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Why are Hoosiers so good at manufacturing RVs?

(Dec. 12, 2017) -- In this case, it was three Hoosiers -- Milo Miller, Wilbur Schult and Harold Platt -- who according to Al Hesselbart, the former staff historian of the RV/MH Hall of Fame, “fell in love with trailers in the mid-1930s.”

INDIANAPOLIS — How did 80% of the global RV production end up in Northeast Indiana?

As is the case in most manufacturing clusters, it all starts with a few people, an idea and a drive to be successful. In this case, it was three Hoosiers — Milo Miller, Wilbur Schult and Harold Platt — who according to Al Hesselbart, the former staff historian of the RV/MH Hall of Fame, “fell in love with trailers in the mid-1930s.”

Hesselbart explained, in an article in Inside Indiana Business, that by 1948 Elkhart had earned the title of “Trailer Capital of the World” as 100 companies were building trailers in and around Elkhart County

Read the full story from Industry Week.

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About Rebecca Smith

Rebecca Smith is a Wisconsin native currently living in Illinois with her husband, Eric, and two dogs, Maggie and Grace. She enjoys hiking, biking, kayaking and, of course, camping in cabins and park models.

4 comments

  1. AAHhhhh ~~ I believe there are many that would disagree they are doing great or at least as to the quality of a large number of products pushed out the door. They are doing “good” as they have no competition. When a start up does build a better product they are bought up and within a few years their quality flows downward, the old timers learn nothing.

  2. The Elkhart in this article must be on some other planet cause it sure ain’t happening at the earth location.

  3. Another factor in the growth of Indiana trailer production was the large Amish population. As Amish families expanded there was less land for the offspring to farm. Amish liked to do construction work and trailer factories needed help. The industry grew from mobile homes to RV’s over the years.

  4. I have to agree with Captn John, from first hand experience. We’ve been full timing for four years now, and the majority feel theres not a lot of quality for the amount of money they cost these day.

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