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Less than a week after a fire destroyed the 30,000 The Fancy Fillies System -square-foot factory that housed Livin’ Lite RVs Inc. in Wakarusa, Ind., the manufacturer of lightweight recreational vehicles has resumed production.
Majority owner Scott Tuttle told RV Business late Monday (Oct. 6) that he and minority owner/general manager Mike Kinzel had leased a 20,000-square-foot building on the outskirts of Wakarusa and planned to resume production today. He hopes to have finished product “coming out the door by next week.”
“We found a facility that has enough square footage,” said Tuttle. “It’s not perfect – it’s kind of a goofy shape – but it will be a temporary home. Today our guys were building tables and we will start building frames tomorrow.”
Livin’ Lite builds the Quicksilver line of lightweight folding camping trailers designed to be pulled by automobiles and minivans, along with a line of truck campers and Bearcat sport utility trailers.
Tuttle and Kinzel were busy Monday arranging for a smooth transition into the new building for their work force of 10. He said Livin’ Lite will use about 15,000 square feet of the facility and resume filling orders they had in hand when the fire destroyed their building the night of Oct. 1.
The company’s folding campers and snowmobile trailers are scheduled for initial production at the rented facility. Ironically, the firm was completing a move from Goshen into the Wakarusa facility and had not yet begun production there when the fire broke out.
“We’re trying to get everything restocked. The vendors are working well with us,” said Kinzel.
Tuttle noted that he started ordering parts on Thursday morning, hours after the fire broke out. “We told vendors to get the stuff ready,” he said. “We just didn’t know where to tell them to send it. We had some parts (a semi full of aluminum) arrive at the scene of the fire as it was burning, which was interesting.”
Tuttle said he was devastated by the fire, but he and Kinzel quickly moved on to get the company up and running.
“Tomorrow, hopefully the insurance company will tell me what my next step is. We have to rebuild somehow,” he said, noting the loss from the fire will be about $1 million.