Bristol, IN 46507
Facts about Skamper's early years are sparse. As such I will list what I know and comment on my assumptions.
Flota-Aire Marine Corporation started manufacturing Skamper recreational vehicles in 1959 in Bristol, IN. Lee E. Markel, president of Skamper, designed a hardtop tent trailer and applied for a patent for on February 4, 1963 and was granted US Patent 3,161,433 on December 15, 1964. He assigned this patent over to Skamper Corporation. This trailer featured an aluminum hardtop with vinyl-laminated nylon sidewalls. There were no pull-out beds in this particular design. Flota-Aire Marine Corp. started manufacturing RV's in 1959. But I have found no advertisements that predate 1964 in any of the common periodicals of the time. Knowing the company has been around since 1959 there is a bit of a mystery as to what happened from 1959 until early 1964. The patent and the advertisements all point towards 1963 or 1964 as the first year the Skamper pop-up camper was mass manufactured and sold through dealership programs. Most likely sales were regional and volume low prior to 1963.
Truck campers were added to Skampers product line in 1965 and by 1967 Travel trailers. By 1965 Skamper's hardtop tent trailer also included two over-end beds. On November 21, 1968 Skamper Corp. filed with the SEC seeking registration of 235,000 shares of common stock. The net proceeds from the sale were applied in part to the cost associated with the company's entry into the travel trailer field. At this time Lee E. Markel was still president and Roland F. Wade Jr. was Director.
Sometime in the mid to late 1960's, or early 1970's, Skamper came under the ownership of American Machine Foundry Company, known as AMF after 1971. I have no details regarding this acquisition. After 1964 you do not see Flota-Aire Marine Corp. on any of the advertisements, instead you see Skamper Corp. Beginning in 1973 you see AMF Skamper Corp. on all advertisements. Sometime in the late 1970's AMF sold off several companies in efforts to shore up its financial situation. Skamper may have been sold off during this time. If not then Skamper would have remained under AMF's ownership until they themselves were acquired in 1985. A brochure from 1992 claims Skamper's 33rd year in business.
Thor Industries, Inc. was founded on August 29, 1980, when Wade F. B. Thompson and Peter B. Orthwein acquired Airstream. On March 1, 1995 Thor Industries acquired the business and assets of Skamper Corporation with sales of $14 million in 1994. It appears that after moving operations around a bit among its subsidiaries Thor discontinued the Skamper pop-up camping trailer in 2003. The Skamper trade name lives on in other RV's manufactured by Thor.