SylvanSport announced Greig Heil as the grand prize winner in their “Coolest. Camper. Ever. Adventure Contest,” winning a GO popup camper loaded with outdoor adventure gear from eight different sponsors.
The GO, an all-in-one pop-up camper and trailer from SylvanSport, was hailed as the “Coolest. Camper. Ever.,” by National Geographic, according to a press release.
To enter, contestants wrote short essays pitching an outdoor adventure they wanted to take with the GO, and three finalists were selected to borrow the GO and document their adventures for up to three months. At the end of their journey, one would be crowned the ultimate GO winner.
Heil, who is a mountain biker and blogger for Singletracks.com and Tripleblaze.com, was in the market for a camper for a mountain biking tour he wanted to take in the Pacific Northwest.
He noted, “In the process of seeking out potential campers, I wrote an essay and entered it into the ‘Coolest. Camper. Ever. Adventure Contest,’ and then promptly forgot about it.”
His submission was selected from over 2,000 entries and earned Heil a spot in the top three finalists competing for a chance to win a GO pop-up camper. The other two finalists included Aaron Smith, a riverboarder hailing from east Texas, and Meghan Wolfgram from Florida, owner of Swift Paws Lure Coursing Equipment for dog agility and training.
Accompanied by his wife, Summer, Heil hit the road with the GO and camped and mountain biked through Bend and Oakridge in Oregon, and Salida and Steamboat Springs in Colorado, before heading back to the southeast. Along the way, he hauled four mountain bikes, a massive cooler, and a tool box on the GO, with plenty of room to spare.
In an online review for Singletracks, Heil praised the GO for its design and engineering. “A traditional camper is designed for pure luxury and indulgence, whereas the GO is a versatile piece of high-quality technical gear that is designed to perform well on the way to the campground, at the campground, and on the way back,” he wrote.
SylvanSport has introduced the GO-Easy ultra-lightweight camping-utility trailer to complement its GO trailer line that debuted five years ago.
According to a press release, the GO-Easy trailer can carry more than its body weight, yet it’s small enough to be pulled by a motorcycle. At just 275 pounds, it can carry up to 325 pounds of cargo, including an impressive combination of watercraft, like canoes and kayaks, and bikes.
As with their flagship SylvanSport GO camping and utility trailer, the GO-Easy is a revolutionary design for its class. It’s made with a rugged steel frame for durability and longevity, has a weatherproof front storage box and a spacious, diamond-plate aluminum deck for over 17 cu. ft of additional storage. The GO-Easy has a smooth-riding torsion axle, is fully compatible with all major rack manufacturers products, has integrated tie-down points, and LED front and rear lights.
“The GO-Easy is the coolest new way to carry your boats, bikes and a lot of gear,” said Kyle Mundt, SylvanSport Director of Marketing. “It’s an intelligent blend of design flair, engineering experience and multi-functionality, with an absolute commitment to producing the most versatile, creative, and robust sport utility trailer on the market.”
Since launching the GO in 2008, SylvanSport has earned a reputation for smart design and quality craftsmanship. Hailed by National Geographic Adventure as the “Coolest. Camper. Ever.,” GO racked up awards like Men’s Journal Magazine’s Gear of the Year, and Business Week and IDSA’s Industrial Design Excellence Award.
“It’s not just bringing inspired design to the otherwise utilitarian world of trailers that makes the GO-Easy exceptional,” said Tom Dempsey, SylvanSport founder and CEO. “The GO-Easy truly enables a better adventure experience and allows you to focus on fun, not logistics.”
To commemorate its special introduction, the GO-Easy can be preordered now through SylvanSport.com, starting at $1,995, which is $500 off the MSRP. It ships via UPS, with assembly taking about an hour. The GO-Easy will be available through a variety of retailers throughout the U.S. and Canada.
To see more detailed information about the SylvanSport GO-Easy, and SylvanSports’ complete line of outdoor products, visit http://www.sylvansport.com .
Brevard, N.C.-based SylvanSport has developed a solar power kit for the company’s lightweight GO popup camping trailer, according to a press release.
“Our customers have been asking for a solar-powered option for the GO camping trailer, and we’ve been working hard to make that possible,” said Kyle Mundt, marketing director for SylvanSport. “We’re thrilled to now offer the Goal Zero: GO 400 Solar Power Kit in our revamped online store.”
SylvanSport plans to add two more solar-powered GO systems later in the year.
The Goal Zero: GO 400 Solar Power Kit, available only at www.Sylvansport.com, is a compact, custom-designed unit that lights up the GO camping trailer and powers electronics, fans and small appliances. It can also be used as a solar power system for base camps, cabins and as a backup for unexpected outages.
