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Do You Know Anything About A Bonanza Travel Trailer

by Donna
(Middletown, DE)

I have a 1969 Bonanza. It is 10.5 feet long. I cannot find anything about this make. I am looking for photos and or old ads. Was this an unpopular make, or a small company?

ANSWER Greetings Donna thanks for submitting your question on our Ask An RV Question Page.

Well, there is no easy way of telling you this, but your RV is an Orphan RV. An Orphan RV is an RV that someone owns, but the manufacturer is no longer in business.

I am not sure what model trailer you have, but I can tell you that it was manufactured by a company named Bonanza Traveler. Bonanza Traveler went out of business in 1980. So your RV has been an orphan for a long time (I am sorry that I had to be the one to tell you this).

I am not sure, but I believe that Bonanza Traveler was not a major player in the RV Industry. As far as getting any pictures, brochures or manuals, I would suggest that you try searching for them on e-Bay. If anyone has that type of material, it would be there.

I am sorry that I could not be more help to you. Hopefully some of our visitors will have some additional information on this RV, if they do they can add it by clicking on the add your comments link at the bottom of this page.

Happy RVing

RVing Al

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Comments for Do You Know Anything About A Bonanza Travel Trailer

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Vintage trailer parts
by: Cathy

I myself have a 1977 Bonanza that I have owned since the mid 1990's. I have an RV dealership that I closed last year and have many vintage parts. My parents started the dealership in 1958. If you need parts call 989 823-7317

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Bonanzas are Rare Gems!
by: Meg

They may be orphans but the more we Bonanza owners get together the more family they will have!
I have started a facebook page Bonanza campers/trailers. Like it and add to it. Showing my renovation of our 1959 Pinto Bonanza.
Shastas may be more available but Bonanzas are where it us at!!!!!!! Meg

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I have a 15' bonanza
by: duane

If any of the Colagrossi's see this. I purchased a 15' Bonanza last year and planned on restoring it, but I'm wondering if I bit off more than I can chew. Also, where might I find a vin/seriel number?

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Bonanza Trailers and their Web site
by: Karl

My son has a 1975 Bonanza 15' Pinto travel trailer and it is on the road as I write this. He knows a lot about them as he visited with the family that built these trailers! They have a Web site; http://bonanzatravelers.com/ Go there, search for your answers and post your questions. Happy Bonanza-ing. Karl in Warren,MI

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Weights
by: Anonymous

Does anybody on here know the weights of the different sizes of this brand of RV?

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Water heater?
by: Anonymous

Most units didn't have a water heater. Does your unit have one or two handles on the faucet? AND....depending on the condition...YES...that is a great deal. Think about it....the frame alone would cost more than that to haul wood.

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help advice
by: Anonymous

I have a 1976 bonanza travel trailor and I cant seem to find the water heater and I paid 500$ could you help me with my question and is 500$ a good deal and where do you find accessories for this trailor.

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Pictures Here pictures there pictures everywhere! LOL!
by: Anonymous

Okay, sending pictures to here and I already posted them to the Yahoo group. Also, I have started the website already. Right now there is just a basic freebie page to put up while I am building. But it is a picture of the front of one of the color brochures! It will become the front page for the website with some really cool extras. It is going to be a cool and interactive website. I hope to see y'all there.

Not to take ANYthing away from Everything-About-RVing.com without this place we never would have even known there was any interest in Bonanza. This site is great and from what I have seen it is one of the leading RVing websites and will be linked to an noted on the Bonanza Website.

Our web address is http://www.bonanzatravelers.com/ I also got BonanzaTraveler.com They are going to be the same web site but they will have different front pages and a different set up ad the Travelers will be focused on the Trailers and Campers and the Traveler will focus more on the people. Such as the chat room and forum, and the classified ads and so on.

Really excited about this! Going to be a lot of work but it is going to be worth it. Thanks to this website for bringing people together and allowing people to connect with each other and for all the great info that is here! Okay, off to send the pictures in to here!

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pics
by: Anonymous

That would be awesome! Put them on the Yahoo group also.

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Loading pictures Now!!
by: Corey Colagrossi

Hey everyone! I am loading pictures right now and sending them to Alen (RVing Al). These are pictures, brochures, floor plans and old pricing guides. Pictures of the factory and a great picture if the largest RV shipments in history by Bonanza!

I have a few full color photos and color interior pictures as well. Got to tell you, Grandpa had great taste in interior for his day. It is classy with a touch of 70's luxury yet what I like to call obtainable luxury. Would love to reopen Bonanza and build them exactly how they were. Same interior and all. Just update the electrical, toiletries, hidden plasma TVs and memory foam beds etc.

