A recent trend in the RV manufacturing industry is the development of an increasing number of retro-style trailers entering the RV marketplace.
Retro-style trailers make a lot of sense for today’s modern market. These oldies are small, which makes them towable by smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles. Small also means the trailers are easier to store when not in use.
Possibly most important, a retro model trailer doesn’t look like your standard recreational vehicle.
They have a certain charm that gives them the exciting visual appeal many people desire. A retro RV looks good behind your favorite midsize SUV, crossover, or other tow vehicle of choice.
It could be argued that Airstream has always been building retro trailers, given that its iconic Airstream trailer appearance has changed relatively little since it was introduced in the 1940s.
With 30 years of experience in the recreation vehicle industry, Ted Simpson started Paradise Coast RV in October, the Benten Harbor (Michigan) Herald-Palladium recently reported. He’s hoping to employ 10 to 15 people by the end of this year and have the first travel trailers for sale to dealers around the country by April.
Paradise Coast will specialize in smaller travel trailers. Their first models will be 12-, 14- and 16-foot travel trailers, detailed inside and out to look like those made in the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s. The interiors will feature modern day amenities such as microwave ovens, air conditioning, flat-screen televisions, and DVD players as well as iPod docking stations and computer data ports.
Simpson believes that by starting with retro-looking units, he will give Paradise Coast RV a niche when trying to recruit recreation vehicle dealers. Otherwise, the company would be competing with makers of other contemporary units.
Since their travel trailers will weigh no more than 2,500 pounds, they can be towable behind mid-sized vehicles such as a Ford Edge or a Buick Lucerne, rather than needing a large SUV or pickup truck.
Simpson has already hired workers in the RV industry to work during their off-hours at his company, doing engineering, design, and construction.
Although the primary focus at Paradise Coast RV is to create brand new retro style travel trailers, providing vintage RV atmosphere, the company will also be producing the more modern contemporary travel trailers of today.
The company can also produce custom order RVs of various types and sizes for customers with special personal or recreational needs and industry associated needs for commercial use.
All of these RVs will be built to today’s RVIA (Recreational Vehicle Industry Association) safety standards.
Although Paradise Coast RV is a manufacturer of new travel trailers, they currently do restore and repair used recreational vehicles of all ages.
Paradise Coast RV’s current rented space is large enough to have seven trailers in production at a time. Simpson hopes to produce a minimum of one trailer a day out of this facility. Should he need more space, potential landlords have already offered to build him space.
Simpson started in the RV industry working in the electrical department at Georgie Boy in Edwardsburg. He worked for various companies, working his way into management, with his last job being at Forest River Inc. in Goshen, Indiana.
Address: 259 Water Street, Benton Harbor, MI 49022
Contact: (269) 927-5899
See you down the road…
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