I started the company by accident you might say... following a great weekend at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally 2002. My campsite at The Days End Campground was quickly established at the bottom of a small gully just a short hike from the newly constructed shower house. My pickup and flatbed trailer and tent all in close quarters
The neighbors seemed great and the 4 day weekend was a complete eye opening blast.
On Saturday evening I loaded my bike for a quick get away the next morning, a light mist began to fall. No big thing really, I had loaded my Sportster numerous times without a hitch.
This time however I put my kick stand down and started to lean the bike over when whamooooooo, clunk thud. Next thing I remember I was flung over the side of the trailer, leg over the rail, bike over the leg...head firmly planted in the misty South Dakota pasture. Some how the kick stand had sprung back upward and the weight of the bike caught me off guard and that slight mist made the expanded metal floor somewhat slick.
As my first neighbor arrived at the scene of the accident he was saying stay down man stay down. I heard your leg break when you went over. I thought it might be a possibility but more likely it was the sound of my head cracking the surface of the pasture..Yeah my leg was a little twisted but after hopping around for a few minutes I found it to be a torn or bruised knee and a slight crush but nothing life shattering...Best of all I didn't dent my gas tank : ) !!!!
I limped around for a while and enjoyed a couple of laughs while the breath came back in to my lungs and the cob webs left my head. All seemed to be fine until I noted that my knee was getting stiff and sore. The neighbors insisted I head for the beer garden...to get some ICE on that knee. Well I got iced all right and I was surprised at just how little pain I was in after the beer and Tylenol kicked in. I actually felt pretty normal when I walked back to my tent at about 10:30 that evening. However, bending over to climb in a tent was not something I would want to experience again. It was real down to earth excruciating pain in the knee. and once I was inside laying prone on those rocks, clumps of grass and soggy tent floor I found myself panting and sweating like I had just run a marathon. This was about to be a really really long night.
Eventually I fell asleep or passed out. at least I didn't hear those loud straight pipes for a few minutes or and hour...eventually as all good beer drinkers know what goes in eventually wants to leave the body. as you might imagine that was really going to be a big problem because the newly constructed shower house was just about 60 ft away, uphill in the dark on one leg in a hurry. It was 60' away... downhill in the rain on one leg going back too. I did the best I could for the rest of the night as far as the bathroom situation was concerned. But try as hard as I could to get back to sleep...it wasn't going to happen.. The knee was throbbing in a way that reminded me of that tooth that needed a root canal in my younger days....anyway...in the middle of the night I dreamed about how damn nice it would be to have a bed that I could have stood up out of...and as long as I was dreaming why should I ever share semi filthy port potty with anyone ever again? And what if I could build a camper that would fit on the utility trailer I already owned....and would it be great if I didn't have to buy a new pickup to pull the new rig but could just use the Ford Ranger 4cyl 5 speed that I had paid for.
I made it through the evening and made the 12 hour drive back to Manhattan Kansas with out incident but with plenty of pain and discomfort as the bad knee was on the clutch side of the pickup
I literally dreamed up the RallyMasterCampingPod around this real life experience. I drew up the shape, and formulated the plans during my drive home from the rally. The next day I limped my way to the lumber yard and started building the prototype. The original was on a 4 x 8 trailer and proved to be too small and too heavy, the axle capacity too light for a real good camper / toyhauler.
I started over on a new 6' 6" x 10' ramped Flatbed Utility trailer found at a local sales lot. After building the original shape as you see it, the total weight is only 440 lbs and with trailer 1350 + -I hired the manufacture of a one piece mold that would allow for unlimited replicas to be built. This allows for a consistent waterproof Pod with self enclosed floor. It took about 6 months of very consistent work to design,modify,manufacture and get to the point of offering the first camper for sale. In my first year I did 15 rallies including The Branson Rally, The Bike Blues and BBQ Rally,Sturgis Bike Week, The Thunder In The Rockys Rally, The Kansas HOG Rally, The Kansas State Fair, The Kansas Goldwing Riders Rally and a few other small concerts, fishing tournaments and small town festivals and parades.
At the end of the 2002 Rally season a garage fire wiped out my business, stole my Harley Sportster and every tool that I had collected over 50 years or so. <see above picture>It was caused by a citronella candle that was left unattended and unnoticed until it was to late. Please read the disclaimer on the bottom of every candle. They may smell good but they can cost an awful lot more than you know.