Starling Travel

January 13, 2014

A Hy-Lander Fifth Wheel, A String of Fish and You

Filed under: Camping,Motorhomes and Campers — Laura Moncur @ 8:34 am

When my grandpa died, I scanned every photo that was in his house and gave copies to all my relatives, but I didn’t really look at any of the photos. My grief was too sharp to reminisce.

The other day, I was looking at those photos and this one looked very interesting.

A Hy-Lander Fifth Wheel, A String of Fish and You from Starling Travel

The man on the left is Lawrence “Shorty” Lipe, my great-grandfather. The man on the right is Wayne Wilcox, my great-uncle-in-law (he was married to my grandmother’s sister). I absolutely adore this photo because Uncle Wayne looks so happy and proud of those fish, whereas, Shorty just looks confused.

In the background, however, is a rare, Hy-Lander Fifth Wheel camper. Hy-Lander was one of the first companies to make fifth wheels.

sirdrakejr: The Hy-Lander was 1st introduced about 1965. I tried to get a franchise in California but they were not approved for sale in that state due to electrical and plumbing concerns. later on, two large RV sales giants stated in CA with that 5th wheel. Hy-Lander was the 1st to market a 5th wheel for large scale sales. But they were also not very responsive to user compaints and they had other problems that led to their demise. Many dealers dropped the line when the dealer had to assume the repairs when the manufacturer would not.

I never stepped foot in that camper, even though Uncle Wayne hosted many fun adventures. He took us to Lava Hot Springs, flew us in his airplane to see the damage from the Teton Dam disaster, and took us hiking all around Idaho Falls. All of that, but I never saw that camper. I suspect that by the time I started coming to Idaho Falls (around 1977 and later), it had already been retired.

I wonder what towed the fifth wheel. The only vehicle in the picture is that late Sixties Jeep Wagoneer in the background, but it couldn’t tow a fifth wheel. Uncle Wayne must have owned a pickup back then.

It doesn’t surprise me that Uncle Wayne was an early adopter. He owned the first fifth wheel, just like my grandpa owned computers as soon as they were available and useable. Both of them were willing to be on the cutting edge, even if they got sliced up sometimes.

No wonder he looked so proud…

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