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Travel Lite Begins $5 million Expansion

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Travel Lite has purchased half of the lots in the Syracuse Technology Park to expand operations.

Dustin Johns, owner of Innovation Inc., and Travel Lite RV, and his family were at the Syracuse, Ind., Council meeting last Tuesday where the purchase agreements for seven lots in the Syracuse Technology Park were approved. There are 14 lots in the park.

This story by Denise Fendorow and Roger Schneider originally appeared in Goshen News.

Johns’ businesses will be the first to open in the new industrial park and he estimates it’ll be about a $5 million investment and will create approximately 80 to 120 new jobs over the next year. He anticipates the move will be completed by the end of the year.

The company manufactures truck campers and travel trailers. Johns’ father Larry started the company in Wakarusa in 1998.

Travel Lite has been at 71913 County Road 23 south of New Paris since 2004. Johns said Wednesday the company’s lease on that property is expiring at the end of the year.

The company’s traditional market has been light-weight truck campers and travel trailers up to 24 feet long. The new facility will accommodate the introduction of new travel trailers that will be 28 to 33 feet long, according to Johns.

He said the move will allow workers to operate two production lines simultaneously, whereas now all products run down one line. The second line will also add efficiencies, Johns said, because workers on each line will be able to concentrate on fewer model designs during manufacturing.

In addition to the new production facility, Travel Lite will open a fiberglass shop — Next Level Components. Lindsey Johns said at the council meeting the company makes fiberglass counter tops and table tops for its own RV units but has been asked to do produce products for other manufacturers. Those two facilities, which will also include a company headquarters, will be built on five lots. Additionally, a new repair shop and RV dealership, Indiana RV, will be built on two lots facing U.S. 6.

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