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Vintage Camper of the Week - The New Moon!

Posted by Cristina Escarilla on 6/15/2012 to Stories

The excitement that surrounded the 'I love Lucy' trailer was the best thing that could have happened to any trailer manufacturer in the 1950s. What's more, trailer folks (as well as parks) were portrayed as nice and pleasant—never as 'cheap.'

'The Long, Long Trailer' became MGM's best grossing comedy up to that point and transformed Redman overnight from a small regional outfit (building one or two trailers a day) into one of the nation's largest mobile home manufacturers (with five or six factories, producing hundreds each day).
 
   
 
Plot for "The Long, Long Trailer"
 
Nicky Collini and his fiancée Tacy buy (despite Nicky's extreme reluctance and dire predictions) a large trailer home (a 40-foot 1953 New Moon, which cost $5,345 at the time), so that they can save money that would otherwise be spent on a house, and also be able to travel around the USA to civil engineering projects that Nicky is employed on. They have to buy a more powerful car to tow the trailer, a 1953 Mercury Monterey convertible with a 125 HP flathead V8 engine, and the money spent starts to mount up. The honeymoon trip to the Sierra Nevada mountains rapidly becomes a catalogue of disasters. These include Tacy's attempts to cook dinner in a moving, rocking trailer, and later a cliffhanging ride on a narrow road through the mountains, with the trailer weighed down by many rock specimens and canned food she has collected. After they arrive at the home of Tacy's aunt and uncle, with other relatives and neighbors who are gathered watching, Nicky accidentally backs the trailer into their hosts' porch, partly destroying it as well as a prized rose bush. In another scene, after turning on an old logging road he tries to level the trailer at night while stuck in the mud during a rainstorm. Relations deteriorate between the couple, and finally Tacy storms off in a huff. But by the film's end, they are tearfully reunited.
History of the company that made the "New Moon" trailer:

The company began in 1930, when, with no previous training in the field, Harold and William Redman, along with engineer Al Hathaway, designed and produced the first Redman trailer coach.

In 1937 the group incorporated the business as the Redman Trailer Company and established their first manufacturing plant in an Alma, Michigan, pickle factory. Initially, eight men on two production lines produced four to five trailers weekly. In the 1940s sales increased when the firm developed a significantly longer trailer than others in the industry.

During World War II Redman received government contracts to construct military equipment and housing, ammunition trailers, and hospital units, though the government eventually curtailed trailer home manufacture due to shortages of steel, copper, aluminum, and rubber.

Growth resumed after the war, as Redman and others responded to the housing shortage caused by soldiers returning from war. In 1953, when the company took the name New Moon Homes in response to the success of its New Moon brand units, it also began to advertise nationally in major magazines, replacing the concept of trailers with the new idea of mobile homes.

A Redman home was featured in the film The Long, Long Trailer, starring Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.

Redman Homes, also known as the Redman Trailer Company, New Moon Homes, and Redman Industries, a multi-divisional corporation with headquarters in Dallas, is the second largest builder of manufactured housing in the United States. The company also produces and distributes aluminum and wood building components nationwide.
The real story about "The Long, Long Trailer" by Clinton Twiss

This is the true and very funny tale of a trailer that grew and grew until it became a fearsome monster.

When Clinton Twiss and his wife decided to take to the open road and see the United States through the eyes of a trailer they did not foresee the pitfalls of such a mode of travel. With the naive enthusiasm of neophytes they plunged into the purchase and equipment of their rig a twenty-eight-foot aluminum “whale” which, from the moment the decision was made, came to dominate their lives.

Installing cooking and toilet facilities of Henry Kaiser and the patience of Job, and the ingenuity of Hudini. Twiss soon discovered that taking a shower in the trailer was like playing the trombone in a phone booth and his wife Merle decided that cooking a meal in a moving monster was like a roller coaster in reverse. “At moderate extra cost” ... which plunged them into the red by a few thousand dollars... they shortly had the snappiest home on the road.

