From the Trayon Factory on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia to Switzerland, Europe. Australian Slide on Camper Manufacturer Trayon Campers are officially an international brand.
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Trayon has been exporting campers overseas (mainly France) since 2005!
However, with the global financial crisis and dealing with subsidiary companies, the relationship slowly ended.
In 2014 a new export endeavour was started in partnership with a Swiss company. This is the story of how Trayon Europe came into existence.
It all started when Ruedi Hort from Switzerland was travelling around Australia in 2013. A friend of his mentioned, if you are really interested in campers you need to check out Trayon Campers.
At that point in time, he was travelling around in a rented Toyota Landcruiser troopy setup as a camper.
Ruedi visited the slide on camper manufacturer's factory on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, and the first thing Vernon from Trayon noticed about him, was that he was a man that worked with his hands and understood quality.
“He had a very notable way of looking at the camper,” Vernon said,
while I was talking to him, he didn’t break eye contact, yet he was running his hand across the countertop edge, feeling the aluminium frame with the rivets in it.
“while I was talking to him, he didn’t break eye contact, yet he was running his hand across the countertop edge, feeling the aluminium frame with the rivets in it.” Vernon explains.
“That’s how I knew he was looking for quality.” He did ask “do you export to Europe?” and Vernon promptly replied, “Yes, we would only do it under the Trayon banner, not as a reseller.”
Anyway, sometime after the visit, Ruedi had returned home, he sent an email asking if Trayon was still interested in distributing to Europe.
And the answer was yes, but only to the right person. Hundreds if not thousands of emails later, Trayon Europe was born with Ruedi and Heidi Hort as the founders.
The hurdles were high and constant while expanding our reach to Europe, they included:
The largest of which was the fact that for the average European outdoors enthusiast - a flat tray (or a flatbed) on a ute was very expensive, and rarely used for recreational purposes.
Trayon partnered with Tripple-M trays in Brisbane, where Trayon would buy a tray pre-made from Tripple-M and send it overseas attached under the Trayon Camper - ready for vehicle fitment in Europe.
The first shipment from the slide on camper manufacturer was a 40-foot container loaded incredibly tightly and securely.
The Trayon team took extra special care packaging this shipment, they even included a demonstrator vehicle, a Ford Ranger Supercab XLT tray back. This shipment also included:
In addition to that, they also included various 4x4 accessories and aluminium trays to be fitted onto the first vehicles in Europe.
It was in interesting process packing the container in a way that it could be easily unpacked while keeping everything secure
“It was in interesting process packing the container in a way that it could be easily unpacked while keeping everything secure,” Vernon says.
On the destination end, Ruedi purpose built a warehouse in his hometown Wittnau, Switzerland, which is now the headquarters of Trayon Europe.
Vernon flew over to Switzerland and on the day of arrival, went straight to Wittnau to unload the container.
It was a huge, momentous day, no time for jet lag, we pushed hard and got everything unloaded
“It was a huge, momentous day, no time for jet lag, we pushed hard and got everything unloaded,” Vernon says.
Over the next few days they began converting the vehicles.
Ruedi had lined up a small fleet of Ford Rangers, including:
The Wildtrack and Dual cab needed to be converted from style side tub to flatbed, along with the addition of 4WD accessories such as front bull bars and so on.
Aluminium flatbed trays are very expensive in Europe, so in order to make this feasible, Trayon also sends over trays with our campers, since trays are so common here in Australia.
Europeans do off road and camping shows well, they take it to the next level. Vernon and the Trayon Europe team took their fleet to the "Abenteuer & Allrad" show in Germany in a town called Bad Kissingen.
There was a lot of excitement in the air with Australian made symbol front and center. With over 65,000 people through the gates in just 3 days, the show was a great success and introduction for Trayon Europe.
The concept of a commercial vehicle with a flat tray is still relatively new for the European audience, but Trayon is confident that there will be a devoted following once people realise the practicality.
This has also opened a side endeavour for Trayon Europe in providing economical trayback solutions for clients in Europe.
Since the Abenteuer & Allrad show in Germany then there has been further shows in Germany, France, Austria, UK, Spain, Italy and some in Switzerland as well as an official warehouse opening ceremony in Wittnau.
Sales are going well for Trayon Europe, and Trayon is looking forward to further establish its brand as the primary trusted slide on camper throughout Europe.
Since then Trayon has established an agent network in not only Europe but also one in New Zealand and Canada.
Trayon is now the only slide on camper manufacturer in Australia that builds and exports campers out of Australia!
There is growing demand for Trayon to enter the United States.
With many people doing what is called "overland travel" or “Overlanding” which is what we call “off-road touring” here in Australia, the Trayon Camper is well established as one of the best campers in the world for this purpose. Trayon USA would only be done with the right partnership just as Trayon Europe is.
No matter the country, Trayon Campers feel privileged to support those who want to explore this beautiful planet.