Then and Now – 1954 Spartan Mobile Home & 2014 Fairmont Manufactured Home – 60 Years of Progress Displayed at RV MH Hall of Fame, Elkhart, IN

On August 4, 2014 was the induction dinner for the most recent class for the RV MH Hall of Fame. The occasion brought some 444 professionals from the two ‘sister’ industries to celebrate the annual event.


Insert shows the ‘class’ of 2014 ‘inductees’ to the RV MH Hall of Fame.
 The induction dinner enjoyed a record attendance.

ManufacturedHomeLivingNews took this as an opportunity to invite two previous inductees to show us some ‘then and now’ views of a 1954 Spartan Mobile Home on display, with photos of the 2014 Fairmont Manufactured Home – a vivid look at 60 years of progress.


Ron Thomas Sr, left. Dennis Hill, right. 2014 Fairmont Homes Homes on display
 at the RV MH Hall of Fame. Hall Chairman, Barry Cole reported that since this
 display was installed less than a year ago, a local MH retailer
has seen their business increase 250%. A bigger photo tour of this model is linked here.

Dennis Hill of Show Ways Unlimited is the Show Coordinator for the Louisville and Tunica Manufactured Housing Trade Shows. Ron Thomas, Sr. is the Chairman of the Midwest Manufactured Housing Federation, the Louisville Show Chairman and Chairman of Rona Homes, an MH retail and MH Community enterprise which he founded. There is close to a century of pre-HUD Code “mobile home” and post-HUD Code “manufactured home” experience between these two members of the Hall of Fame.

Ron Thomas, Sr. explained that in its day, this 1954 Spartan was a ‘Cadillac’ among mobile homes. But the modern residential style Fairmont multi-sectional home shown in this story is about 6 times larger than the mobile home built 60 years ago.


The kitchen in the Spartan was galley style. By contrast, the Fairmont Home on display has a kitchen that looks like what you might see in a house that sells for $200,000, plus land cost, in many parts of the U.S.. Depending on how the home is appointed, the model on display at the Hall of Fame could be 40% +/- lower in construction cost and would be about 3 times faster to order and install than having it built on location by a contractor.


All wood cabinet doors, multi-level counter tops and modern appliance package
are among the features in this 2014 Fairmont Home displayed for visitors at the
RV MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN.


The RV MH Hall of Fame is sponsored by numerous organizations in both industries, as well as by the generous contributions made by donors. Ron Thomas, Sr. is pointing to the donation made by Dennis Hill, while Dennis Hill is pointing to one of the donations made by Ron Thomas, Sr..


The Hall of Fame is located off Interestates I80 and I90,
at 21565 Executive Pkwy, Elkhart, IN 46514

As regular readers of MHLivingNews know, the modern manufactured home industry evolved from the travel trailer and RV industries of yesteryear. No mobile homes have been built in the U.S. since June 15, 1976 when the national manufactured housing construction and safety standards, commonly called the HUD Code, went into effect. Since then, we’ve seen ‘manufactured housing’ or manufactured homes, which insurance, university and government tests demonstrate are as or more safe or energy efficient as conventional housing is.


The RV MH Hall of Fame is a living museum showcasing that evolution and the trail blazing business men and women who have been leaders in their respective industries. The view above is from the upper level, looking down into this exhibit hall.


Visitors see historic and modern RVs and MHs. There are movies, hundreds of photos and graphics, a library, gift shop, exhibits and much more. RV shows often take place here, as you can see on taking shape in the background of the photo above.


We take our own advice, and have gone to the Hall of Fame many times. Every visit is a pleasure.

Talking to other visitors and having traveled to and toured the Hall many times personally, it is an enjoyable and eye opening experience. ##

(Photo credits Manufactured Home Living News or RV MH Hall of Fame)

l.a.tony.kovach-publisher-manufacturedhomelivingnews-com-mhpronews-com-mhc-md-com-By L. A. “Tony” Kovach



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