Inwardly hysterical, outwardly atrophied, they set out one fine day from Los Angeles, determined to hit every one of the the 48 states. To handle their home on wheels required a driving skill comparable to a B-29 pilot, except a B-29 pilot doesn’t have to back up flower-lined driveways or squeeze into tiny parking spaces or travel truck-chock highways. Add to this the problem of feeding nickels and pennies to fourteen parking meters while stopping for a short snack with a fellow trailerite.

The rare moments of triumph... where they had successfully maneuvered into a tightly packed trailer camp, or boldly conquered a tortuous mountain pass... revived their frequently flagging spirits as the Twiss caravan ambidextrously maneuvered the length and breadth of the land.

Told with delectable humor and sparkling wit, The Long, Long Trailer will make you chuckle to the last page. Whether the author tells of bumptious Wilford out of Bendix, going the wrong way up a one-way boulevard in Fort Worth, or comparing manuscripts with James Jones another budding ‘author,’ there is abundant merriment throughout The Long, Long Trailer.

With all the hi-jinks and mishaps that happened with Desi and Lucy's characters, to make sure all your furnishings and accessories stay in place or if you need to replace any parts and accessories click here to view our product line and shop to your heart's delight!
 
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Raul Keple Date 12/3/2012
What ever happened to the original trailer in the movie?
Cristina Date 12/6/2012
Hi Raul! I looked into this for you and this is what i could find! Found this on a forum http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=626617&showall=1 This is one of my favorite movies! The trailer was a 40' New Moon, the car was a '53 Merc Monterey conv. except for the mountain scenes where a '53 Lincoln Capri conv. was used. The mountain scenes were filmed at Whitney Portals, just west of Lone Pine, CA. O.K., this is where I'll be accused of serious B.S.: I know the guy that owns the trailer. This is the story he tells: the trailer was stored on the DesiLu lot for several years but was towed to E. Oregon in '69 and used as living quarters for Lee Marvin during the shooting of Paint Your Wagon. The trailer is still there. My friend bought the property several years ago and inherited the trailer. Over the years it has had one side opened up and a room attached. It hasn't been lived in for years and is in pretty rough shape. My friend is in the process of selling the property now. Here's the funny part - he's never seen the movie! I haven't been to the property so can't verify the story, I only know this guy to be truthful, he's a car guy, owns a very cool '40 Ford coupe and a '34 Vicky.
greg Date 1/22/2013
i recently purchased a home in florida inside the home is a 1950 redman new moon travel trailer in 99% perfect condition inside and out being that it has been inside kept from the eliments since 1974 acording to the license plate i would like to find out more about it before i possibly sell it to a very lucky buyer like finding a 1957 corvette in a barn somewhere with 3k mi on it this thing is perfect if anybody is interested my name is greg @ 863-937-8385
LOLA Date 9/28/2013
HI CHRISTINA: PLEASE ASK YOUR GOOD BUDDY IN EASTERN OREGON IF HE WOULD BE SO KIND AS TO CALL ME. I AM LOOKING FOR PROPERTY IN OREGON AND A NEW MOON TRAILER TO FIX UP. HAVE HIM CALL ME AT 541-499-479EIGHT IF HE SAYS OK!. THANKS FOR SHARING THE INFO. LOLA
Cristina Date 10/1/2013
Lola, thank you for your inquiry! Unfortunately I am not friends with the guy, I found information on the URL provided there. http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=626617&showall=1, I see in an above post that someone has one as well, he put his phone number there and i am sure you can give him a call to see if it is still available! I will send you an email with the links so you can click on them! :)
Noel Weller-Woolley Date 3/18/2014
Where can I find a 1953 New Moon Trailer (preferably red and silver) for sale? I lived in one a long time ago as a child and would LOVE to own one again.
Maria Date 6/23/2014
My father pulled a 37 footer around the states and eventually sold it in Montgomery, AL in 1965. I have only a front pic of the trailer and remember a few details of the inside as I was 4 years old. No records are kept back that far on sales/title transfers for mobile homes. Wish I knew where it might be now. Love these old trailers.
tanya langkopf Date 8/15/2014
Hi there i live these trailors I have what looks like a 36 ft? 1957 Trailor wood inside needs care outside has rust and inside some water damage. I am needing to learn about it. please email me. I am hoping there are people out there who wish to buy these old treasures and bring them back to glory.
 
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