Avion


Avion Travel Trailer

Avion Logo

History

1955-2002

Built in Benton Harbor, Michigan

This history of Avion begins not with its founder Loren Cayo but with his father Julius N . Cayo. Julius was the founder of Cayo Manufacturing Company. He trained his sons in the tool and die designing industry. As a result, the sons became skilled craftsmen so that each son successfully engaged in businesses for themselves. Howard M. Cayo was president of the K-O Products company, Loren Cayo was president of Star Stamping Company. This company was engaged in the manufacture of oil filters and components. Robert Cayo was owner of Robert R. Cayo Company, a manufacturer of televisions mast components and stampings. Loren was an avid sportsman and camper as were his friends Allen Grams and Larry Zuhl. They wanted a recreational vehicle that could be used with full hookups, or be self-contained when hookups were not available. Allen and Larry were building contractors. These backgrounds were a good blend and in 1955 the Avion Coach Corporation was formed in Benton Harbor, Michigan. The goal was to build America’s finest travel trailer. Allen Grams served as President of the Corporation for the first several years. The company prospered and by 1967 was operating plants in Benton Township Michigan and San Jacinto California. Loren passed away suddenly from a heart attack at age 51. Following Loren’s death Robert became President of Avion Coach.

In 1970, controlling interest in the Avion Coach Corporation was sold by the Cayo family to a Detroit family headed by Robert M. Ligon. Ligon Enterprises, who continued to build and market the same high quality product with Robert Ligon as its president. In 1976 Ligon Enterprises sold the company to Fleetwood Enterprises. The Silver Avion was built until the 1990’s when Fleetwood decided to build the Avion Product with more traditional RV construction methods. Fleetwood continues to sell 5th Wheel Trailers under the Avion Name.

For many years Avion’s were built at a plant located at 1300 East Empire. Later the plant was located just down the street at East 1550 Empire Avenue. During a business trip in 2003 Paul the Avion Guy took a trip over to East Empire Avenue to see if the old buildings were still there. The first thing I noticed was that the old campground at the intersection of M139 and East Empire. Many of us parked for the night when visiting the plant. I was surprised to see that both buildings are in use. 1300 is now the distribution center for Tile Mart and looks much like it did in the 1960’s. 1550 East Empire is now the Benton Harbor plant of the J. L. French Company. The property is virtually unchanged from my last visit in 1987. The only thing missing is the front lot full of new Silver Avions waiting to be shipped to a happy owner. The only sad part of the journey was when I came across the building of Star Stamping which is located on M139. The building is abandoned and for sale. Apparently Star was the only company to ever operate there and the company name is still on the front of the building.


THE EARLY YEARS OF THE AVION COACH, INC. June 2006

AN EDITORIAL

In the early 1950s, Robert Cayo and his family hooked their nineteen foot Little Gem travel trailer to a 1951 Chevrolet and headed west for a family camping vacation. At the same time, Robert’s older brother Loren and his family headed west in their Packard automobile with an Airstream in tow. The two families set up camp at Fishing Bridge in Yellowstone National Park. As they sat around the campfire, the two brothers talked about how their trailers could be improved. Both admired the aircraft-type construction of the Airstream. But they agreed that they could manufacture a better trailer. Both Loren and Robert had experience in metal fabrication, product design, and the manufacturing process. Upon return to their homes in Michigan, Loren secured the agreement of two other partners and in 1955 Romany Coach, Inc. was founded. Apparently Robert didn’t have sufficient capital at this time to be one of the major partners. Loren’s other two partners were in the construction business. Two events significantly affected this new company from the very beginning.

First, the name “Romany” was chosen because it reflected the carefree lifestyle of the Romany Gypsies. The following quote is taken from a 1955 brochure: “. . .the Romany caravans are horse drawn vehicles which serve them in much the same manner in which a modern house trailer serves us today. It is from this, the earliest of mobile homes, that we have taken the name of our modern travel trailer. We feel that there is a little of the Romany in all of us and we have an inherent desire to be ‘free as the birds’. To travel and relax, to laugh and sing, to hunt and fish, to travel to new and far off places, to see what is over the next hill. “

Both Loren and Robert were avid outdoorsmen – they enjoyed hunting, fishing and traveling. Selecting the Romany name seemed fitting; however, the Romany gypsies in the Michigan area protested the use of their name on a modern travel trailer. So the name was changed to “Avion” and the few trailers that were made with the Romany nameplate were called back to have the name changed to Avion. A rumor arose (of unknown origin) that the name was changed because Airstream had a model called the Romany and threatened a lawsuit. In an interview with Bill Cayo (Robert’s son who was old enough during the Yellowstone National Park camping trip to remember the early discussions and subsequent company issues) stated that Airstream did bring lawsuit(s) against Avion, but never challenged the use of the name “Romany”. These lawsuits contended that the Avion design was copied from the Airstream, but none were upheld in court. There were significant differences between the two trailers and also, there were a number of travel trailers that utilized riveted aircraft-construction, i.e., Spartan, Silver Streak, and others. In 1956, the second event was a disagreement between the original three partners. It was decided that one of the partners, Larry Zuhl, would sell his shares to Robert Cayo. This resulted in the two Cayo brothers, Loren and Robert, holding major positions in the company.

