At a press conference Wednesday (March 28), Starcraft RV officials debuted a line of Mossy Oak travel trailers that the company said would capture the attention of the outdoor brand’s legions of fans. (To view a video scroll to the right side of the RVBUSINESS.com home page.)
With South Twin Lake as a backdrop, Starcraft, a division of Thor Industries Inc. subsidiary Jayco Inc., used Twin Mills Camping Resort in Howe, Ind., as a setting for the Mossy Oak travel trailer introduction – a partnership that was more than six months in the making, according to Marc Hauser, vice president of sales and product development for Jayco towable divisions.
“We knew 10 seconds into our first meeting with them that this was a ‘match made in outdoor heaven,’ to use the phrase that Cuz Strickland first said,” said Hauser, referring to Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland, Mossy Oak’s vice president of media services and essentially the “face” of the camouflage and outdoor company.
“(Starcraft General Manager) Jeff Kloska and his product development team played an integral role in the creation and development of the Mossy Oak product lines,” Hauser continued. “The entire Starcraft family is elated to be partnering with the amazing Mossy Oak team to align our passion for the outdoors and provide outdoor lovers a better way to camp.”
The two units on display at the press conference were the Mossy Oak 23RLS, a rear-living lightweight trailer with slideout dinette seating, and the Mossy Oak Lite 27BHU featuring rear bunk beds, giant slide-out room, and private front bedroom with walk-around queen bed.
A handful of stick-and-tin models in the Mossy Oak line will be the first to make it to dealer lots, Hauser noted, which should be sometime in April. The initial four or five floorplans are the company’s more popular configurations borrowed from other lines, he said, including 26- and 27-foot bunkhouses and 24- and 26-foot rear living room units. The laminated Mossy Oak models will launch to dealers in May. Hauser said eventually there would be as many as 25 floorplans in the Mossy Oak travel trailer lineup.
The units feature Mossy Oak’s logo and most popular pattern, Break-Up Country, in a subdued manner on both exterior graphics as well as interior furnishings such as bed linen, curtains and upholstery accents.
Retail pricing will be determined in the coming weeks, Hauser added.
“We have ‘X’ amount of dealers on board already, and then as the time goes on we’ll expand the floorplans,” Hauser told RVBUSINESS.com. “We’ll determine MSRP pricing this week and slowly be sending that to our dealers who are coming on board. Again, the first ‘X’ amount of units are already sold, so those dealers already know. They’ve been part of our focus group so they’ve been waiting for the product to come rolling out.”
Strickland was also on hand at the press conference, and he told RVBUSINESS.com that he’s eager to get to know the RV industry which will include appearances and autograph signings at participating dealerships.
“I don’t know the RV business. I’m anxious to meet some of the dealers and say ‘What can we do to help you generate some interest?’ Maybe it’s a giant sweepstakes? That’s what I love. I’d love for everybody to have a chance to win something that’s legit,” he said. “That’s what I’m gonna throw at them. Like the hunt of a lifetime, an RV unit, let me guide them. I’m gonna cook for them for four days. That’s what I wanna do. And say, ‘Hey. Come join the Mossy Oak family and the Starcraft family for four days on us.’ And that’s it. Everybody has a shot at it. That’s what I’m thinking.”
“We did the same thing with RAM trucks,” he added. “We signed a deal with RAM trucks and I personally can’t tell you how many RAM dealerships I went to, and it’s not that I’m some really recognizable guy, but ‘I’m the Mossy Oaks guy’ and I’m willing to go do that. If it’s important to them, they want to come by and have a signed hat or something, I’m all in.”
The partnership maximizes consumer demographics shared by the two companies, both Hauser and Strickland noted. Known first and foremost as a camouflage brand, Mossy Oak’s core consumer not only wears Mossy Oak brand products for concealment in the woods, but as a representation of their love for the outdoors, recreation, and the hunting lifestyle in their daily lives.
Hauser said Starcraft owners also seek outdoor adventures, and he expects Mossy Oak’s brand loyalists – which includes 2.5 million fans on its Facebook page, 819,000 Instagram and 128,000 Twitter followers, and nearly 50,000 subscribers to its YouTube channel – will come to appreciate Starcraft RV’s Mossy Oak lineup.