ANSWER The first commercially built 5th Wheel Travel Trailers were licensed in 1929 by the Aerocar Company Of America located in Detroit, Michigan. The Curtiss Aerocar trailer was invented around 1927 by leading American aircraft designer Glenn Curtiss. The trailer could be pulled by Coupes or Roadsters that had special 5th wheel type hitches installed on them. The trailers were actually manufactured from 1929 to 1941 by Glenn Curtiss himself and they were also manufactured by license from the Aerocar Company Of America by Briggs Body Corporation of Detroit.
The trailer was very aerodynamic in appearance since it was designed by an aircraft designer. The trailer frame was constructed of wood and wire. The claim was that the Aerocar trailer could be safely towed at up to 55 miles per hour. By the mid 1930s the Curtiss Aerocar Trailers were selling for approximately $5,000, so they were not affordable for the average camping families of the time.
Below is a video of vintage trailers. About midway through this video you will see a 1936 Curtiss Aerocar trailer and tow vehicle. The trailer and tow vehicle are owned by and have been restored by Ken and Lana Hindley of Ontario, Canada.
For more information and photos of the 1936 Curtiss Aerocar Trailer in this video you should visit Hindley's Garage.com (this link opens up in a new window, so please turn off your popup blocker).
I hope you have enjoyed this historical information about the first 5th wheel trailers. If any of our visitors have more information for you they can add it to this page by clicking on the add a comment link located near the bottom of this page.
Do you have any suggestions or comments on this topic? You can add them to this page by clicking on the "Click Here To Post Comments" link located near the bottom of this page.
Everything-About-RVing.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.