Oral history has the inherent characteristic of ideographic perception that produces factual distortion every time the story is repeated and these distortions are apparent in the Avion story. Examples are: Romany name (sometimes erroneously spelled Romney), reason for changing the name (someone probably guessed that there was a threatened lawsuit), and the spelling of Robert Ligon’s last name (spelled Legan). The story in this last example: Robert Ligon and Associates acquired majority interest in the Avion Coach, Inc. in 1970. Somehow, it has been written in various publications and on internet web-sites as “Legan Enterprises”. I can find no evidence that this name was ever used by Robert Ligon in his business affairs.

I have been researching Avion history and involvement of the Cayos in preparation for a book that will be entitled “Silver Avions and Cayos – A Tribute to one of the Best Travel Trailers ever produced and an Extraordinary Family that Made it Happen”. The information included in this editorial is being released now inasmuch as I believe it is needed to help us in the effort to be accurate about Avion history.

I have used the following sources for this information: conversations with and printed materials supplied by Bill Cayo, Chuck Cayo (Bill’s son), Charles Adair (who worked for Avion Coach for a number of years), Chris Garlanger (Loren’s grandson), early copies of the Avion Travelcade News (1960s and 1970s), and Benton Harbor newspaper clippings,

I welcome suggestions, criticisms, and additional information. I take responsibility for the above remarks. For accountability, please give credit to me if any of this information is used.

Robert J. (Bob) Muncy,
Founder and Program Leader
Silver Avion Fellowship

Note: This editorial will be distributed to participants in the SAF by E-mail and USPS mail, and to others who are interested in Avion History. It may be copied and shared with others if appropriate credit is given. RJM

Robert Cayo became president of Avion Coach following the death of its founder brother Loren. The Cayo interests in Avion were sold to a Detroit family headed by Robert M. Ligon in April 1970. In July of 1970 Robert Cayo purchased the Pickup Camper Division of Avion and began operations as the Cayo RV Corporation. Robert Cayo who had been the president of Avion until its sale now became the president of Cayo RV Corporation. The company built the same high quality pickup camper as was manufactured by Avion. The plant operations were at 1550 East Empire Avenue just down the street from Avion which was at 1300 East Empire. Robert’s sons Bill and Dennis played important roles in the company. Dennis was the Office Manager and Bill became the production manager. It was Bill that built the first Avion camper for his own use with basic components of the Avion Coach. In 1965, the Pickup Truck Camper went into production at Avion.

Bill Cayo and his son Chuck operate CAYO REPAIR SERVICE.
They offer Part and repairs for all years and models of Avion and Cayo RV’s.
269.463.5068
269.463.5073 fax
Address: 4835 M-140
Watervliet, MI 49098

Manufacturer Information

The Avion Travel Trailer was first built in 1956. Classic Aluminum trailers were built through the 1990 model year.

A 1957 Brochure features 3 different models; a 20′ Rambler, a 23′ Rover. and a 26′ Regal. IN either model you had a choice of dinette (converts to double bed) or sofa (converts to double bed), table and 2 chairs.

The 20′ Rambler had either rear twins or a rear crossways double. There was not room for a shower in this model, but a marine stool was located under a foldaway lavatory.

26′ Regal Overall weight: 3300 pounds (approx)

            Hitch weight:   300  pounds

23′ Rover Overall weight: 2700 pounds (approx)

            Hitch weight:   300  pounds

20′ Rambler Overall weight: 2300 pounds (approx)

            Hitch weight:    290

The body of the AVION Travel Trailer is two complete Aluminum shells one inside the other, separated by a blanket of 1 1/4“ plastic treated fibreglas insulation, riveted together as one unit on aluminum stretch formed bows and stringers. The only wood used in the construction of the AVION is the plywood floor and cabinets.

1956-1990 1963 Holiday 24 HT is a twin bed model with dinette/kitchen in front; twin beds and bath aft.

Models

50’s models: 26′ Regal 23′ Rover 20′ Rambler

60’s models: 30′ Imperial 27′ 24′ Holiday 21′ Tourist

                    18' Sportsman

68-77 years 31′ LaGrande 31′ Imperial 28′ Travelcader 25′ Voyageur

                    19' Sportsman (limited production)   (Ultra name in early 70's)

1976-1977-1978 AVION built a mini motorhome (fewer than 500 were built)

1978 The Fleetwood years begin. AVION has one of the first triple axle trailers. A 32 foot model with rear bedroom.

Then in 1981 a 34 foot trailer is constructed and the most popular floorplan the V model makes its appearence.

V–twin beds, rear bath

W–rear bedroom, center bath

1986–Silver Anniversary Model ( 200 numbered editions)

1987–A new front kitchen floorplan, model 32S appears, along with 34X model with rear bedroom (only Avion ever to offer a full-sized rear queen island bed), center split bath, kitchen/dinette, and front living room 1987–Zip Dee awnings (last year factory installed)

1988–last year for anodized aluminum 1988–First year for A & E brand awnings (factory installed)

1989 Dura-Brite aluminum (looks painted) appears

1990 38′ 5th wheel appears. (very limited production)

Cayo Motivator

Cayo Motovator by Bruce Hampson

“The western shoreline of Michigan has long been considered prime real estate for boat repair businesses but if you look inland a few miles east of Benton Harbor, you’ll find a seven-bay service facility that, while focusing on recreation vehicles, rarely entertains anything without wheels. Fiberglass guests are just as infrequent at Cayo Repair Service, where the specialty of the house is riveted aluminum renovation.

