Revisit to Flyte Camp in Bend, Oregon
Jeff Johnston: Regular viewers may remember that some years ago, we paid a visit to Flyte Camp, a company in Bend, Oregon, that specializes in repair and restorations of vintage trailers. Well, we caught up with Justin Scribner, half of the Flyte Camp crew, at the Rally on the River, in Brownsville, Oregon. And Justin brought us up to speed a little bit on what the company’s been up to in the intervening years.
So, what’s happening with you guys?
Justin: Busy, busy, busy, you know? We went from visiting with you, and being in a very small shop and doing some spec trailers and a few customer renovations, to kind of being, you know, a big name in vintage travel trailer restoration. And you know, it wasn’t something that I pushed for and intended, but it organically happened, which was great, you know. It’s really nice to take something that you love and enjoy and have a passion for, and turn it into your daily living, which is awesome. So, Flyte Camp has definitely expanded. We’ve moved shops at this point, and we’ve grown, and we’ve got some great craftsmen working down there, just incredible workers. One other thing that I wanted to mention too is about two years ago, we came up with an idea to create an authentic vintage style brand new travel trailer.
We had seen a lot of re-pops out there, and you know, the craftsmanship we wanted to make sure was 100% in there, and they were built just like they were in the 40s and 50s. Okay, so I decided to design my own– my own trailer called the Neutron. So, along with all of our restoration stuff that we do and our museum pieces and the rarities, we also do a brand new manufactured line called the Neutron. And the Neutron is a trailer that we make right there at the shop. So, we have three to five restorations going, and then typically we always have about three Neutrons on the line kind of coming off, which is great. Jeff: But the content is everything. And you guys obviously have some content that is– ranges from really cool to mind blowing. Justin: Well, I appreciate that.
Jeff: Speaking of the mind blowing aspect, we can see this guy behind us. Tell me just very briefly which one this is. Justin: Yeah, this is the Holiday House Geographic Model X. And this was made by the Harry & David Company. Actually, it was made by Holiday House, but it was the Harry & David fruit basket company. This was a concept that David Holmes came up with, and we’ve got one in two in fruition right here in front of us, and it’s pretty– yeah, it’s a pretty rare piece. So, this trailer involved a lot more than we ever expected. We kind of thought that being a fiberglass shell that it would be a little bit more preserved than wood, say, wood frame trailers, which we work with a lot of wood inside trailers. But when we took the windows out on this one, the roof actually collapsed down on itself, which was pretty bad. Kind of scared everybody in the shop a little bit. But in doing so, we decided to go ahead and structurally make it more sound, better than they did originally, and we doubled up on the strength on the sidewalls and also the thickness of the roof structure itself. At that point, we had an empty shell. And so, we decided on a floor plan, went to town on it.
So, when we found the trailer, we didn’t have anything to work off of on the inside, so I was referring back to black and white photos and stock photos of the one that went to Europe. And in that, we also were able to speak with the original designer, Chuck Pelly. He was hired by David Holmes to come in, and they set him up down in California to strictly develop this trailer. And he was invaluable in the process of redoing this. So, we were able to get his idea on what he really wanted it originally to look like. The other one that went to Europe, they were combining their original box design with this concept. And so, some of the cabinetry didn’t fit 100% like it should have like his idea was. And so, we got his idea on it and tried to kind of build the trailer that he originally wanted. The interior of this trailer is all black walnut. The other one they built all in teak. Now, monetarily right now, teak is a little prohibitive. And so, we went ahead and did black walnut throughout it. And we did stainless steel countertops. We kept the original footprint of the trailer, but we built the upper cabinets and some of the layout a little bit more usable than what it was originally in the two that were finished. So, we kind of just improved a little bit on the design. And especially with the original designer helping us through the process, you know, I think it came out pretty spectacular. You know, that’s kind of the fun in it. I always tell everybody, you know, every single one of them is individually different. If you go through this rally, there’s so many different brands and there’s so many different takes on it. You know, the people personalize them. They were made in a different year, a different era, a different feel. And that’s what’s fun about vintage trailers. Just like a vintage car, they have a life to it. And if you can preserve that life and that history and give that to people to enjoy, then they’re stepping into a feeling or a time, it’s pretty amazing.
Jeff: Yeah. Well, the work you guys do, you’re certainly setting the bar about as high as it can go. And it’s not unusual, it’s not surprising I guess. Well, the 24 month part is, but it’s not surprising to have the lead time because I know your reputation is preceding you. Justin: Well, thank you very much. Jeff: So anyway, well Justin, thank you for your time, appreciate it. Glad to hear things are going well. Justin: Yeah, really good to see you, and enjoy the rally. Jeff: So, you want to learn a little bit more about Flyte Camp, log onto our website, rollinontv.com