Modern Classic! Anywho, that is just a fun dream. There will be a website site though. It is
www.BonanzaTraveler.com Domain is bought and we will be building a website soon!

Hey Doug, do you have pictures of your Bonanza Travel Trailer? Would love to see it! I am going to add a Traveler Submitted Pictures section to the website. So it would be great if I could talk you into posting them there as well when things are ready.

Thank you all for you interest in Bonanza Traveler! I hope with our add effort we can renew interest in these great travel trailers by building a fan base and getting these rolling works of vintage art back on the road where they belong! They are still out there and need to be on the road touring the US once more!
God bless!

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I just knew it!
by: Carol Colagrossi

Hi all...I just knew you were out there!! You don't know how excited I am to find people who actually own trailers my Dad made. Corey has a picture of the first one built...by Dad, in a garage. Within 3 years there were two large plants on County Rd. 6 north of the Elkhart Airport. I'll do what I can to get pics up soon. I've had the flu and haven't been doing anything, so it will probably be this weekend. Keep RVing with Bonanza!
Carol

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Toy Hauler Bonanza
by: Glenice

Hey Mark, just got a chance to look at the pictures you posted, I thought I had the only Bonanza Toy hauler.. seems we both had the same idea, I like what you did for the cargo door, I just mad a 2 door side swing system with a drop down ramp, Looks okay but I do like your door design better,.. The interior has been redone and looks great, we use ours for moose hunting, we are from Canada and do alot of hunting so it the greatest thing to just drive your 4 wheeler in and then use it as the camper for the 2 weeks we are in the bush, Just wanted to say great job on it , I am going to try to get some pictures posted as well, I still looking for the Bonanza emblem for the front and some pictures if the outside so I can get it painted up and looking good,

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Can't wait for Picture's
by: Anonymous

hey, great cant wait to see some picture's, I failed to mention that mine is a 14 ft I believe, I think it was suppose to be white with a brown/rust colored strip .. I m wanting to give it a nice paint job so pictures are going to help,

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Anonymous...Corey?
by: Carol Colagrossi

I think the last post was from my son, Corey. He has most of the stuff from Bonanza that my mother had after Dad died. I'm still looking for a unit for myself, and my brother Jim would like to find one as well. I want a 16'...I don't think Jim is as particular. He has a larger vehicle to haul with.
Carol Colagrossi

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Pictures
by: Anonymous

Hey Doug,
I will get pictures up VERY soon. Just got my printer/scanner hooked up. So, I have planned to get pictures scanned in soon. I have about every kind of picture you could want. Inside and out of several models. There will be a website coming in the next year as well! I think they are going to feature some of the pictures here. If you need something particular let me know and I'll get it to ya. God bless!

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Bonanza trailer
by: Doug

Hi, just want to share, I have an old bonanza travel trailer we picked up real cheap, I have redone the interior and it looks very good, I have been looking for some picture,s as I want to paint the out side to make it look like original, and also looking to get the Bonanza emblem for it, cant seem to find any picture's Not real sure the year it is .. OLD... it had the small cargo door under the rear tail light, which went in under the bed for storage, any one know the year ot where I can get the Emblem for it please let me know and any pictures of the outside

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Bonanza Travelers Yahoo group
by: Schwabtoys

Carol,
Have you been able to check out Dave's new yahoo group yet?

http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/bonanzatravelers/

It would be great to see you and the others here over there! That would be a great place to talk more and promote the Bananza trailer rally you spoke of in one of your posts.

I live in Michigan but have relatives in Southbend, Elkhart, and Mishawaka, Indiana. One of my Aunts used to work at one of the camper factories!

I will look for you all on bananzatravelers yahoo group!

Mark

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I'm so jealous!!
by: Carol Colagrossi

You've found two???? I want just one. Just one little 15 or 17 foot Bonanza. I'll talk to my son, Corey Colagrossi, who has all the papers to see what I can do to help him get this info up. He also has other forums he manages (he's in the Star Wars 501st to raise money for charities and is Amptrooper...has a forum for that too)so he's busy. It would be so cool to be able to use one of my Dad's trailers to take Amptrooper to 'trooping events'!

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RE: Can't wait to get my Bonanza....,
by: Dave

Hi Ty!

We just started a yahoo group recently:

http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/bonanzatravelers/

Still fairly new- only about 6 of us so far. One guy is fixing up a mid-70's model. As of now, those are the only pics. We hope to get more people, more pics, more info, etc. And if anybody happens to spot one for sale, we would LOVE to hear about it.