Granted, Cayo isn’t alone in practicing what’s fast becoming a lost art among motorhome collision-repair facilities. The difference is a matter of pedigree; on a good day, the marquees sequestered on the grounds will include one sharing heritage with the shop itself.

The Cayo Motovator is tangible proof that imitation truly is the sincerest form of flattery. This precursor to a contemporary Class C coach has its roots in a metal-stamping business – and a travel trailer. Any discussion of the Motovator, however, must by nature include a brief history of the Avion Coach Corporation.

“My father, Robert, and my uncle, Loren, were both outdoorsmen,” recalled Bill Cayo. “In the mid-’50s, Loren bought an Airstream trailer, during a camping trip to Yellowstone National Park, they reflected on how great it was and decided to build one like it.”

Drawing on metalworking backgrounds forged at the metal-stamping business owned by their father, the Cayos and a third partner, building contractor Alan Grams, introduced their first trailer in 1955.

“The first few vehicles were actually built under the Romney Coach badge,” Bill noted, “but apparently there were some problems with the name, so in 1957 the company name was changed to Avion Coach Corporation.”

Travel trailers weren’t the only vehicles manufactured by Avion. Using the same basic parts that went into the Avion trailer, Bill cobbled together a pickup camper for his own use and the company liked the result. In 1965, Avion started offering pickup truck campers, as well. That division would figure prominently when, several years after Loren’s untimely passing in 1967, Avion was sold.

“The company (Legan Enterprises) really didn’t want to manufacture pickup campers,” Bill said, “so part of the purchase agreement was that they would sell the camper division back to my father, my brother and myself.” In 1970, the Cayos affixed their own name to the familiar streamlined camper shell. A year later, they extended the length of the camper, slipped a cutoff chassis beneath it and christened the self-propelled coach the Cayo Motovator.

Available in 20- and 22-toot models, the Motovator featured an anodized aluminum shell (sporting a 13-panel rear cap design so familiar to owners of mid-’50s Airstream trailers) and metal framing which allowed the mini-motorhome to maintain its structural integrity, In fact, the Cayo RV Corporation offered the coaches with a lifetime warranty to the original owner, “When we designed it, we realized that the body of the coach would last longer than the chassis,” Bill pointed out, “so it was actually designed to be removed and placed on a newer chassis, should the need arise”.

Originally available on a Dodge one-ton chassis with a choice of a 360 cid or 318 cid Dodge, 350 CID Chevy or 302 CiD Ford V-8 engine, the Cayo carried a dry weight of 8,245 pounds (20-foot model). The spacious interior (6 feet, 8 inches, floor to ceiling and 7 feet, 7 inches wall-to-wall) was fitted with most conveniences then available, including maple hardwoods, a dual-battery charging system with 30-amp converter, 22,000 BTU forced-air gas heating system and sizable 5 cubic-foot refrigerator. Options included an auxiliary gas tank, 2.5Kw AC generator, roof rack and ladder, Therma San waste incinerator, water purifier and 10,000 BTU roof-mounted air conditioner (which raised the height to nearly 10 feet). The 52-inch cabover configuration offered sleeping arrangements for four.

While the Motovator proved popular and its size and reliance on small-block V-8 engines allowed for relatively respectable mileage – the Cayo earned 10-12 MPG in an era where big block-powered Class A coaches were getting just half that – sales dropped off following the gas crunch of 1973-74. Although the OPEC oil embargo lasted just six months, the Cayo Motovator never really rebounded; in 1974, Cayo RV Corporation closed its Benton Harbor, Michigan, factory after approximately 600 Motovators passed through the facility.

The small number of coaches produced essentially precludes the possibility of a Cayo-only national club, but Cayo owners are welcomed at the Avion Travelcade Club (avionclub.org). In 1977, Bill funneled his experience into Cayo Repair Service, which he operates today with his son, Chuck. You could say that they know this coach from the inside, out – it’s in their blood.”

Interiors

Avion’s aluminum interior walls were Zolatone painted thru the 1967 year. Beginning in 1968, Avion used vinyl coated aluminum and used this til the end of production of the aluminum riveted trailers.

Unique features/Options

The Avion was built using outer aluminum skins that could be polished to a mirror finish until late production of the 1962 units. The 1963 units began with a satin finished Anodized Aluminum finish that was actually “harder” aluminum and more resistant to dents and scratches. Avion adopted the revolutionary MOR/ryde (smooth glide) suspension system back in 1967. Engineering tests proved it to be so good, that it soon became standard equipment. Avion, along with the supplier, MOR/ryde pioneered and perfected this suspension system on travel trailers. Avion trailers use a strong triple beam of heavy duty steel, including a rugged center beam for added support. Frame members are 5” deep (6“ deep on 31 ft.) Urethane foam, called THERMO-X by Avion was first introduced as the total insulation for the entire coach in 1966. THERMO-X also adds to wall rigidity. 1968-1972 Avion used tinted *Plexiglas* acrylic windows with black anodized aluminum frames. Beginning in 1972, Avion was among the first to make dual waste water tanks, standard equipment. 1980 Avion suspensions were called Adjust-A-Ride. It was an innovative independent suspension of half-axles with a center pivot point. The axles were upgraded to heavier material beginning with the 1985 year models. In 1989 and 1990 Avion used axles by Alko-Kober and this was a torsion type axle suspension.

