History of the U-Haul Camper
According to the late U-Haul Camper Enthusiast, Ray Horner, the U-Haul Camper was designed by John Gladfelter and was manufactured by a subsidiary company of U-Haul International called Rec Vee World. There were two models manufactured, the 13-foot CT (or Camper Trailer) and a 16-foot VT (or Vacation Trailer).
Most of the CT Campers were produced at several separate facilities including: Dayton Trailer Mfg. Co., Youngstown Trailer Mfg. Co., Atlanta Trailer Mfg. Co., and the Tempe Trailer Mfg. Co., located in the respective cities. Most campers were built in 1984, and 1985, however there are unsubstantiated reports of a few units with manufacturing dates as late as 1986 – 1988. We think all of the manufacturing occurred in 1984 and 1985, but a few of the campers were not registered until 1986 – 1988 and were date stamped when the registration was completed, not when the manufacturing happened.
According to Ray, there were two types of frames used for production, with nearly all having a circular steel tube frame (the original design frame), and a few were produced with a square tube steel frame. The square frames were also used in the production of the U-Haul Rental Utility Trailers.
It has been suspected that U-Haul purchased the original molds from Burro when the Burro Trailer Company first went bankrupt. Although there is no documentation to substantiate this, the exterior mold of 1982-1983 Burro Campers, have a striking resemblance to the exterior mold of the U-Haul Campers.
U-Haul decommissioned the Rec Vee World fleet of campers in 1992 and offered these units for sale to the general public. To the best of our knowledge, there were approximately 1725 13-foot CT (or Camper Trailers) and 59 16-foot VT (or Vacation Trailers) manufactured. These campers are uniquely special because they feature a double hull construction with both an exterior fiberglass shell with gelcoat and an interior fiberglass shell with gelcoat. U-Haul built these campers extremely sturdy and they have truly withstood the test of time. Approaching 40 years old, and these campers are only increasing in value and collectability.
There is a U-Haul Owners group on Facebook and we have accounted for approximately 450 13-foot CT (or Camper Trailers) and approximately 23 16-foot VT (or Vacation Trailers). We welcome owners of any fiberglass camper in our group.
This narrative was originally written by U-Haul Camper Enthusiast Ray Horner of Elkhart, IN and has been edited and updated by U-Haul Camper Enthusiast Jim Garrecht of California.
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