Four Wheel Campers unleashes a bold red statement to showcase their new exterior color capabilities and challenge white camper conventions.
Imagine if you were challenged to design the next iPhone. There you are Apple Park in Jony Ive’s design studio sitting across from the man himself. Immediately in front of you is the iPhone X; a 5.65-inches tall, 2.7-inches wide, and 0.30-inch rectangle.
Nearly the entire face of the device is consumed by a 5.8-inch Super Retina OLED screen. The edge band is made from surgical-grade stainless steel. The front and back are glass. The rear sports a dual camera. The sides host a ring/silent switch, volume up/down buttons, and a multi-function side button. That’s it.
“We need to design the iPhone 11,” Jony states. “The software and apps are not our focus. We need to make the phone physically more functional, and look cooler. That’s your mission.” Then he leaves the room.
How do you make a glass and steel rectangle physically more functional, and look cooler? It’s already the right size in the hand. It’s already 0.30-inches thin. Any bigger and it would be harder to handle. Any thinner and it would begin to be sharp in the edges. Any other form factor would be inferior to the proven rectangle that’s bewitched humanity. So what do you do?
Imagine if you were challenged to design the next Four Wheel Camper. There you are at Four Wheel Campers in Woodland, California sitting across from Four Wheel Camper’s Dan Welty, Vice President, and Stan Kennedy, Sales and Marketing. Immediately in front of you is a 2018 Four Wheel Camper.
Four Wheel Campers sells a product that predates the iPhone by 35 years. Since 1972, the layout, materials, systems, appliances have evolved immeasurably, but the core product design is essentially the same. Any significant design changes would likely be inferior to the aluminum-framed pop-up camper that’s bewitched thousands of truck camper customers. So what do you do?
Then you look down at your iPhone and it hits you. Color! You recently saw a television commercial for the iPhone 8 in sumptuous red. It’s the same iPhone 8, but the red color makes it look incredible. That’s it! Keep the same evolved and refined Four Wheel Camper, and make it red.
Okay, that’s not exactly how the red Four Wheel Camper happened. The constraints of a decades old product design are real, but the path to this result diverge from my imagined scenario. At least I think they do.
To learn the reality behind this audacious debut, we called Dan Welty, Vice President, and Stan Kennedy, Sales and Marketing of Four Wheel Campers.
TCM: How did you get the idea to make a red Four Wheel Camper? What’s the back story?
Stan: Customers have been asking us to build Four Wheel Campers in different colors for years. We offer the Silver Spur Editions with silver siding, and silver themed interior fabrics and materials. We also have the Four Wheel Camper Woolrich with its unique exterior and interior color scheme. The popularity of those models encouraged us to push forward with even more color options. That is what the red Four Wheel Camper is all about; demonstrating this capability.
When the red Four Wheel Camper was completed, I put some photos of it up on Instagram and Facebook. The reaction was very strong. About 40-percent of the responses were very positive. Many of the responses expressed an interest in more exterior and interior color options. Overall the response was mixed, but positive enough to push forward with color choices. We are excited about it.
Back in the 1970s the Four Wheel Camper order form offered five color choices for the exterior stripe. Our supplier can get us many different colors of siding. So, it’s just like changing a different fabric color. From a manufacturing point of view, it’s easy.
Dan: Trucks come in different colors, so why not Four Wheel Campers? People can always order our standard white or grey, but we will be unveiling new colors in the coming months. This first camper is a demonstration but, if someone wants a red Four Wheel Camper, we are ready to build them.
TCM: Did someone order this red truck camper, or was it built purely as a demo?
Dan: The red truck camper was designed and built to test the market’s response. It is available for sale.