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Old 07-01-2017, 09:33 PM   #1
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The first enclosed (non-tent) travel trailer?

My brother gave me a copy of the July/August issue of Michigan History magazine because he thought I'd like to read one of the articles, about the creation of the fully enclosed camping trailer in Detroit, MI in the 1920s. I did enjoy the article and thought you might like to see it also. Happily, it is available online:
Current Issue « Historical Society of Michigan
Click on the link entitled, "Comfortable Camping," and you'll see the full article complete with pictures. It appears that this trailer, called the Covered Wagon, may have been the very first non-tent camping trailer. Its creator, Arthur Sherman, went camping in a tent trailer and it rained heavily, spoiling his vacation, so Sherman began the task of building a better camper. When his prototype was built and he went camping in it, crowds gathered and people wanted to buy one like it. So Sherman refined the design and started manufacturing his little (9' x 6' cabin) travel trailers.

I think it's interesting to note that the roof was painted canvas stretched over plywood, and the trailer was designed as a sort of 'double hull' with a one-and-three-quarter-inch dead air space between the hulls.
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Old 07-01-2017, 09:47 PM   #2
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Mike,

Thanks for posting that, I really enjoyed reading it. It was interesting how much of the construction was detailed too.
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Old 07-01-2017, 11:41 PM   #3
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Bummer, it wouldn't open for me and sounded like a good story too.
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Old 07-01-2017, 11:52 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Borrego Dave View Post
Bummer, it wouldn't open for me and sounded like a good story too.
Dave,

If this link doesn't work, PM me an email address and I'll send it to you.

http://www.hsmichigan.org/wp-content...zine-story.pdf
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Old 07-02-2017, 08:24 AM   #5
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It is in PDF format so it can be emailed as an attachment.
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Old 07-02-2017, 10:16 AM   #6
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Fascinating. Would have loved some interior pics!


The amerigo FG16s were built in Indiana; funny that the hall of fame thing is there in Elkhart, Indiana.


Don't forget the wood-roofed, painted wooden wagons pulled by horses by the Diddakoi of Europe for -- hundreds of years? The nomadic Gypsies who were once said to steal anything not safely locked away, including your children ('cause they didn't have enough mouths to feed already). AKA "Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves."


Those little wooden house wagons have resurfaced in a way now as "tiny houses" when they're made on wheels, which some of them are--though the "tiny houses" aren't nearly as portable as the Diddakoi wagons of old.


The article admits this wasn't the first travel trailer...but was the first really mass-produced. As usual, the company wasn't willing to listen to customers' changing needs and trends. Too bad; retooling is a PITA, but sometimes it's the only way to roll.


Great link to a great article, thanks!!!!


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Old 07-02-2017, 11:02 AM   #7
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Interesting. In 1936, 400 companies produced travel trailers. After WWll, only Airstream restarted production.
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Old 07-02-2017, 12:03 PM   #8
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I saw this early forerunner of the 5th wheel Aerocar camper at the Curtiss museum in NY last year. Looked pretty roomy inside.
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Old 07-02-2017, 12:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kai in Seattle View Post
AKA "Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves."
Kai,

I think there is something in the forum rules against posting ear worms. If there isn't, there should be!

Now I have to go find something to flush Cher's strident refrains out of that extensive echo-chamber located between my ears.

Hmm, what to pick now...
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Old 07-02-2017, 01:08 PM   #10
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Kai,

I think there is something in the forum rules against posting ear worms. If there isn't, there should be!

Now I have to go find something to flush Cher's strident refrains out of that extensive echo-chamber located between my ears.

Hmm, what to pick now...
"...Dark lady laughed and danced and lit the candles one by one
Danced to her gypsy music till her brew was done
Dark lady played back magic till the clock struck on the twelve
She told me more about me than I knew myself..."
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Old 07-02-2017, 01:18 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by likeair2me View Post
"...Dark lady laughed and danced and lit the candles one by one
Danced to her gypsy music till her brew was done
Dark lady played back magic till the clock struck on the twelve
She told me more about me than I knew myself..."
Aargh!

That does it, Grateful Dead's magical spring of '77 tour is going onto the gramophone right now...

Huh, now, where did I put the crank handle?
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Old 07-02-2017, 01:27 PM   #12
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This thread is going the way of The Doors.
Strange days have found us.
Strange days have tracked us down!
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Old 07-02-2017, 01:41 PM   #13
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Radar1 "...early forerunner of the 5th wheel Aerocar camper..."




Looks a lot like a railroad car!


Ear worms--someone used to call them "the jingle channel." (Might've been Mark Twain)
Sorry!


"Who's sorry now?"


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Old 07-02-2017, 01:48 PM   #14
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OK, back on track (sorta).

1948 Palace Royal...
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Old 07-02-2017, 01:50 PM   #15
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1917 Adams Motor Bungalow
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Old 07-03-2017, 10:07 AM   #16
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OK, back on track (sorta).

1948 Palace Royal...
That trailer with the porthole windows looks a lot like a trailer my parents owned before I was born. My dad was into travel trailers (according to my mother, he built one himself from scratch) since he traveled a lot as a heavy equipment mechanic. The first home I remember was a mid-50s New Moon trailer (not too different from the one in the 1953 Lucy/Desi film, ) Ours was green and white.
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Old 07-03-2017, 10:08 AM   #17
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CivilGuy--great photos of some super old rigs!
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Old 07-03-2017, 10:16 AM   #18
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The Long, Long Trailer, 1951 by Clinton Twiss...book and movie are quite different...both are iconic and very enjoyable--if you're into the trailer sort of things...wonder who that might interest around here?


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Old 07-03-2017, 10:21 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radar1 View Post
I saw this early forerunner of the 5th wheel Aerocar camper at the Curtiss museum in NY last year. Looked pretty roomy inside.
I think I saw that on RV TV which use to be on the Roku but that channel doesn't work any more
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Old 07-03-2017, 11:09 AM   #20
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"Wonderful closet space!"

"That's the living room."

"Oh."


I guess in the end it wouldn't hurt to admit that we are all just a little bit nuts about our trailers here.
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