Truck Camper News

New Alaskan Ownership Honors The Heritage

Alaskan Campers are being rendered in CAD, cut via CNC, and produced by a growing team of craftsmen. TCM talks to the new Alaskan leadership team about the new logo, new exterior color, new interior decor, and where the 70 year old company is going. Priority 1: Respect the legacy.

New Alaskan Camper Ownership 2024

Taking over a successful company with seven decades of product history and an established community has its benefits. For one, the brand is well-known in the marketplace. Most potential customers are likely younger than the business itself and have grown up knowing about the products. For two, the heavy lift of pioneering, engineering, and field testing your product was probably completed when your dad was in grade school.

The flip side of that coin is the potential for community resistance to any product changes. Decades of product design and culture have a habit of becoming entrenched. Any change, even if it objectively improves the company or product, might not be initially embraced.

After covering Alaskan Campers for seventeen years, this is what went through our minds when we met the new Alaskan leadership team at Overland Expo East this past October. The team was young. There was already a fresh Alaskan logo on the units. A new Rugged Grey color adorned the exterior of a showcased model. Okay fellas, what are we doing with our beloved Alaskan Campers?

In the conversation that followed, it became immediately clear that the new team understood and respected the history of Alaskan Campers. In fact, they quickly threw the question back to us and asked for feedback on preserving the original Alaskan Camper logo from the 1950s as an option. They also shared some details about how they were planning to improve the product without altering the revered concept, design, or aesthetic.

Suddenly we found ourselves getting excited about the prospect of a better Alaskan Camper; new and improved, yet still true to the original. It’s a challenging path for this new team to walk, but they exuded the right brand respect and old-school entrepreneurial grit to see it through. Okay, we’re in.

Three months later, we talked to Rob Scheele, Principal and CEO and Nick Coursolle, Vice President of Alaskan Campers. It’s time to meet this new Alaskan Campers leadership team, and find out where they’re taking the hallowed hard side pop-up brand; one foot in the past and an eye on the future.

Alaskan Campers Family Camping

Above: Nick (left) and Rob (right) camping with their families.

Before we talk about Alaskan Campers, tell us about your professional and camping backgrounds.

Nick: Prior to working at Alaskan, I was in sales for fifteen years. When Rob bought Alaskan, he came to me straight away. Then he took me on a tour of the factory and I was blown away by the opportunity. I especially loved the idea of connecting people with the camper that takes them to their dream locations.

My camping experiences were always in a tent until I met my wife. Her family owned a travel trailer. After my wife and I met, we went on adventures with the travel trailer. That introduced me to having creature comforts wherever you are. While we never owned a truck camper, we have always loved the outdoors, camping, and getting away from it all.

Rob: Before purchasing Alaskan, I worked for a small family office located a little south of the current Alaskan production facility. Specifically, I worked in real estate development, raw land development, and property rehab. I bring a lot of varied business experience to the company.

I spent time camping as a kid and into my adult years. My dad had a tent trailer that we could go out in frequently. My dad is also an avid motorcycle rider, so we would go motorcycle camping often. That was something he and I did together to get away.

As I got older, I became increasingly drawn to beautiful places. My wife and I find joy in experiencing beauty in nature. Alaskan Campers are the perfect tool to access places rarely seen.

New Alaskan Camper Logo

Above: The new Alaskan logo on a 2024 Alaskan Camper

We would love to report on any Alaskan Camper adventures you go on. There’s nothing like camping in your campers to find opportunities to further improve the product.

Nick: Absolutely.

Rob: Yes. That’s the plan.

After you purchased the company, did you make immediate changes?

Rob: Our initial goal was to not make immediate changes. We wanted to study the business for the first few months and then chart a path forward. There were areas where we were able to make improvements to daily operations right away, but we wanted to observe and listen first.

In our first six months, we hired a full-time CAD designer and started to move from tribal knowledge to digital files. We also purchased a CNC machine that can accept CAD drawings and make accurate and consistent cuts for our campers. We are continuing to survey the company and its manufacturing process and make improvements almost daily.

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Alaskan Camper cabinetry built at factory
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Alaskan Camper Factory
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Alaskan Team making a camper
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Alaskan Camper Team building

Above: The Alaskan Camper production team

One of the changes we noticed was the new Alaskan Camper logo. Tell us about that change.

Rob: Changing a logo can be a sensitive topic when it comes to an iconic brand like Alaskan. We believe the new logo honors the heritage of Alaskan better than the previous one. The new logo is clean and elegant and better reflects the Alaskan product, brand, and lifestyle. Had Alaskan stayed with their original 1950’s era logo with the moose antlers, the logo change would have been more significant.

