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.'
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.
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.
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.