January '21

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32 • RV PRO • January 2021 rv-pro.com camping we've seen develop over the last 10 or 15 years," IBEX's Schade says. "The last couple of seasons it's been accelerating." IBEX's family tree began with the launch of the teardrop-style r-pod in 2009. The r-pod's recipe for success was to put the ame- nities of a full-size trailer into a package light enough to tow with an SUV. Schade credits the r-pod with helping spark an explosion in the sub-3,500-pound market. Lightweight teardrop-style trailers started the process of evolving into full-fledged off-road adventure trailers with the r-pod Hood River Edition, which was produced for the West Coast market. The Hood River models kept the SUV-towability of the original r-pod, but added such features as off-road tires and increased ground clearance. "The Hood River Edition r-pod was our first introduction into this 'off-the-pavement' style of camper," Schade says. "It opened our eyes to that segment. We started to see there's a market of people out there attracted to this style of camping." Inspired by the success in the adventure market, Forest River introduced the No Boundaries (NO- BO) line with even more off-road features and storage capabilities. IBEX picks up where NO-BO leaves off, according to Schade. "Some of our r-pod and NO-BO folks have a bigger family, more children, more equipment," he says. "IBEX is the full-size adventure solution." Whereas NO-BO focuses exclusively on the under-5,000-pound range, with dry weights as low as 1,570 pounds, IBEX focuses on the under-5,000-pound and 7,000-pound weight categories. Both 7- and 8-foot-wide IBEX units are available; initial floorplans are between 23 and 25 feet long. Units retail from the mid-$25,000 to mid-$35,000 range. Like many in the off-road lightweight segment, Schade says he expects adventure trailers to become a much bigger part of the RV market in the near future. He notes that 10 years ago off- road trailers were mainly popular in the West, where vast tracts of public land offer abundant nontraditional camping opportunities. Forest River IBEX Product Manager Cody Schade is pictured in front of IBEX, which Forest River launched in May. The trailer represents the next logical evolution of lightweight trailers for Forest River, which also produces the popular r-pod and No Boundaries (NO-BO) lightweight travel trailer lines.

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