2024 Alaskan Camper logo

Above: The new Alaskan Camper logo

Nick: We are bringing back the original Alaskan metal emblems for customers who want them. We are passionate about the history of Alaskan Campers and are excited to have the original moose antler logo available.

Alaskan Camper Factory With CNC Machine Set Up

Above and below: Alaskan’s CNC machine in action

That’s awesome. Alaskan Campers have been in production for approximately 70 years. Will you be continuing the Alaskan Camper design, materials, and build traditions?

Rob: Yes. We are continuing the way Alaskan Campers have always been built. At the same time, we’re looking for ways to improve the quality of the product. We have no plans to change the core architecture, curved roof, or the fundamental design and aesthetic of Alaskan Campers.

Alaskan Campers remain handmade in Winlock, Washington, and we have more team members than ever before. As of today, we have seventeen people on the production floor.

Our CNC machine is providing more accurate cuts directly improving the cabinetry, framing, and camper tops. We’re also working on making kits for each camper for our team to assemble the campers. That helps with efficiency, but also helps our craftsmen stay focused on quality and quality control.

Nick: Through the CAD process, we have also identified opportunities to save weight. Specifically, we have found places where we can eliminate excess material from the build without sacrificing structural integrity. At this point, no decisions have been made. We’re doing our due diligence and will see where the facts lead us.

Alaskan Campers White Exterior On Trucks

There are five Alaskan Camper models available; the 6.5, 7, 8, 8.5, and 10. Will these models continue to be in production?

Nick: Yes. From our conversations with Alaskan enthusiasts, those are the best sizes for most customers. We are a custom shop. While we promote those five models and sizes, we are not limited.

Will you be continuing the Alaskan Sportsman and flatbed models?

Nick: Absolutely. We haven’t marketed those models yet, but we plan to offer the flatbeds and the Sportsmans.

Alaskan Campers CAD designer at his workstation

Above: The Alaskan CAD designer at his station

2024 Alaskan CAD rendering

Above: A 3D CAD model of an Alaskan top frame

Will you be developing new Alaskan models in the future?

Rob: Right now, we’re focused on completing the CAD blueprints for the campers we offer. Once they’re completed along with the bill of materials, we can get more creative. Nick talks with people every week about Alaskan Campers and gathers their feedback. From that feedback, we’re sure to have a number of floor plan ideas to look at, but we’re not there yet.

Alaskan Camper Interior Klondike

Above: The new Klondike interior

Tell us about your new interior; the Klondike.

Nick: There are currently two Alaskan interiors available; the Classic and the Klondike. The Classic is the interior that’s been available in Alaskan Campers for many years. These interiors have different materials across the board; floor, walls, cabinetry, countertops, and fabrics.

Alaskan Campers Interior Classic Interior

Above: The Classic interior is still available

Can customers still call Alaskan on the phone to ask questions about what model or option is right for them?

Nick: Yes. If you want to place your order or ask questions over the phone, you can do that.

Rob: We love to talk to our customers.  Contact us to be your guide, answer questions, and walk you through different options and packages.

Alaskans have always been any color you want as long as it’s white. What’s the story behind the new dark exterior?

Nick: The dark exterior is called Rugged Grey and offers our customers a color that might better match their truck or make for a better overall aesthetic. The material is the same aluminum Alaskan has always used.  You can still get the exterior in Classic White.

Rugged Grey Alaskan Camper Exterior Color

Alaskan Campers now offers financing. How does this work?

Nick: We have partnered with a credit union that knows our process. They make it easy for our customers to acquire financing. Customers can also use their own financing.

What’s your future vision for Alaskan Campers?

Rob: That’s an exciting question. We’re still in our first six months. Right now we are focused on understanding our business and customers. What I do know is that we’re going to continue the process of improving our campers to help serve our customers best.

“We are going to honor the heritage of Alaskan Campers. We are going to operate the business knowing that it’s been around since 1953.”

Is there anything else about Alaskan Campers you want our readers to know?

Rob: We are going to honor the heritage of Alaskan Campers. We are going to operate the business knowing that it’s been around since 1953. We’re not looking to change that foundation. We know there’s a responsibility to offer a quality product. We want to build the best Alaskan Campers possible so our customers can go out and do what they want to do; reach remote locations and enjoy extreme beauty.

We are so thankful to be joining the great community of Alaskan enthusiasts.

For more information on Alaskan Campers, visit their website at Click here to request an Alaskan brochure.


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