Coleman Camping Trailers ceased operations on Wednesday. The plant in Somerset PA has built folding camping trailers (pop-ups) at that location for over 40 years. The owners of the company, Blackstreet Capital, bought the company in 2008. The investors claim the slow economy has led the company to close its doors which left over 100 people without work. The Coleman trailers are not connected to the Coleman camping gear supplier—only the name was applied to the trailers via contract with Coleman.
I visited Somerset Pennsylvania in September of 2010 on assignment for Pop Up Times magazine. The Coleman Camping Trailers plant was one of my stops during the trip and while there, business seemed busy. I met with executives of the company and I was informed of a new model to be revealed this spring. Actually, I talked with Coleman trailer’s media relations manager earlier this week about doing a review of the new model. So much for that.
Camping across the country continues to be a much participated sport; primarily because of the affordable travel options it offers families and individuals watching their pennies closely. The economy has had an impact on all recreational pursuits and campers have adapted well so they may keep on camping. I’m currently writing a tent camping guidebook for a major publisher (Menasha Ridge Press) that will be released early spring of next year. During my research so far, which involves visiting many campgrounds (all public), I’ve not witnessed any decline in camper participation. What I have seen are more tents and older camping trailers or RVs on the sites. People are still camping but doing so by dusting off their tents and hanging on to their old trailers for a couple more seasons. Most license plates on the camper’s vehicles reveal folks are staying closer to home—but still camping.
How has your camping style changed or has it changed at all? If you have cut costs on your last camping trip, in what category did you save money?