In 1989 Avion began using a coating created by a 5-step electrolytic process, and continued with this coating until production ceased after 1990. Many people wrongly believe these last Avions were “painted”, but the coating is not paint, and has proved to stand up very well over time. It’s also easier to cover scratches by using touch-up paint that matches the coating. An important feature of Avion quality was its use of all hardwood interiors with dovetail and tongue-and-groove drawer and cabinet construction. The overall quality of Avions was unsurpassed, and still is not met by any other trailer manufacturer.

Serial Numbers

1956       Romany 20, 23-R
1957       20-R, 23-R, 27, 27-T

ModelLengthSugg. ListSerial #Weight
20 Rambler20′$3,095700 up2,300
23 Rover23′$3,650510 up2,700
26 Regal26′$4,250900 up3,300
26 Regal T26′$4,450900 up3,500
Official Mobile Home Market Report, May 1 1965

1958       20, 23, 26, 30

ModelLengthSugg. ListSerial #Weight
20 Explorer20′$3,0951000 up2,300
23 Rover23′$3,6952000 up2,700
26 Regal26′$4,3503000 up3,300
26 Regal Tdm26′$4,4503000 up3,500
30 Imperial30′$5,4854000 up3,950
Official Mobile Home Market Report, May 1 1963

1959       20, 23, 26, 30

ModelLengthSugg. ListSerial #Weight
Explorer20′$3,1501008 up2,300
Rover23′$3,8502039 up2,700
Regal26′$4,3953047 up3,300
Regal Tdm26′$4,6343047 up3,500
Imperial30′$5,2854001 up3,950
Official Mobile Home Market Report, May 1 1963

1960      The Files for the 1960 Avion Brochure and Models are very slow to load but worth the wait.
20′ Tourist — $3,480.00; 21′ Sportsman — $3,490.00, 24′ Holiday — models H-24TB, H-24DB — $4,213.00;
27′ Travelcader — models T-27TB, T-27DB $4,707.00; 30′ Imperial — models 1-30TB, 1-30DB $5,587.00
(Models and original prices from Mike Mead). (1960 Brochure from Lance Kaun)

  Model  Length  Sugg. List   Serial #  Weight
  21  21′$3,2951200  2,430
  24  24′$3,9752200  2,780
  27  27′$4,4753200  3,390
  27 Tdm  27′$4,7143200  3,640
  30 Tdm  30′$5,3854220  3,950
  Official Mobile Home Market Report, May 1 1963

1961      20, 21, 24, 37, 30

  Model  Length  Sugg. List   Serial #  Weight
  Tourist  20  20′$3,4801412  2,680
  Sportsman 21  21′$3,4901220  2,430
  Holiday 24  24′$4,2132300  3,010
  Travelcader 27  27′$4,7073217  3,390
  Imperial 30  30′$5,5874220  3,950
  Official Mobile Home Market Report, May 1 1963

1962      20, 24, 27, 30

  Model  Length  Sugg. List   Serial #  Weight
  Tourist  20  20′$3,5851540  2,680
  Holiday 24  24′$4,3602516  3,010
  Travelcader 27  27′$4,7813362  3,390
  Imperial 30  30′$5,6804250  3,950
  Official Mobile Home Market Report, May 1 1963

1963      18′ Sportsman, 20′ Tourist, 24′ Holiday, 27′ Travelcader, 30′ Imperial — July 1962 Prices — Owners Manual
1964       18, 21, 24-H, 27-T Travelcader — Dec 1963 Prices — 1964 Cover
1965      18′ Sportsman, T-21, 24, T-27 Travelcader — C-10 Camper???
1966      T-21, H-25, T-27-Travelcader — C10 Camper

  Length  Sugg. List
  Sportsman  19′ 2″‘$3,929
  Tourist  21′ 6″$4,331
  Holiday II Single  25′ 1″$5,093
  Holiday II Tandem  25′ 1″$5,293
  Travelcader Single  27′ 9″$5,498
  Travelcader Tandem  27′ 9″$5,698
  Imperial  30′ 9″$6,446
  Official Trailer/Camper Trade-In Guide 1971

1967      T-21, A-25 Adventurer, H-25, T-27 Travelcader — C10 Camper ?? ???
1967       19, 22, 25, 28, 31 — 1967 Avion Sales Brochure compliments of Mary Davis <MDavis@danacompanies.com>
1967       Advertisement for ABC Avion Sales Inc. compliments of Richard Henderson <RHenderson3@cfl.rr.com>.

