Livin’ Lite Recreational Vehicles announced the addition of River City RV, located in Sherwood, Ark., to the builder’s dealer network.
“River City RV is the type of quality dealer that Livin’ Lite is proud to be associated with,” said Mike Tribble, national sales manager for Wakarusa, Ind.-based Livin’ Lite, in a press release. “Their commitment to customer service after that sale and their dedication to selling only quality-built vehicles gel well with what we are all about.”
River City will be representing Livin’ Lite’s Camplite travel trailers, Axxess and Quicksilver VRV toy haulers, Gameday tail-gating trailers and the new half-ton towable Camplite fifth-wheel line.
“Our ideal location in central Arkansas allows us to serve campers from all over the region,” said Joshua Wood, general manager for River City RV, noting the dealership has one of the largest RV inventory and accessory supercenters in Arkansas and just added a full collision facility with over 12,000 square foot of indoor space. “ We are very excited to carry the Livin’ Lite Brand and we feel that it’s a great fit with the way that we do business. With the all-aluminum construction and Azdel composites, we are very excited to offer a product that no one else can offer.
For more information, visit www.RIVERCITYRVS.com
Livin’ Lite Recreational Vehicles LLC has launched an online retail sales and certification program for its line of products.
“It is one of the first programs of its type in the industry,” said Scott Tuttle, president of the Thor Industries Inc. subsidiary, in a press release. “Retail sales personnel will not only learn how and what Livin’ Lite does, but they will also be educated on why Livin’ Lite does it.”
Tuttle noted that Livin’ Lite is “bringing an entirely new demographic of buyer onto dealers’ lots,” and the program helps salespeople address the needs of RVers looking for campers that can towed with the current family vehicle.
Every salesperson will have the opportunity to go through product-specific training, including an informative presentation and video. They will then take an online test, which is graded immediately by the program. Sale personnel who pass the product-specific training course will be certified to sell that Livin’ Lite product, as well as become eligible to receive sales spiffs from the factory.
“For a full line dealership, their sales personnel will earn up to four separate certifications – automotive tent campers, automotive travel trailers, toy haulers and truck campers,” Tuttle said.
To access the the online program, click here. The user name is livinlite and the password is training. That will take users to a screen where they click on the area that says ‘Not registered’ under the login button.
Wakarusa, Ind.-based Livin’ Lite Recreational Vehicles LLC, recently acquired by Thor Industries Inc., will be introducing its all-new, ultralight Camplite fifth-wheel during the upcoming Elkhart County RV Open House.
According to a press release, the official unveiling will take place at 5 p.m. on Sept. 16 at the company’s display on Executive Parkway – the main artery to Thor’s expansive exhibit at the RV/MH Hall of Fame. In conjunction with the fifth-wheel unveiling, Livin’ Lite is inviting dealers to enjoy a seafood and steak dinner, with live music from 5 p.m. until dark that same evening.
“We are very excited to enter the fifth-wheel marketplace, not only with the Camplite midprofile model, but also in our Quicksilver VRV toy hauler line,” said Scott Tuttle, president of Livin’ Lite. “These unique fifth-wheels are sure to be the lightest in their class and will provide the owners the ability to pull them with a half-ton pickup truck.”
Livin’ Lite is cosponsoring the seafood and steak dinner and live music with Augusta RV, which has a display next to Livin’ Lite. “We know that a lot of dealers will be in town early for this big week and we encourage them to kick it off right by stopping in to see some unique products while enjoying some great food and music,” said Tuttle.
With 450% growth over the last three years, Wakarusa, Ind.-based Livin’ Lite Recreational Vehicles LLC ranked in the top 1,000 in Inc. Magazine’s Top 5,000 fastest-growing companies for 2013.
The Elkhart Truth reported that the business, with $16.4 million in revenue, is the only Elkhart County RV maker to make this year’s list, coming in at number 965.
Livin’ Lite is different from much of the other representatives on the list. The company makes products that aren’t hidden in the back of the supply chain but instead are right there for customers to step in and enjoy.
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Wakarusa, Ind.-based Livin’ Lite Recreational Vehicles LLC reported an 82% increase in sales for the first quarter of 2013 versus the same time last year.
“We knew we were having a great first quarter, but these numbers really blew away our projections,” said Scott Tuttle, president of Livin’ Lite in a press release.
