Livin' Lite Forum

CampLite => General Q & A => Topic started by: Silverfox on January 09, 2017, 07:09:30 PM

Title: The History And Future Of Livin Lite...The Untold Story
Post by: Silverfox on January 09, 2017, 07:09:30 PM
Are there any historians on this forum who might want to take the time to briefly summarize the history of Livin Lite in an unbiased format so that new members of this board as well as some folks who transferd over from the now defunct Livin Lite board could be apprised of all the changes that Livin Lite has gone through over the past few years. Management? Production locations? Changes which might have caused a little controversy and some animosity amoung some owners and members? For example who is Scott Tuttle?  Who built Livin Lites after he sold out to Thor?  Is K-Z RV now building all Livin Lites  for Thor? Is K-Z as reputable a company as they say they are? Are they really trying to bring Livin Lite back to its original bones (all aluminum). Will Livin Lite keep its unique and reputable reputation? Maybe someone from Livin Lite can give us some honest answers. There have been a lot of disgruntled people on the previous board who had a lot to say and there are lot of new owners who are optimistic about their new purchase. Maybe someone from K-Z's management team might want to enlighten us! Enquiring minds want to know??
Title: Re: The History And Future Of Livin Lite...The Untold Story
Post by: Silverfox on January 27, 2017, 11:59:55 AM
I was hoping I could get somebody from K-Z RV marketing to jump in here and answer these questions. A perfect opertunity to promote your product. Oh well, I guess it will remain an untold story at least on this board... :(   Hmmm... Maybe I'll pose the same question to the pundits on the Aluminium Camper Board and see if I can get a response from them.
Title: Re: The History And Future Of Livin Lite...The Untold Story
Post by: Dan Miller on January 27, 2017, 04:29:05 PM
I was hoping I could get somebody from K-Z RV marketing to jump in here and answer these questions. A perfect opertunity to promote your product. Oh well, I guess it will remain an untold story at least on this board... :(   Hmmm... Maybe I'll pose the same question to the pundits on the Aluminium Camper Board and see if I can get a response from them.

Silverfox - I actually started on that and have over a page of text.  I have been involved with Livinlite sense Scott Tuttle who used to be my neighbor and a co-worker at Gulfstream Coach was showing me the QuickSilver nameplates that he just had made for the business. - Give me a week or so.....

-Dan
Title: Re: The History And Future Of Livin Lite...The Untold Story
Post by: Silverfox on January 27, 2017, 06:39:45 PM
Thank you so much Dan, looking forward to it. You're doing great job...much appreciated! :D
Title: Re: The History And Future Of Livin Lite...The Untold Story
Post by: abodyjoe on January 27, 2017, 07:35:27 PM
cool.. i'd like to read that..
Title: Re: The History And Future Of Livin Lite...The Untold Story
Post by: Railsnstiles on January 30, 2017, 06:03:23 PM
I too am looking forward to Dan's article. It is great having someone to represent the company to answer questions, provide specs, etc.

Keep up the good work, Dan! And thanks.
Title: Re: The History And Future Of Livin Lite...The Untold Story
Post by: Dan Miller on February 08, 2017, 02:46:10 PM
Iíve been involved with Liviní Lite since the beginning, so Iím pretty comfortable filling you in on our companyís highlights.

Scott Tuttle created Liviní Lite in 2003. The original QuickSilver tow hauler was one of our mainstay product lines. We also built trailers to transport snowmobiles, para-planes, motorcycles, and racecars, along with mobile offices and toy haulers. Most of these were custom builds. In 2009, the first Liviní Lite 10-foot travel trailer was produced under the CampLite name, and featured aluminum laminated interior walls.

2011 brought about LP appliances, including an electric water heater, furnace and the replacement of the hand pump with an actual water tank and pump. The optional porta-potty was replaced with a cassette toilet.

Azdel became available shortly after CampLiteís introduction, and replaced the cold look of the interior aluminum sidewalls. We had a huge Yahoo group following at that time (before Facebook), and the change from aluminum interior walls to Azdel was a big hit, allowing us to soften up the interior by offering wood-look cabinetry while staying away from wood products. We started offering two different colors of wood-look Azdel, and were able to maintain the same aluminum-framed cabinetry construction we use today.

In 2012, we redesigned the Camplite travel trailer front profile to be more aerodynamic.

