Calhoun businessman manufacturing small camper made of fiberglass

2011-05-29T06:00:00Z Calhoun businessman manufacturing small camper made of fiberglassBy GENE ZALESKI, T&D Staff Writer The Times and Democrat
May 29, 2011 6:00 am  • 

ST. MATTHEWS - The former owner of a fiberglass pool company here has gone camping.

Alan Smoak, who owned Alaglas Pools from 1989 to 2000, has opened up a fiberglass camper trailer business Smoakin Concepts Composites. Smoak owns and operates the business with his son, Nicholas.

The business, located at 191 Sweet Bay Road next to Alaglas Pools, is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will be open by appointment on Saturday and Sunday.

Smoak decided to sell Alaglass with plans to retire but was inspired to pursue a new business venture about two years ago.

"The smaller ones (campers) were in tin boxes," said Smoak, in relating his experiences traveling the country at various camper trade shows. "They were cheaply made of a cheap quality."

His dissatisfaction with the state of the small camper industry propelled Smoak to design a new concept - a fiberglass trailer.

"We have made a classy little small camper," he said.

The 14.5-foot long "Lil Snoozy" trailer (excluding the tongue) is fiberglass-insulated with foam layered between fiberglass.

"Our inset is like an igloo cooler except we use fiberglass and not plastic," Smoak said. "Frames are galvanized."

Under 2,000 pounds, the camper can be pulled by a car and provides 6-foot, 3-inch headroom and "can fit in a one-car garage."

"It is aerodynamic," said Smoak, who also is a pilot. "It looks like the front of an airplane."

Smoak said the market for the lightweight trailers is great especially with near record high gasoline prices.

"Everybody is getting away from the large campers and getting to the smaller campers," he said.

The camper trailer is complete with a queen-sized bed, a couch, a 42-inch flat-screen television, a full bath with shower and a full kitchen. Multiple floor plans allow for the sleeping of two, three or four people.

Smoak said the camper provides "a lot of neat features" specifically citing a window that allows one to cook outside the camper and yet have access to the interior of the kitchen.

A basic camper model sells for about $13,995 and a fully-equipped camper sells for about $15,500, Smoak said.

The business will employ about 15 with two or three trailers being manufactured a week with hopes to ramp up production to five or six campers weekly.

Smoak said the business will have a 900-square-foot showcase room and three offices. Repairs and maintenance of the trailers purchased from SCC will be done on site.

Smoak is no stranger to the fiberglass business, which he entered in the 1960s. For a time Smoak restored wrecked Corvettes and also worked in the beer and wine distribution business with his late father Bob.

Smoakin Concepts primarily serves South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

For more information about Smoakin Concepts Composites, call 803-655-5336, email at info@lilsnoozy.com or visit www.lilsnoozy.com

Contact the writer: gzaleski@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5551.

 

Copyright 2015 The Times and Democrat. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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