIUS. He was doing almost exactly what we are going to do. Does anyone know what happened to him? I would love to speak with him and maybe partner up with him.

I can see what happened. He too was against chopper gun fiberglass. It also appeared that he was using an external vendor to vacuum infuse the campers instead of doing it inhouse. As soon as you have to farm out any major piece, you are then at a HUGE disadvantage. They make all the money and you take all the risks.

I have no idea why he partnered with Airstream. All they did was took his perfect camper production technique and ruin it. They went to a chopper gun and put a steel frame underneath. They then subcontracted out the chopper gun part to a company that lets untrained people run the chopper gun without a respirator. (watch it on YouTube). Some accountant at Airstream tried to save money and came up with an inferior overpriced product. I see in Robert's avatar that he uses a picture of a finished unit that has silver metallic gelcoat. That unit was beautiful, but some idiot at Airstream decided to buy the cheap primer gray gelcoat which is considerably cheaper than silver metallic due to the fact you have to spray clear gelcoat first and then do it again with silver metal flake mixed with clear. They at least could have used cheerful colors like Happier Camper and the Armadillo uses.

If Robert Johans would have stayed to his original plan, then there would be
no need for Cortes Campers to be formed.
I would love to know why he sold out to Thor, which is who owns Airstream.

Thanx again!
Paul
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Old 02-07-2021, 12:34 PM   #19
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Paul
I looked at your web site and like what I see. Construction is an improvement over many competitors as well as many features. I especially like the 8 cu.ft. refrigerator. Two things we always find in short supply is refrigerator/freezer space and storage space. We stay in our Snoozy during non pandemic times more than 8 months out of 12. Sometimes staying one place 3 or 4 months at a time. Plus, no grass grows under our feet. We have more than 50K tow miles on our trailer. To us, shower and bathroom space is a waste. A Thetford self contained suitcase toilet or even a pee bottle is all we need. Places to shower are always available. Our outside shower is also an option. But where to store "stuff" for 6 months away from home becomes a problem. Sectioned storage as some competitors have under a bed are a problem for us as well since large items sometimes do not fit. And in some trailers, like our Snoozy, have a large space under the bed but access is too small to fit large items in. Our needs, I think, may be much different than those that use their trailer for a week-end or a 3 week vacation.
Campgrounds and Cracker Barrel parking lots almost always have restroom facilities but they can't store "stuff". I suggest that you look at any storage possibilities that avail themselves and add any and all storage space possible. Also a slide out cutting board that can do double duty as work space in the kitchen adds a nice touch to trailers.
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Old 02-07-2021, 12:57 PM   #20
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Name: Bonnie
Trailer: Casita
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Unlike Bill in PGH, I appreciate having a shower, almost more than a toilet. I think I have a psychological need to shower and shave daily. She appreciates the toilet more than a shower and sink. Keep both. I DO agree that headroom in the shower (Casita 17) is an issue for me, and I'm only 5'10".
An 8 foot fridge is excessive, as would be an oven, (or a microwave).
In short, each of us that have fiberglass campers already have different needs, wants and desires in our own ideal next unit.
You'll not please every one of us until we can piece by piece select our bespoke dream egg at an "any color as long as it's black" manufacturing cost.


Jon MB
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