In 2013, Liviní Lite was acquired by Thor (http://ir.thorindustries.com/press-releases/press-release-details/2013/Thor-Acquires-Innovative-RV-Maker-Livin-Lite/default.aspx). In 2014, the production facility was moved from its original location to a larger facility across town.  The move allowed us to acquire a new lamination machine (being used today), capable of laminating all of our products in our own facility. Scott Tuttle remained president after the acquisition, until he retired in 2015 to pursue other interests. 

In 2015, CrossRoads RV assumed the management of Livin Lite, and we relocated to the CrossRoads RV facility in Topeka, Indiana. In 2016, management was transferred to KZ RV, and Liviní Lite was moved one final time to our home on the K-Z campus in Shipshewana, Indiana.

Today, Livin Lite RVs are built in a state-of-the-art aluminum manufacturing facility dedicated to producing the quality and workmanship Livin Lite owners expect. Keeping true to Liviní Liteís brand and DNA, K-Z brought back the all-aluminum interior door package, and is focused on the basics, such as customer support, product development and quality.

-Dan
Title: Re: The History And Future Of Livin Lite...The Untold Story
Post by: Silverfox on February 08, 2017, 03:32:00 PM
Hi Dan, Thanks for the synopsis. Those three moves during the transition explain a lot. I'm very happy Livin Lite has found a home in a state of the art facility and glad they are still being built with the option for the original cabinets. I would love to see a picture of that first 10' Camp Lite. Any chance you might have one in your files?
Title: Re: The History And Future Of Livin Lite...The Untold Story
Post by: Dan Miller on February 08, 2017, 03:41:34 PM
Here are a few very early ones. A few of these are from an owner.
Title: Re: The History And Future Of Livin Lite...The Untold Story
Post by: Silverfox on February 08, 2017, 07:17:01 PM
Very nice!  Thanks for sharing those pics.  Other than the change to a conical nose, looks very similar to my 2016 13 QBB from the outside. They've added a few amenities to the interior as well...stove...bath...micro...etc. We love our wood plank laminate over the aluminum flooring and the aluminum framed wood grain azdel cabinets, gives it a warm cozy feel. So happy you guys are settled in your new facility. Hopefully we'll see more and more Camp Lites in our travels.
Title: Re: The History And Future Of Livin Lite...The Untold Story
Post by: Dan Miller on February 09, 2017, 08:23:50 AM
Very nice!  Thanks for sharing those pics.  Other than the change to a conical nose, looks very similar to my 2016 13 QBB from the outside. They've added a few amenities to the interior as well...stove...bath...micro...etc. We love our wood plank laminate over the aluminum flooring and the aluminum framed wood grain azdel cabinets, gives it a warm cozy feel. So happy you guys are settled in your new facility. Hopefully we'll see more and more Camp Lites in our travels.

Cool that you have a 13QBB.  Yes it is similar.  The 13BHB in the images had no refer.  What you see in the rear alongside the bunks is a 12V cooler.  The interior walls and even the ceiling were aluminum.  No bath only an optional porta-poty!
Title: Re: The History And Future Of Livin Lite...The Untold Story
Post by: Bronco2004 on February 12, 2017, 08:21:44 AM
Hi Dan,

I'm close to making a purchase on a 21BHS and I have 4 choices.  My question kinda ties in w Silverfox's bc the choices span the management changes.

Choice 1: 2014 21BHS, with bare aluminum floor, azdel cabinents, dry weight = 3500

Choice 2: 2016 version, wood-looking cabinets, dry weight = 4000 (I assume under Crossroads)

Choice 3: 2017 early version, wood-looking cabinets, dry weight = 4000 (I think this was one of the first batches right after KZ took over)

Choice 4: 2017 late version, back to azdel, dry weight = 3600.

I know that the weight dropped recently to 3600 bc of the new flooring.  Why did the weight go up to 4000 after Thor/Crossroads took over?

Also, what are the cabinets that look more like wood made of?

Any additional insights distinguishing between the different generations would be helpful.

Thanks!

