November 2015
Volume 39 - Number 4



Industry News

Carefree RV

Chas. Lindbergh's Travel Trailer Joins RV/MH Museum Collection

by RV/MH Hall of Fame

ELKHART, Ind., -- Darryl Searer, chairman and president of the RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum, announced famed aviator Charles A. Lindbergh's personal 1939 travel trailer is now part of the RV/MH Museum's historic RV collection..

The Lindbergh trailer valued at approximately $200,000 was donated to the museum by Californian Dennis Gibbs. Gibbs said that the trailer was custom built and owned by Charles Lindbergh, and it has never been refurbished and is in its original condition.

Designed in San Carlos, California, by an engineer of the Sir Francis Drake Hotel, this trailer was custom-built for Charles Lindbergh, hence its name - the chassis serial number is CL001.

Skinned in aluminum to reduce weight and enhance appearance, the trailer boasts two axles, one at each end. The design gave the trailer a great deal of stability when parked for overnight stops and did not require that the tongue be supported on jacks when unhitched from the tow vehicle.

Click Illustration for Larger Image

Click Illustration for Larger Image

Most people will recall from history that on May 21, 1927, Charles A. Lindbergh completed the first solo nonstop transatlantic flight in history, flying his Ryan NYP "Spirit of St. Louis 3,610 miles between Roosevelt Field on Long Island, New York, and Paris, France, in 33 hours, 30 minutes.

With this flight, Lindbergh won the $25,000 prize offered by New York hotel owner Raymond Orteig to the first aviator to fly an aircraft directly across the Atlantic between New York and Paris. When he landed at Le Bourget Field in Paris, Lindbergh became a world hero who would remain in the public eye for decades.

Searer also pointed out that another historic travel trailer is on display at the museum a few feet from the Lindbergh trailer that has ties to both Lindbergh and the famous aircraft "Spirit of St. Louis," now on permanent display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. It's the 1935 Bowlus Road Chief trailer, the personal trailer of Hawley Bowlus who in 1927 was the shop foreman/general manager for Ryan Airlines Corporation.

The story of Bowlus Road Chief begins in 1934, when Hawley Bowlus set out to create the ultimate travel trailer using the same principles he used to build his world record-holding aircraft. Only a few years earlier, Bowlus built the "Spirit of St. Louis", the airplane Charles Lindbergh used to cross the Atlantic Ocean non-stop for the first time.

Searer said, "The Lindbergh trailer is an exciting new addition to our historic RV collection and joins the Bowlus trailer and other historic RVs in the museum's inventory. And even though people may have visited our museum in the past, the Lindbergh trailer will be an incentive to revisit the museum."


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