The power kit includes:
• The Goal Zero Yeti 400, a portable generator that works with the Nomad 13 and powers USB devices, along with 12-volt and AC-powered devices, including lights, laptops, phones, MP3 players, TVs, fans, and small appliances, like a mini-fridge.
• Goal Zero Nomad 13 solar panel kits (set of 2) that can easily mount to the roof of the GO or other campsite locations like the side of a picnic table. Each Nomad 13 provides 13 watts of highly efficient mono-crystalline solar power.
• An adjustable Light-A-Life LED Light, that can mount anywhere in the GO and lights up the interior.
• Several adapters plus a six-foot extension cable.
SylvanSport will showcase the GO camper at Floydfest, an annual world music and arts camping festival in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Floyd, Va., on July 25-28. This is the third year that SylvanSport and the GO will be a part of Floydfest.
Brevard, N.C.-based company SylvanSport, makers of the lightweight GO popup camping trailer, the GO, announced a new “PRO-GO Getter” ambassador referral program.
“When people call about the GO, the first thing they want to know is where they can see one in person,” said Tom Dempsey, founder of SylvanSport, in a press release. “With the PRO-GO Getter program, interested customers can connect with GO owner insiders to see the full versatility of the GO camping trailer in action, for themselves.”
The GO pop-up camper is designed from the frame out to be a versatile “mobile adventure trailer.” It tows behind any vehicle, including hybrids, and hauls bikes, kayaks and motorcycles before transforming into a comfortable camping trailer with a living space that can sleep four.
For qualified PRO-GO Getters, the benefits of being a brand ambassador for the GO camping trailer include:
- Savings of up to $2,500 off the manufacturer’s suggested retail price for purchase GO popup camping trailer.
- Referral fees of $300 for every completed sale of the GO popup camper.
- A complete GO camping and adventure package, including an awning, spare tire, four mattresses and two bed/seat/tables.
- Special SylvanSport merchandise like camping chairs and a team PRO-GO t-shirt.
- A custom web page on sylvansport.com to help direct customers to ambassadors.
- Sales support literature and pull-up event banners for events.
- Access to partner company PRO-deals on all kinds of outdoor adventure gear.
Brevard, N.C.-based SylvanSport, makers of the lightweight popup camping trailer the GO, have teamed up with AdvantageWest to present 15 Western North Carolina gear-making companies in a special Outdoor Gear Builders Village at the 13th annual Mountain Sports Festival in Asheville, N.C., on May 24-26.
According to a press release, upwards of 15,000 visitors are expected to attend the festival. SylvanSport said that the Outdoor Gear Builders Village represents the inception for a new network of over 30 local gear-making companies uniting to form the Outdoor Gear Builders of Western North Carolina.
For SylvanSport, the inspiration to create a local gear-manufacturing network to debut in the Mountain Sports Festival made perfect sense. Hosted in Asheville, Mountain Sports Festival invites visitors to explore and compete in a myriad of mountain sports, with music, entertainment and exhibitors rounding out the festivities.
While attendees might be familiar with the bounty of mountain sports offered — from hiking, kayaking, biking and beyond—they may be surprised to learn how many gear manufacturers are operating out of the region. With the Outdoor Gear Builders Village, the festival will highlight 15 local outdoor adventure gear manufacturers, including ENO, SylvanSport, Watershed, Three Minute Egg, Tsuga Canopies, SkinFare, Bellyak, Outrider USA, EarthSports Design, Rightline Gear, REEB Bikes and more.
“The idea for the Outdoor Gear Builders Village grew out of our desire to help Western North Carolina grow the outdoor manufacturing industry,” said Kyle Mundt, director of marketing at SylvanSport. “We thought it would be cool to invite some other interesting bike and paddle companies, and exhibit together like the Open Air Demo at the Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City.” The Outdoor Retailer Summer and Winter shows, in Salt Lake City, UT, are the largest outdoor sports shows of their kind.
Brevard, N.C.-based SylvanSport recently opened an expanded manufacturing facility to “support projected sales growth and facilitate new product development,” according to a press release. The new space more than triples the facility’s square footage.
“The building, when fully completed, will increase our production capacity significantly and be key to our growth as a company,” said Patrick Kennedy, operations manager. “It is part of the ongoing process to strengthen the SylvanSport brand and strive to be a leader amongst American-made gear manufacturers.“
The 18,000 square foot renovated facility expands manufacturing capacity for the GO, SylvanSport’s signature multi-use adventure trailer, and provides additional space for new product development and production in 2013. Additionally, the business offices will be renovated and expanded to accommodate newly added positions including production manager and sales manager.
