Sapa Contributes Engineering, Fabrication to Award-Winning Camping Trailer
LINTHICUM, Md.--Sapa Extrusions' Americas unit teamed with SylvanSport to create the GO trailer, a mini mobile adventure camper that was recently recognized in BusinessWeek for winning a gold award in its annual International Design Excellence Award competition. The GO trailer received one of 35 top category awards (out of a total of 1,517 submissions) at the competition, which was sponsored and judged by the Industrial Designers Society of America.
The pop-up camper sleeps four and hauls up to 800 pounds of gear, including motorcycles, bicycles, kayaks, or an ATV. Yet it can be easily be managed by one person and towed by a 4-cylinder compact vehicle. Sapa's engineers worked with SylvanSport from concept phase through final design and delivery, fine-tuning plans and manufacturing processes to move the trailer from prototype to viable product. One of the distinguishing features of the GO trailer is a collapsible aluminum frame that provides multi-functional versatility without compromising strength.
"Sapa was instrumental in helping us make this more than just a small trailer," said Tom Dempsey, SylvanSport's founder, in a statement. "For example, we worked with Sapa's metallurgists to select aluminum containing 75 percent recycled metal because it was cost-effective and because recycled content is important to us and our environmentally-conscious buyers. The aluminum structures are engineered to handle the weight of both trailer and gear, as well as the tremendous motion stress of both highway and off-road travel."
The trailer's aluminum components are extruded at Sapa's plants in North Liberty, Indiana, and Belton, South Carolina. The fabrication, which includes sawing, machining, bending, welding, adhesive bonding and complete assembly, occurs at the plant in Sidney, Ohio.
"Raw extrusions come in and we utilize our fabrication processes to construct the frame of the trailer, finishing it off with roughly 100 items--from wheels to wiring harnesses--supplied by SylvanSport," said Matt Landis, Sapa's commercial engineering manager in Sidney. "When the trailer leaves Sidney, it ships directly to the retailer."
The GO trailer also earned the 2008 International Aluminum Extrusion Design Grand Prize from the ET Foundation for its innovative use of aluminum. It was also dubbed "2008 Best Adventure Gear" by National Geographic Adventure magazine.
Sapa Extrusions North America provides supply sourcing, extrusion, finishing, and fabrication of aluminum components, as well as engineering and contract manufacturing services, for various industries. For more information, visit www.sapagroup.com/na .
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