Author Topic: CampLite will live!!  (Read 9068 times)

utahredrock

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CampLite will live!!
« on: February 03, 2018, 07:48:00 PM »
Or so I was told by my dealer . . .

Today I took delivery of my 2018 11FK! I also got an update, per my dealer, on the status of CampLite and Livin' Lite.

He confirmed he just got word this week that the Livin' Lite name will cease after this model year. He was told the product lines will continue as brands under Venture RV. Venture in turn is managed by K-Z, as Livin' Lite already is today. K-Z took over Livin' Lite's management in 2016. Thor's Crossroads RV managed Livin Lite from 2013 to 2016.

2013 is the year Scott Tuttle sold Livin' Lite to Thor.

Essentially this is a continued evolution of CampLite and Quicksilver post-Thor acquisition. My dealer was also told 2018 will be the last year with the aluminum chassis. They'll be switching to a steel chassis, but the rest of the trailer--he was told, will remain the same. Of course that's a huge change, and devolution is likely a better word than evolution. I am glad I got the aluminum chassis and I am a happy new owner despite the apparent pending changes to this brand.

This is my first non-Airstream RV having owned three vintage Airstreams.

I hope someone from the company can confirm, deny, or correct this.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2018, 10:31:08 PM by utahredrock »
Jim Breitinger
Salt Lake City
2018 11FK Owner
Recovering Airstreamer

djsamuel

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Re: CampLite will live!!
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2018, 10:41:29 PM »
I saw your post on Facebook as well.  Thanks for the info.  This makes sense.
2013 Camplite 21BHS

ADR

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Re: CampLite will live!!
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2018, 03:59:53 AM »
Makes no sense at all to me.   Why would you ditch a known name with a pretty good reputation, better than most I'd say?

djsamuel

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Re: CampLite will live!!
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2018, 06:46:18 AM »
Makes no sense at all to me.   Why would you ditch a known name with a pretty good reputation, better than most I'd say?

I don't mean it makes sense as a strategy.  To me it does not.  Why lump a unique brand of trailer in with a typical name? 

However, given the money that's been dumped into modifying the Camplite line since the purchase, it would not make sense to throw it away.

I will say that people I know who are looking into buying a camper will ask me about my "Camplite", but most do not know who LivinLite is.  If they keep the Camplite brand, which is how I'm reading this, the impact may not be as bad as it may seem.  I have mixed feelings on the change to a steel frame.  Pre Thor, Livinlite did this with their fifth wheel for structural reasons.  I'm wondering how many weld issues they've had with the aluminum frames, both from the factory and with any repairs.  Big difference between welding steel and aluminum.
2013 Camplite 21BHS

Mitch

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Re: CampLite will live!!
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2018, 07:51:51 AM »
The change to steel frame is just another step.  The fact that the name Camplite may stick around within the Venture RV line isn't really important.  The product as it existed is gone.  Simply put, an aluminum frame, aluminum wall, aluminum roof, no wood camper was conceivably a lifelong camper and no company wants to build a lifelong camper, it eats into return customers.

ADR

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Re: CampLite will live!!
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2018, 08:49:51 AM »

 I have mixed feelings on the change to a steel frame.  Pre Thor, Livinlite did this with their fifth wheel for structural reasons.  I'm wondering how many weld issues they've had with the aluminum frames, both from the factory and with any repairs.  Big difference between welding steel and aluminum.

I'd have no issues with a steel frame, especially if it was galvanized to hold down corrosion.  I have seen very few campers that have that though.  The only one I can recall is a lightweight TT a some years ago with a stamped sheet metal frame that did.

I'm a hobby welder and am not too bad at it on steel- I did buy a spoolgun to convert my Hobart 220 Handler to aluminum, but never bought the gas.
Guess I need to gear up and start practicing! :P     I doubt there are very many service places that can handle aluminum welding or for that matter even do a decent job on steel.

« Last Edit: February 04, 2018, 04:33:39 PM by ADR »

Mitch

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Re: CampLite will live!!
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2018, 09:47:14 AM »
I wish I could weld, especially aluminum.

klaker

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Re: CampLite will live!!
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2018, 09:11:33 PM »
The change to steel frame is just another step.  The fact that the name Camplite may stick around within the Venture RV line isn't really important.  The product as it existed is gone.  Simply put, an aluminum frame, aluminum wall, aluminum roof, no wood camper was conceivably a lifelong camper and no company wants to build a lifelong camper, it eats into return customers.

Soon it won't even be worth buying a camplite. Steel frames, fiberglass wall, rubber roof, plastic floor, can get all that on a camper that costs thousands less.

No doubt thor will keep the price up, I mean you do get led mood lighting, lol.

RockorSomething

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utahredrock

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Re: CampLite will live!!
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2018, 12:58:15 PM »
Really hoping KZ management will weigh in . . .

Jim Breitinger
Salt Lake City
2018 11FK Owner
Recovering Airstreamer

DocktorJJ

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Re: CampLite will live!!
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2018, 02:37:55 PM »
CAMP lite died a slow death the day Scott Sold it to "Thor" (Pron. Sore)
Scott's new venture gives us a teardrop size with foam sides and foam floor. What the hell happened to Aluminum?   Thank God, I bought mine before they all screwed it up.
2017 Camplite 21RBS
2015 Toyota Tundra
Central Florida

Capt J-rod

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Re: CampLite will live!!
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2018, 07:07:03 PM »
Aluminum has increased in price pretty serious. I believe we put a tariff on Chinese aluminum as well. Welding aluminum is a pretty tricky job that requires skills. Time is the next factor. Jayco cranks out 30 trailers a day, I have no idea how many camplite makes in a day. Fiberglass is easy and fast. It cuts costs and saves time. When a company is merged and purchased it is a business move. If it doesn't make money then it wasn't a good investment. Bean counters are savage when it comes to production and margins. Guess who loses? The end user and purchaser of the product. I camper land they incorporate planned obsolescence into the design. They are designed to wear out and need replaced. None of these tactics were part of the camplite design or mission. The features which I was most attracted to were the first to be eliminated. Why was I attracted to an aluminum roof and floor? Because I replace both of those in a rotted out 7 year old Jayco. Pressboard cabinets? Really? In a $30k trailer? The same cabinets in your $17K trailer? They are still better than most of the competition. They will still outlast the stick built trash. Are they what the founder set out to accomplish? I don't think so. Now will it ever be feasible to mass produce an all aluminum trailer again with materials, labor, margins, overhead and a profit for a decent sale price? Only the market can answer that question.

klaker

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Re: CampLite will live!!
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2018, 09:51:24 AM »
No doubt Scott Tuttle's livinlite made a profit, it grew year after year and was a juicy target for a large corporation.

IMHO the problem for thor was there wasn't enough profit, so they decided to keep the price high and take all the expense out. After all, someone has to pay for an over bloated massive corporate machine, might as well be us right?

All business need to make a profit for sure, to that point there is no debate. It just sucks that good products have to be destroyed so the pigs feeding at the bonus trough of large corporations can indulge to their hearts content.

The original livinlite was a smaller, nimbler company and maybe decided to make a little less profit in order to build the best camper they could. What a great concept and it truly benefited the consumer.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2018, 09:55:18 AM by klaker »

DocktorJJ

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Re: CampLite will live!!
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2018, 08:15:33 PM »
I will NEVER buy a Thor product after this!  They will cheapen Air Stream next! 
Bust buy is PREOWNED!  Would love to see some class action suit bring Thor down; one can only hope.
2017 Camplite 21RBS
2015 Toyota Tundra
Central Florida