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History: A Look Back at ‘Frank’s Motor Home’

Tin Can Tourists picImage courtesy TinCanTourists.com

Transportation-oriented website Jalopnik takes us on a way-back Wednesday journey to an important time in RV history.

When the subject of vintage RVs come up a lot of people will think of greats like the GMC Motorhome, an Airstream, or perhaps a classic Winnebago. There’s another gorgeous unit worth considering and remembering. The Travco/Dodge Motor Home Class A RV is a streamlined work of art designed by the man who brought the term motorhome into the modern vernacular.

The Travco’s story dates back to 1958, when the owner of a trailer manufacturing company, Raymond C. Frank, came up with an idea to take his family to Florida. While there were travel trailers, truck chassis RVs and all sorts of “house cars” back then, Frank wanted to build his own take on what we know as a Class A motorhome today. And his would redefine the industry.

Frank’s first camper build strayed from the norm of the era, Tin Can Tourists notes. It wasn’t just a trailer grafted onto the back of a truck and it wasn’t an ungainly house car. This vehicle was purpose-built to be a recreational vehicle. The one example built was called the Frank Motor Home.

Frank took his Motor Home on the road, enjoying it for the very purpose that he built it for. Along the way, the RV proved to be popular with people lining up to get their own. But of course, it was the only one out there. Soon, Frank decided to put his Motor Home into production. He was able to make six units in 1960 from his trailer manufacturing business, but Frank soon looked for outside help.

To read the rest of the story from Mercedes Street at Jalopnik, click here.

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