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History Book on RV Industry Releases

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Al Hesselbart

The latest book telling the evolution of the RV Industry is “RV Capital of the World” by Al Hesselbart, noted RV historian and retired RV/MH Hall of Fame Museum manager.

This story by Lois Tomaszewski originally appeared in The Elkhart Truth.

The book, published by The History Press, is available today. A signing and discussion will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. on Monday, June 12, at the RV/MH Hall of Fame at 21565 Executive Parkway in Elkhart.

“RV Capital of the World” follows the development of Indiana’s RV industry from the years before World War I through Elkhart being identified in national press in the years following World War II as the Trailer Capital and shows how 80 percent of the U.S.

RV production has come to be centered in Elkhart. The book not only covers Indiana’s RV manufacturers but includes the state’s huge component supply industry and many national recognized retail dealers as well.

Indiana retains a unique place in the RV industry going back to the 1930s, when pioneering individuals like Milo Miller, Harold Platt and Wilbur Schult created the original RV businesses in the Elkhart – South Bend area, making campers for sale. By the end of World War II, the national media was identifying Elkhart as the “Trailer Capital of the World.”

Highlights from the book include:

• The evolution of the state of Indiana into the primary source of RVs for the world.

• See why early RV companies became incubators and training schools for the leaders of today’s RV giants.

• Learn how a Russian immigrant brought a Swedish appliance manufacturer’s innovative product to Indiana and became a major player in the RV world.

• Milo Miller, an out of work Mishawaka house painter, inadvertently started Elkhart on its way to being identified as RV Capital of the World.

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