Rick: We have actually. We have gone to a warm beige interior wallboard (wood-free of course) with upgraded fabrics and champagne cabinetry throughout. This added warmth has really made the CampLite truck camper and travel trailer much more attractive to customers. Another thing we’re now offering are snap-in carpets. The cabinets are still a painted aluminum, but with the champagne color, they really coordinate well with the wallboard and fabrics.
I tell people that our campers may not offer as much fluff, but there’s more practicality, usability, and functionality in the CampLite truck camper than the market has ever seen. That is the approach we take with our product; reliability and durability over fluff.
TCM: People may be concerned that an aluminum and composite camper would be cold in the winter and hot in the summer. What do you say to consumers who raise those concerns?
Rick: The RV industry has been building aluminum exteriors for as long as I am old. Our interior wallboards are an Azdel composite, and there is the same layer of block foam insulation in the walls that others use. We have three inches of block foam insulation in the ceiling and the walls have one inch insulation. That helps to keep our campers comfortable.
So, it’s very similar to traditionally built truck campers when it comes to the insulation factor.
TCM: Let’s talk about the new CampLite 8.5. Other than building with aluminum and composites, what makes the new CampLite 8.5 truck camper unique in the marketplace?
Rick: As our first self contained truck camper, and being designed for half ton trucks, this model takes us more into the mainstream of the truck camper market. The CampLite 8.5 has a base price of approximately $14,500. Loaded with options, the 8.5 would only be approximately $16,500. I think the 8.5 is a lot of camper for the money.
TCM: Let’s talk about the trucks that the CampLite 8.5 is designed for.
Rick: It’s a short bed truck camper. The dry weight of the 8.5 with an air conditioner and refrigerator, propane tanks, range, furnace, water heater, and basic options is approximately 1,800 pounds. The 8.5 is about 1,600 pounds before those options are installed. To be safe, a three-quarter ton short bed would be perfect, especially when you factor in the wet weight and the weight of your belongings.
TCM: We’ll have the 8.5 wet weight calculated in our 2011 Buyers Guide for our readers. Can you send us a certified weight ticket for the 8.5?
Rick: Yes, I’ll submit one.
TCM: Are there any options you can’t get on CampLite truck campers?
Rick: We do not offer generators on our units as there is no physical space for them. Down the road we may offer space for generators. For now, you can hook our campers to a portable generator like a Honda eu2000i. A lot of customers do that with our other products. You also can’t get solar panels at this time. If a customer is interested in their a generator or solar panels, contact me and I’ll see what we can do.
TCM: Where can our readers see the 5.7 and 8.5 CampLite truck campers?
Rick: Unfortunately, the campers are only now rolling off the production line at LivinLite and aren’t widely available yet. They will be on a number of dealer’s lots this summer, as well as on display at the Fall RV shows. Bill Penney and PJ Buerger don’t have any CampLite campers in stock yet, but their campers are now in production.
We are getting tons and tons of calls on these new camper models. We should have our orders filled by the late Spring or early Summer. Right now we have about a dozen dealers for the truck campers and geographically the regions are getting covered.
TCM: Are there any more CampLite truck camper models planned for 2011?
Rick: Yes. We’re building a smaller and lighter camper for half ton short beds and a 9.5 foot truck camper for full size trucks. We are looking to build about four to five camper models to complete our truck camper line. With our complete truck camper line, we will be able to fulfill the needs of most truck campers and accommodate almost every truck built. This should be the case by the end of this summer. That’s our goal.
Common sense camping is what we’re going after; practicality and durability. We want something to keep us fed, keep us clean, keep us camping, while being comfortable. People want a confident rig that will meet the rigors of truck camping. That’s what we offer. That’s CampLite in a nutshell.
TCM: Thanks Rick. Let us know when those new models are ready.