Trotwood Trailers, Inc. began offering assembly line travel trailers to the public in earnest in 1930, however, a 1936 sales booklet also states, that, “More and more trailerists are judging trailer coaches by…..the fundamental designs pioneered by Trotwood officials as early as 1920, when they first introduced them to America, in a side-door travel coach having two lower double beds, one at each end, and having the cabinets, refrigerator, stove, dining table and other conveniences centrally located”. This would obviously put this company at the forefront of trailer coach manufacturering. However, I suspect that these were larger, custom-made-to-order coaches, because I've never been able to locate a photo of one of these twenties era trailers, but, in another travel trailer brochure from about the same year, it states that, “Trotwoods have been taking to the road in every increasing numbers since 1930”.
It all began with Ray Kuntz and Warren Wagner back in the late 1920’s. These schoolteachers occupied their summers in a garage on Grand Avenue, designing a prototype canvas tent on wheels to take camping. Despite the economic gloom of the Great Depression in 1932 they opened Trotwood Trailers and by 1950 they grew to control 20% of the camper trailer market in Ohio. There were many models to choose from and one of their largest models can still be seen in the mobile home park on East Main Street of Trotwood Ohio. It was a regular sight to see 12 trailers rolling out of town every day on their way to customers across North America. Their neighbors tolerated the pair working long hours from their ‘home office’ not realizing the impact their inventions would have on the trailer world from innovative axle systems to the first side entry door trailer. Fire destroyed Trotwood’s legacy business back in 1981. Thousands of campers and travel trailers were built on North Broadway, Trotwood Ohio, for delivery all across the country. Trotwood Trailers were respected for their innovative features and high quality construction. Many still survive today but the company does not.
This Trotwood model was a sensation back in 1932. It was one of the first trailers designed to feature a door on the side instead of in back.
This is the last Trotwood Trailer located in the mobile home park on East Main St in Trotwood, Ohio. It was being renovated when this picture was taken in August 2009
Trotwood Trailers, Inc., Trotwood Ohio.
1932 - ? (Trotwood Trailer building facility burnt down in 1981).
1948: 19' “Deco”
1949: 32' “4-Seasons”; 26' “24-B”; 22' 4” “19-B”; 18' 8” DeLuxe Economy; 17' 6” “Special Economy”.
1955: 43' “Chalet-Suburban”, two bedroom, full bath, kitchen and living room; 21' 6” “Sun-Chaser”; 16' “Cub”.
1959: 16' “Cub”, Sleeps 4, Hitch wt 165, Gross Wt 1780, Inside Ht 6'4”, Inside Width 6'8” Has birch interior, Hollywood bed, Pullman-type convertible extra bed and optional bunks; 22', Sleeps 4, Hitch wt 465, Gross Wt 3270, Inside Ht 6'6”, Inside Width 6'8”; 24', Sleeps 4, Hitch Wt 590, Gross Wt 3840, Inside Ht 6'6”, Inside Width 7'8”. All models have auxiliary doors at the rear. The 22' and 24' have showers, toilets and wash basins, with the 24' having a good sized bath tub.
1962 “Pick-A-Size” Advertizement lists the 13', 16', 19', 24' and 30' Trotwood Models for sale.
1963: From a publication in Camping Guide called “Chart Your Travel Trailer”, by George S. Wells, Trotwood offered three smaller “campground” travel trailer models: the 13' Lark, the 16' Cub Economy and the 16' Cub Deluxe (with a cab-over); these trailers dry weight were 1,365, 1,925 and 1,995 lbs, with Atwood Hitchs, an interior height of 6' 3”, an exterior width of 7' and factory price of $995, $1,275 and $1,795, respectivly.
One of the first to offer a door on the side instead of the back of the trailer.
Trotwood was the first to make a “ham can” of “Canned ham” style trailer. These were modeled after the English caravan trailers. The Trotwood Ranger was one of the earliest Canned Ham trailers, built in 1932.
1940 Trotwood Advertisement
1949 Complete Line of Trotwoods Advertisement
1950's Trotwood Advertisement
Trotwood 31' & 27” Suburban Advertisement
1955 Chalet-Suburban, Sun Chaser and Cub Advertisement
1962 Trotwood Advertisement
Trotwood Sales Brochure Cover
Mid 1960's Brochure Cover
1941 15' stamped DR412928T behind hitch, original interior possibly customized for military photo lab with aluminum-wrapped, locking cabinets, a safe-light and holding tank. Purchased 6/2014 by Mary Walker, Ocean Shores, WA., email@example.com
**BJ Frantz (firstname.lastname@example.org) - 1962 13' Trotwood Lark, Woodstock, IL
Russ Johnson (email@example.com) - 1956 16' Trotwood Cub, Green Bay, WI
Trotwood-Madison Historical Society - 1929 box frame/foldout w/ canvas top. sleeps six, and 1968 14' (roof damage from tree limb) Trotwood, Ohio
1965 Trotwood 16' ( Bonnie B.) Great shape! Loving my first camper! Canton, OH
13' Trotwood I am gutting it and refurbishing it, I call it “Dumpling”..Francey Standart……….Rapid City South Dakota
Sherry Smith 1949 homolite exterior trotwood- firstname.lastname@example.org- restoring, for sale soon
Chad and Shawna Hathaway 1967 Trotwood Deluxe email@example.com Bridgeport, WV
Jim and Sandy Barrett 1958 Trotwood 16' firstname.lastname@example.org Keego Harbor, Mi
Robert and Beth “SockMonkey” Haeske 1957 16' Trotwood Cub “The Other Woman” and 1955 21' Trotwood Sun Chaser. Ann Arbor, MI email@example.com
Doug and Pam Campbell 1962 16' Trotwood Cub “Soupy” done with Campbell's Soup colors and memorabilia. We are the second owners, it came with an original title, however it doesn't look like the pictures in the 1962 advertisement. Ours has no wheel wells and it has “Fins”(for lack of a better word). They look a little like Shasta wings but they are on the bottom in the rear. The drivers side “fin” flips up to reveal the black water tank hose. I have seen a “for sale” picture of one other Trotwood with “fins”. It was located in New York State. …. Campam@gmail.com , Sterling Heights MI
Kevin and Tammy Goodrich-1967 Trotwood Ranger -Hudson, Ohio
Ned & Jodi Donaldson 1949 Trotwood “The Special Economy” 17 ft. 6 in. firstname.lastname@example.org, Northeast Indiana