Tuttle said that sales were spurred by the new models Livin’ Lite introduced at last year’s Louisville Show, including slideouts in its popular Camplite travel trailers and truck campers, and a rich new cherry wood look interior.
Consumer interest has also sparked heightened web activity on the company’s site as Livin’ Lite now welcomes nearly 3,500 unique visitors a day.
“Out of those 3,500 unique visitors each day, more than 700 are going to our Dealer Locator and typing in their information so they can find dealers who are carrying our brands,” said Tuttle.
Tuttle reported that top selling Livin’ Lite brands include the Camplite, the Axxess chrome-look toy hauler and the Official Jeep camper, which was made available through Livin’ Lite dealers starting in January.
“Across all spectrums of the automotive camper market, we are seeing an increase in retail sales activity,” reports Tuttle. “More and more consumers are driving smaller, fuel-efficient vehicles and our ultra-lightweight, long-lasting designs are attracting more interest each day.”
Tuttle noted that Livin’ Lite now holds over 100 Google No. 1 spots for key word searches, including the generic term “lightweight camper.”
For more information visit www.LIVINLITE.com.
Livin’ Lite Recreational Vehicles LLC, introduced a restyled interior cabinetry look in its line of ultra-light campers at the recent Louisville Show, resulting in a number of new dealers and orders.
“As Livin’ Lite continues to evolve our unique all-aluminum and composite-built product lineup to better fit in with mainstream buyers, we listened to both our dealers and customers about what we can do better,” said Scott Tuttle, president of the Wakarusa, Ind.-based builder, in a press release. “What we heard was we needed to soften up our interiors even more, and possibly eliminate some of the shiny, aluminum edges and trim on the cabinetry and walls. Well – we did just that.”
Livin’ Lite showed a new optional black powder-coated trim package, available in traditional maple cabinetry or new cherry cabinetry. Tuttle reported that “dealers were quick to respond with orders for the new interiors” as they prepared for their 2013 selling seasons.
“While we will still build a number of units with the bright aluminum trim, especially in our toy hauler lines, this new powder-coated look really helps our unique wood-free products attain a true residential look,” said Tuttle.
The new interior packages are available in the Livin’ Lite’s popular Camplite travel trailers and truck campers, and will also be featured in an ultra-light fifth-wheel that Livin’ Lite plans to launch in 2013.
For more information visit http://www.livinlite.com/.
Livin’ Lite Recreational Vehicles LLC recently received a No. 1 rating for ultra-lightweight towables from third-party, consumer-produced JR Consumer Resources.
According to a press release, Livin’ Lite was the only manufacturer to garner an overall rating of “10” – the highest possible rating – in the highly competitive category.
“A couple of months ago, we started hearing about consumers who were purchasing Livin’ Lite vehicles who actually carried this publication into the dealership with them,” noted Scott Tuttle, president of the Wakarusa, Ind.-based all-aluminum towable builder.
According to the JR Consumer Resources website, rankings are based on customer satisfaction, interviews with existing RV owners and monitoring RV discussion forums.
“We consider it an honor to be rated No. 1 by JR Consumer Resources in the premium ultra-lightweight trailer rankings,” said Tuttle, noting that there were also “above average” and “economy” categories.
Wakarusa, Ind.-based Livin’ Lite Recreational Vehicles LLC announced that the company is now able to sell its official Jeep-branded campers through the Livin’ Lite network of dealers.
“Previously, Chrysler/Jeep would only allow these campers to be sold through their official Jeep dealers, but honestly, that didn’t work out as well as any of us hoped it would,” said Scott Tuttle, president of Livin’ Lite. “We have been negotiating with them for over a year to get this in our dealers’ hands where dealers are much more comfortable selling campers, and where potential camper owners are much more likely to go and see one in person.”
According to Tuttle, Jeep was the No. 1 selling SUV last year. He noted that the Livin’ Lite campers have earned the prestigious “Trail Rated” badge from Jeep by passing not only the same tough 160,000 mile testing that Jeep vehicles have to go through on the famous Chelsea proving grounds, but taking the camper through twice to make it sure it could handle the wear and tear.
