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Travel Lite’s Falcon Revamp a Hit At ‘Open House’

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October 10, 2017 by   Comments Off on Travel Lite’s Falcon Revamp a Hit At ‘Open House’

F-Lite Falcon trailer exterior in graphite (Photo by Shawn Spence)

For Travel Lite RV President Dustin Johns, the 2017 Elkhart RV Open House proved a validation of sorts for concepts the New Paris, Ind.-based towable and truck camper manufacturer has championed of late — especially the company’s wedge-shaped Falcon travel trailer debuted a year ago. At Open House, Travel Lite unveiled a number of upgrades to its lines and introduced a new F-Lite variant of the Falcon that, Johns said, was received “extremely well” by visiting dealers.

“The show was fantastic,” he told RVBUSINESS.com. “Even Monday, which is still an ‘unofficial’ day for most manufacturers. We sold more on Monday than we did all last year at Open House. The dealers who came in on Monday had already done their homework; they wanted to see our product and lock up their territory. I couldn’t ask for anything better.”

The F-Lite, which Johns noted was smaller than the Falcon — “It’s a little narrower, a little shorter and with a different level of amenities, but it has a lot of similarities” — was introduced in three models, with MSRPs starting at $13,900 and weights from 1,692 pounds.

“We’re doing three floorplans in F-Lite,” he pointed out. “One is a compact 14-footer, one is an 18-foot, dry-bath unit that’s really nice — we’ve done exceptionally well with it — and then we’re also offering a 19-foot bunkhouse model.”

Dustin Johns

Along with the F-Lite, Travel Lite also introduced a new dual-axle, dry bath Falcon floorplan with an island queen bed up front. “That’s unique for these types of body styles with the wheels outside the body. It’s nice because owners won’t have to crawl over one another in the middle of the night.” The company also brought out new red and gunmetal colors to augment the white and black exterior tones already in use.

Travel Lite’s truck camper models were also on the receiving end of the new gunmetal tones but, according to Johns, that was perhaps one of the lesser changes to the lineup.

“We totally upgraded our truck campers, inside and out,” he said. “We’re using diamond-plate on the rear and on the front nose now. In addition, we’re using aluminum doors inside and solid Granicote countertops, so it’s really rich on the inside as well. We had a total renovation — wallboard, flooring, all the cabinet styles — across the whole brand.

“Even the logo is new,” he added. “As we’re constructing our new headquarters, we’re going to have that actually put on the building. So I wanted to make sure it was something we’re going to stick with for the next 10-15 years or so.”

Artist’s rendering of Travel Lite’s new facility in Syracuse, Ind.

Johns expects Travel Lite to break ground on its new Syracuse, Ind., facility in early October and to move into the new campus early in the second quarter of 2018. The facility will include a nearly three-story headquarters, a 12,000-square-foot custom fiberglass molding shop called Next Level Components and Indiana RV, an RV dealership on prime frontage facing U.S. 6.

“It couldn’t come soon enough,” he pointed out. “We’re working on some larger units, 30-footers and so on, and we’re going to be getting into motorized next year, so there’s a lot happening and we need the space.”

Motorized?

“That’s where we’re headed,” Johns told RVBUSINESS.com. “That’s part of my game plan. I don’t want to do anything if I’m not going to improve on what’s out there. But when I look at Travel Lite trailers I can see a literal difference between them and others in their category. We have a wider stance, bigger refrigerator, bigger holding tanks, more battery, more propane capacity. The changes are obvious to anyone who looks.

“And if I can do that in motorized, which I believe I can, then I’ll do it,” he added. “I’ve found a couple of things I can do that I think will be unique. Plus, with us now having a fiberglass molding shop, we can create some really different molds that will be smooth but stand out.”

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