RR Identifying

On this page:
  1. Identifying a vintage RoadRunner Travel Trailer 
  2. Finding and Decoding Your VIN
  3. Other RoadRunner's: Same name, different company. And RR anomalies 


1. Identifying a vintage RoadRunner Travel Trailer 

Identifying these old campers can be puzzling sometimes (but also fun to research and figure out). Unless it's the obvious big companies like the Airstream or Shasta which are so iconic and easy to tell, there were so many different companies back then, and many small ones, too. Most of them had pretty distinctive tell-tale features to set them apart from their competitors so that helps.

The RoadRunners (by L&M Manufacturing Co, the ones this site is about) all had some consistent and distinctive features that identify it as such. Some camper makes/models change a lot over the years, but RoadRunners (by L&M) didn't vary their features much over the years except for length.

Shape

  • RR's are more boxy and don't have that rounded all around "canned ham" look.
  • The flat roof,
  • Slightly rounded at the top ends (front and back),
  • Straight slant inward to the bottom (front and back),


Aluminum panels
  • Quilted aluminum panels on the sides of the front windows. 
Logo:
Windows
  • Jalousies windows. Not sure fully yet: earlier to mid 60s had  with older jalousies with three to four horizontal panes by Hehr, like in my 65. Late 60's like  Steven Hartline's '68 has those two pane horizontal windows, with a different cranking mechanism. Does Hehr make those different manufacturer? I'm not sure if they stayed with that style or if experimented and went back to the originals. Need to verify this....
  • The 3-5 paned louvered windows went up to 1967 before RR switched to the two-paned louvered windows in 1968 with the different crank mechanism. 
  • All RoadRunners had rear windows though. (Most vintage campers do, too, but some don't).
Paneling
Step

  • There is a Roadrunner in the dots on the tread of the step.


Title
    • "ROAG" (ROAG is a code for RoadRunner's used in vehicle titles/DMV--our 65 has it on our title)


    2. Finding and Decoding Your VIN

    6-digit VIN should be on the right side (passenger side of car) of the tongue.

    The first two numbers are the length of the trailer in feet from bumper to hitch. For example in the pictures below. the first is a 12' trailer (year as of yet unknown) and the second is a 17' trailer (1965).

    12 8 404
    17 7 933

    We haven't figured out what the middle single number and last three numbers indicate other than likely the what number it was in line of manufacture (aka serial number). So far there's no correlation of these numbers to the year of manufacture.





    3. Other RoadRunner's: Same name, different company. And RR anomalies 

    In this Oregon DOT document "DMV TITLE AND REGISTRATION HANDBOOK Chapter N: Model, Makes, & Body Styles: Trailers & Camper" it identifies three different Roadrunner trailers.
    http://www.oregon.gov/odot/dmv/docs/chapter_n.pdf?ga=t

    • Road Runner...................... ROADR
    • Road Runner Mfg Co Inc ...... RODR
    • Roadrunner Fabrication Inc ...RORF

    I'm assuming the second one is the trailers featured on this site because of the name similar to "L&M Mfg Co"). Or maybe they are ""Cavco Industries originated as a truck camper and travel trailer manufacturer, operating as an unincorporated association named Roadrunner Manufacturing Company. Founded in 1965, the company took the name Cavalier Manufacturing the following year. Cavalier began custom mobile home production in 1969, selling its products wholesale through dealerships in Arizona. Mobile home production became the sole focus of the company in 1973, when the original product lines were discontinued."
    Sources: http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/history2/74/Cavco-Industries-Inc.html
    http://getfilings.com/o0000950153-96-001102.html

    The first and third may refer to the following two:






    This is a more modern "Road Runner" RV/camper made by a different company, Sun Valley, Elkhart, IN (established 2000 and continued until?). This brand is usually written with in text Road Runner (though not in the logo) as two separate words, whereas the original vintage RoadRunner is written as one word in both text and logo.