PS Silverfox, thanks for initiating this thread, your question was always in the back of my mind.
Title: Re: The History And Future Of Livin Lite...The Untold Story
Post by: Silverfox on February 12, 2017, 02:30:18 PM
Hey Bronco, IN my honest opinion I would lean toward #1 or #4. Not only do they weigh less, they have the azdel cabinets (my choice over wood). #1 has an aluminum roof and an aluminum floor, another big plus for me. Although, if you're  camping in the winter,  the aluminum floor my not be your best option.
The other thing I would take into consideration is where the trailer was manufactured. I personally would stay away from any that were assembled in Topeka (Crossroads)...just don't think their hearts were in it! For what it's worth my unit was manufactured in March of 2015 and labeled a 2016 model. Based on Dan Millers timeline, I believe it was assembled at the larger facility by the same original workers under Scott Tuttle's management.
I can also attest that my trailer was assembled with TLC. I have made a lot of modifications and upgrades to my unit that required me to look beyond the outer facade....welding, wiring etc. I believe I have a well built trailer. I also believe the new team (KZ RV) are doing a great job and are continuing to build a good product. Once again, this is just my opinion and I hope it helps in your decision.
Title: Re: The History And Future Of Livin Lite...The Untold Story
Post by: djsamuel on February 12, 2017, 07:02:00 PM
As stated above, I would go with #1 or #4 as well.  My 21BHS fits the #1 category but the new trailers really look good and the floor seems like a big plus.
Title: Re: The History And Future Of Livin Lite...The Untold Story
Post by: wakeboydb on February 13, 2017, 07:14:55 AM
I have a 2017 21 bhs which passed final inspection on 4/7/16. As far as quality goes, I have been very impressed so far. I see different weights noted for this model and would love to know for sure what mine is. I'm guessing that makes mine a #3? Although,  mine does have an azdel sticker on the outside.
Title: Re: The History And Future Of Livin Lite...The Untold Story
Post by: Dan Miller on February 13, 2017, 01:29:12 PM
Hey Bronco, IN my honest opinion I would lean toward #1 or #4. Not only do they weigh less, they have the azdel cabinets (my choice over wood). #1 has an aluminum roof and an aluminum floor, another big plus for me. Although, if you're  camping in the winter,  the aluminum floor my not be your best option.
The other thing I would take into consideration is where the trailer was manufactured. I personally would stay away from any that were assembled in Topeka (Crossroads)...just don't think their hearts were in it! For what it's worth my unit was manufactured in March of 2015 and labeled a 2016 model. Based on Dan Millers timeline, I believe it was assembled at the larger facility by the same original workers under Scott Tuttle's management.
I can also attest that my trailer was assembled with TLC. I have made a lot of modifications and upgrades to my unit that required me to look beyond the outer facade....welding, wiring etc. I believe I have a well built trailer. I also believe the new team (KZ RV) are doing a great job and are continuing to build a good product. Once again, this is just my opinion and I hope it helps in your decision.

The 2014 Choice, depending on when it was built, more than likely has the older lightweight foam core counter tops and aluminum roof
The 2016 Choice would have the solid surface counter tops still with aluminum floors but with vinyl covering. Early 2016 probably still an aluminum roof
The 2017 early version not much change from the 2016 version with the exception of a Superflex roof
The Late 2017 version now feature an aluminum framed insulated laminated floor, not only adding insulation but saving quite a bit of weight. In the process of optimizing the construction we looked at areas where we could further reduce weight such as replacing the 1" aluminum tubing used in the cabinetry with 3/4" aluminum tube.

The only area wood was used in the cabinetry was the wood faces of the cabinetry 2016 and later.  The older units such as the 2014 utilized wood look azdel with the same doors but with an azdel insert in place of the aluminum used in the aluminum cabinetry.

The new wood look cabinetry, 2016 and later, feature wood doors and faces.  The balance of the cabinetry is azdel matched to the wood fronts. All cabinetry is as always aluminum framed with the only difference is we now utilize 3/4 x 3/4 aluminum tube vs 1x1 aluminum tube, reducing the overall weight.  Other changes you will see is that we are moving from Dexter Torsion axles to Dexter Spring Axles.


- Dan

Title: Re: The History And Future Of Livin Lite...The Untold Story
Post by: Bronco2004 on February 13, 2017, 03:49:20 PM
Thanks everyone, your inputs clarify a lot. 

