CampLite announces a new floor plan that stretches the popular short bed 8.4S to the long bed 9.6S. Introducing the 2015 CampLite 9.6S! We take the opportunity to talk to Gary Peter, Designer and Engineer for CampLite.
For anyone who hasn’t yet heard of CampLite’s trail-blazing 100% aluminum and composite construction by now, here’s a short summary; no wood. That’s right kids, wood is a four letter word at CampLite. From the exterior walls, to the frame, to the cabinetry, everything in a CampLite truck camper is made from either aluminum or a composite. For folks who think wood is rotten, that’s the good news.
The not-quite-as-good news has been a real challenge. CampLite has had to work very hard to make their camper interiors feel like something resembling a cozy RV. As consumers, we take for granted the warm aesthetic and soft feel of wood. In our homes, wood is what makes our tables, chairs, cabinets, dressers, beds, and even our floors. Nothing says, “home interior” quite like wood. Try building a home and furniture out of nothing but concrete, steel, and plastics and you may find yourself pining for wood.
Quite remarkably, Livin Lite, the manufacturer of CampLite, has managed to integrate composites and laminates that make their no-wood campers look like wood, at least inside. You might say that CampLite truck campers are “wood lookin’”. The interiors don’t have the softness of wood, or all of the natural aesthetic of wood, but it’s darn close. The team at CampLite might say what you lose in “wood lookin’” you gain in “no rottin’”.
For previous new camper announcements from CampLite, we’ve talked to Scott Tuttle, President of LivinLite, and Rick Barna, Vice President of Dealer Relations. This time we asked to talk to Gary Peters, the LivinLite Engineer who designed and developed not just the new 9.6S, but many of the nine truck camper models LivinLite now offers. This time we’ll cover the new 2015 CampLite 9.6S and dive a little deeper into how CampLite makes a no wood truck camper work.
Above: The floorplan for the 2015 CampLite 9.6S
2015 CampLite 9.6S Specifications:
The 2015 CampLite 9.6S is a hard side, single-slide, wet bath truck camper made for long bed trucks. The interior floor length of the 2015 CampLite 9.6S is 9’8” and the interior height is 6’5”. The 2015 CampLite 9.6S has a 30.5 gallon fresh tank, a 17 gallon grey tank, a 13 gallon black tank, and a 6 gallon hot water heater. It can accommodate one battery and has two twenty-pound propane tanks. LivinLite is reporting the base weight of the CampLite 9.6S to be 2,950 pounds. The base MSRP for the 2015 CampLite 9.6S is $28,970.
Above: The 2015 CampLite 9.6S is a hard side, single-slide, wet bath truck camper made for long bed trucks
TCM: Before we talk about the new 2015 CampLite 9.6S, tell us about your background and how you came to work for LivinLite.
Gary: I’ve been in the RV industry for over thirty years, four of which have been here with LivinLite. I started at Shasta when I first got out of school. Then I spent seven years at Holiday Rambler, six years at Starcraft, seven years in the Dewall research and design shop working on RV prototypes, three years with Americam, seven years with Hartland, and then back to Shasta for a year. When I was working for Shasta, I got a call from Scott Tuttle, President of LivinLite, and who offered me a job to work here. I’ve been working for Scott ever since.
Above: Gary Peter, Designer and Engineer for CampLite truck campers
TCM: What do you do for LivinLite?
Gary: I am LivinLite’s Director of Engineering. I have two engineers who work with me. I take care of two product lines; travel trailers and truck campers. The other engineers I work with oversee the toy haulers and our new fifth wheel products. I also deal with outside vendors and new concepts.
We have AutoCAD 13 and design everything in 3D on the computer. I get the opportunity every once in awhile to work with dealers in Australia, China, and New Zealand. I am also currently working with a guy who will be mounting a CampLite truck camper on an Isuzu pickup truck and taking it to South America.