  Length  Sugg. List   Serial #  Weight
  Sportsman19′$4,73067-19000  2,990
  Tourist  22′$5,47067-22000  3,500
  Holiday  25′$6,29067-25000  3,890
  Travelcader  28′$6.995 67-28000  4,480
  Imperial  31′$7,73567-31000  5,030
  Benton Harbor, Michigan —  Official Mobile Home Market Report, September 1, 1967
  Pick-up Camper SDNT  10′ 3″$3,659S-67-1001  1,860
  Pick-up Camper G  10′ 3″$3,690S-67-1001  1,860
  Pick-up Camper FDNT  10′ 3″$3,690S-67-1001  1,860
  Tourist  22′ 2″$5,470S-67-22000  3,470
  Holiday  25′ 3″$6,490S-67-25000  4,285
  Travelcader  28′ 2″$6.995 S-67-28000  4,480
  Imperial  31′ 2″$7,735S-67-31000  4,985
  San Jacinto, California, —   Official Mobile Home Market Report, September 1, 1967

 

  Model  Length  Sugg. List   Hitch Wt.  Weight
  Sportsman19′ 4″$4,730370  2,990
  Tourist  22′ 2″$5,470410  3,470
  Holiday II Single  25′ 3″$6,290495  3,890
  Holiday II Tandem  25′ 3″$6,490525  4,285
  Travelcader  28′ 2″$6.995 535  4,480
  Imperial  31′ 2″$7,735540  4,985
  Official Trailer/Camper Trade-In Guide 1971

1968      T-22, A-25 Adventure H-25, T-28 Travelcader, C-11 Camper ??? ???

  Model  Length  Sugg. List   Hitch Wt.  Weight
  Tourist  22′ 2″$5,470470  5,762
  Tourist  22′ 2″$5,995425  3,785
  Argonaut  25′ 6″$6,786435  4,285
  Travelcader  28′ 1″$7,419 550  4,380
  Imperial  31′ 2″$8,126575  5,065
  Official Trailer/Camper Trade-In Guide 1971

1969      C-11 Camper, 18, 22, 25, 28, 31, Avion Futura

  Model  Length  Sugg. List   Hitch Wt.  Weight
  Sports Special  18′ 3″$3,995320  2,490
  Tourist  22′ 2″$5,984470  3,500
  Tourist  22′ 2″$6,225425  3,785
  Argonaut  25′ 6″$7,075435  4,190
  Travelcader  28′ 1″$7,721 550  4,380
  Imperial  31′ 2″$8,126575  5,065
  Official Trailer/Camper Trade-In Guide 1971

1970       Sport Special Series: 19′ Suntrail. Classic Series: 22′ Explorer, 24′ Adventurer, 26′ Yoyageur
1970       Ultra Series: 26′ Voyageur, 28′ Travelcader, 31′ Imperial — Thanks-Tom DeArk #13639

  Model  Length  Weight Sugg. List
    Suntrail  19′3,200  4,560
  Explorer  22′3,785  6,291
  Adventurer  24′3,200  6,987
  Voyager  26′4,200  7,682
  Voyager  26′4,200  8,388
  Travelcader  28′4,380 8,868
  Imperial  31′5,0659,394
  Kelley Blue Book, April thru September 1979

 

  Model  Length  Sugg. List   Hitch Wt.  Weight
  Suntrail (Sports Special)  19′ 7″$4,560320  2,490
  Explorer (Classic)  22′ 2″$6,291470  3,500
  Adventurer (Classic)  24′ 6″$6,986425  3,815
  Voyager (Classic)  26′ 3″$7,682480  4,260
  Voyager (Ultra)  26′ 3″$8,.388480  4,330
  Travelcader (Ultra)  28′ 2″$8,868 550  4,380
  Imperial (Ultra)  31′ 2″$9,394575  5,065
  Official Trailer/Camper Trade-In Guide 1971

1971      22-Explorer, 26-Voyageur, 28′ Travelcader, 31′ Imperial

  Model  Length  Weight Sugg. List
  Explorer  22′3,850  5,590
  Voyager  26′4,325  6,269
  Travelcader  28′4,525 7,090
  Imperial  31 ½’5,1009,000
  Kelley Blue Book, April thru September 1979

1972      31′ La Grande, a 31′ Imperial, 28′ travelcader, 25′ Voyageur. — Thanks Hubert Hurst.

1972 Avion 24 Page Sales Brochure from Pat Rosend, Fairfax, VA: Page 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 – 10 – 11 – 12 – 13 – 14 – 15 – 16 – 17 – 18 – 19 – 20 – 21 – 22 – 23 – 24
1972 Sales Brochure (pdf) from Dominic and Linda Brindisi, 2602 Radcliff Road, Dothan, AL 36303, BrindisiD@sw.rr.com — 1972 Sales Brochure (pdf).

  Model  Length  Weight Sugg. List
  Voyager  26′4,425  8,375
  Travelcader  28′4,770 9,450
  Imperial  31 ½’5,32010,600
  LeGrande  26′4,425  9.214
  LeGrande  28′4,770 10,334
  LeGrande  31 ½’5,32011,534
  Kelley Blue Book, April thru September 1979

1973       Travelcader: 25′, 28′, 31′.       LaGrande: 25′, 28′, 31′

  Model  Length  Weight Sugg. List
  Travelcader  25′4,840  8,450
  LeGrande  25′4,840  9,200
  Travelcader  28′5,090  9,600
  LeGrande  28′5,09010,400
  Travelcader  31′5,88010,700
  LeGrande  31′5,88011,650
  NADA RV Appraisal Guide May-Aug 1994.

 

  Model  Length  Weight Sugg. List
  Travelcader  25′4,720  8,450
  Travelcader  28′5,090  9,600
  Travelcader  31′5,68010,700
  LeGrande  25′4,720  9,200
  LeGrande  28′5,09010,400
  LeGrande  31′5,68011,650
  Kelly Blue Book, April-September 1979

1974       Travelcader: 26′, 28′, 31′.       LaGrande: 26′, 28′, 31′

  Model  Length  Weight Sugg. List
  Travelcader  26′4,720  8,950
  LeGrande  26′4,720  9,748
  Travelcader  28′5,09010,153
  LeGrande  28′5,09011,007
  Travelcader  31′5,88011,346
  LeGrande  31′5,88012,353
  NADA RV Appraisal Guide May-Aug 1994.