For my contribution, FWIW I just got off the phone w a dealer that a LL rep told me to contact.  He explained why the weight went up from +/- 3500# to +/- 4000# from 2015 to 2016 and then back down to +/- 3600# in latter 2017.  According to him, the weight increase was bc Thor implemented forced option packages which added weight.  But the weight drop on the latter 2017 model was the real deal, stemming from real design modifications, such as the floor, which he called "putting the 21 models on a diet."  It seems the rest of the Camplite lineups will follow suit and also be put on a diet.  This is corroborated by Dan when I emailed him and explains why the 16DBS currently weighs more than the 21's.

After everyone's input, my brain is telling me choice #4, the latter 2017, but my wife and wallet (usually interchangeable) are telling me choice #3, the early 2017--a particular non-LL dealer bought out another dealer who carried LL's and is getting rid of them.  If you and/or anyone you know are interested in a 16 DBS or TBS, they have them for a great price. 

Thanks again!
Title: Re: The History And Future Of Livin Lite...The Untold Story
Post by: nanette on November 20, 2017, 10:40:44 PM
Sure would love to know if the Azdel cabinets have any wood? How can I find a Camplite that has zero wood in its construction?
Title: Re: The History And Future Of Livin Lite...The Untold Story
Post by: klaker on November 22, 2017, 09:20:32 AM
nanette, buy a pre 2017 LL. My 21 was built in Dec of 2015, it is titled as a 2016 and has the aluminum roof and floor. By 2016 the aluminum cabinets were an option so not all of them will have them, IMHO the most important items are the floor and roof.

My camper has the wood cabinet doors but I don't mind, it is the white and makes the interior look real nice.

check with http://morealuminumtrailers looks like they have a new 2016 in stock,
Title: Re: The History And Future Of Livin Lite...The Untold Story
Post by: chappy133 on November 23, 2017, 10:52:31 AM
Need to add .com to the hyperlink for it to work.
Title: Re: The History And Future Of Livin Lite...The Untold Story
Post by: klaker on November 24, 2017, 12:46:06 PM
I know, left it off because I didn't know if links were allowed on the forum.
Title: Re: The History And Future Of Livin Lite...The Untold Story
Post by: ThStranger on January 03, 2018, 09:27:36 PM
I have noticed that the new Camp Lite is taking a real beating on most forums. Why is that? The new models have enclosed heated underbellies and look and feel much more modern and warm. The small amount of wood that are in them now is not likely to get wet if a leak develops as I believe it is all in the drawers and trim work inside. I waited for several years till they offered the heated underbelly and ordered a 16DBS "duel axles" to be picked up in Feb. (hopefully).
Title: Re: The History And Future Of Livin Lite...The Untold Story
Post by: klaker on January 04, 2018, 11:30:31 AM
Are you sure they are heated? an enclosed underbelly prevents easy inspection, hides crappy build quality and even if heated doesn't help in the winter because there is no insulation, Enclosing an underbelly with a piece of plastic is useless.

The newer livin lites are getting dumped on by the people who remember how they were built when Scott Tuttle owned the company, we signed up for the "all aluminum construction" Thor has created a rubber roof, foam floor, and fiberglass walls facsimile. No more aluminum floors and roofs, no more 1" tubing in more places, no more aluminum walls, no more tandem torflex axles with brakes on both, instead you get led mood lighting and an enclosed underbelly.

The original livin lites were special in their construction, thor now makes them like every other camper (price is still high though, imagine that) Please forgive us purists from ragging on the new livin lites, if you own one and it works for you then that is all that matters.