“Our decision to expand in Brevard speaks to the tremendously supportive environment in western North Carolina for the outdoor industry. Organizations like Advantage West, Transylvania County, and the City of Brevard, along with the superb outdoor recreation make this a magical place,” commented SylvanSport CEO Thomas Dempsey.
The GO, was designed from the frame out to be a one-of-a-kind mobile adventure trailer. Lightweight and easy to manage, the GO can be pulled by even the smallest of cars and can carry up to a dozen bikes, kayaks or any combination thereof.
SylvanSport announced its partnership with Lazydays, the nation’s largest recreational vehicle dealer. The SylvanSport GO, an innovative camper-trailer that can be towed behind any vehicle, will be available at Lazydays’ two locations in Florida and Arizona, according to a news release.
“This partnership is a great opportunity for both Lazydays and SylvanSport,” Thomas Dempsey, SylvanSport founder and president, stated in the release. “SylvanSport was founded on the idea of reinventing the RV and addressing the recreational side of small vehicles. Lazydays reaches a broad range of consumers who are increasingly seeking out alternatives to the traditional RV.”
The availability of the GO at brick-and-mortar locations marks an expansion of SylvanSport’s targeted sales strategy. Previously available only through direct sales, the brand plans to increase its retail presence to engage consumers and drive sales.
“SylvanSport is a unique product that our consumers haven’t seen before,” says Gordon Myhre, Lazydays chief marketing officer. “It fits into a new breed of lightweight trailers, a category where we expect to see substantial growth. It’s a product that draws curiosity from a younger, more active consumer interested in the adventure travel lifestyle.”
Founded in 2004 by veteran outdoor industry executive and entrepreneur Thomas Dempsey, SylvanSport designs, manufactures and distributes Mobile Adventure Gear from its headquarters in Brevard, N.C. The company is committed to developing smart, efficient, visionary products that encourage responsible and respectful enjoyment of the outdoors. For more information on SylvanSport and its products please visit www.sylvansport.com.
SylvanSport today (March 27) announced that Ultimate Campers, Australia’s leading off-road camper trailer manufacturer, has been named the Brevard, N.C.-based company’s exclusive Australian and New Zealand distributor for the SylvanSport GO.
“The GO was designed to have worldwide appeal, and we’re excited to serve such adventure-oriented markets as Australia and New Zealand,” Thomas Dempsey, SylvanSport’s president and founder, said in a press release. “With this addition to our existing distribution in Europe and Asia, the GO has truly gone global. We could not hope to find a better fit for the GO than with Ultimate Campers. We look forward to growing our presence inAustralia and New Zealand with their sales and market leadership.”
Founded in 1994 by Michael and Wendy Hackett, the origins of Ultimate Campers lie in the boat-building industry. According to the release, Ultimate Campers’ adventure trailers such as the Xtrk, Elite Silver and Elite Gold are popular among “camping and sports enthusiasts around the world.”
The Ultimate GO, as it will be branded in Australia, is produced by SylvanSport in the U.S. and will be distributed by Ultimate Campers in Australia and New Zealand.
“The multi-configurable frame of the GO trailer makes it the most versatile transformable camper in the world today,” said Michael Hackett. “Whether you are into mountain bikes, dirt bikes, kayaks or ATVs, the GO allows you to carry almost any combination of equipment you need along with shelter, all in one. We are excited to partner with SylvanSport and offer the Ultimate GO.”
The following is an excerpt from a story in USA Today story outlining niche market camper builder SylvanSport’s loss of sales due to Chinese “copycat” manufacturers. To read the entire story click here.
SylvanSport founder Thomas Dempsey learned last summer that a product similar to one he’d patented was being made in China when a customer sent him a link to a Chinese company’s website.
On the website, Dempsey found a recreational camper trailer that looked eerily like the one he designed and patented and sells through his 8-year-old Brevard, N.C., company.
“We were shocked,” says Dempsey. “We thought at first that what we saw was our product, but as we looked at some of the video and photography, we realized that this is tooled up from scratch.”
It was the beginning of what would be a nightmare for any small-business owner. Since then, distributors in South Korea and Japan have opted to market the Chinese company’s product instead of Dempsey’s. A Japanese distributor mistakenly thought it was buying products from SylvanSport’s Chinese factory, says Dempsey. Confused consumers have also e-mailed SylvanSport, asking about its affiliation with the Chinese product, owned by Wuyi Tiandi Motion Apparatus, a maker of dirt bikes and camping gear in Jinhua City in eastern China.
