R-V Industries Company History Timeline

1875
Camping s popularity grew slowly, but got more sophisticated when John B. Bachelder offered alternatives to Murray s vision of traveling around the Adirondacks by canoe in his 1875 book Popular Resorts and How to Reach Them.
1904
According to Smithsonian, the first RV was hand built onto a vehicle in 1904.
1910
Camping trailers made by Los Angeles Trailer Works and Auto-Kamp Trailers also rolled off the assembly line beginning in 1910.
Around 1910 the pace of camping s modernization increased when inexpensive automobiles began appearing.
1915
Over the course of the next decade, well-off tinkerers continued to adapt a variety of automobiles and truck chassis to create even more spacious and comfortable vehicles, but a bridge was crossed in 1915 when Roland and Mary Conklin launched their Gypsy Van.
1929
Sherman had a carpenter build it for him for about 500 and the family took their new Covered Wagon named by the children camping the following summer of 1929.
The crash of 1929 and the Depression dampened the popularity of RVs, although some people used travel trailers, which could be purchased for 500 to 1,000, as inexpensive homes.
The first Airstream was also constructed in 1929.
1932
By 1932, Airstream trailers were being mass produced and sold commercially for 500-1000.
1936
By 1936 the Covered Wagon was the largest trailer produced in the American industry.
1942
In fact, in 1942, the US military purchased thousands of one type of revolutionary trailers known as the Palace Expando to house newly enlisted men and their families.
1948
As Miller, Schult and Platt found success, so did the Hoosiers they employed, many of whom went on to launch their own RV businesses.By 1948, it was official.
1950
From tiny do-it-yourself kits to plush 30-foot models, travel trailers came into their own as true towable RVs by 1950.
1952
More advanced styles of motorized RVs became available for purchase for luxury buyers. For example, the executive flagship RV was built in 1952.
1962
In 1962, the novel Travels with Charley, written by John Steinbeck, ushered in a new love for camping as the story was based on a camper who traveled the country in search of adventure.
1966
One of the largest international organizations for RV ownership is the Good Sam Club, and it was founded in 1966.
1967
Later, CBS News correspondent Charles Kuralt captured the romance of life on the road with reports that started in 1967, wearing out motor homes by covering more than a million miles over the next 25 years in his On the Road series.
That changed in 1967 when Winnebago began mass-producing what it advertised as America s first family of motor homes, five models from 16 to 27 feet long, which sold for as little as 5,000.
1974
R-V was founded in 1974 in Honey Brook, PA by Ronald L. Putt and Victor D. Dodd as a small job shop offering custom manufacturing services.
1980
1980 Founding Thor Industries Inc. was founded on August 29, 1980 when Wade F.B. Thompson and Peter B. Orthwein acquired Airstream, the most recognized name in the industry.
1982
Originally established in 1982 as a sterilizer service company, Beta Star was purchased by R-V Industries.
1984
Since going public in 1984, Thor has grown both organically and through strategic acquisitions in both recreational vehicles RVs and buses.
Founded in 1984, Milford, Indiana-based Bison is known for its rugged, high-quality and affordable specialty trailers.
1986
In 1986, Thor was listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
1988
1988 Small and mid-size bus industry Thor entered the small and mid-size bus industry with the acquisition of ElDorado Bus.
1991
In 1991, National Coach was purchased and the two companies operated under the ElDorado National trademark, with plants in California and Kansas.
1992
1992 Four Winds International Four Winds International, a manufacturer of Class A and Class C motorhomes, was acquired in 1992.
1994
In 1994 a separate maintenance building was added allowing more manufacturing space on the main shop floor.
1995
Komfort Corporation, a builder of travel trailers and fifth wheels, became part of the growing Thor family in 1995.
1996
1996 Thor California Thor California was a start-up in 1996, which became one of the most successful RV start-ups.
1998
1998 Champion Bus Thor solidified its leadership in the bus industry with the acquisition of Champion Bus.
2001
2001 Keystone RV When Thor acquired Keystone RV in 2001, the company achieved an unprecedented dominance within the RV industry.
2003
In 2003, Bison began adding living quarter conversions to their production process resulting in the development of a complete line of equine trailers with living quarters.
2004
2004 Crossroads RV With the addition of Crossroads RV in 2004, Thor solidified its industry leading position in towable RVs.
2005
2005 Goshen Coach Thor acquired Goshen Coach to round out its holdings in the small and mid-size bus industry.
2009
With the rising cost of doing business in California, industry giant Fleetwood Enterprises filed for bankruptcy in 2009.
2010
2010 Heartland RV Company In September 2010, Thor made its largest acquisition to date when it purchased Heartland RV Company, further cementing its companies combined position as the world's largest producer of towable RVs.
2012
2012 Krystal Infinity and Federal Coach Thor made two strategic acquisitions in the luxury bus market when it acquired Krystal Infinity, LLC in September, and the bus operation assets of Federal Coach in December.
2013
With the automotive industry acting as a base, Indiana has added 32,000 manufacturing jobs since January 2013 and is home to the largest concentration of manufacturing employment in the nation.That type of manufacturing strength is important for the growth of RV companies today.
2013 Exiting the bus business Thor exited the bus industry when it sold its bus business to Allied Specialty Vehicles.
2015
2015 Cruiser RV and DRV Luxury Suites In January 2015, Thor announced that its Heartland subsidiary acquired towable RV maker Cruiser RV CRV and luxury fifth wheel maker DRV Luxury Suites, both based in Howe, Indiana.
2016
In June 2016, Thor acquired Jayco, which includes strong subsidiaries such as Jayco, Starcraft RV, Highland Ridge and Entegra Coach, including brands like Jay Flight, the number-one selling travel trailer for the past 14 years.
2019
rv parts and supplies December 14, 2019 at 6 12 am Animals make excellent travel companions and an RV gives you a spacious area to keep them comfortable on the open road.
2020
David Perry May 29, 2020 at 1 02 am Do you happen to know when the first toy haulers fifth wheels were commercially available Reply.
Founded
1974
Company Founded
Headquarters
Honey Brook, PA
Company Headquarter

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