Camping trailer is a small and compact type of commercial vehicle that can be towed by virtually any type of vehicle or truck. People have been using camping trailers for decades, as they provide advantages in terms of cost, comfort and convenience. When talking about a camping trailer, people usually get a picture of something that looks very similar to a covered wagon. Well, that’s not far from the reality, because the covered wagon was exactly what gave birth to what we all know today as a camping (or travel) trailer.
The history of the camping trailer starts back in the 1910. The adventurers were trying to create a traveling solution by placing their tents on platforms on wheels. These early models of camping trailers were able to roughly reach a maximum speed of 24 km/h, so campers could even leave the tents on the platforms when driving home.
By 1915, the popularity of camping trailers with hard-sides increased and they were widely available on the market. People would even create their own removable trailer body to fit the chassis of their pick-up trucks. This way, they were able to go camping by replacing their pick-up truck body with a camper body.
By the 1920s, camping trailers started to look more like the models available today. Some models even had living rooms, kitchens, toilets and screened windows. Also, the roads were paved, so the campers enjoyed more comfortable camping trips and some even started living in their trailers. The first modern camping trailer was introduced in 1929 by Arthur Sherman. Named Covered Wagon, this camping trailer has achieved a great success. Arthur Sherman’s motivation came from his family camping trip in Northern Michigan when he was trying to set up a tent trailer in a rainstorm.
Following his original idea of a camping trailer, Sherman created an easy to set up and easy to transport trailer, which went in mass production very soon after its introduction. The cost of the Covered Wagon was $395 and by the end of the first year, Sherman’s sales counted about $56,000. By 1936, he was the largest and most successful manufacturer of camping trailers.
Sherman’s dominance did not last long. By the 1940s, about 400 manufacturers of camping trailers have introduced their models. As the competition was increasing, the Sherman’s sales were decreasing. The only camping trailer manufacturer that remains profitable today is the company of Wally Byam, Airstream. With 80 years of experience and millions of kilometers on roads all across the world, Airstream is the world’s most successful manufacturer of camping trailer.