September '19

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106 • RV PRO • September 2019 rv-pro.com O P E N H O U S E C O V E R A G E TAXA OUTDOORS TAXA Outdoors turned some heads – or going with the RV maker's insect-themed brands, raised some antennae – at the March RVX trade show. During The Reveal portion, the Houston-based manufacturer took a sweep accolades that included Popular Mechanics' 2019 Sustainability RV award and Outside Magazine's RVX Gear of the Show – both for the 19-foot Mantis trailer. The newer Tiger Moth model, which is constructed from lightweight aluminum and features a Truma Vario, grabbed a Judge's Choice award. And that's only to name a few; but what do you expect to happen when an ex-NASA engineer decides to manufacturer RVs? TAXA founder Garrett Finney set out to disrupt the modern expectations of an RV. Beginning with the Cricket towable in 2010, TAXA's product line boasted an instant rubberneck appeal. Four Open House events later, the manufacturer's brands can be found in 22 dealerships across roughly 30 locations. And the company shows no sign of slowing. This spring, the com- pany will be tripling its facility size with a single, highly flexible manufacturing line and offices that span 60,000 square feet. It's all in an effort to keep with demand. Since the relaunch of its website this summer – with a heightened focus on cus- tomer experiences and stories – TAXA has doubled its views and receives 200-plus leads a day. "We're trying to funnel them to our dealers as quickly as possible," says TAXA Outdoors President Divya Brown. Now the focus is on working with dealers on ways to convert leads into purchases. One solution can be seen at TAXA's Open House exhibit. The stage is set with an outdoor camping motif with Finney usually grilling ribs or "something from Texas." The atmosphere is meant to encourage dealers to find "21st Century" ways to sell, which may involve taking units such as the Tiger Moth or Woolly Bear to parks or concerts. "We really try to set up a campfire scene because that works for our message," says Finney. "It's low key and casual and serious all at the same time." This year, dealers have plenty to get excited about as the units across the board evolve with minor refinements. The biggest revamp, however, will be for the 2020 Mantis, which is receiving a new floorplan that includes a redesigned exterior with a roof that pops up, allowing for four adults to sleep in the unit. Based off feedback from RVX, a rear hatch will be added, as well as a portable Dometic refrigerator. To enhance the kitchen experience, the folding couch will now be replaced by a dinette. As with years past, special winter-edition panels in a different color will be available to interested dealers. With the new facility coming online next year, expect the offerings from this insect- themed manufacturer to take off on all six legs. "Open House, for a smaller manufacturer like us, is a great opportunity to connect with dealers on a one-on-one basis and really explain a category of trailers that they are not familiar with," says Brown. "This is an emerging and quickly growing category." Open House Coverage TAXA Outdoors will use Open House Week to showcase its 2020 Mantis trailer, which is receiving a new floorplan that includes a redesigned exterior with a roof that pops up. The trailer sleeps four.

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