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Xplorer Motor Homes has been in continuous production for 35 years in a rural agricultural area 75 miles north of Detroit, MI. Recent acquisition now moves the business to Elkhart, IN under the ownership of Startracks Custom Vehicles owned by Robert Helvie.

We wanted to share with our readers the history and origin of Xplorer Motor Homes. Ray Frank, a farmer in the area, began tinkering with motor homes for his family's use back in the mid-1950's.

Central Office and Manufacturing Plant in Elkhart, IN

He produced 3 or 4 coaches on his farm about 12 miles NE of Brown City, and in 1958 he got involved with a number of business owners in Brown City who collectively created an Industrial Development Corp. to financially assist Mr. Frank in launching his new enterprise, Frank Motor Homes.

Mr. Frank was vitally instrumental, from the engineering standpoint, in the development of the Dodge motor home chassis. When he began producing his Class "A" motor homes in the 1950's, the Dodge truck chassis that were available at that time were not very user-friendly for motor home products.

His alliance with Chrysler Corp. continued and grew, and eventually his coach became known as the "Dodge Motor
Home". Because of this early development, Chrysler Corp. became and remained a dominant force in the production of recreational vehicle chassis for many years. When the federal government became involved in the bail-out of Chrysler in 1979, the "Loan Guarantee Board" forced Chrysler out of the motor home chassis business.

In the early 1960's, Ray Frank began the development of fiberglass body motor homes. These huge 27' fiberglass body molds revolutionized the RV industry! Today, fiberglass is the most vital composite in our industry. Ray Frank's vision nearly 40 years ago had a dramatic impact on the RV industry as we know it today

In 1963, Mr. Frank's company was sold to two Detroit businessmen, Peter Fink and Ken Robertson, and they re-named the company and the product, "Travco". The Travco moniker was a high profile product, for many years thereafter recognized for engineering innovation and high quality.

Subsequent to his sale to Travco, Mr. Frank pursued
another vision he had for a small, self-contained, 2-person motor home. He developed and produced 7 units on a Chevrolet chassis he called Cruiseaire; however, it didn't work.

Back to the drawing board, Ray Frank expanded his idea to create a small motor home, but to make it garageable. Voila- the Xplorer 21! He created the Xplorer moniker, the company, and the product in 1967, and was off and running again. Over the course of the next 35 years, numerous models were developed; Class C's, Class A's, but primarily, Xplorer has been a Class "B" product manufacturer, number one for all of these years.

Ray Frank retired to warmer climes in the late 1970's and his family took up the operation of his company. In late 1995, the company was sold to Joe Murray and Dave Bockstanz. Joe spent all of his working life in the motor home industry, including a 12-year stint as Xplorer's National Sales Manager. Dave spent many years in the commercial furniture business, and since the early 1990's, owns and operates a full-time Chrysler and RV dealership. They are both committed to the
continued production of unique, high quality motor homes in the Xplorer tradition. The all new Xplorer "Xcursion", a 25' molded fiberglass Class "C" product, produced on a Dodge chassis/cab, is evidence of their commitment.

Xplorer Motor Homes thrives today in the true "Ray Frank" tradition! Xplorer is about longevity, engineering orientation, and high quality. Xplorer Motor Homes is also about people! The backbone of our manufacturing capability is reliant on experienced employees, engineers and designers. These people are the real key to our every unit, time after time, constant built-in quality that has created over the years tremendous owner loyalty. Many of our customers have owned multiple Xplorer models. They are the real reason for our continued prosperity!

Thank you for reviewing our Xplorer website. All of us at Xplorer Motor Homes appreciate your potential interest in one of our products, and we stand ready to assist you in any way possible. We at Starship Custom Vehicles will continue to provided superior Xcursion and Xtreme RV's, and continue to improve with the integration of newer technologies as time progresses. Thank you for reading our history!
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