 

  Model  Length  Weight Sugg. List
  Travelcader  26′4,720  9,011
  LeGrande  26′4,720  9,811
  Travelcader  28′5,09010,389
  LeGrande  28′5,09011,246
  Travelcader  31′5,68011,706
  LeGrande  31′5,68012,715
 Kelley Blue Book, April-September 1979.

1975       All American 24′, Travelcader: 26′, 28′, 31′.       LaGrande: 26′, 28′, 31′ – 22-MH
1975 Avion Brochure  –   1975 Avion Specifications & Price List – Thanks to Walt Brewer – WEBrewer@gmail.com
1975       Avion GMC 23′ and 26′ Motorhomes GMC Avion (Both TT and MH interiors)
1975       Avion Class A 38′ Aluminium bodied Motorhome.

  Model  Length  Weight Sugg. List
  All American  24′3,600  7,350
  Travelcader  26½’4,720  9,925
  LeGrande  26½’4,720  10,764
  Travelcader  28½’5,09011,398
  LeGrande  28½’5,09012,298
  Travelcader  31½’5,68012,852
  LeGrande  31½’5,68013,911
 Kelley Blue Book, April-September 1979.

 

  Length  Model  Weight Sugg. List
  24′  All-American3,600  7,350
  26½’  Travelcader4,720  9,925
  28½’  Travelcader5,09011,398
  31½’  Travelcader5,68012,852
  31½’  LeGrande5,880
  1980 RVDA Price Quide & NADA RV Appraisal Guide May-Aug 1994.

1975       Cayo C11 Truck Camper
1975       Cayo 5th Dimension Model 30RB 5th Wheel
Length 30′ Overall Width 7’11″` Height 9’4″ with Air 10’1″ Interior Height 6’11”
Interior Length 29’1″ Interior Width 7’7″ Weight 5,840# Tongue Weight 1,103#

1976       All American 23′ Travelcader: 26′, 28′, 31′.       LaGrande: 26′, 28′, 31′       22-MH

  Model  Length  Weight Sugg. List
  All American  23′3,600  7,869
  Travelcader  23′3,800  9,666
  Travelcader  26′4,720 10,525
  LeGrande  26′4,720 11,364
  Travelcader  28′5,09011,998
  LeGrande  28′5,08012,897
  Travelcader  31′5,88013,452
  LeGrande  31′5,88014,510
  Kelley Blue Book 1980
NADA RV Appraisal Guide May-Aug 1994.

1977       Travelcader: 26′, 28′, 31′.       LaGrande: 26′, 28′, 31’— 22-MH
1977 1977 MH22

  Model  Length  Weight Sugg. List
  Travelcader  23′4,080 10,149
  Travelcader  26′4,720 11,049
  LeGrande  26′4,720 11,932
  Travelcader  28′5,09012,598
  LeGrande  28′5,08013,542
  Travelcader  31′5,88014,124
  LeGrande  31′5,88015,236
  Kelley Blue Book 1980
NADA RV Appraisal Guide May-Aug 1994.

1978       Rear Bath: 23-M, 26-F, 28-J, 30-P (9.1 Meter) , 34-V.       Side Bath:, 23-C, 23-D, 26-H, 28-M, 30-R, 34-W. — 22-MH

  Model  Length  Weight Sugg. List
  23-C, 23-D  23′4,315 10,500
  26-F, 26-H  26′4,822 10.780
  28-J, 28-M  28′5,42011,200
  30-P, 30-R  30′5,82011,620
  34-V, 34-W  34′6,74212,320
  NADA RV Appraisal Guide May-Aug 1994.

 

  Model  Length  Weight Sugg. List
  23-C, 23-D  23′4,402 13,200
  26-F, 26-H  26′5,06713,500
  28-J, 28-M  28′5,42014,700
  30-P, 30-R  30′5,82015,450
  34-V, 34-W  34′6,74216,950
  Kelly Blue Book April-June 1980

1979       Rear Bath: 26-F, 28-J, 30-P, 32-S, 34-V.       Side Bath: 23-D, 26-H, 28-M, 30-R, 32-T, 34-W — 22-MH

  Model  Length  Weight Sugg. List
  7½-F, 7½-H  26′5,067 15,862
  8½-J, 8½-M  28′5,42017,361
  9-P, 9-R  30′5,86018,002
  32-S, 32-T  32′6,173 19,130
  10-V, 10-W  34′6,52219,757
  NADA RV Appraisal Guide May-Aug 1994.

 

  Model  Length  Weight Sugg. List
  23-C, 23-D  23′4,402 15,310
  26-F, 26-H  26′5,067 16,450
  28-J, 28-M  28′5,42017,361
  30-P, 30-R  30′5,82018,670
  34-V, 34-W  34′6,74220,490
  Kelly Blue Book, April-June 1980.