“That means our camper went through 320,000 miles of testing,” said Tuttle. “They also put it through a 24-hour saline bath test to test the durability of the metals we were using. When it came out of that test, the actual camper looked great. But the hitch and the safety chains, items that we add on to the camper, were rusted through. It was amazing the detailed testing our camper went through. They actually marked every screw in the camper to make sure that it didn’t turn. In the end, we earned Detroit’s respect and their nod of approval to carry the Jeep name.”
The Jeep camper is the first trailer ever to make the cover of Four Wheeler magazine. The MSRP of the Jeep campers range from $9,999 to $11,999, depending on options.
Livin’ Lite is showing two versions of the Jeep camper in their display at the Nov. 27-29 National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky., each featuring 17-inch Jeep rims with 32- to 35-inch off-road tires. The Trail Edition features Jeep fenders, tires, rear bumper, latches and automotive logos – the same as used on the actual Jeep SUVs, as well as Jeep-branded interior sofa/bed and tent.
The Extreme Trail Edition, which is designed for extreme terrain including rock climbing, has a steel underbelly and articulating pintel hitch that allows the camper to be towed at extreme angles. Each Jeep camper comes with a custom paint scheme to exactly math the owner’s Jeep paint.
For more information, contact Livin’ Lite at (574) 862-2228 or visit www.LIVINLITE.com.
Livin’ Lite Recreational Vehicles LLC announced it has secured space near the RV/MH Hall of Fame to display product during the Elkhart County RV Open House Week, Sept. 17-21.
In addition, the Wakarusa, Ind.-based lightweight trailer builder said that it has been named to INC. Magazine’s Top 500 Fastest Growing Private Companies for the third straight year.
“It’s exciting to make this list for the third straight year,” reports LIVIN LITE President Scott Tuttle. “They actually have a Top 5000 list, and just the top 10% of that, the Top 500, make it into the magazine. To make the magazine for the third straight year is a testament to the incredible consumer interest in Livin’ Lite’s unique products as well as the hard work of our team members here at the factory.”
INC. Magazine reports that Livin’ Lite sales have increased 1,793.1% over the last three years, placing them at No. 201 on the list of rapidly growing companies.
Tuttle said that Livin’ Lite will be introducing several new products during the open house, including: the 21-foot Camplite, the company’s first slideout model; an all-new new truck camper; and the Axxess ultra-lightweight toy hauler.
Livin’ Lite is going to be sharing a cul-de-sac with EverGreen RV LLC and Cruiser RV LLC on Executive Drive, which leads to the Hall of Fame.
“It’s nice to be sharing space with two other great companies that we really respect and we are confident that dealers who take the time to stop by and see our product displays will not be disappointed,” said Tuttle.
The RV industry is showing signs of improvement in Indiana’s Elkhart County, as evidenced by the latest report from the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) showing an 8.6% increase in year-over-year shipments through the first five months of 2012.
WSBT, South Bend, reported that the trend is a welcome change for workers like Barry Hyser who found himself without a job when the economy, and the RV industry, tanked in 2008. “A lot of the RV industry was closed and certainly a lot of us were unemployed for a period of time,” says Hyser. “It has changed a lot since then.”
Hyser is back to work, landing a position as the location manager at Campers Inn in Elkhart. The two-year-old dealership is seeing steady sales, including selling out of its Class C motorhome inventory in May.
“We are seeing about a 20% growth for May and June over last year, so it is picking up again,” says Hyser. “That is really good news for Elkhart, and of course good news for Campers Inn.”
It is good news for anyone in the RV industry. Especially for companies like Wakarusa, Ind.-based Livin’ Lite Recreational Vehicles LLC.
Livin’ Lite specializes in lightweight towables and General Manager Troy Andrews says families are looking for fuel and cost-efficient options.
“The big trucks are gone, everyone is driving more economic vehicles and our product leans toward that,” says Andrews. “It makes sense. They don’t have to go buy a big truck, they can use what they already have. A mini van is a perfect vehicle for most our products.”
In 2008 Livin’ Lite employed 13 people and produced one or two RVs a day. Now 100 people work in the two Wakarusa plants and they’re building seven to eight units every day.
