Campbell Folding Camping Trailer Company

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As of October 2011 the Campbell camping trailer holds the distinction of being the first folding tent trailer to be patented and manufactured for sale explicitly as a camping trailer. On October 20, 1914 Archibald D. Campbell and Lawrence S. Campbell applied for a patent for their trailer design referred to as a Combined Camping Outfit and Box. They were granted US Patent 1,185,981 on June 6, 1916. The Campbell patent predates all other patents by one year and three months thus making it the earliest patent identified. Technically it's not the oldest tent trailer identified, Detroit Trailer holds that title with their modified 1913 Model A trailer sold for the explicit purposes of camping and touring.

The Campbell Folding Camping Trailer Company was located at 169 Loma Drive, Los Angeles, CA. To-date nothing is known of the manufacturing operations of the Campbell Company, but it can be assumed operations were started at the time of the patent filing. Most likely manufacturing operations and marketing of the trailer were small in scale given the lack of investment funding that was most likely the case. The trailer design was functionally different from the typical tent trailer that emerged a little over year later when A.P. Warner and others joined in. The box spring bed rested on the trailer itself with storage beneath and a tent room unfolded in the back. This design would become quite popular in the 1950's and early 1960's, dominating nearly the entire camping trailer market.

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