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When was the first fifth-wheel camper built?
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 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 an aircraft designer designed it. The trailer frame was constructed of wood and wire. The claim was that the Aerocar trailer could be safely towed at up to fifty-five 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.
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