Livin’ Lite Recreational Vehicles LLC, Wakarusa, Ind., reports substantially increased consumer interest and sales in response to their recent product upgrades, including a radius front profile on their all-aluminum and composite CAMPLITE travel trailer line, as well as a new “wood-look” interior package featuring Azdel composite material with a rich, wood-grain pattern laminated on the surface.
“Response has been tremendous from both consumers and dealers. Our website and Facebook pages have nearly doubled in traffic since we made these changes public,” Greg Dischler, national sales manager, said in a press release.
Dischler also noted that additions to Livin’ Lite’s all-aluminum and composite truck camper line have resulted in increased retail orders. “We have seen our truck camper production double in the last eight weeks as our new models and upgraded features hit the market,” he said. “When you combine our ultra-lightweight construction with metallic exterior colors that match the consumer’s truck, our campers really stand out from the crowd.
He added, “Both consumers and dealers alike are excited about the uniqueness of the product and we are doing everything we can at the factory to try to keep up with demand.”
Livin’ Lite has been named to the INC. Magazine’s Top 500 fastest growing privately owned companies each of the last two years, and owner Scott Tuttle reports that 2012 is shaping up to be yet another banner year.
“After three years of tremendous growth, we are set up now with four separate production lines that will allow us to better manage our increased production as we move into the 2012 season,” states Tuttle. “Our goal is to continue to get better at what we do and to continue to improve our campers. As we do that, our sales continue to increase. We believe it is in direct response to what we are doing to fine tune our already unique products, and making sure that our dealers have nice sized territories so they can protect their profit margins.”
For information on LIVIN LITE’s unique products, visit their website at: www.LIVINLITE.com or contact Greg Dischler at greg.d@LIVINLITE.com, or 574-340-2369.
Livin’ Lite Recreational Vehicles LLC has expanded its Camplite truck camper line with the new 6.8 model designed specifically for short bed, half-ton trucks.
According to a press release, the new model is a self-contained unit with all the amenities of a much larger truck camper while still fitting into a 6-foot, 6-inch bed with no overhang. The 6.8 Camplite truck camper also includes a unique exterior garage area that can hold a small generator and a number of other tools and items on its hanging rack system.
Other introductions by the Wakarusa, Ind.-based builder scheduled for the 49th Annual National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky., include:
• A new “Orbit” profile on the popular Camplite travel trailer series, which combines a painted exterior metal to “form a one-of-a-kind exterior look” in an ultra-lightweight camper.
• A “wood look” interior package featuring Azdel composites. The cabinetry is still framed with welded, tubular aluminum and the cabinet doors are still made of aluminum, but the faces feature Azdel with a wood-grain pattern. President Scott Tuttle noted, “While our all-aluminum construction remains the foundation of our long-lasting, ultra-lightweight design, we have had some customers ask for a richer interior look that only wood can provide.”
Five Indiana companies, including Wakarusa-based Livin’ Lite Recreational Vehicles LLC, were recognized as “Spotlight” award recipients at the fourth annual “Companies to Watch” ceremony in Indianapolis Thursday (Aug. 25), according to a news release.
The accolade, presented by the Indiana Economic Development Corp., its Small Business Development Center network, Purdue University and the Edward Lowe Foundation, recognizes past “Companies to Watch” honorees that have demonstrated continued growth, success and commitment to Indiana.
In addition to Livin’ Lite, Greenfield-based Lee and Ryan Environment Consulting Inc., a construction and environmental consulting firm, Indianapolis-based MainGate Inc., a sports merchandising and marketing firm, Columbia City-based Micropulse Inc., a medical devices firm, and Indianapolis-based POLARIS Laboratories LLC, a fluid analysis testing laboratory, were honored.
“‘Spotlight’ award winners are shining examples of the growth and ongoing impact that ‘Companies to Watch’ recipients have in their communities and beyond,” said Mitch Roob, Secretary of Commerce and chief executive officer of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. “These five companies deserve our congratulations and our thanks for exemplifying the many strengths of Hoosier businesses.”
Livin’ Lite, a 2009 “Companies to Watch” recipient, weathered the RV industry storm and grew from approximately 51 to 77 employees in 2011. With 200% revenue growth in 2010, the RV manufacturer expects an 88% revenue increase this year due to its new light-weight RV model.