We had a '73 when I was a kid- 15'. It was white with a little bit of brown- looked great with our Chrysler stationwagon! The inside was red (appliances, curtains, upholstery). Dinette in the front, gaucho on the curbside (folded out to bed). Opposite the gaucho (on streetside) was the galley (next to the dinette), a pretty good size closet and drawers, then the potty room at the rear (streetside). An upper bunk came down above the dinette (that's where I slept).

Hey- good luck with your Bonanza! Come on over to the Yahoo group and share some pics with us. We'd love to see it!

Dave

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Can't wait to get my Bonanza....,
by: crazy4camping

Hi: I am in the process of going to look at a Bonanza travel trailer. I read everything that was said about the history of the Bonanza and was honestly SO impressed and intrigued with the quality and price and with the story itself.

I was already smitten with the design (thank you to the daughter of Al Colagrossi who I now understand helped design the interior that originally drew me to the trailer!!! Love the Dinette in the front /and the queen in the back etc..the closet..storage..economy of space, etc) only wish that they had the red appliances..lol...was just curious if anyone from the founding family can tell me..what were the original "exterior" colors of say the 15'1973?

I have seen one with blue and white and another with brown (like the copper color of the stoves and refrigs of the 70s) and white...where there other variations? Would love to get one and restore it...Once I get my camper (and I WILL!!) it will be such a step up from tent camping which is the only type I have thus known..I know this first Bonanza will be a great 1st time camper experience...will let you know and PLEASE let me know when there is a workable website for the Bonanza travel trailers...with pics, manual links, and all the fun camping stories..TY

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Bonanza Pinto Travel Trailer
by: Anonymous

My son acquired a 15' Bonanza travel trailer, Pinto model. It was gutted by the previous owner. My son is "remodeling" it to have a rear "hatchback" door that will be 54" wide and oen from the floor to just below the rear-top row of lights. In addition to this, some of the original trailers components will be added for sleeping and living when the carried cargo "mobity scooter", etc., is removed. We also would like to find out any information on this trailer as it was first built. Thanks folks, Karl in Michigan.

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oops
by: Dave

Here- try this:

http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/bonanzatravelers/

(supposed to be a "slash" between "group" and "bonanzatravelers"

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no link on Yahoo
by: Carol Colagrossi

Hey Dave...tried the link and it won't connect. Corey is starting a website with pics, invoices, blueprints and more. I would LOVE to have a Bonanza Trailer rally in Indiana within the next year. Of course, I want one of my own...again, I'm looking for the 15' or 17', but prefer the 15'...Indiana area please...contact me at CarolAC173@msn.com if you know of one. Thanks!

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Yahoo Group
by: Dave

I've just started a Yahoo Group- come check it out!

http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/groupbonanzatravelers/

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Bonanza Website
by: AmpTrooper

Just wanted to let everyone know that I will be working on a website dedicated fully to the Bonanza Travel Trailers. It will be a flashed based site (because they are cheaper and easier to modify with pictures and info.

I'll be starting on this next week. It will probably take a little bit of time to get all the info, pictures and facts put in and organized.

With permission I would like to share the web link with y'all once it is ready. Time to get some info out there and maybe get the Bonanza popular again!

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the (pinto)
by: billie burdette

Dave. I got the camper from my nextdoor neighbor. My wife best freind lives next door and her father passed on and left it to her. She did not want it. So she pritty much just gave it to us. At first glance I thought it was junk but then we gave it a bath and turns out it was just dirty from sitting up. Its in great shape other than i had to put new tires on it.AND i looked on the toung and found some imprints = 5000 lbs gross load SAE Class 111 2: ball ATWOOD Rockford IL and thats it but it is dark so i will look again tommorow. Ps thanks for the info

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I want one!!!
by: Carol Colagrossi

I'm still searching for the 15' red model I designed for my Dad........if any of you know of one near/in Indiana, contact me please!!

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The "Pinto"
by: Dave

The "Pinto" was the one we had when I was a kid. It was a 1973 model- 15' I think. Most campers have the serial number somewhere on the tongue. It's just a question of deciphering the serial number to get info on the year, length, etc. There are a lot of people on the Tin Can Tourist website who could probably give better info.
BTW- where did you find this camper, YOU LUCKY...:-) ?

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bonanza ( the pinto ) travel trailer
by: billie burdette

i just got my first camper last week bonanza ( the pinto) travel trailer. I need to know more about like where to find the lenght, year, make and model and sereal numbers and any other helpful information would be nice. How to find out the value because it is in great condition. My email is billie78@live.com

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kewl!
by: Carol Colagrossi

My Dad owned the company. That 17 footer was built in his new plant out on County Rd 6 in Elkhart. I got 'paid' (10 cents each) to make the red flags for the back of the transports to get them to the dealers....I was 16. I'm still looking for one......in someone's backyard...no dealers! I can't go across the country to get it, but if I can find one within 100 miles I'll borrow a truck to haul it home. I'd love to restore a 15'....I designed the red ones. I'm so glad you have happy memories!