    The private label "CUSTOM" made by RR/L&M Mfg Co. for Joe's Mobile Homes in Salt Lake City

    The private label "CUSTOM" was made by L&M Mfg Co. for Joe's Mobile Homes in Salt Lake City, UT. It's essentially a Roadrunner in every way except for the following:
    • Has different siding pattern.
    • Lacks RR tread pattern on step.
    • No RR branding, but has "CUSTOM" sticker where RR logo went at top front and top rear. 
    • Rear bottom curves under instead of going straight down. 
    See this type of CUSTOM trailer here: "Gallery: All Known "CUSTOM" Private Label Roadrunners by Year"


    Roadrunner Travel Trailers, Elizabethton, TN.

    There was another Roadrunner Travel Trailers company in Elizabethton, TN not related in anyway to the L&M Mfg Co's Roadrunner Travel Trailers in Ephraim, UT.

    I couldn't find anything online or in newspaper archives. So I started asking FB groups in the area and libraries, chamber of commerces, and historical societies in the area. One gentleman, was kind enough to dig around and found this clue:

    "I have been able to dig up a small amount of information concerning your inquiry. There was indeed a company called Roadrunner Trailers that existed in Elizabethton during the timeframe you specified. All I have found out is that it did exist and was located somewhere on State Line Road in Elizabethton. My guess is that it was somewhere near the current Snap-on Tools facility."
    —Rusty Melton, Founder of Carter County History (http://www.cartercountyhistory.com/)

    A kind woman found this info for us:

    "The 1969 Elizabethton City Directory lists one Camping Trailer Manufacturer. Elizabethton Enterprises located at 518 Hattie Ave."
    Lacenda Laws Phillips, Carter County, TN Histories and Families Facebook Group.
    518 Hattie Ave. as of Sept. 2017

    "Not sure but I believe they were in the old ice plant in Elizabethton. Also produced truck camper covers there. If you could locate Sonny Or Jerry Pierce one of them can tell you for sure what was in that building. Their dad Earl and Sonny shared the building for automotive work."
    --Don Bowers, Carter County, TN Histories and Families Facebook Group.

    I found this lead:


    Elizabethton Enterprises, Inc. is a Tennessee Corporation For-Profit filed on December 19, 1966 . The company's filing status is listed as Inactive - Dissolved (Administrative) and its File Number is 000010087. The Registered Agent on file for this company is Wayne Zollinger and is located at 2230 S Roan St, Johnson City, TN 37601. The company's principal address is 2230 S Roan Street, Johnson City, TN 37601 and its mailing address is 2230 S. Roan St., Johnson City, TN 37601.
    —https://www.bizapedia.com/tn/elizabethton-enterprises-inc.html

    9-19-17 I contacted Mr. Zollinger on FB messenger: https://www.facebook.com/wayne.zollinger.9

    Hi Mr. Zollinger, I am doing some research on Elizabethton Enterprises, Inc., which I believe manufactured Roadrunner Travel Trailers in the 60s. However, there is almost nothing online about them, with the exception that is of your name that came up in conjunction with them. If you are the same person, would you be open to me learning from you anything you can share about the company and/or the campers?

    My interest in this began as I belong to a small group of Roadrunner enthusiasts, but the ones that were built by L&M Mfg in Ephraim, UT during the same era. Two people recently joined our group with Roadrunner trailers that clearly are not the same make. One of them, fortunately, had "Elizabethton, Tennessee" as part of the logo which got my interest piqued and the research started. 

    Thank you for your time and consideration. 

    Best,
    Jonathan Sherman

    I haven't heard anything back yet as of April 2018.




