Research/ Experience &Concern about Trailer Manufacturer Response

john61ct

Adventurer
A small business strapped for cash flow's best strategy for survival is "skimming the cream", filling its capacity pipeline with customers that are not price sensitive.

Therefore with limited Sales / MarkComm resources, best to quickly filter the rest out of your Prospects Funnel as early in the process as possible.
 

waveone

Member
A small business strapped for cash flow's best strategy for survival is "skimming the cream", filling its capacity pipeline with customers that are not price sensitive.

Therefore with limited Sales / MarkComm resources, best to quickly filter the rest out of your Prospects Funnel as early in the process as possible.
By the tenor of your quote, it is safe to assume you mean "foolhardy" as Gkrane states or simply gullible in my line of thinking. The first line of your comments are automatic red flags and therefore disqualifiers to anyone but the most foolhardy and gullible.

Your comments also have me curious. Which one of these products did you buy from a small , cash strapped business with no regard for infrastructure or price sensitivity? Or are you simply being cynical instead of speaking from experience?

.
 

john61ct

Adventurer
No, in a tiny nascent niche market, high liabilities, low barriers to entry

by definition low profit potential, not worthy of large capital investments,

likely the only providers, and especially those shooting for the tinyiest niche of all those willing to pay for quality

will match my description.

Of course their marketing will try to make them seem larger and well capitalized, but you think they'll have a throughput over a few dozen units per month? pshaw. . .
 

waveone

Member
No, in a tiny nascent niche market, high liabilities, low barriers to entry

by definition low profit potential, not worthy of large capital investments,

likely the only providers, and especially those shooting for the tinyiest niche of all those willing to pay for quality

will match my description.

Of course their marketing will try to make them seem larger and well capitalized, but you think they'll have a throughput over a few dozen units per month? pshaw. . .

Kind of thought that may be your position. Negative, not even close. Depending on size of trailer and options it's more like a few dozen per year.

From what I have seen the capital investment comes from the one sided terms they offer their customers. As I stated earlier, several companies require a 50% deposit while another -Trailermark trailers, requires essentially 66% in two installments before construction even begins. That is based upon materials ordered and availability of same I suppose. I only mention this because after inquiry and voicing my concerns what I assume is one of the owners chided that most other builders do the same the "warned" me that posting on a forum would not be prudent. It's on their website so it should not be a big deal to them.
 

john61ct

Adventurer
Well you can say "negative" but everything you're saying just says "realistic" to me.

Even as a solo entrepreneur with only a couple mil to invest, not a business model worth touching with a ten foot pole.

Those that do are dreamers, in it for the love of it, would make a higher net income at lower risk just working by the hour.

Your "optimism" I say is a delusion, at least in America. Maybe would stand a chance in Europe, S.A. or down under.
 

waveone

Member
Everything I've stated is absolutely realistic otherwise I wouldn't waist my time or the time of others for that matter. Very little in the US mkt is reason for optimism unless they are imported from SA or Australia, or a teardrop variety for enthusiasts- which I'm not. Several are creative but very expensive for their size and features. Thus dispelling the notion that the builders are in it for love....

All quality builds or imports such as Patriot or Conqueror are well constructed but appear to be very difficult to resell except to other enthusiasts- which brings resale value into question. I'm seeing a couple that are posted for close to or at what they were purchased for and wondering If someone is willing to bite on a used trailer no matter it's condition.
 

john61ct

Adventurer
And everything you state is afaic in perfect agreement with what I wrote, how I feel too.

The difference is, that I know that woeful state of affairs is an inevitable outcome of USA market conditions.

For that resulting situation to change in a sustainable way, IOW long term, one or more of the fundamental causes will need to radically change first.

Just a few hundred prospective customers pissing and moaning, hoping and dreaming of higher quality better CS and/or lower pricing will not change a thing.

Dog grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
 

GkraneTX

Active member
Waveone, we appear to be looking for the same type of trailer. Mine will be used mainly for surf fishing on the south Texas beaches and a little bit of hunting. One thing I do need with all of the salt, spray, and extreme humidity is for the frame to be aluminum and the box not made of wood. These necessities pretty much knock out most of the US manufacturers right from the start. The second absolute must have is a solid A/C unit. I am hoping that Overkill has a way to offer a much better A/C that the listed Climate Right 5000 BTU one that appears to be a piece of junk that I would most likely need to replace 3-4 times per year at a $500 price tag. All of the viable options for me are as follows but with some caveats:

Intech Pursue: Durable, affordable but not much more than a box with an A/C unit and a mattress.
Intech Luna: Looks nice, has a beefy A/C, roomy, but concerned about how the low fenders and bumpers would fare when going over the deep sand ruts that form on the beach.
Intech Luna Rover: Fixes the fender problem of the luna, but changes the A/C to a much lower quality unit and kitchette, plus down here more expensive that the luna with a lot less amenities.
Overkill Campers: Ticks all the boxes I need except for the crappy Climate Right A/C unit that will not be up to the task.
Mission Overland: Fantastic build quality and options but based in Canada which would be a nightmare for any issues.
Trans Global Overland: https://transglobaloverland.com/ No idea what they have in them yet and they have not responded to numerous emails.
Colorado Teardrops: Looks very nice but has the crappy CR 5000 btu A/C unit. Also they raised the price in the last year while also making previous standard equipment on the trailers expensive options now.
 

round00

New member
Great thread...