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Bonanza memories
by: surfergrrrl

When I was growing up, we had the 69 17 foot Bonanza that we bought new. It was great. As I remembered, there was a lot of room in that camper, in a very economical space. It was nicely designed. My two younger brothers and I were traveling with our parents and that camper was just right. I had the overhead fold down bunk. We pulled this camper with a 69 Plymouth Fury III, to the beach, mountains and once all the way from NC to 5 Canadian provinces. Great great times.

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73 Bonanza
by: Anonymous

What forum is that?

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Pictures
by: Anonymous

I'll be adding photos in the next week or so.
I posted about this over at a forum that I own and a few of the people there have memories of their Bonanza Travel Trailer as well and are looking for pictures too! Maybe this can be the start of a revival and a new following! I am sure there are still plenty of them left around!
Pictures coming soon!!!

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'73 Bonanza
by: Anonymous

Carol- That is so cool to meet the "brains" behind the camper my dad bought when I was a kid. I know certain brands have a huge following (Airstream, Shasta, Scotty, etc). But it's really cool to meet so many people with such an appreciation for a camper that may not be as widely known but certainly highly valued by those of us who are familiar with it! My wife and I currently own a Scotty Hilander, but if I could find an older Bonanza 15', it would be like re-living a piece of my childhood! Of course I'd have to find an old Chrysler stationwagon to pull it with, but I don't think my wife would let me go that far! If there are photos on here somewhere, please let me know how to find them- would LOVE to see!

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Dave...I designed that trailer!!
by: Anonymous

Hi Dave....I designed the trailer you owned! The red was my idea, and my Dad, Al Colagrossi, initially was just humoring me and made a couple for one of the trailer shows...I think the one at Northside Gym in Elkhart, IN...but they went over so well he put them into production. I WANT ONE!! :D

As far as pictures, my son has tons of stuff from the plant....see his post below and contact him.
Carol Colagrossi

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73 Bonanza
by: Dave

We had a '73 Bonanza when I was a kid! I assume it was a '73, because that was the summer we bought it- brand new, but then again I obviously don't know how long it had been sitting on the lot, so it could have been a "left over" '72 model. Anyway, it was the 15' model- red interior (curtains, upholstery, stove, fridge). There was a slightly larger one with a green interior, but my mom didn't like the green, so we got the red. So many good times with that camper. One thing I do remember was that the freshwater tank had to be pressurized. Dad would fill it, then had to go to a gas station and put a certain amount of air pressure (had a fitting like a tire valve stem). I would LOVE to find photos of one. If there is an online group with photos, PLEASE let me know!
Thanks.

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NOT an offshoot of Spartan..
by: Carol Colagrossi

Hi all.

My father, Al Colagrossi and his friends Tom Rickey, and Charlie Shultz started Bonanza Travel Trailers in a garage.

The "10 1/2" foot units are really '13' foot units...I helped decorate them. There were also a 15', 17', 19' and 22' in the original line.

My son, Corey Colagrossi, has not only ads, but original drawings, price sheets, negatives, and a picture of the very first one made.

Bonanza Travel Trailer's were well made units that were not expensive in comparison to other models. They were mounted on Bock frames (the best made at the time) and Dad took pride in the quality and price.

He was one of the few men in the business to avoid the Union coming in because he treated his employees well. The business was sold to Beatrice Foods Corporation in the mid 70's who basically ran it to the ground.

Charlie Shultz later reopened it when the 'non-compete' clause ran out on the original sale. I would LOVE to find a 15' unit as I helped design the inside of it....my favorite had a red fridge/stove/toilet unit. If anyone knows where there might be one, please contact me through this forum.

As far as value...it's worth what you make of it. Yes, they originally sold starting at about $2000 to about $5000 (Corey...check the list please?)...but so did the first Toyotas and look how they hold up!

As you can tell, I'm proud of what my father accomplished. He had a ninth grade education and truly lived the American Dream. Carol Colagrossi

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Family of Bonanza founder
by: Colagrossi

Hello,

I saw you post after looking into family things following the passing of my Grandma.
As far as info, i can give you ALL kinds of info about Bonanza and how it came to be and how it came not to be.

First off, my family is the Colagrossi/Decio family of Elkhart Indiana. We are quite literally one of the founding family's of RVs. Deico (being my Great Grandma's side of the family) founded Skyline and the Colagrossi's working right along side and having joint ownership in Skyline.

