- Sarah Tucker
Pahaque Grows with Teardrop Industry
- by Bob Phillips -
For 22 years PahaQue (pronounced paa-hah–kay) has been designing and making tents and related camping comfort gear with a focus on quality and longevity. Over the years they’ve added products like hammocks and awnings. As camping trends changed, PahaQue has kept pace with new products, the latest being tents and covers for the teardrop campers.
Editor's Note: Over the next few months we will feature our advertisers; giving our readers an overview of the companies beyond information about their products found in normal advertising. We begin the series this month with PahaQue Wilderness, a Southern California-based division of Number 6 Brands, Inc.
“We formed PahaQue in 1997 with the goal of designing tents for campers who had moved away from hard-core backpack camping to more family-oriented, front-country style of camping,” said Jeff Basford, one of the company’s founders and president. “Our goal was to design tents and shelters suited more towards family camping, but that delivered the same performance as high-end backpacking tents. Now we are seeing that same customer transition into yet another form of camping – teardrop trailer camping. As the family has matured and kids have moved on, these customers want to enjoy the outdoor lifestyle without all the work associated with traditional tent camping. Also, a large percentage of these customers are entry-level campers; folks who never camped in a tent, but find trailer camping more appealing.
“Our most popular product today is our Visor trailer shade. We developed this patent-pending product to provide quick shade and rain protection over the trailer doorway and have since adapted the design to fit many different trailer models and designs. It’s affordable, easy-to-use, and ideal for short trips where our full tent or awning are not necessary.”
The folks at PahaQue are all experienced campers and understand what enthusiasts want. Camping has always been one of the top-10 most popular forms of recreation in the U.S. and the industry has sought to attract younger families who will continue to enjoy camping, and teach their children the joys of camping and the outdoors.
“I think this bodes well for our industry both in the short and long term” Jeff said. “We feel very positive about the future of the industry in general and our business specifically. We are dedicated to developing products that provide real value to our customers. We produce most of our products domestically and quality is our primary goal. We back up our products with a lifetime warranty and solid customer service. We understand what is most important to our customers – quality designs, a fair price, and excellent customer service after the sale.”
One of the most surprising things the PahaQue folks have learned about the teardrop industry is how effective it has been at attracting entry-level campers; people who never tent camped, would never have considered camping as an activity until they discovered the ease, security, and affordability of teardrop camping.
“This is something that the traditional camping industry has struggled with over the years, but the teardrop industry has been very effective at attracting first-time enthusiasts. And I think a lot of the outdoor industry is finally awakening to this fact, and the huge growth that the teardrop industry is experiencing.
We are proud of being one of the first manufacturers to recognize the need for external tentage and shelters designed specifically for teardrop trailers. We’ve led the industry in design, innovation, and quality. We always strive to develop new and improved designs and are proud of our achievements and our ability to produce most of our products in the U.S.
“In 22 years we’ve learned many lessons, but the most important of them all is understanding how important rock-solid customer service is. Sometimes products fail, and parts can break, but we strive to always be there to make it right for our customers.”
Now, where did that unusual company name come from? Jeff said they have never found an actual definition, but believe PahaQue is a general greeting or salutation, such as “que pasa” in Spanish, or “aloha’ in Hawaiian.
“We first heard it from a rancher friend, who claimed he learned it from his grandfather who was one of the first ranchers to bring longhorn cattle into Texas Canyon, Arizona. Generally, we take it to mean ‘happy trails’ in western vernacular.”