When TAXA Outdoors Founder Garrett Finney designs a trailer for camping, the last thing he wants to do is provide customers with all the comforts — and clutter — of home.
Rather, he strives to give them what they actually want: adventure equipment that allows them to go just a little further down the road than the traditional camping site.
True to form, the inventor of the Cricket, TigerMoth, and Woolly Bear camper trailers has come up with a rugged new 18-foot-long model that comfortably sleeps 4 adults, weighs under 2,300 pounds and can be stored in a standard length and height garage.
The Houston-based company will be introducing the new camper trailer, its name, and promotion plan to dealers attending the Elkhart, Indiana RV Open House on Sept. 18-22.
“Our dealers wanted something with more sleeping room to round out our family of products beyond the Cricket, which is designed for 2 adults and 2 younger children,” Finney says. “The number one selling trailer for the past decade is a 20-foot trailer that sleeps 4 adults. This is our version of that.”
Dealers will have an opportunity at the show to kick the knobby 15-inch tires of the latest addition to the TAXA Outdoors line and learn more about amenities that should fit bill for anyone with a passion for camping and adventure — and a little more room.
“TAXA Outdoors has a reputation for making really cool, comfortable and secure equipment for camping … everything is secretly designed for me, my family, and my car,” says Finney, 53, who invented the Cricket for himself, his wife and two young children in 2010. He decided to put design pen to paper for the 18-foot-long model, now that his children have grown.
Before he designs a new model, Finney says he writes down exactly what he wants the product to accomplish and its limitations, with the overarching philosophy of TAXA Outdoors in mind. That turns out to be: Get dirty, cook on a campfire, have an adventure during the day, and sleep comfortably for tomorrow’s adventure.
“When I was designing the Cricket, I thought I was inventing the anti-RV,” Finney says. “The majority of RVs are like houses on wheels, and that is really sad because the whole point is to leave your house at home when you are going camping.
“The house-on-wheels formula leads to horribly ironic things, such as bringing a vacuum cleaner with you to a national park.”
Finney says his focus changed after launching the Cricket because TAXA Outdoors products have proven there is a sizable untapped market of people who will use a properly designed RV to immerse themselves in the outdoors.
“Lots of our customers never considered owning an RV,” he says. “They were backpackers who thought of RVs only as things that you were stuck behind on the highway.
“We’ve successfully positioned ourselves as the equipment that lets them say to themselves: ‘It’s nice to be able to pee in the middle of the night and not have to stagger 100 yards in the dark, and it’s nice not having to sleep on the ground.”
Finney sees further potential in the market TAXA Outdoors is cultivating. The RV industry expects to post about $20 billion in sales this year, but the outdoor industry expects to post about $800 billion in sales, and “a lot of those people will be interested in our products,” he says.
As a former senior architect at the Habitability Design Center for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in Houston, Finney makes it a point to utilize every centimeter of space in TAXA Outdoor products. The new 18-foot unit is no exception.
“Even the ceilings have bungee cords and safety nets,” Finney says. “What you might hang up there depends on whether you’re 70 or 20 — whether it’s a fly rod or a sweaty t-shirt. But the fact remains that you’ve got plenty of space to stow your equipment.”
The new model has several convenient locations inside and out to lash bicycles, kayaks and larger outdoor equipment.
“Architecturally, we’ve thought about what you can see on the inside from end to end,” Finney hints about the new model. “But we also considered what you see from the inside to the outside. People are going to love the layout.”
For more information about TAXA Outdoors and to schedule a guided tour of the new model at Elkhart’s 2017 Open House, which runs from Sept. 18 to 22, please contact Emily at 616-622-3073 or firstname.lastname@example.org.