The second annual field of “Spotlight” award winners were honored along with this year’s 43 “Companies to Watch” recipients, that included Elkhart, Ind.-based RV supplier Dicor Corp., at a ceremony at the Indiana Roof Ballroom yesterday. Companies recognized as “Companies to Watch” are privately held businesses incorporated in Indiana, employ six to 150 full-time employees and have between $750,000 to $100 million in annual revenue or capital.
Livin’ Lite Recreational Vehicles LLC has launched a completely revamped website at www.LIVINLITE.com which showcases its now four distinctively different product lines in separate “sub-site” formats, Scott Tuttle, president of the Wakarusa, Ind-based manufacturer, announced in a news release.
“We have been working on this new site for a while now and are excited to finally have it go live,” reports Tuttle, “It will be much easier for customers who are interested in our all-aluminum construction to quickly chose between the four distinct product lines that we offer and click through to those particular areas of the site.”
Livin’ Lite, which was named to the INC Magazine’s Top 500 Fastest Growing Companies in America for 2009, builds Quicksilver automotive tent campers, Camplite travel trailers, VRV toy haulers and tthe recently introduced line of Camplite truck campers.
Tuttle reported that unique visitors to the Livin’ Lite site continues to grow dramatically each month as the company has experienced another 200% sale growth in 2010.
For more information, contact LIVIN LITE Recreational Vehicles at 574.862.2228, or visit their website at www.LIVINLITE.com.
The SEMA Show, which ran from Nov. 2-5 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, drew more than 110,000 trade-only attendees from 100 countries – well ahead of last year — to what is widely held as the “premier automotive specialty products trade event in the world.”
And the general atmosphere on the street, according to those walking those streets last week in Las Vegas in search of new business in the automotive, truck and SUV and RV markets represented by the sponsoring Specialty Equipment Market Association, is decidedy positive.
“This place has been humming,” says Terry Thompson, vice president of sales for Affinity Media/RV, which includes RVBusiness and RVBUSINESS.com as well as Trailer Life, MotorHome and Highways magazines. “The crowd’s are big and guys that we talk with are taking orders. As compared to last year and the year before that, they say it’s really been terrific.”
Adding to the draw of the 43-year-old SEMA Show, the leading venue bringing together manufacturers and buyers within the automotive specialty equipment industry, was the dual impact of AAPEX 2010 – Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo. AAPEX, a separate but overlapping convention organized by the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association, is located a shuttle bus drive away at the Sands Expo Center.
All things considered, it all made for a huge week in Las Vegas, a resort/convention destination that has taken some serious hits in the recession.
The massive SEMA Show’s displays – including a wide variety of companies that sell into the recreational vehicle market — were segmented into 12 sections while a “New Products Showcase” features thousands of newly introduced parts, tools and components. In addition, the SEMA Show provides attendees with educational seminars, product demonstrations, special events and networking opportunities.
Among the numerous RV industry-related exhibitors were Hopkins Mfg. Corp., Emporia, Kan.; Blue Ox, Pender Neb.; Aqua-Hot Heating Systems Inc., Fort Lupton, Colo.; CURT Mfg. Inc.. Eau Claire, Wis.; Roadmaster Inc., Vancouver, Wash.; Cequent Performance Products, Tekonsha, Mich., Livin’ Lite Recreational Vehicles LLC, Wakarusa, Ind., and BD Diesel Performance, Sumas, Wash.
Livin’ Lite’s Jeep Camping Trailer, a photo of which is featured with this story, is a private-label, all-aluminum Jeep-branded popup — manufactured by Wakarusa, Ind.-based Livin’ Lite — that Chrysler Group LLC began marketing in August through its Mopar division.
“I’m real happy with it,” said Blue Ox President Jay Hesse of his experience as a SEMA exhibitor this year, having brought a staff of five. “In fact, we’re going to maybe expand our role next year. I’m just extremely pleased in the results, a lot of new prospects, a lot of people to close on.”
SEMA’s New Products Showcase Awards, presented earlier in the week at the New Products Awards Breakfast, which served as a kickoff just prior to the official opening of the show, recognizes the most cutting-edge automotive products either on the market or about to hit the market. This year, there were more than 2,000 new products, largely in the automotive performance arena, submitted for consideration.
Criteria that ranked high on the judges’ selection for the New Product Showcase Awards included superiority of innovation, technical achievement, quality and workmanship, consumer appeal and marketability.
