Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Bud Mitchell, a Truck Camper Legend Passes…..

In Memory of Bud (Charles) Mitchell, one of the true Pioneers of the Truck Camper Industry…

Clattertruck's 1968 MitchellFor those that have been around the Truck Camper scene long enough, will remember the Mitchell & Sons Truck Camper company.

The name of the company, Mitchell and Sons, comes from the company starting as a joint endeavor, headed by Harry Mitchell Sr., when started by building a small camper for himself. Other people soon wanted Harry to build one for them.

The operation grew and in 1961 the company moved from Henderson CO to a larger facility on 64th Ave in Commerce City in 1961.

The sons came to manage the business. Mick (Harry B.) was the CEO and Bud (Charles R.) ran the marketing/ sales. Mitchell and Sons, Inc. built excellent campers and the firm was the largest in the area. They sold factory direct to the customer. Their line up started with Truck campers and eventually came to include chassis-mount motor homes, 5th wheels and a small trailer with slide out beds, being perhaps the first with slides.

The company survived the oil embargo of 1973. By 1976 they had sales outlets in Albuquerque, Pueblo, Grand Junction, Colorado Springs, and Commerce City. They were the largest RV manufacturer in the US to sell factory direct to the customer. Things were looking good for the business, but disaster struck on March 15th, 1976 when fire broke out at the factory. The damage was severe. They were able to continue on a more limited basis for a while.

Shortly after the fire, the 1978 oil problems brought huge fuel costs and the market went down hill. They left the RV business about 1980.

The company is now run by Bud Mitchell's nephews, Steve and Dave Mitchell, and producing mobile-home patios.

Bud (Charles) passed away on July 1st, in addition to his wife, daughter and brother, Mitchell is survived by sons Carl Mitchell of Arvada and Craig Mitchell of Brighton; daughters Carol Prater of Westminster, Cheri SaBell and Cindy Bittner, both of Lakewood, Cayttie Heister of Minot, N.D., and Chloe Hodges of Lakewood; 30 grandchildren; and 16 great-grandchildren.

Bud Mitchell Obituary from the Denver Post

History Synopsis of the Mitchell & Sons Camper company and picture of 1968 10ft Mitchell Truck Camper from Clattertruck on RV.net.

4 comments:

  1. I am sorry for your lost. I am sure that the Mitchell & Sins Camper company wouldn't be where it is now if it weren't for him.

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  2. Can't say I'm related, but it is a sad loss for the Truck Camper industry as a whole, as another pioneer has passed away.

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  3. gosh surprised and saddened to hear of Bud's passing. I was an employee for Mitchell Campers thur the 1970's and was there when they had the fire.

    In fact, I was the only woman, for many years, working on the manufacturing side. Ahead of his time.

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  4. Hi I need some help. I am looking at buying a Mitchell Motorhome 1977. What should I be looking for? The owner is a friend and used it for her now grown children so I image they have had it for 20 years. We have young boys and love camping. She wants $2300. Everything works with 100,000 miles. Can anyone help figure out where to go or who to talk with about price and what to look for thanks. tanyagioia@yahoo.com We live in Colorado mountains so warmth and gas mileage is an issue

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