    ----
    Leads:
    On the Rollin' In The Years Blog, Jill Davis says:

    • I recently bought a 1967 ROADRUNNER and the logo has Elizabethton, TN below the roadrunner bird. Does anyone know of this one? Was there more than one manufacturer with that name? I have never found a picture of one just like mine. It’s a 12ft.
      Thanks! Jill
      August 31, 2014 at 7:50 pm
    • On 9-19-17 I wrote:
      Hi Jill, I am currently researching info on the Roadrunner Travel Trailers that were manufactured by Elizabethton Enterprises, Inc. There is even way less about them than there are the RR's from L&M (like on this page, and like the one I have). I have two people on our RR FB page that recently have shared they have one like yours and I am researching and will be happy to share my findings with you. Could you send pix of yours to aid in this endeavor? My email is jonathan@marriageenvy.com and our FB group is https://www.facebook.com/groups/451753901855019/. Hope you get this message :-)

    Shirley Wright Pierce and her husband Sonny Pierce, Elizabethton,
    https://www.facebook.com/ElizabethtonStar/posts/659437024091005

    Eddie Shirley, 81, Sonny Pierce, 80, and 24 veterans from other counties attending the Honor Flight Fall 2013 trip came together for a meet-and-greet event held ... LINK NO GOOD

    Sonny Earl Pierce
    Also known as Sonny Joel Pierce

    Age 84
    Lives in Elizabethton, TN
    Used to live in —
    Related to Ann W Pierce, Chris J Pierce, Earl D Pierce
    157 Coal Chute RD, Elizabethton, TN 37643
    (423) 543-2084

    ???? unknown trailer type, but seller was in Elizabethton, TN
    http://www.usedcarunder10k.com/detail/Vintage-camper-travel-trailer-Glamping-Canned-Ham_142110808152.html 

    Owner: Jen Murphy

    There's also this one that puzzles us. It's clearly not a RR by L&M Manufacturing in Ephraim, UT, which is what all the ones on this site are. But it is vintage (1966, 12') and it does say, in two locations on the trailer, "Roadrunner Travel Trailers." The logo is very different and the camper style is very different. So far, we haven't found another like it nor have we been able to identify properly where it was made or what company--if there's another RR company from the same era. Hmmm...
    Original thread: https://www.facebook.com/groups/451753901855019/permalink/466629530367456/



    Another one like one above, says it's a 1966 Roadrunner. This was the only pic left on the eBay ad as it had sold and the rest of the pix were gone unfortunately. 







    Looks like a RR, title says it is a 1970 RR. Owner Joyce Mitchell


    Underneath it you can see it says "Elizabethton, Tennessee." 






    Jonathan D. Sherman Been searching online newspaper archives for Elizabethton, TN area and can't find anything yet. Local libraries may have their own micofilm archives with more complete info, but you'd have to contact them directly I suppose. I asked to join a few Elizabethon FB groups and when accepted I'll ask if any locals know anything. I really don't like not knowing! ;-)


    Hi all! Thanks for the add. This may be an unusual request: I'm wondering if any of you know of a company from Elizabethton that manufactured Roadrunner Travel Trailers in the 1960s and early 70s? There is nothing online anywhere I can find, so I thought I'd go straight to the source and reach out to the good local folk of Elizabethton itself. I'm trying to help a friend identify her vintage trailer and in this pic you can just make out under the faded logo "Elizabethton, Tennessee." Thank you in advance for your time and any info or leads you may have for us. :-)



    • The shape is right... mostly, but not quite, huh? 
    • The door isn't one I've seen on any RRs'
    • the interior layout, appliances, and cabinetry aren't typical RR.
    • The alum siding is also not typical RR. 
    • Looks like original paint, but no trademark RR arrow/feather. 
    • Also lacks the quilted alum panels on side of front windows.
    This person thinks they have a RR, but it's not an L&M. Could it be one of the Elizabethton ones?

    Comments

    1. saw an article somewhere about a contest to name a 1972 roadrunner - 12ft. winner was COYOTIE (as spelled) limited production I thought.
      Regards
      Barry D

      ReplyDelete
    2. Just purchased one, dont know a year yet, but found a warranty certificate from L&M in ephraim ut. It has a overhang in the front though, so different than the ones I've found so far.

      ReplyDelete
    3. Does anyone know what the 6 holes are for in the screen frames?
      All of the screen frames have them

      ReplyDelete

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