As the federal government continues to encourage less gas-guzzling in economic stimulus plans, dealers of environmentally efficient recreational vehicles will look to spread their wings into more markets.
Peter C. Stacey markets Evergreen Recreational Vehicles from his Lancaster home and to other points along the Eastern seaboard. While attending the Pennsylvania RV and Camping Show this week in Hershey, Stacey plans to encourage other vendors to try his trailers built in Middlebury, Ind.
Stacey said he's looking forward to talking to Williamsport-area dealers who may be interested in selling his products.
"A lot of people have not seen this product yet," Stacey said. "We're in the infancy and that's why we're so excited about it."
Scott Tuttle, president of Livin Lite Recreational Vehicles in Wakarusa, Ind., said there's a couple dealers in Pennsylvania that offer his products, but none in the vicinity of Williamsport.
Like many other RV manufacturers, Tuttle's company is based in a specific county in northern Indiana, not far from Michigan's auto industry.
Pennsylvania RV & Camping Show
Recreation vehicles (RVs) are an attractive option to travelers who want to stay closer to home, and the Pennsylvania RV & Camping Show, billed as "America's Largest RV Show," is a great way for families to learn more about these "homes on wheels."
The event will be held Wednesday through next Sunday at the Giant Center in Hershey.
It will feature the latest RVs - from the smallest folding campers to the largest motorhomes - helping families gear up for great vacations and get acquainted with one of the most popular, hassle-free modes of travel.
Along with hundreds of RVs on display from more than 55 manufacturers, the show will feature a large variety of accessories, such as products that clean and maintain your RV to scooters and fun gadgets.
Many new RVs and products will be making their debut at the show including "green" RVs. Hybrids, lightweight travel trailers, and greener products are on the rise.
For more information, or to print a discount coupon for the show, visit www.largestrvshow.com or call 888-303-2887.
"I'd say about 70 percent of all recreational vehicles are manufactured in Elkhart County," Tuttle said.
He also plans to be at the Wednesday through next Sunday trade show in Hershey, where he plans to unveil his company's newest RV line, the Camplite trailer.
"There's not a splinter of wood in them," Tuttle said of the Camplites and the smaller Quicksilver trailers, both manufactured by Livin Lite.
With their nearly exclusive aluminum and plastic composite construction, Tuttle said they're nearly 100 percent recyclable. He said the steel axles can't be reused.
Most of the trailers are made of aluminum, except for the countertops and dinette bases that are comprised of plastic that Tuttle said is hard enough to be durable, but soft enough to be recycled.
"The cabinetry is unique," Tuttle said. "It's aluminum instead of wood."
The Quicksilver lines features a variety of sizes. All of them are 1,000 pounds or less.
The largest, which Tuttle said can be pulled by a car, is 14 feet long when hauled. It opens to a height of 8 feet, a length of 20 feet and comfortably can sleep six.
Even what Tuttle considers "the smallest car I've ever seen" can pull a smaller model that sleeps two. He said it is a 6 1/2- by 5-foot box that opens to 8- by 10 feet.
Smaller models can be hauled by motorcycles, ATVs or even placed inside a truck bed.
Automobile manufacturers are producing smaller vehicles, and the travel trailer industry is following along with the trend, according to Tuttle.
"We're on the cutting edge of RVs," he said.
The lightweight trailers offer consumers the necessities they need while sparing them of excesses.
"It's a very back-to-basics concept," Tuttle said.
Unlike the Quicksilver, which he described as an "aluminum box that folds out with a big soft top," Tuttle said the Camplite is "an enclosed travel trailer with enclosed walls and roofs."
The 13-foot Camplite travel trailers weigh about 1,500 pounds.
"They weigh less than half the competition," Tuttle said.
Production of Evergreen vehicles began in February with five goals in mind, according to Stacey.
He said the company strives to produce lightweight, environmentally friendly trailers that are strong, won't rot and reduce off-gassing.
Materials comprising the construction of the trailers allows the company to achieve its goals.
Evergreen trailers have much less lumber in them, saving both Amazon rainforests and American woodlands, depending on what kind of timber is installed.
"We took about 40 to 45 sheets of wood out," Stacey said.
A 32-foot Evergreen trailer weighs about 5,200 pounds, according to Stacey. He said it can be pulled by a half-ton pickup truck.
The company's smallest model is 6 feet shorter and 1,200 pounds lighter.
"You don't need to have a 3/4 ton or (1) ton pickup," Stacey said. "People are getting more conscious of what's out there; tow vehicles are getting smaller."
Evergreen is getting close to almost completely limiting wood. "We're about 70 percent there, which gives us something to strive for," he said.
Tight-woven fiber and foam are wrapped around an aluminum cage and vacuum-sealed together. The insides are topped with vinyl board wallpaper and the exteriors include gel coat fiberglass with a high-gloss finish. Linoleum floors are installed.
"It's stronger than wood, but lighter than wood," Stacey said of the construction. "It will not rot if wet or develop mold."
Roofs are formed of a thermal poly-material that Stacey said doesn't oxidize or streak.
While vacuumed at the factory, Stacey said gases are captured and removed. When used outdoors, he said less gas is released into the atmosphere, which benefits the environment and allergen sufferers.
Shell components are just one of many environmentally friendly features.
Stacey said the trailer's tinted windows improves insulation, high-volume fans use less power than air conditioning and awning windows can be opened for more air during rainfall.
Solar panels provide a complimentary charge to batteries used for lighting.
Transparent propane tanks allow the owner to buy smaller vessels when Stacey said they can see how much gas is remaining in the container. "A lot of times, people buy big propane tanks and don't use all the gas," he said.
Mattresses are completely made of recycled plastic bottles, according to Stacey, and "they're very comfortable."
An enclosed trailer underbelly improves fuel economy with less wind resistance.
Evergreen is specializing in travel trailers, which are hitched to the rear bumpers of hauling vehicles.
This fall, Stacey said his company plans to delve into the fifth-wheel market, which he said hitch to the middle of pickup truck beds.