On July 24, a group of more than 100 teardrop fanatics filled Winklepleck Grove Campground in Amish country. But the inaugural üCamp gathering hosted by nüCamp in Sugarcreek, Ohio, did more than bolster a community of towable owners. It set a firm course for the manufacturer’s future – a brand that will eventually replace the Pleasant Valley Teardrop Trailers it was once a part of and that no longer makes towables under the Little Guy brand name.
Scroll down for more photos from the event taken by Mandy Lea.
“Some of the best woodworking in the world is done here in Sugarcreek,” said Scott Hubble, CEO of nüCamp. “We are fortunate to draw on the Amish and Mennonite craftsmen that are here. Those folks are committed to building the highest-quality product in the market.”
The craftsmanship is instantly apparent. For those unfamiliar, nüCamp teardrop trailers, like the T@G or the Silver Shadow, pack a sleek floorplan into a quaint and quirky package without sacrificing practical applications. The 2018 T@B 400, for instance, comes with a shower, toilet, burners, closet, four-seating dinette, bed, A/C, and fridge all along a 171-inch long floor and total dry weight of 2,690 pounds. With two handles on either side of the front, the lightweight trailer can be dragged, steered, and easily hitched.
“Part of the reason why people like the product is because it’s easy to manage,” said Hubble. “They can hitch it and go. It’s economical, so they don’t have to stop every 200 miles to drop $100 on fuel. And you can tow it with virtually any vehicle with a hitch.”
The age range of the owners vary. Mandy Lea, a nature photographer, has been traveling North America living in her teardrop trailer for over a year. While the average motorhome owner spends anywhere from 10 to 14 days on the road, Hubble noted how “it’s not unusual for folks to spend well over a month or several months a year on the road traveling” in a T@G or T@B.
That’s probably why it wasn’t all too surprising when 75 trailers were able to fill an encampment in Sugarcreek, 1 mile from the nüCamp manufacturing facility, within 10 weeks’ notice.
A pavilion with a full kitchen made it possible to have communal dinners every night – the first day ending with a wine and cheese event. Other festivities included: an ice cream social, potluck dinner, and a buffet-style Amish dinner prepared by locals. Included – as a major fan service – was a factory tour of nüCamp and greeting from owner Joe Mullet.
The rapid haste in which the üCamp festival was pieced together, which ran July 24 to 29, exemplifies the efforts to not only appease customers but to build a lifestyle and brand loyalty that many of their customers share. Like any Airstream or Class B motorhome gathering, fanatics need a meeting point to geek out over their RVs.
“Everyone was talking about their trailers,” said Hubble. “It’s not like owning a wood-framed, 30-foot aluminum box that you tow along. Their trailers are often reflective of their personalities.”
The nüCamp design avails itself to a hands-on approach, appealing to a tinkerer’s mindset. Light modifications. Custom graphics. Souping up trailers to whatever tickles the user’s fancy.
“Of course, we solicit feedback year-round from our customers and our dealers,” said Hubble, “but concentrating the effort during üCamp give our customers more direct access to our R&D and service departments.”
Part of those efforts will be seen at year’s end when nüCamp is slated to unveil its first full-size travel trailer. Given the success of üCamp ’17, the new trailer is likely to be a big talking point at the next annual gathering tentatively set for July 17, 2018.
For more information on nüCamp, visit www.nucamprv.com.