Syracuse, Ind.-based Travel Lite RV has begun the rehiring process of its production staff and is planning the reopening of their Syracuse-based production facility in the weeks to come.
“We are looking for the highest quality minded employee’s that understand and appreciate building for a family-owned and operated manufacturer and know that we absolutely will not accept less than the best,” said Ryan Rebar, COO of Travel Lite.
“I am really looking forward for the new set-up and having everyone so close together again,” said Dustin Johns, Travel Lite’s president and CEO. “It brings a certain team energy and makes every day more productive. Quite frankly, I let myself get spread out too thin and had to rely on others to manage departments and I let them have the freedom to do so … I am not a micromanager by nature, but certainly should have been much more so with the launch of the three new facilities at the beginning of the year.”
Travel Lite will now produce its lines of Ultralite travel trailers and truck campers under one roof. Travel Lite began the year producing out of two factory complexes, one in New Paris, Ind., and the other seven miles away in Syracuse. This move will immensely lower overhead and boost efficiencies. The Syracuse plant is in the final stages of its transformation from a single “U-shaped” line, which exclusively built Evoke travel trailers, to a factory with two simultaneous straight production lines. One will produce travel trailers and the other will produce its 21-year-old staple product: truck campers.
“This spring we were producing ten times that which we were a few years ago and over time certain Travel Lite mission statements were just not being met. So, it was time to take a hard look in the mirror and make the proper adjustments as difficult as it was,” said Johns. “As owner and president, any and all shortcomings ultimately are my full responsibility, and I put that on my shoulders 100 percent. This past year has been an incredible learning experience for me, personally, and I look forward to using these lessons moving forward. With this move we are truly hitting the reset button and getting back to the basics of who we are: an RV company that is full of positivity, loves taking great care of our dealers, and is always willing to bring fresh innovative ideas to the market. I will have my hands in everything like I had in years past and we look forward to a very bright future here in Syracuse.”
“To completely stop all production and take a hard look at where we are as a company in a time when RVs are still selling at an extremely high clip, allowing us to reevaluate who we are, and where we can go is a bold move; but it was what needed to happen,” said Rebar. “Five years from now, we’ll look back at this move and know that we’re a better, stronger and more responsive manufacturer than ever before. Sometimes taking a step back is what is needed to get the momentum to take that giant leap forward.”
Travel Lite hopes to unveil three different coaches as part of a new line during the Tampa Super Show in January.