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Truck Camper News

Louisville 2012: CampLite, Northstar, Torklift, & Palomino

2012 National RV Trade Show news from CampLite, Northstar, Torklift, and Palomino.  Plus the first Truck Camper Magazine Bowling Tournament.

Louisville Industry RV Show

Anyone who has ever worked or attended an industry trade show understands the physical stress such an event places on the human body.  After three days of walking and standing on concrete and overly cushy carpeting, the feet are ready to resign, the legs are preparing to strike, and the back is well on its way to quitting.

To add insult to injury, the last few hours of a trade show are almost always mind numbingly slow as most attendees have long since hit the exits to fly, drive, and whistle dixie all the way home.  For the poor stragglers left behind, the final countdown of hours, minutes, and seconds is nothing less than excruciating.

Tick-tock… tick-tock…

This was our fifth year attending the annual National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Kentucky.  Most of the RV industry read that last sentence and scoffed, “Rookies!”.  It’s true, we are still the new kids at an event that just celebrated 50 years.  Louisville is an institution, a tradition, and something of an industry family reunion, all wrapped up into one.  That said, it’s still a trade show and suffers from the dreaded last day trade show slow down that can make grown adults glaze over and cry out in agony.

On the ten hour drive home from last year, Angela and I were quite concerned about what we had experienced during the final moments of Louisville 2011.  As we walked the convention center to say our goodbyes, the truck camper manufacturers looked like those videos where the baby is trying desperately not to fall asleep.  We had to break out a mirror twice just to see if a couple of sales reps were still alive.  One had literally fallen asleep head first into a bowl of peanut M&Ms.  When we woke him up he said, “No mom, there’s no school today”.  It was that bad.

Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration, but clearly we had to do something.  After all, we’re not your typical ho-hum media organization.  We’re Truck Camper Magazine!  We can bring the fun and make this show a party, right?  You bet your life we can.  And that moment, on that drive home, we decided to hold the first ever Truck Camper Industry Bowling Tournament at Louisville 2012.

That’s right ladies and gentlemen.  Truck Camper Magazine not only covered all the truck camper news fit for electrons at Louisville, we got the entire truck camper industry bowling too.  Set up those pins.  Let’s bowl!


CampLite by LivinLite at Louisville


Three years ago LivinLite came to Louisville with nothing more than a poster board showing what would eventually become CampLite truck campers.  The following year they brought their very first no-wood, all-aluminum and composite truck campers to Louisville.  The construction method was ground breaking for the truck camper marketplace, but the interior aesthetic was more like an ambulance than any truck camper should be.  At that time, CampLite truck campers were designed for the head, not the heart.

Twenty-four months later, CampLite got the message and has made incredible advances.  No longer did Angela walk into the CampLite and exclaim, “No way!”.  This time she said, “This is really nice”.  Long gone are the monotone metal surfaces from ceiling to floor.  In their place are faux wood surfaces made from Azdel composite, carpeting on the floor, and other interior warming accents and touches.


The really big news from CampLite this year was their first-ever slide-out truck camper model.  That’s right, CampLite is preparing a slide-out truck camper using their no-wood, all-aluminum and composite technology.  Never happy to follow convention, CampLite has added what might be another first in truck camper history; the bathroom in this slide-out truck camper is split with the toilet on one side of the camper and the shower on the other.  To the best of our knowledge, this is the world’s first split dry bath truck camper.


Scott Tuttle, President of LivinLite, was beaming with excitement to show us this new camper, and quick to tell us everything he wanted to change in the prototype before us.  Specifically, he wants to use the darker Azdel and black aluminum trim shown in the another 2013 CampLite truck campers at the show.  With that change and a few other tweaks, Scott is confident this new model is going to rock some socks.

We still want the LivinLite team to address the sharp edges inside their campers, but we have to agree that the new dark faux-wood Azdel and black trim interior aesthetic is a knockout compared to the hospital grade decor of yore, and the slide-out and split bathroom in the new model is nothing less than a head turner.  At the rate CampLite is pushing foward, the rest of the industry had better start paying attention, and fast.


2012 TCM Bowling Tournament: CampLite by LivinLite


Representing CampLite by LivinLite for the 2012 TCM Bowling Tournament was Scott Tuttle, President, Rick Barna, Vice President of Dealer Relations, and Greg Dischler, National Sales Manager.  Everyone in our bowling tournament bowled three frames.  Here are their scores:

Scott Tuttle, PresidentTotal Score: 24
Rick Barna, Vice President of Dealer RelationsTotal Score: 20
Greg Dischler, National Sales ManagerTotal Score: 60


Northstar Campers at Louisville


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