In spite of the "Great Depression" that was paralyzing the nation, the Masterbilt Corporation decided to begin building travel trailers
in 1934 at its manufacturing facility in Los Angeles, California, and remained in business at least through 1937.
These affordable family trailers followed the basic "canned ham"
design, but were more curvaceous and stylish than most other plain canned-ham trailers of the era.
Construction methods were typical for 1930's trailers and consisted of Masonite siding attached to a thin wooden frame.
Masterbilt offered 3 different trailer models for its customers; The "Ranger" (13ft.), the "Pioneer" (15ft.)
and the "Scout" (17ft). All 3 models followed the same exterior styling cues and basic interior floor plan, with more features
and upgrades available in the Pioneer and Scout models. The Pioneer and Scout included similar features,
but the Scout's were of a higher quality than those in the Pioneer. When rescued, the 1935 Masterbilt
Pioneer trailer profiled on this page was in very rough condition and was rapidly deteriorating. But thankfully,
this rare and unique piece of travel trailer history
has been beautifully restored by its owner. As a Pioneer model, this 15ft. beauty came from the factory with 2 fold-out beds,
an 8 gallon water tank, a 3 burner Preway GASOLINE stove, four 110v electrical outlets and even has a small bathtub
hidden under one of the
bench seats in the dining area! Weighing in at 1500lbs (with a 150lb hitch weight), the Masterbilt Pioneer trailer could
be easily towed by most contemporary vehicles of the era.
Due to the fragile nature of their construction and materials, these early Masterbilt trailers are very rare today.
But a restored 1936 Masterbilt "Ranger" 13ft. model (one of only 4 Masterbilt Ranger trailers known to still exist)
can be seen in the "Autocamps to Airstreams" RV exhibit at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.