The 2010 New Product Award Winners include:
Best Engineered New Product:
Winner: LOKAR Performance Products, Drive-by-Wire Electronic Throttle Control (ETC)
Runner Up: ISIS Power, ISIS inTOUCH Max Touch Screen System
Runner Up: QA1 Motorsports, Wireless Remote Adjust System
Best New Exterior Accessory Product:
Winner: Pro Comp/Smittybilt, M1 Truck Bumper
Runner Up: Stainless Showworks Inc., 2010-2011 Mustang V6 and GT Mirrored Polished Stainless Steel Engine Compartment Dress Up Kit
Runner Up: MBRP Inc., Mega Tips
Best New Interior Accessory Product:
Winner: Omix-Ada/Rugged Ridge, Rugged Ridge Interior Trim Kit for the 2007-2010 Jeep JK Wrangler
Runner Up: B&M Racing and Performance Products, Hurst HardDrive Stick
Runner Up: Spectre Performance, ProFab Door Panels
Best New Merchandising Display:
Winner: Directus, Prodigy One
Runner Up: Cobra Electronics, Cobra iRadar Detection System
Runner Up: Dynojet Research, Power Vision
Best New Mobile Electronics Product:
Winner: Directus, Prodigy One
Runner Up: Cobra Electronics, Cobra iRadar Detection System
Runner Up: Dynojet Research, Power Vision
Best New Off-Road/4-Wheel Drive Product:
Winner: Timbren Industries Inc., Axle-Less Trailer Suspension
Runner Up: Omix-Ada/Rugged Ridge, Tire Carrier Linkage for 1976-2011 Jeeps
Runner Up: Advance Adapters Inc., Deluxe TJ Cable Shifter
Best New Packaging Design:
Winner: Bubba Rope, Bubba Rope
Runner Up: Meguiar’s Inc., Brilliant Solutions Wheel Polishing Kit
Runner Up: AMP Research, AMP Research Bed X-Tender
Best New Performance-Racing Product:
Winner: COMP Performance Group, COMP Cams Phaser Adjustable Locks for the 2011 5.0L Mustang
Runner Up: Holley Performance Products, Holley LS3/L92 Hi-Ram Modular Intake Manifold System, Carb & EFI
Runner Up: BD Diesel Performance, Big Daddy Race Turbo/Diverter Valve
Best New Performance-Street Product:
Winner: McLeod Racing, Mustang Master Cylinder Retro Kit
Runner Up: Painless Performance Products, GM Gen IV Tach Driver
Runner Up: COMP Performance Group, TCI 6X Six-Speed Transmission Package for Ford, Chrysler and Pontiac Applications
Best New Powersports Product:
Winner: AMSOIL, AMSOIL Quickshot SE
Runner Up: Axia Alloys, Modular Roll Cage Clamping System
Runner Up: SSV Works, BM-175S/B
Best New Street Rod/Custom Car Product:
Winner: Dakota Digital Inc., VHX Hybrid Analog/Digital Instrument Systems, GM Tri-Five Applications
Runner Up: Billet Specialties Inc., Billet Deck Lid Hinge
Runner Up: Danchuk Manufacturing, 1957 Front One-Piece OE-style Bumper
Best New Tire and Related Product:
Winner: Continental Tire, Continental ProContact With EcoPlus Technology
Runner Up: Continental Tire, General Grabber
Runner Up: Coker Tire, Excelsior Stahl Sport
Best New Tools & Equipment Product:
Winner: AAC, The Filler Detective
Runner Up: TecMate North America, OptiMate 6-TM-181
Runner Up: Auto Meter Products, BVA-260
Best New Van/Pickup/Sport-Utility Product:
Winner: Fastway Trailer Products, Fastway Flip-Self-Retracting Jack Foot
Runner Up: Shin Shield, Shin Shield
Runner Up: RBP/Rolling Big Power-A Division of Lexani, RBP Logo Mud Flap
Best New Wheel and Related Product:
Winner: The Ultimate Wheel & Tire Plus Sizing Guide, Bolt Pattern Pro
Runner Up: Kyowa Designs/Concept One, Concept One Executive RS-55
Runner Up: IForged Performance Alloys/Forgestar Wheels, Forgestar CF5