Tag Archives: bill kerola

A Couple of Updates….

I spoke with Hi-Lo and Serro Scotty president Bill Kerola this week to see what the latest production news was for his two companies.

He’s still working on finalizing a manufacturer for Hi-Lo. Offers have been made and it’s at the point where a decision is close to being made. Depending on who the manufacturer is will depend on whether Hi-Lo will be sold factory direct or through a dealer network. As well as setting up a manufacturer, Kerola’s also been busy with the Hi-Lo’s mechanism that raises & lowers the trailer. He’s had a few different designs for that and is currently whittling his choices down. Still with these decisions to be made, the first Hi-Lo prototype is planned on being rolled out by April 2012.

On the Serro Scotty side of his business, things have been busy there. As we discussed in September, the Scotty Sportsman was to be redesigned. The new design will look a bit different than the previous Scotty Sportsman…

and also the discontinued Scotty Silver Sportsman.

Bill told me that it’ll be about the same size, but have more of a rounded shape, but gave no further details. So in the spirit of fun speculation, it could look a little more like the Sportsman that was first produced in 2007….

or maybe it’ll take on the shape something similar to an oversized Scotty Pup, which means it could look something like the now extinct Campfire 15.

What is known about the future of the Serro Scotty Sportsman is that it will have its own manufacturer. They’ll be made by a small outfit in Pennsylvania. If all goes according to plan, the first prototype will be ready sometime by early February 2012.  So if you’re keeping score at home, all three models of the Serro Scotty family will all have their own manufacturer. The HiLander is still being produced in Goshen, Indiana by Cozy Travler

(photo courtesy Les Borde)

and the Scotty Lite will still continue to be built in Central Florida by Trekker Trailers.

(photo courtesy Bill Kerola)

Bill says he’s working on creating a better inventory of both the HiLander and the Lite at his Transfer, Pennsylvania dealership. As of December 12, 2011, he currently has 2 of each on his ebay store, as well as three new discontinued Scotty Pups.

With winter upon us and sales typically slowing down, this should be a good time for Kerola’s to start filling their lot with that Scotty inventory. As always, we’ll update you when details develop.

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A Tribute to the Campfire & Bak-Pak Camper

In 2008 when Sierra Custom Interiors of Bristol, Indiana became the manufacturer of Serro Scotty Worldwide trailers, it wasn’t long before they too came out with their own line of small campers for the 2009 model year called the Campfire…

and the entry level Bak-Pak:

(photo courtesy Missouri Teardrops)

Designed by Sierra owners Mike & Greg Greene, the 12’9″ trailers were a throwback to the old canned ham trailers from the 1940′s-60′s. They featured air conditioning, furnace, and optional microwave, toilet, and range. Serro Scotty also got in on the act with their 2009 line-up featuring the Serro Scotty Pup…

(photo courtesy Shane Wolfe)

and the Silver Series Pup:

Both Serro Scotty models were identical to the Sierra versions with respect to shape, floor plan and everything else except the badging and, in the case of the Silver Pup, the silver aluminum. Also, the regular Pup featured the signature Scotty turquoise and white.

For the 2010 models, Sierra came out with the Campfire 15, a longer version of its 13 model, that featured a toilet and optional wet bath.

The final entry in the Campfire lineup was the Campfire XL, a 16′ unit with a similar floor plan to that of the Serro Scotty HiLander.

You may notice that I’ve been speaking of the Sierra Campfire and Bak-Pak in the past tense. Unfortunately, that’s the case. Early in 2011, the Greenes decided to pull the plug on their travel trailer ventures and stick with building custom interiors for horse trailers. As we wrote in September 2011, this decision not only included their own line of trailers, but also meant all Serro Scotty models as well, leaving Bill Kerola to find a new manufacturer for the entire Scotty line.

Neither the Bak-Pak nor the Campfire were mass produced, but those who own them are loyal to their camper and get many inquiries from the curious at the campgrounds. There aren’t many other campers on the market (with the possible exception of the T@B ) that offer a compact, lightweight package like the Campfire and Bak-Pak do. And while a rebirth of the Sierra camper division is unlikely, current owners cling to the hope that one day they can remove their orphan label. Afterall, it wouldn’t be the first time a brand came back to life.

The Campfire website, once a fine site with plenty of pictures, specs, and floor plans, now reads more like an obituary. But all is not lost. There are still Campfires, Bak-Paks, and even a few brand new Scotty Pups (at present time) still available for purchase on ebay, Craigslist, or rvtraderonline.com. There is also a Yahoo Group where owners of the Sierra-built Scottys and Campfires/Bak-Paks can congregate for discussion. And so we say so long to yet another line of campers that didn’t make it…for now.

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Deal Struck to Bring Hi-Lo Back to Life

The man who resurrected the Serro Scotty line of small camping trailers five years ago is at it again. Bill Kerola announced last week he has come to an agreement to purchase the intellectual property of the defunct Hi-Lo trailer company, which ceased production in July 2010 after producing its unique telescoping travel trailers for over 50 years. The agreement includes Hi-Lo’s trademark, web site, blueprints, and goodwill of the company from the Snyder family.

A preliminary time line calls for a new website to be up & running by the end of 2011 with production of prototypes to begin over the winter.  It’s not known whether Hi-Lo will follow the same factory direct path that Serro Scotty has used for the past few years. I’ll post updates on this story as they develop.

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