December '19

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14 • RV PRO • December 2019 rv-pro.com R V M A N U F A C T U R E R S says. "Many times, we make a mid-model-year change if we see a product or option that we think would be beneficial to the camper." There is no formal product unveiling, but the company announces major developments in the media, primarily in Truck Camper Magazine, the niche market's bible, with 18,413 active email alert subscribers, and via social media. Successfully Competing in a Niche Market When asked who is Northern Lite's main competition, Donkin replies, "That's a tougher question." He explains, "Our product, we feel, is very unique. There are only two companies in North America that build a clamshell design truck camper." (Bigfoot Industries is the other.) This factor alone helps Northern Lite stand out from the crowded field of truck camper builders (see Figure 1 at left.) Donkin says Northern Lite is the largest of Canada's three truck camper manufacturers and ranks in the top five of all North American builders. Perhaps not surprisingly, the U.S. is Northern Lite's largest market. The RV maker also exports some product to Australia, a seasonal market, which surfaces each year in the fourth quarter. Northern Lite has 16 Canadian dealers and 25 in the U.S. Of the 25, 17 of those are located in the West. "In the past, the West Coast for everybody – in both the U.S. and Canada – was always the stronger area," Donkin says. "We're finding the East Coast is just about as strong now in both the U.S. and Canada and has really come on for truck campers. And we're seeing a lot of growth in the East and Midwest." Figure 1 Active Truck Camper Builders Adventurer LP (Adventurer and Eagle Cap), Yakima, Wash.* Alaskan Campers, Chehalis, Wash. (factory direct only) All Terrain Campers, Sacramento, Calif. (factory direct only) Bahn Camper Works, Hood River, Ore. Bigfoot Industries, Armstrong, British Columbia, Canada Bundutec USA, Raymond, Iowa Capri Camper, Bluff Dale, Texas Coyote RV, Commerce City, Colo. Earth Cruiser, Bend, Ore. Forest River (Palomino RV), Colon, Mich.* Four Wheel Campers, Woodland, Calif. Hallmark RV, Fort Lupton, Colo. (factory direct only) Host Industries, Bend, Ore. Kimbo Campers, Bellingham, Wash. Lance Camper Mfg., Lancaster, Calif.* nuCamp (Cirrus), Sugarcreek, Ohio* Northern Lite Mfg., Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada* Northwood Mfg. (Arctic Fox and Wolf Creek), La Grande, Ore. Outfitter Mfg., Longmont, Colo. (factory direct only) Phoenix Custom Campers, Commerce City, Colo. (factory direct only) R.C. Willett Co. (Northstar), Cedar Falls, Iowa Rugged Mountain Custom RV, Caldwell, Idaho (factory direct only) Travel Lite RV, Syracuse, Ind. Westland RV Mfg., Penticton, British Columbia, Canada XP Campers, Grass Valley, Calif. * RVIA member Source: Truck Camper Magazine. List current as of Oct. 1, 2019.

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