What do you get when two guys who grew up knee-deep in the RVing industry decide they want to build a compact, well-constructed truck camper perfect for vehicle-based adventuring and overlanding? The “Skinny Guy Camper” of course!
For this episode, we sit down with Skinny Guy Campers co-founders, Jason Bontrager and Donavon Fredrickson along with Chief Operating Officer and co-owner, Austin Bontrager to discuss what it looks like to take your dream for an innovative product from an idea to a manufactured reality.
The grandson of Jayco RV founder, Lloyd Bontrager, Jason knows a thing or two about RVs but his passion has always been for remote, overland-style camping far away from parking lots and established campgrounds. The son of the owner of one of Jayco’s most successful dealerships, Donavon Fredrickson (aka “Skinny Guy”) has always shared the same passion. That’s why these two teamed up to build an all-new truck camper concept manifested in the “Skinny Guy Camper.”
Along with telling the story of the business they built, these two and Austin share details about the SGC that make it unique to the degree of having its own patent. An R.V.I.A. (Recreational Vehicle Industry Association) certification, a patented jack system, the ability to fit on nearly any platform of pickup–and even a flushable toilet? Somehow, this team has found a way to make it happen.
It’s been far from easy though, and Donavon, Jason, and Austin still face new challenges every day as they press on to bridge the gap between the amenities of an RV and the rugged reliability of a compact overlanding platform.