SylvanSport was founded in 2004 for one reason: to make outdoor adventure accessible. What started as an idea to create an innovative pop-up camper has evolved into a line of award-winning adventure trailers, outdoor gear, and camping accessories.
We are SylvanSport
Since 2004, we’ve empowered convenient, comfortable enjoyment of the outdoors through our revolutionary products. Back then, our founder Tom Dempsey thought, “Why doesn’t the RV industry make technical gear, like we’re used to in the bicycle, backpacking, kayaking, and surfing, industries?” We head out into the wild for adventure, so we want to bring our toys with us when we camp! That was the inspiration for the design of our GO camper. Let’s make something truly useful, responsible, and enjoyable. Isn’t’ that what good design is all about? Today, we continue to apply that philosophy to all of our products from our adventurous trailers and rooftop tents to camping gear like backpacks, sleeping bags, mattresses, camp kitchens, lighting devices and more!
We are Good at Design and Engineering
There is a reason that SylvanSport has some pretty impressive hardware on our trophy shelf. Tom has been an industrial designer in the outdoor industry since 1990. He, Kyle Mundt, and the team have earned multiple IDSA Gold awards, an Edison award, National Geographic Adventure’s Best of Adventure Gear award, Gear Junkie’s Gear of the Year award, Red Dot Design’s Best of the Best award, and many more. Talent attracts talent, and since the beginning of SylvanSport, some of the best designers and engineers around have joined Tom, and their work furthers our mission to create the most innovative outdoor gear in the world. We keep winning awards to prove it — our VAST travel trailer was named the top adventure RV in North America! Tom also dedicates time serving on the executive board of Auburn University’s College of Architecture and Design. This win-win relationship helps keep an open loop between academia and industry and hopefully inspires young designers to make a difference in the world.
We Think Big and We Give Back
Our passion for good design is reflected in more than SylvanSport’s manufactured products. Taking on the huge challenge of launching a full-blown RV and gear manufacturing company set us up to think big and run with big ideas. In 2017, we gathered information on outdoor-oriented economies from our friends in Utah, Colorado, and Washington and set off for our state capital of Raleigh. Along with a group of fellow visionaries, we managed to guide North Carolina to becoming the 4th state in the USA to create and launch an Outdoor Industry Office within the Department of Commerce. We did this because we know that stewardship and care for our public outdoor places is not only good for Mother Nature, it’s essential for our customers to have these places to use our products. Today, Tom remains on the Board of the North Carolina Outdoor Recreation Coalition, which helps to guide policy for our state and liaison with the now 23 other states that have followed suit.
We are Rooted in the mountains of North Carolina
It’s in our name. SylvanSport comes from our home here in Transylvania County North Carolina, but it goes deeper than that. Sylvan means “of the forest,” and that inspires what we do, how we play, and where we adventure. We appreciate and respect the many layers of culture that have called this area home. Our talented workforce reflects the values of craftmanship, hard work, and quality results. We are dedicated to sourcing parts and materials for our trailers from as close to home as possible. We benefit greatly from being located adjacent to the “automotive corridor” which spans from BMW in our neighboring upstate South Carolina to nearby automotive plants in Tennessee and Georgia. We source about 75% of our GO camper parts from within 100 miles of our factory in Brevard, NC.
It is also no accident that our world headquarters is located just half a mile from the entrance to the Pisgah National Forest – one of the most visited forests in North America. We do everything right here, from design, engineering, marketing, sales, and manufacturing to hosting customer visits, demos, and pick-ups. We love it here!
We’re Just Getting Started
Inspiration from our landscape and people propels us to create. It is deep in our bones. It is so gratifying to walk in our factory on any day and engage in conversation about how we can do things better. Our core design and engineering strengths keep us working diligently on better materials, from all-natural composites and textiles to the development of our 100% electric motorhome. We constantly look for ways to lower our impact and inspire appreciation for our natural world, and our focus remains firmly on the fun side of the future.