The fall out with the Decio's is a long story involving deception removal of a father who was the REAL founder of Skyline. You know, everything that would go to make a good mob movie! LOL

So, my Grandfather (in the wake of the fall out with Art Decio) decided to go on his own. (I am jumping a head a bit here so that you don't get the whole family history) He and several others who started Bonanza Travelers out of a garage! They were very successful and ended up opening several factories in several states.

They were blessed with great sales and a well made RV. Grandpa was approached to sell to another company looking to get into the RV biz with a well established and successful company. Grandpa chose to sell to them and retired at the age of 45! He did what he set out to do.

After that he became a very well known Jeweler in Elkhart and was a 4th degree Knight in the Knights of Columbus. He died a well respected and giving man in 1992 due to complications of diabetes. He was put up for an induction in the RV hall of fame. It was stopped by Art Decio. Because of the fall out that had some 50 years ago. That is the short story.

So, you have an RV that has a lot of history and is really cool and at least in Elkhart they are still sought after. I know several people who would be interested in a Bonanza.

As for ads, I will try to copy some and see if they will post here. I hope this was a help to you and I hope that you enjoy your Bonanza Trailer! God bless!

Note from RVing Al: Thanks for all of the great information. If you find those ads please e-mail them to me at Al@everything-about-rving.com and I will be very happy to add them to this page.

Happy RVing

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1975 Bonanza camper
by: randy

I have a bonanza camper I think it's the greatest. The darn thing even has a bath tub in it.The only thing I haven't figured out is the furnace is only 12v.My camper is in darn good shape for the year I bought it from my father for all most nothing my parents are up there in age and they wanted something new but I on the other hand love the old retro stuff.This one I have doesn't even have air condtioning.

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Bonanza all the way
by: Anonymous

I love my bonanza camper it is a 1975 park model 35 foot. bonanza went out in 1980 but most of the trailers are still solid. my heat and air in the roof still work like new, original form 1975. if you can find one get it. I would like to know about the Bonanza trailer club if anyone can tell me anything about it . thanks

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Vintage websites
by: RV Mech Tech

Donna -here are some websites you can search for vintage trailers- 1)www.vintage-vacations.com 2) www.webring.com/vintagetrailers 3)RV Manual Exchange -on www.rvingthemidwestconnection.com - a source for manuals 4)www.trulyvintagetrailers.com 5)www.vintagecampers.com 6)www.vintagetrailersupply.com 7)www.rvbasics.com 8)www.goodoldrvs.com 9)www.americanvintagerv.com 10)www.rvhalloffame.com 11)www.tincantourists.com 12)www.timelesstraveltrailers.com 13)www.Iowaboys.com 14)www.allmanufacturedhomes.com -the Atlas RV Museum 15)www.ynotcamperrestoration.com 16)www.universaltire.com - these are a few of the vintage trailer sites and if you keep searching on the intenet you will find more- hope this helps!

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bonanza travle trailer
by: Anonymous

i have a 1975 park model rock solid , they are the same as spartan. has heat in the ceiling . these are good trailers mine has full size bath and frig. i love it.

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1969 10 foot trailer
by: jeremy

I also just purchased a 1969 ten and half foot bonanza trailer.I am having a hard time finding info also anybody know the value of these trailers? I checked ebay and there is nothing. My trailer is in real good shape ready to camp and I paid 250.00 for it. I think I got a really good deal. let me know what ya think

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Heating & Cooling system in roof
by: Anonymous

I have a 1976 Bonanza converted to (added to)a weekend getaway on the lake. I have wonderful cooling from system in ceiling but with all the upkeep, painting, redoing this,that..... someone painted over the setting on the cooling unit and I am just about positive heating unit also. Any suggestions and thanks bunches.
From Tennessee

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JUST CURIOUS?
by: Anonymous

There is a 1976 Bonanza travel trailer in my neighboorhood that im thinking about buying..i cant find anything what so ever as far as what it would be worth..it's condition is questionable with many things looking like they needed to be replaced. The owner wants $850 but i think thats considerably high due to the fact that whoever bought it in 1976 probably only payed $2500 or less. is there any way to bluebook a value?

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A Real Bonanza
by: Anonymous

I have a 1975 bonanza traveler a 35 ft park model. They went out in the 1980's. I have been told they were a offshoot of Spartan ???? I don't know this to be true. I have been in several Spartans and the cabinets and the hardware and the fixtures are all the same for both of the trailers and they look the same on the outside.

There is a Bonanza Travelers Club, but I don't know where they are based out of. They are very good old campers, heavy as lead but good.

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