Wheel Camper Corporation
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Wheel Camper Corporation
580 West Burr Oak Street
Centreville, MI 49032
First I wish to express my gratitude to Dr. Lloyd M. Rinehart, Associate Professor of Marketing and Logistics in the College of Business Administration at The University of Tennessee, for his time and efforts with regards to Wheel Camper. Without his generous help knowledge of Wheel Camper’s company profile would not have been possible. Simply put, thank you Dr. Rinehart! Dr. Lloyd Rinehart’s father, Elton Rinehart, was the company’s Controller and Dr. Rinehart worked for Wheel Camper as a summer intern while still in school.
Wheel Camper Corporation’s company profile has been provided by Edward Miller who founded the company along with his older brother Ora Miller. Edward still lives in the area and now owns and operates Eddie’s Hide-A-Way, a family RV park located near Centreville, MI on Highway 86. Be sure to stop by if you are passing through. Edward Miller also provided many of the quality color brochures on this website. You can view them by following the link above.
The story goes that older brother, Ora, approached Edward in 1963 with an idea to manufacture a tent trailer that featured an aluminum hard-top, end pull-out beds and a pull-out kitchen on the side that functioned much like a dresser drawer. This would become known as the Kwikitchen, Wheel Camper’s most notable feature. The brothers founded Wheel Camper Corporation in 1964. The very first trailers were manufactured in an old chicken house on a farm outside Colon, Michigan. Business quickly grew with the help of a good salesman, Alfred Mullett. Manufacturing facilities were setup in Centreville, MI and expanded to keep pace with demand. By 1966 there were 7 tent trailer models in Wheel Camper’s product line.
Wheel Camper Corporation continued to grow and by 1968 several salesmen were selling Wheel Campers nationwide. Eleven models were featured that year and 13 models by 1969 which included the new Executive line of tent trailers. In 1970 Wheel Camper Corporation expanded the product line to include travel trailers and truk travelers (known as fifth wheel trailers). That year also saw the introduction of the “air lift top” system standard on all five Executive models. By pushing a button the top popped up. The Wheel Camper Corporation had matured fully.
In August 1972 Ora and Edward Miller sold the Wheel Camper Corporation to Donnie Coral of Coral Industries. With new management came new designs for all 1973 trailers. But it wasn’t enough. Wheel Camper Corporation went bankrupted in 1973 and ceased all manufacturing operations. Coachmen, who had recently acquired Viking Boats and spun off a pop-up camper line, acquired Wheel Camper’s assets and moved their new Viking Trailer operation to the Wheel Camper’s manufacturing facility in 1974. They still occupy the facilities as of 2011.
Ora Miller - President
Edward Miller - Vice-President
Elton Rinehart - Controller
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Website created by Joel Silvey, 2009