“Trailer for sale or rent, rooms to permit for 50 cents….” By the time country singer Roger Miller wrote these opening lyrics for his hit track “King of the Road” in 1964, the nationwide phenomenon of trailer travel and trailer parks was already a long time outdated, owning begun in the 1920s, and would explode in level of popularity with the hardship of the Depression in the 1930s.
The Desert Sun noted in 1936, “The trailer brigade is perfectly underneath way. And California, long the host to the globe, now plays host to a nation on wheels. The mushroom advancement of these cell houses fostering nomadic residing on an unparalleled scale is no considerably less than astonishing. Now there are much more than 300,000 and by following 12 months it is believed there’ll be half a million. And a dozen yrs therefore, say some sociologists, a quarter of the population will be totally free-wheeling it hither and yon in trailer homes.”
“Imagine what this can imply for California’s $200,000,000 tourist crop! It will surely develop. It may well even double in a 10 years. A small foresight, at this early phase of the trailer movement, will fork out massive dividends. California can get ready now to be a good host to the trailers by providing far more auto camp and park services and therefore get the soar on other states competing for this small business.”
Without a doubt, by the middle of the century in the desert, there was a profusion of trailer parks, trailer villages, a couple of trailer courts, some trailer villas and even a trailer corral.
But the arrival of parks wasn’t universally applauded as evidenced by different newspaper advertisements by these establishments which sought to disabuse the general public of the notion that the parks were being peopled by those people of “means by no means” but as a substitute ended up fairly lavish in affording a peripatetic way of living.
In 1937 the newspaper described sixty-7 trailers parked at Ramon Trailer Park in excess of a one weekend, “some of the new trailers are like palace Pullman cars, getting each ease and costing as significantly as $10,000…many essential persons who are touring the nation have stopped at (the) park and although in this article they usually dine at the best motels and cafes and shell out much funds with area company establishments.”
The debate about trailer parks competing with standard inns for vacationers was critical. The phrase “park” had an intentional double that means: conjuring up verdant lawns as perfectly as indicating a position to convey one’s automobile to a cease. The parks included amenities like shady ramadas, community swimming pools, shuffleboard, dancing, personal baths, places to eat, groceries, and even attractiveness parlors to draw in visitors.
In March 1953, fourteen Palm Springs trailer park proprietors took out a total-web site ad in The Desert Sunlight welcoming “trailerites” and urging them to display their economic effects more than a two-working day period dubbed “Desert Trailer Greenback Days.” Meant to emphasize that the parks had been an “integral and essential element of our group,” the park residents would have an “opportunity to enable their dollars talk for them in conditions of concrete proof of their importance….” All expenditures were being to be manufactured with silver dollars dispensed at the park workplaces in trade for dollars or checks.
The advert trumpeted, “Two million People in america can not be incorrect.” It ongoing, “Trailerite is a new way of living. It is graphic testimony to a sociological modify in The usa that we can not deny, restrict or prohibit for the reason that it is cradled in human desire—a very simple motivation for independence, independence, sensible economic system, journey, experience, and vocational mobility.”
The sentiment was passionate. “When we are speaking about …trailer parks we are discussing admirable human wishes and inviolable American correct!”
The advertisement recounted there ended up $300,000,000 really worth of trailers sold throughout the region in 1952 and they anticipated $100,000,000 a lot more in just eleven western states and touted the magnificent appointments with which trailers have been now routinely outfitted. “The ‘hottest’ selling merchandise on the trailer industry nowadays is a five- to six-thousand greenback device, with entire-sizing beds, bogs, the very best in electrical and sanitation engineering. Fifty per cent of these residences are purchased with income, and the other 50 percent on 24 and 36 month paper. These are not credit rating possibility people…Can any other business enterprise boast of a course of men and women who pay-off on a 24-month funding in 11 months? The regular pay-off on 36 months’ paper is 13 months.”
To accompany his trailer, possibly at times to haul it, trailerites had considerable, even high-priced, automobiles. The ad notes that 38 % of trailers ended up hitched to Cadillacs, Packards, Chrysler and Buicks and another 36 % were being becoming pulled by Hudsons, Oldsmobiles, Dodges and Pontiacs.
But mostly importantly, the park owners required viewers to know “Another fact—80 p.c of mobile residence proprietors continue to be place in one spot. They are doing work in the local community in which they reside. And they have dollars in the bank…There is extra than one particular explanation why practical, reliable American citizens have adopted this method of living. It’s the all-important cause of sensible, cash earning economy. They are executing it due to the fact they want to stay in a position the place they can maintain their bills paid out.”
The advert then summed up, “The Desert Space Trailer Park House owners Affiliation are happy of our folks. Allow the City of Palm Springs respect them! We are proud of our company.” To show their economic clout, for two times that March, all trailerites would obtain all the things for their day-to-day life, “whether for groceries, amusements, garments, fuel and oil, drug retailer buys, and many others.,” in silver dollars, and the community financial system would choose notice. The work would combat the “rather disappointed simple fact when you think about our popular American birthright—the absurd snobbishness with which as well many of the uninformed study the mobile house and trailer park company.”