Title: Re: The History And Future Of Livin Lite...The Untold Story
Post by: tco2612 on January 04, 2018, 11:39:12 AM
DILLY DILLY
Title: Re: The History And Future Of Livin Lite...The Untold Story
Post by: ThStranger on January 07, 2018, 09:40:15 PM
Well klaker, if you have an all aluminum trailer then why does it concern YOU what they are building these days ?????? I have not picked mine up yet but it is on order and yes the one I seen had a heated/enclosed underbelly !! What YOU state about the underbelly is your opinion and you know what opinions are like ........I did not want the cold aluminum floor and all that cold feeling aluminum inside so I was looking at other TT's until they made the Camp Lite "warmer" feeling. The 16DBS I have on order does have duel axles ........... If YOU are happy with the older all aluminum camper then that's all that matters, why bash what YOU don't have or don't want ???????????
Title: Re: The History And Future Of Livin Lite...The Untold Story
Post by: djsamuel on January 08, 2018, 09:11:47 AM
The new dual axle Camplites use leaf springs and the MorRyde suspensions which are excellent.  The fiberglass walls are an option, but they do look nice.  My 2013 21BHS, with the aluminum roof and floor has been an outstanding trailer so far and we've taken it from Florida to places like Arizona and Utah.  That said, I would not hesitate to purchase another Camplite.  They've managed to open the line up to a larger audience while still still providing a unique trailer that is a cut above the typical offerings.  The rubber roof is a higher grade roofing material than most trailers.  The foam floor is a poor description since it is a laminate of materials with aluminum ribs, much different from foam flooring in other campers.  The 1" aluminum tubing was overkill in some areas of the camper, and this change saves a bit of weight.  So if someone buys a new Camplite they are still getting a really nice trailer; far above other many other brands.
Title: Re: The History And Future Of Livin Lite...The Untold Story
Post by: klaker on January 08, 2018, 11:47:05 AM
Well klaker, if you have an all aluminum trailer then why does it concern YOU what they are building these days ?????? I have not picked mine up yet but it is on order and yes the one I seen had a heated/enclosed underbelly !! What YOU state about the underbelly is your opinion and you know what opinions are like ........I did not want the cold aluminum floor and all that cold feeling aluminum inside so I was looking at other TT's until they made the Camp Lite "warmer" feeling. The 16DBS I have on order does have duel axles ........... If YOU are happy with the older all aluminum camper then that's all that matters, why bash what YOU don't have or don't want ???????????


Read much?? "Please forgive us purists from ragging on the new livin lites, if you own one and it works for you then that is all that matters."  ??? ??? ??? ??? ???

The underbelly enclosing has nothing to do with opinion, they didn't insulate it, if you are so confident go camp in the winter and report back here with your experience, you can post "How do I fix frozen burst pipes" The bigger issue anyway is inspection and maintenance, have fun removing the plastic panels for inspection or work. Yep, enclosing an underbelly with a piece of plastic is useless.

I have owned 2 livin lites with aluminum floors, they were never cold, and if you camp in cold weather they make these things called rugs. Spend top dollar on a camper with a cheap foam floor so it can be a few degrees warmer, to each his own.


The leaf spring suspensions sit much higher, don't ride as smooth as the Torflex, and require maintenance. They also took away brakes on one axle. The rubber roof is same one used on half the campers out there, it is in no way a "higher grade" it is susceptible to UV damage, rips, tears, etc. There are a million posts online about plastic RV roofs and their associated problems, manufacturers use them because they are cheap.

Excuses can be made all day long but in reality the new livin lites are a case study in content reduction. If you are happy with your newer livin lite that is great, but as the OP noticed there are lots of people who prefer the better construction and materials of the older versions.

Title: Re: The History And Future Of Livin Lite...The Untold Story
Post by: ThStranger on January 08, 2018, 11:56:11 AM
Thank You djsamuel !!
Title: Re: The History And Future Of Livin Lite...The Untold Story
Post by: ThStranger on January 08, 2018, 12:43:43 PM
klaker, YOU need to get your facts straight before spewing your false information !!!!

"They also took away brakes on one axle."

I just spoke with Amy who called engineering and both axles are BRAKE AXLES !! As a matter of fact, they only order "Brake Axles" !!!!!!!!!!!!

Glad I could educate YOU on your misinformation.
Title: Re: The History And Future Of Livin Lite...The Untold Story
Post by: klaker on January 20, 2018, 12:59:39 PM
klaker, YOU need to get your facts straight before spewing your false information !!!!

"They also took away brakes on one axle."

I just spoke with Amy who called engineering and both axles are BRAKE AXLES !! As a matter of fact, they only order "Brake Axles" !!!!!!!!!!!!

Glad I could educate YOU on your misinformation.


dude chill, I saw 2 units on dealer lots with brakes on one axle only, maybe this was temporary when they switched over to leaf springs, who knows. If they are back with brakes on both axles then that is at least one good thing.

Regardless of all the back and forth and to repeat what I've said before if your camper works for you and you are happy with it that is all that matters.

Keep in mind though there are a lot of people out there who prefer the way livinlites were built originally so don't take it personally when they downplay the new versions.

Heading out to my livinlite (21BHS) in a few hours to check on it and put some camping gear in it to help de-clutter the basement, despite my comments about what thor is changing I still love my camper and will never sell it (although I did sell my first livinlite)  ;)