1980       Rear Bath: 26-F, 28-J, 30-P, 32-S, 34-V.       Side Bath: 23-D, 26-H, 28-M, 30-R, 32-T, 34-W.

  Model  Length  Weight Sugg. List
  26-F, 26-H  26′5,077 16,450
  28-J, 28-M  28′5,42018,005
  30-P, 30-R  30′5,82018,670
  32-S, 32-T,  32′6,21319,838
  34-V, 34-W  34′6,52220,490
  NADA RV Appraisal Guide May-Aug 1994.

1981       Rear Bath: 34-V.

  Model  Length  Weight Sugg. List
  34-V  34′6,94022,190
  NADA RV Appraisal Guide May-Aug 1994.

1982       Rear Bath: 34-V, 30-P. 1982 Sales Brochure

  Model  Length  Weight Sugg. List
  34-V  34′7,06023,809
  NADA RV Appraisal Guide May-Aug 1994.

1983       Rear Bath: 30-P, 34-V.
9.1 Meters = 30′ models and 10.7 Meters- 34′ models
1983       1983 Spec Sheet
1983       1983 Sales Brochure 3/83

  Model  Length  Weight Sugg. List
  30-P  30′5,84023,575
  34-V  34′6,94026,825
  NADA RV Appraisal Guide May-Aug 1994.

1984       Rear Bath: 30-P, 34-V       Side Bath: 30-R, 34-W.
1984       1984 Sales Brochure
1984       1984 Trailer Life 30-R Review

  Model  Length  Weight Sugg. List
  30-P  30′5,32024,138
  30-R  30′6,08024,826
  34-V  34′6,94027,486
  34-W  34′6,73028,296
  NADA RV Appraisal Guide May-Aug 1994.

1985       Rear Bath: 30-P, 34-V       Side Bath: 25-H, 30-R, 34-W.
1985       1985 Sales Brochure, (the 25-H was a late addition to the line)

  Model  Length  Weight Sugg. List
  25-H  25′5,05022,093
  30-P  30′5,84026,593
  30-R  30′6,08027,622
  34-V  34′7,08430,198
  34-W  34′6,87531,192
  NADA RV Appraisal Guide May-Aug 1994.

1986       Rear Bath: 30-P, 34-V       Side Bath: 25-H, 30-R, 32-S, 34-W.
1986       Silver Edition 30-P, 30-R, 32-S, 34-V, 34-W
1986       1986 Sales Brochure

  Model  Length  Weight Sugg. List
  25-H  25′4.97524,445
  30-P  30′5,84027,295
  30-R  30′5,80028,325
  32-S  32′6,10029,470
  34-V  34′7,08530,900
  34-W  34′6,87531,895
  Silver Edition — 25th Anniverary Travelcade Club
  Silver Edition 30-P  30′6,09030,510
  Silver Edition 30-R  30′6,05031,540
  Silver Edition 32-S  32′6,10032,685
  Silver Edition 34-V  34′7,33535,730
  Silver Edition 34-W  34′7,12535,028
  NADA RV Appraisal Guide May-Aug 1994.

1987       Rear Bath: 30-P, 34-V       Side Bath: 25-H, 32-S, 34-W       Center Bath 34-X.
1987       Avion Brochure (8 panels). Page 1 – Page 2 – Page 3 – Page 4 – Page 5 – Page 6 – Page 7 – Page 8. – Thanks to Fred Meyers.
1987       1987 Sales Brochure Edition 2

  Model  Length  Weight Sugg. List
  25-H  25′4,97524,808
  30-P  30′5,84028,301
  32-S  32′6,10030,310
  34-V  34′7,08531,990
  34-W  34′6,88032,991
  34-X  34′6,88032,991
  NADA RV Appraisal Guide May-Aug 1994.

1988       Rear Bath: 30-P, 34-V       Side Bath: 32-S, 34-W       Center Bath 34-X.
1988       1988 Sales Brochure

  Model  Length  Weight Sugg. List
  30-P  30′5,84030,739
  32-S  32′6,10032,697
  34-V  34′7,08534,607
  34-W  34′6,87535,262
  34-X  34′6,88035,444
  NADA RV Appraisal Guide May-Aug 1994.

1989       Rear Bath: 30-P, 34-V       Side Bath: 28-A, 32-S, 34-W       Center Bath 34-X
1989       Travelcaders 28-TA, 30-TP       Basement Models 34-VB, 34-XB
1989       Edition 2 Sales Brochure (Jan 1989) (very large files) Page 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 – 10 – 11 – 12 – from Jim_Morrison49@yahoo.com

  Model  Length  Weight Sugg. List
  28-A  28′5,40032,737
  30-P  30′5,84032,845
  32-S  32′6,10034,978
  34-V  34′7,08536,747
  34-W  34′6,87537,509
  34-X  34′6,88037,651
  Travelcader Series:
  28-TA Travelcader  28′5,16525,310
  30-TP Travelcader  30′5,53525,580
  Basement Models:
  34-VB  34′7,90040,331
  34-XB  34′7,89041,235
  NADA RV Appraisal Guide May-Aug 1994.

