Photo by Stewart. Licensed under Creative Commons license 2.0.

For the first time in about forever, Americans are driving less. If high gas prices are hitting daily drivers, imagine how much of an impact $4-5 gallons of fuel are having on the RV industry. The huge land barges that so often take snowbirds along the interstates don't exactly get a lot of miles per gallon (12-18 seems to be on the upper end of normal, based on what Google tells me), and in an economy as hurt as the one we currently have in the U.S., it's no surprise that summer RV roadtrips (don't worry, I won't call this activity "camping") are down.

Enter the RV industry's rescue efforts. More aerodynamic and lighter weight vehicles are in the offering, and Kingsley Coach is still working on a hybrid or hydrogen-fueled RV. A company called Little Guy is hoping its teardrop shaped towable campers trailers - which weigh only around 700 pounds and can be towed even by small cars like the smart fortwo or Mini Cooper - will attract more attention than they used to. Read Little Guy's hopeful press release after the break.

Press Release:

RV Industry 'Downsizes' to Keep Pace with Slow Economy and Rising Cost of Gas

Teardrop Trailers and Other Lightweight Campers Proliferate as RV Industry Scrambles to Provide Fuel-Efficient, Environmentally Friendly Alternatives to Large Travel Trailers and Motor Homes

CANTON, Ohio, June 9 /PRNewswire/ -- The June 2008 issue of RV Business Magazine, the leading trade publication for the RV industry in America, recognizes the emerging role of lightweight towable camper trailers in the RV industry. The recreational vehicle industry, traditionally slow to adopt these small, aerodynamic campers that can be pulled with virtually any vehicle with a hitch, has been compelled to expand their product lines to include products such as the Little Guy teardrop camper trailer and the Silver Shadow teardrop.

The uptake of these micro sized campers by RV dealers has historically been somewhat slow, says Chris Baum, Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer for Little Guy Worldwide, headquartered in Canton, Ohio. "For years, the RV industry has been hesitant to carry a product that only retails for between $5,000 and $10,000. But the explosion in the ownership of small, more fuel-efficient cars in response to the escalating cost of gas has forced the recreational vehicle industry to take another look at selling a product with a broad-based appeal."

Teardrops are the new pop-up tent camper. Unlike pop-ups, teardrops are ultra lightweight at around 700 pounds and can be towed by virtually any vehicle with a hitch. Even the Mini Cooper, VW Beetle, or Smart Car can tow most models of teardrop camper trailers. RV Dealers have lots full of travel trailers and motor homes, but none of these products is suitable for the consumer that drives a subcompact car to save money or to protect the environment. Teardrop camper trailers, which have a minimal impact on the gas mileage of the tow vehicle, are an economical and environmentally friendly alternative to larger recreational vehicles.

Several manufacturers, such as Little Guy Worldwide, are even shipping their teardrops to locations as far flung as Sweden, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), South Africa, and the northern-most Canadian provinces located near the Arctic Circle. According to Scott Hubble, Director of Marketing for Little Guy Worldwide, "We had one customer take a ferry ride with his small pickup truck from an island off the coast of Newfoundland and drive over 1,000 miles to come pick up a demo trailer in Canton, Ohio. His 5-hour ferry ride turned into a 24-hour bumpy boat trip when the ferry ran into a major storm during its crossing. Now that's a committed customer."

Modern updates such as rear-mounted propane gas tailgating grills, AV packages that include portable satellite dishes and big screen televisions, and even all-terrain packages that enable the trailers to be taken off-road have increased the appeal of these tiny teardrop campers.

For more information about purchasing a teardrop camper trailer or for information about becoming a dealer, please contact Chris Baum or Joe Kicos at 330-494-5314. More information can be found online at http://www.teardropcampertrailers.com/.

This release was issued through eReleases(TM). For more information, visit http://www.ereleases.com/.

[Source: Little Guy Worldwide]


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