Can you tell what kind of trailer this is just by the interior?


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Categories: Mobility, TinyHouse

Did you guess a Boles-Aero Travel Trailer? If you did, then you are Right!!!

In 1939, Don Boles, an enthusiastic young southern Californian, was one of the first thirty seven candidates chosen for a new four year tool and die apprenticeship program being initiated by the US Department of Labor under President Roosevelt’s plan to assist in bringing the country out of the effects of the Great Depression. He was assigned to work and study at the Lockheed Aircraft Company plant in Burbank, California, where he learned all aspects of aircraft design and construction and how to build tools and component parts. During his time in the program he earned a number of awards for designing and building various tools to enhance the way in which aluminum parts were fabricated.

Following graduation from the apprenticeship program in 1943, and a brief assignment in Cleveland, Ohio, for General Electric Company, he enlisted in the US Navy for the duration of World War II. Following boot camp, he was stationed at a military base in Norman, Oklahoma, and, unable to find available housing for his wife and 3 children, he purchased a used 27-foot trailer to be their home while he served his stint in the Navy.

When he was released from the Navy following VJ Day, he hooked up his trailer and the family took a traveling vacation on their way back to California. When they arrived at their California home, he parked the trailer in his driveway with a “For Sale” sign on it. That very day, the first lookers bought it and actually at a profit for the Boles, but several other customers continued to stop by to attempt to purchase it. Boles quickly recognized the post-war pent-up demand for good trailers so, while reemployed at his civilian job, he began, with his aircraft training, to design an all-riveted, lightweight, all-aluminum top quality trailer. With financial help and moral support from his father, he began to build his first trailer in his single car garage while they searched for a factory site. The residential garage-manufacturing site limited the size of the first trailers to only nine and one half feet in length. They quickly found an available and affordable site and began construction of their trailer factory.

Shortly, a friend of Don’s became interested in the venture, and they formed a partnership as B and R Manufacturing, to build a trailer they dubbed the Roadrunner. Upon completion of the first, garage built, unit, the “For Sale” sign was again applied and this time, the trailer was parked on the street in front of their incomplete factory, next to the mason’s supply of sand and bricks. Once again, the first customer to look at it purchased the trailer for the asking price of $675.00. A neighbor’s father was also impressed with the design and quality of their new products and soon placed an order for 10 trailers to use in his business. He, however, required twelve-foot long units, which would have to wait for the completion of the factory, as they would be too long to build in the family garage where the first units were being built.

The strains of business start-up and factory construction and the related financial problems shortly caused his partner to pull out of their arrangement and Don Boles took full control of the company changing the name to Boles Manufacturing and then renaming the trailer the BolesAero. As production accelerated, the trailers were so well received that the early problems soon began to fade, and at the end of 1946, the first year in business, over 300 trailers had passed out the doors of the new factory. By this time, the rapid success of the trailer business had eliminated any time or need for Don to maintain another source of employment and he left the outside job he was holding to make ends meet. Production of various models of the BolesAero high-line travel trailers continued for over thirty years until the company closed its doors for good in 1980. By this time the original nine and twelve-foot models had grown and larger and much more comfortably appointed models from 27 to 35 feet in length were the standards.

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