These problems have left the promising U.S. upstart, whose camper trailers retail for about $8,000, in a precarious position. While SylvanSport expects a “break-even” year, with sales around $3 million — more than double 2011′s — business could suffer in coming years if distributors keep fleeing to the Chinese competitor, Dempsey says.
In 2011, SylvanSport got about 15% of its sales from outside the U.S. and about half of that from South Korea, Japan and Australia. Dempsey expects 30% of 2012 sales will be international.
“Our politicians, when they describe the companies that are necessary for the economic recovery, (they are talking about) companies like ours,” he says. But because of SylvanSport’s lost sales, “There’s a very real chance that the Chinese company could be the survivor here and we could go out of business.”
Legions of imitators
The “shanzai,” or copycat, culture is thriving in China. A Google search for “shanzai China” produces references to Dolce & Banana, KFG fried chicken and the HiPhone, imitations of Dolce & Gabbana, KFC and the iPhone. You might even find a reference to the Goojje search site, whose logo once closely resembled Google’s.
China isn’t the first developing nation to struggle with a copycat business culture. Most nations — even the U.S. — faced the same issues during the last century, says Cai Jun, a professor in the industrial design department at Tsinghua University in Beijing. Developing nations imitate the more advanced technologies of other countries in order to learn, says Cai.
Yet in Asia, “The Western idea of intellectual property seems not yet fully established,” says Peter Zec, the founder of the Red Dot Institute for Advanced Design Studies in Essen, Germany, and a former president of the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design.
The severe copycat problem in China and other Asian nations exposes foreign companies, big and small, to copyright, patent and trademark infringement issues, legal experts say.
China is the “factory to the world, so you’re going to have good stuff produced and bad stuff produced,” says Joseph Simone, a partner in the intellectual property practice group at the Baker & McKenzie law firm in Hong Kong.
In the past, it was “fairly common” for Chinese factories that produced legitimate products to be used at night to make counterfeit goods using the same raw materials, says Leon Perera, chief executive of Spire Research and Consulting, a Singapore firm that specializes in emerging markets. Today, what’s more common is for Chinese companies to reverse engineer a product, or take it apart to figure out how it’s made, then order parts to produce a similar product, according to Perera.
That’s what Dempsey believes happened in his case.
He says that in late 2009, a man in the Los Angeles area ordered a SylvanSport GO, an 800-pound aluminum camping and travel trailer. The customer wanted the product shipped to China but insisted on arranging his own shipping. That raised a red flag, but “as a small business struggling to get going, every sale counted,” Dempsey says.
SylvanSport describes the GO on its website as “more versatile than a Swiss army knife.” It folds to a trailer that can be used to carry boats and bikes on top then converts to a camper with a self-inflating mattress and a tent that sets up in minutes.
To read the entire article click here.
Brevard, N.C.-based SylvanSport LLC has learned that Wuyi Tiandi Motion Apparatus Co. Ltd. (TDR MOTO), a manufacturing company operating out of Zhejiang, China has begun manufacturing and selling counterfeit versions of the popular SylvanSport GO, according to a press release.
Designed and manufactured entirely in the U.S., the SylvanSport GO is a lightweight, reconfigurable, camping and utility trailer that has been widely praised for its innovative design features. The GO “was copied down to the color scheme and even the marketing support materials,” said Tom Dempsey, founder and president of Sylvan Sport.
Sylvan Sport said that “this is an unusually blatant example illustrating the increasing problem of many of China’s most accomplished companies achieving their success by pilfering the intellectual property of other industrialized nations.”
The company claims that in the case of SylvanSport – whose three original reconfigurable US travel trailer patents (566623, 566624 and 566625) were filed in 2007 (along with a subsequent PCT[i]) – a customer purchased a GO camper from the North Carolina factory in 2009, shipped the unit to Los Angeles and subsequently dispatched it to mainland China, where it is now being manufactured by the Wuyi Tiandi Motion Apparatus Co. The reverse-engineered “TDR Camper” is currently being offered on Alibaba.com – a Hangzhou, China-based retail Internet business (HKSE: 1688).
Sylvan Sport said that China remains on the United States Trade Representative (USTR) Priority Watch List. The latter currently includes 12 U.S. trading partners – China, Russia, Algeria, Argentina, Canada, Chile, India, Indonesia, Israel, Pakistan, Thailand, and Venezuela – who are deemed to be providing an inadequate “level of IPR protection or enforcement, or market access for persons relying on intellectual property protection.”
To speak with SylvanSport about this or any other questions, contact Kyle Mundt at (828) 883-4292 or firstname.lastname@example.org