A group of industry insiders has joined forces to establish a new company that is currently resurrecting the famous Weekend Warrior brand name — once synonymous with the exploding popularity of toyhauler trailers prior to the 2008 bankruptcy of Perris, Calif.-based Weekend Warrior Trailers Inc.
Work was well under way last week by a small production crew on a Weekend Warrior-brand prototype in the northside Elkhart facilities of Nexus RV, according to Brandon Ambris, president of the newly created RV Warrior, which has licensed the Weekend Warrior name.
Ambris and his partners, including Nexus President Claude Donati and Vice President Dave Middleton as well as West Coast RV dealer Frankie Barouti, vice president of Giant RV, Montclair, Calif., are leasing manufacturing space from Nexus until negotiations for a separate facility are completed.
Plans call for regular production of a Weekend Warrior brand line – travel trailer toyhaulers in lengths of 20 to 28 feet — somewhere in the Elkhart County area by August with units on display for dealers Sept. 16-20 during Elkhart County’s 6th Annual RV Open House Week.
Ambris, who has worked for towable RV manufacturers in the past and is currently a co-owner of RV Parts Nation, an Elkhart-based wholesaler and retailer of aftermarket parts and accessories, says he and his associates are convinced that something has been missing in the industry ever since Weekend Warrior ramp trailers – a favorite among Southern California’s cult-like dune buggy crowd — went out of business.
“We’ve been brainstorming for about a year now — how we’re going to do it and whether we manufacture in Southern California or do we come here to Elkhart?” Ambris told RVBUSINESS.com. “And we thought that if we were in the Elkhart area, we’d be able to distribute to not only Southern California, where it (Weekend Warrior) used to rule, but now we’re able to distribute to the Midwest, South and East Coast because there are a lot of dealers out there who are begging for this kind of product — the innovation and the dealer territory that we’re going to give them.
“We’re staying away from the Internet,” he added. “We just have something to offer that, basically, the industry isn’t doing right now.”
RV Warrior is borrowing a design cue from Nexus, a Class B and C motorhome builder, by utilizing a lamination process that gives each unit a “motorized build” by virtue of the new Warrior’s vacuum-bonded body in the sidewalls, floor and roof.
“We have the ability to mesh a combination of people to give this industry what they’ve been missing,” said Ambris. “That’s innovation, design, quality, profit for the dealers and great factory support. We’re also going to support and cater to our retail customers. It’s all about Weekend Warrior. It’s not just a lifestyle; it’s what they (toyhauler enthusiasts) do. It’s everyday life.”