1990       Rear Bath: 30-P, 34-V       Side Bath: 28-A 32-S       Center Bath 34-X
1990       Travelcaders 28-TA, 30-TP       Basement Models 34-VB, 34-XB
1990       Fifth Wheel 38.5M 1990       1990 Basement Model Brochure
1990       1990 Standard Avion Trailer Brochure
1990       1990 38.5M Fifth Wheel Brochure

  Model  Length  Weight Sugg. List
  28-A  28′5,40034,600
  30-P  30′5,84035,106
  32-S  32′6,10037,806
  34-V  34′7,08539,298
  34-X  34′6,88040,446
  Travelcader Series:
  28-TA Travelcader  28′5,16526,866
  30-TP Travelcader  30′5,53527,303
  Basement Models:
  34-VB  34′7,90043,767
  34-XB  34′7,89044,833
  Fifth Wheel Model:
  38 5M  38′9,36549,950
  NADA RV Appraisal Guide May-Aug 1994.

 

1991       Trailers 31-N, 37-A       Fifth Wheel 29.5-T, 31.5-F, 33.5-J, 35.5-P, 35.5-P
1991       1991 specification Sheet
1992       Trailers 31-N, 37-A       Fifth Wheel 29.5-T, 31.5-F, 33.5-J, 34.5-G,35.5-P, 35.5-M
1993       Trailers 34-Y       Fifth Wheel 29.5-T, 30.5-E, 31.5-F, 33.5-J, 34.5-G, 35.5-P, 35.5-M
1994       Fifth Wheel 30.5-E, 31.5-F, 33.5-J, 34.5-G, 35.5-M
1995       Fifth Wheel 30.5-E, 33.5-K, 34.5-J, 35.5-G, 35.5-M
1995       1995 specification Pages
1995       1995 Westport 30.5 Manual – Compliments of Larry Haffner
1996       Fifth Wheel 34.5-R, 36.5-M, 36.5-W
1997       Fifth Wheel 34.5-D, 37.5-L, 37.5-W
1998       Fifth Wheel 33.5-C, 34 5-D, 37 5-L, 37.5-V, 37 5-W
1999       Fifth Wheel 33.5-C, 37 5-L, 37.5-V, 37 5-W
2000       Fifth Wheel 37 5-R, 37.5-V, 37 5-W
2000       2000 partial specification Pages
2001       No models for 2001!
2002       Fifth Wheel 32.5F, 33.5F: Platinum & Vintage

Pictures

1964 Avion Ad

AVION TRAILER RV Operations & Tech Manual

1972 Avion 31′ travel trailers: LaGrande and Imperial

1969 sport special – Jimmy Cannette longboardblues@rocketmail.com

1957 Avion Regal 26ft. Believed to be the 4th Avion ever made. Bought from the Cayo family that started the Avion company. We’ll take more pics soon. – Terry Bone (terrybone@comcast.net)

Mark and Kathy Bailey, Johns Island, SC, 1966 Avion Travelcader 27

Toshiba Exif JPEG

1963 Avion

Pictures from 1964 Avion Brochure

1970 Avion

Early Avion camping in 196

1965 Restored S-21

1986 SILVER EDITION in 2010

Here is a picture of a 1969 Avion C-11 truck camper still very much in use. All interior and exterior lights have been upgraded to LED’s, but otherwise it is pretty much original with fresh varnish on the inside.

Videos

 

Brochures and manuals

From a 1969 Avion 25A

avion_owners_manual_1969_25a
morride_suspension
cam_stat_thermostat_t17h
bargman_tail_lights_diagram
duo-therm_ac_52712c
humphrey_gas_lamp
duo-therms_brisk_aire_xl
duo-therm_gas_wall_furnace_62101_62102
moen_tripple_action_faucet
progressive_dynamics_power_converter_diagram
progressive_dynamics_power_converter_pd-709

User Manual from 1970 Avion Ultra 31′

1970_avion_manual_ultra_and_classic
back_pages_of_avion_1970_manual
more_avion_1970_pages

Some owners

Jimmy Cannette, Emerald Isle, NC 1969 Sport Special

Terry Bone, Wixom MI – 1957 Avion Regal 26ft

Tim Casteen, Chesapeake, VA past owner of 72 25’Voyageur, 83 30P, and currently 89 34X

Ruel Scott, Chesapeake, VA 86 30R Silver Edition

Durand Hines, Patrick Springs, VA 82 34V, also has Avion truck camper of unknown year.

Kevin Davis of Vale, NC 1988 X 34′, 1976 mini motorhome (Dodge Chassis), 1964 Holiday 24′, 1974 28′

Bebe Gordon & Kevin Davis, Lafayette La, 86 34′ Silver Anniversary Edition #78

Tanner Flanagan,Jackson Hole Wy, 1973 Avion LaGrande 28′

Curt&Tina Parrish, Ladysmith Wi- 1968 A25 Argonaut 25′

Eric & Tracye Letendre, Wilmington,N.C., 1972 Avion 31′ Imperial

Terry & Crista Brumby, Crawfordville, FL 1962 Avion T20

JP & Vicki VanGundy, Palatka, FL 1962 Avion T20

Dave & Alana Piper, Brookfield, IL – 1970 Avion A 24ft

Eric Scott, Aurora, CO 1978 Mini Motorhome (Dodge Chassis) Sportsman Class C

_ Sharon Smithem Charlevoix Michigan 1972 Avion Travelcade 28′

Clubs/Links

http://www.silveravion.com/

http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/avioncampingandrestoration/

http://www.avion.pangraph.com/ – (1963 Avion Owner’s Manual)

Vintage Avion specifications

www.cannedhamdecals.com |Avion decals for restoration.

http://www.AvionTrailers.net A forum for Avion trailer owners

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