True outdoorsmen, survivalists or soldiers in the military know what a bivouac is, but the rest of us normal folk may not even know how to pronounce the word, let alone know what they are! So I got a quick spelling lesson from Rick Russek, President/ CEO and designer for Bivouac Camping Trailers and the M.O.A.B - Mother Of All Bivouacs.
Bivouac- (n.) [biv-wak] a military encampment made from tents or improvised shelters, designed to be portable, easy to set up and close down structure quickly
FCHH: Can you tell me about your company?
Rick: We started about 4 years ago with a different larger model of trailer and morphed into this design about 2 years ago.
FCHH: What is a bivouac used for?
Rick: Our trailers are for the rugged type of person, people who like to setup their camp past the popular campsites and the ladies who don’t need a hairdryer in their trailer, they just get out there and go. Some people are into hunting or have tricked out four-wheel drive Jeeps or trucks and ride off-road vehicles. Believe it or not, some customers are actually amateur photographers who go out farther than most people taking pictures. So, we design and manufacture custom bivouac trailers. The idea is similar to the “Swiss Army knife,” but for trailers where the moving parts of the trailer stay connected, but can open easily to give you access to a stove or a sink and then fold up when not in use.
“Our trailer is designed to set up in 5 minutes. Same for and folding down. It’s very easy,” said Rick Russek.
FCHH: What sizes of trailers do you manufacture?
Rick: We have three styles right now. They are all derived from the M.O.A.B. Camping Trailer, which means the “Mother Of All Bivouacs.”
1. M.O.A.B. FORT - regular size, sleeps 3-5 people with annex
2. M.O.A.B. FORT XL- larger size, sleeps 4-8 people with annex
3. M.O.A.B. YAK - large enough to carry ATV’s, the “toy hauler”
FCHH: We saw your company at the International Sportsmen’s Expo. How many Sports Expos have you exhibited?
Rick: We’ve attended many times, but only have been exhibitors in 2012 and 2013.
FCHH: What other trade shows are on the schedule for Bivouac Camping Trailers?
Rick: We are going to the AZ Rec Game with the Arizona Diamondbacks on April 27th. We did this last year, too.
FCHH: How was it? I heard the Arizona Elk Society will be there this year, as well!
Rick: Last year, we had lots of interest and hope to further the reach by partnering with the Diamondbacks again this year and other organizations in the outdoors community. Another one of the best shows for our target market is the Overland Expo in Flagstaff, Arizona. The bivouac is used for overlanding and the Overland Expo is an international event that inspires people to get out and explore the world. We’ve also participated in Bill Luke Bass Days at Lake Pleasant.
“The name M.O.A.B. came from the city in Utah. I wanted the name to symbolize a location because if you’re thinking of Moab, Utah, and you think of our trailer, you’re on the right track,” Rick Russek said!
FCHH: How did you design the concept for the first bivouac?
Rick: I am an architect and created the design in AutoCAD. I originally made a larger version of the M.O.A.B. used for carrying ATV’s and more, but we heard feedback from customers that they preferred a smaller size for sleeping inside which is now the M.O.A.B. FORT. I was able to downscale the original design in AutoCAD. After that, I came up with the M.O.A.B. FORT XL and M.O.A.B. YAK.
FCHH: Do you run this outfit alone?
Rick: No. I started it, but shortly after Ron Bernaud came on board. We own it 50/50, he’s the Vice President and Operator of Operations, and I’m the President and CEO and also in charge of marketing and product design. We have a great fabricator and welder, he’s pretty much the jack of all trades, Jeff Pessetto, who builds all of the trailers. Because we have more orders coming in, we are looking to expand our staff in the next month or so.
FCHH: So you are an architect and the President and CEO of a cool outdoors company?
Rick: And I’m a pilot, too.
FCHH: What? That’s like three different jobs!
Rick: Yes. I know! Half way through college for architecture, I started flying small planes and now I am a commercial pilot and fly 737’s for Alaska Airlines.
FCHH: How do you juggle everything?
Rick: Flying is half the month, I work at M.O.A.B. during the day while my kids are in school and maybe on an overnight in Portland or somewhere, I’ll start designing houses while in a hotel watching TV. I’m currently designing a house in Utah.
FCHH: Cool! Thanks for showing us your awesome M.O.A.B. Trailers. They are really great quality and I was definitely impressed.
Check out the M.O.A.B. website and find them on Twitter.