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lorenber 09-06-2013 04:16 PM

Part of the ECO Family
 
Hi everyone - I just wanted to take a minute to introduce myself. My name is Loren and my Dad is one of the guys who manufactured all of those great ECO travel trailers back in the 70s. In fact, I worked at his factory during much of that time so if you've got an ECO I probably had a hand in making it.

Who knew that 40 years later those sturdy little trailers would still be loved so much!

Here's a few bits of trivia for you:

ECO - stand for Eugene-Cal-Owen, the first names of the owners of Century Mfg. Cal is my Dad and Owen is his younger brother. All three are still alive - but they didn't even keep a single one of the trailers for themselves.

After the shells were put on the frame the first thing we did was cut out all of the window and door openings, then we installed the foam insulation with a really powerful glue that would make your head swim if you stayed in the trailer too long. Yeah...OSHA wasn't so strong back in those days and we didn't wear respirators :-)

Dad bought the molds from a company in Canada - I think the originals were named Burros but my memory might be shoddy on that.

My uncle Owen and my Dad made a promotional video based on a true story about an ECO owner turning a corner too fast and too short and hitting the curb. Their trailer tipped over and they drug it down the street for a ways before they stopped. They just tipped it back up and went on their way! Tough little guys. Although they did have to bring it back in for some touch up on the gel-coat.

The first year there were only 2 colors if my memory serves me right - avocado green with a white top and all white. Later we added red, light blue and even yellow. We made a few solid color ones but Dad didn't like the look of those so they were only on special order.

We used to keep two of the red/white ones on hand and employees could reserve them for free for weekend camping.

When we put the first ones together we used a hand rivet gun. Ouch! After the first couple of times doing that we went on strike until my Dad bought us air rivet guns. Much faster after that! But we soon discovered it was pretty hysterical to rivet various things that shouldn't have been riveted - like lunchboxes to work benches and tool belts to walls. LOL!

Anyway, just a few things to know about the old ECO trailers. I still see them rolling down the highway once in a while. I always honk and wave!

Let me know if you've got an ECO and how it's doing for you. Maybe one of these days I'll buy one back for myself :-)

Thanks!

lorenber 09-06-2013 04:21 PM

Boler not Burro
 
I just remembered the Canadian company was named Boler!

Terry R. 09-06-2013 04:25 PM

Very interesting, thank you for sharing that bit of history. terry r.

FTTRV 09-06-2013 06:01 PM

I own a 1975 ECO with a toilet in the front. A well built 13ft trailer. Thank you for sharing the History of your company.
Chuck

WildBirder 09-06-2013 06:33 PM

Great stuff :thumb Thanks for sharing. I see one in your future :)

cpaharley2008 09-06-2013 06:34 PM

Welcome Loren, to FGRV...

kootenaigirl 09-06-2013 06:38 PM

That's such an interesting and informative posting, thank you.

Thomas G. 09-06-2013 07:04 PM

Loren, thanks so much for dropping in and sharing some history. Do you have any idea of what the yearly sales volumes were or how many ECOs were built?

honda03842 09-06-2013 07:38 PM

Loren,

What caused the company to cease production?

Thanks for the interesting history.

Donna D. 09-06-2013 09:01 PM

COOL BEANS! Loren thanks so much for adding to the ECO history :yep

I know Deb & Chuck have an ECO... I'm betting they're really interested in the history. Deb told me, theirs is an original 13' with a full (front bathroom). I've seen it, if my rememberer is right the entire trailer is green gelcoat in color.

:thumb

Roy in TO 09-06-2013 09:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lorenber (Post 416516)
Let me know if you've got an ECO and how it's doing for you. Maybe one of these days I'll buy one back for myself :-)

Welcome to FGRV Loren,

I've got a precursor to the ECO, a boler American. I believe your family had one of 3 facilities that were producing these before you ventured out on your own. The other 2 were:
Evelands in Bachus, MN that still makes the Scamp today
Tri-Fab in Tripoli, IA that went on to make the Love Bug, no longer in production.

What you have posted will help fill in some of the holes in this thread:
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f51/egg-history-boler-descendants-26760.html

I'll post a link in that thread back to here.

Then I'll send you a PM.
Roy

Roy in TO 09-06-2013 09:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FTTRV (Post 416532)
I own a 1975 ECO with a toilet in the front.

That should be in your profile Chuck. Knowing that alters my opinion of you. It means that you do indeed belong here and have not totally crossed over to the dark side of trailerism.

Donna D. 09-06-2013 09:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roy in TO (Post 416564)
That should be in your profile Chuck. Knowing that alters my opinion of you. It means that you do indeed belong here and have not totally crossed over to the dark side of trailerism.

Huh? Deb & Chuck have a pole barn full of all molded trailers. Their current favorite is a 21' Bigfoot. I've never camped with them when they weren't in something all molded.... they're kinda like CPAHarley... except they don't sell and move along... they KEEP them!

Roy in TO 09-06-2013 10:06 PM

I guess I've not paid enough attention to the details.

Time to quote Gina, and "go to my room"


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