13 Great Centennial RVs – 5 of 13

July 6, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Discoverer Back Next 5 of 13 | View All Discoverer From the mid-1960s until the oil embargo of 1973-’74, the motorhome industry was riding an unprecedented wave of popularity. And, with a few notable exceptions, all vehicles boasted the aerodynamics of a brick. Then a couple of “car guys” got involved. The son of William S. Knudsen, president of General Motors in the late ‘30s, Semon “Bunkie” Knudsen seemed destined to follow in his father’s footsteps. However, after... Read more

13 Great Centennial RVs – 4 of 13

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Dodge/Travco Back Next 4 of 13 | View All Dodge Travco The roots of the Travco coach — considered to be the world’s first production-line motorhome and the first built of fiberglass — can be traced back to the mid-‘50s and a farmer/engineer by the name of Ray Frank. At the time, travel trailers were the rage and many self-propelled “house cars” tended to be ugly, homebuilt affairs. However, the vehicle that emerged from the Frank barn outside Brown City, Mich., drew accolades... Read more

13 Great Centennial RVs – 3 of 13

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Ultra Van Back Next 3 of 13 | View All Ultra Van While Ralph Nader may have peered into the rear-engine compartment of the Chevrolet Corvair and seen fire and brimstone, Dave Peterson saw opportunity — and within a year of the Corvair’s 1959 introduction, Peterson had rented a garage, drafted a dream and began selling lightweight machines that, if nothing else, were initially blessed with one of the classic motorhome monickers of all time — the Go-Home — before the designer... Read more

13 Great Centennial RVs – 2 of 13

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GMAC Back Next 2 of 13 | View All GMAC Low floors, high ceilings, aerodynamically designed fiberglass front and rear end caps, good handling and ride quality, airy interiors — it’s hard to imagine a time when these most basic of modern motorhome amenities didn’t exist. Prior to the GMC, however, motorhomes were unwieldy, dimly lit tubes. Arguably the first vehicle built as a motorhome from the tires up, the 1973-’78 GMC quite literally brought the industry out of the Dark... Read more

13 Great Centennial RVs – 1 of 13

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Airstream Next 1 of 13 | View All Bob Wheeler, president of Airstream According to Airstream Inc. President and CEO Bob Wheeler, “A monocoque shell is a perfect design to build a long-lasting travel trailer.” It is also, apparently, a perfect design with which to build a long-lasting travel trailer company. The Thor Industries Inc. subsidiary has in fact been in business since 1936, making it the oldest continually active manufacturer in the RV industry. Not surprisingly, the... Read more

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