Truck Camper Company Plans $2 Million Project in Indiana

A picture of Skinny Guy Campers

Skinny Guy Campers (SGC), a small truck accessory company that makes self-contained overland truck bed campers, is coming to Elkhart, Indiana, with a goal to provide 50 new jobs by the end of 2023.

The manufacturer launched in 2020 and plans to invest $2 million to grow its headquarters in Bristol, Indiana, upgrading the site with new manufacturing equipment. Phase one of the building upgrades and equipment purchases have already been completed. The company plans to complete phases two and three in the coming years.

“Ranked No. 1 in the Midwest and No. 6 in the nation for entrepreneur friendliness, Indiana is the perfect place for startups like Skinny Guy Campers to thrive,” Interim Indiana Secretary of Commerce Jim Staton said. “We are excited Skinny Guy Campers has chosen to expand operations in Indiana and look forward to supporting the company’s continued growth.”

SGC currently employs a “small team” in Bristol and will being hiring in engineering, operations and office functions this summer.

“Skinny Guy Campers is a design-centric company established to provide extremely durable, well-engineered and patented products that fit into the beds of today’s U.S. and OUS trucks,” said Jason Bontrager, founder and CEO of Skinny Guy Campers. “The SGC is less a camper and more of a tool that we designed to allow overland truck enthusiasts like us the ability to explore longer and camp farther off the beaten path. Constructed of durable marine-grade metals and fasteners, our campers’ wood content is less than 1%.”

Founded by Bontrager, SGC serves overland truck enthusiasts, minimalists and mountain bikers, building upon the Bontrager’s “family legacy” of making off-road products and RVs.

The Skinny Guy Camper, which is available in six models and fits onto pick-up trucks, weighs up to 800 pounds, 50-80% less than other truck bed-based camping products, the company stated. The camper’s interior, designed to only occupy the top half of the truck bed, features a 6.5-foot ceiling height, a kitchenette, dinette seating, interior shower and faucet, flushing toilet and full-size bed.

“Innovation is a constant in the RV industry, and Skinny Guy Campers is a new company that’s combining innovation with a new generation of family ownership that already has a deep history in the Elkhart County-based RV industry,” Bristol Town Manager Mike Yoder said. “A history that began with an innovative concept and a new RV company. Bristol’s pleased to be considered as a location for this new company, it’s a perfect fit for our rapidly growing manufacturing community.”

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered SGC up to $400,000 in conditional tax credits based on the company’s job creation plans, and up to $130,000 in conditional tax credits from the Hoosier Business Investment (HBI) tax credit program based on the company’s planned capital investment in Indiana. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning the company is eligible to claim incentives once Hoosiers are hired and investments are made. The town of Bristol is considering additional incentives.

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