I’m also looking for something similar... we currently have both a 1999 Sportsmobile and a popup camper now. The Sportsmobile is rock-solid in all weather conditions - when really cold we leave the top down BUT when have a kid now and it’s not so great to travel in with the kid - car seat is a pain to put on the bed/couch and questionably safe.

The popup is a pain in the ass and built like junk, storage sucks... not warm when cold, flaps around in high winds. We do desert and mountains, so lots of cold weather.

Ive was looking at Taxa Mantis ... until I read the owners forum in Facebook. They seem to fall apart unless only taken on pavement. Frames breaking, walls falling apart, cabinetry loose... we do lots of washboard and many miles of it. Truth be told, I’m surprised the Sportsmobile’s cabinets have held up as well as they have given the build-quality (MDF with angle brackets and tiny screws).

In my experience, the manufacturers respond most quickly if you Facebook message them... calling is worthless (I’d prefer calling, im not a Millennial).

VMI: looks like a yacht - they are built by yacht builders... have you seen the prices on a new 50 foot sailboat? Many are pushing 1 million. I will say, VMI responded within 24 hours of my email on several emails. I thought thought the response was really good. I don’t get the 39k on the website vs reality of 89k. That’s not good - he needs to update his website to 2019 standards - I guess if you’re selling a lot, who cares....

Intech: we are probably going to get an Explore without tipouts and build out the interior. They have been responsive to messages on Facebook and in the FB owner’s group

Another thing said: if you buy something with some proprietary system or part, and want to keep it a long time, you’d better think about it because (1) company could be gone when it breaks or (2) company still around but they don’t make parts for it anymore.

Any of these campers with tops that pop and whatnot - if they break and company is gone, you might be SOL. Even Sportsmobile: they don’t have the mold for it anymore, so can’t make us a new top - our fiberglass is cracking a bit and it is warping slightly. The van otherwise has many years - but if the top goes we might be screwed.

This is another reason we’re probably going Intech - no fancy moving parts, everything can be fixed without weird, proprietary parts
 

GkraneTX

Active member
Intech has dealers all over Texas which is a huge plus for service issues that may come up if I decide to go with them.
 

waveone

Member
Waveone, we appear to be looking for the same type of trailer. Mine will be used mainly for surf fishing on the south Texas beaches and a little bit of hunting. One thing I do need with all of the salt, spray, and extreme humidity is for the frame to be aluminum and the box not made of wood. These necessities pretty much knock out most of the US manufacturers right from the start. The second absolute must have is a solid A/C unit. I am hoping that Overkill has a way to offer a much better A/C that the listed Climate Right 5000 BTU one that appears to be a piece of junk that I would most likely need to replace 3-4 times per year at a $500 price tag. All of the viable options for me are as follows but with some caveats:

Intech Pursue: Durable, affordable but not much more than a box with an A/C unit and a mattress.
Intech Luna: Looks nice, has a beefy A/C, roomy, but concerned about how the low fenders and bumpers would fare when going over the deep sand ruts that form on the beach.
Intech Luna Rover: Fixes the fender problem of the luna, but changes the A/C to a much lower quality unit and kitchette, plus down here more expensive that the luna with a lot less amenities.
Overkill Campers: Ticks all the boxes I need except for the crappy Climate Right A/C unit that will not be up to the task.
Mission Overland: Fantastic build quality and options but based in Canada which would be a nightmare for any issues.
Trans Global Overland: https://transglobaloverland.com/ No idea what they have in them yet and they have not responded to numerous emails.
Colorado Teardrops: Looks very nice but has the crappy CR 5000 btu A/C unit. Also they raised the price in the last year while also making previous standard equipment on the trailers expensive options now.
So it appears we are with the exception that I do not like teardrops, though there are some good ones with designs that wring every inch of space out of the build for use. They are expensive and by design characteristically limiting. Something about gong from the outdoors directly into a bed seems very problematic to me, among other things. People love them though.

My camper -trailer- if I ever settle on one is for back country hunting purposes possibly back country hiking basecamp on occasion but that is all. So my requirements are considerable but not unattainable. The ability to weather a storm or simply thaw out in relative comfort is a necessity for me. Very few off road campers possess the build quality and design to do that in rough country. Teardrops certainly do not. Although I did find one that interests me

Have a look at TetonX https://tetonx.com/ Their Hybrid Pop top is worth considering.

This is pure judgement, but VMI was not responsive after the first email. He stated he was very busy which tells me he is stretched thin and thus does not have the infrastructure to adequately service his product. That combined with his up-sell demeanor and curious pricing gives me pause for concern.

The Conqueror 490 is not finished out as nicely as the VMI appears but in terms of features, capability and sheer toughness of structure, noting beats it so far. Yet it is pricey....
 
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GkraneTX

Active member
I would consider the Teton X hybrid in a heartbeat if it was an aluminum framed box structure. I just dont know how well a wood framed trailer would hold up the the extreme humidity and salty environment for as many nights as I would be using it for.
 

john61ct

Adventurer
Should be fine for a few seasons, but design lifespan is usually not much past the warranty cutoff, people who buy new, pay that kind of money usually only keep them a few years, let the second-hand market deal with stuff falling apart.

Which of course is synergistic with the makers' goals, just like the traditional USA automotive industry business model.

Long-term reputation building only pays off under certain market conditions, which certainly don't exist here, yet.
 
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