Glider Trailer Co

The company was founded in 1932

Manufacturer Information

Chicago, Illinois Factory: 1824 W. Kinzie St. General office: 17 S. Wells St.

The mobile home evolved out of the travel trailer of the 1920s and 1930s and the house trailer of the 1940s and early 1950s. Conceived as a mobile and temporary form of shelter, it eventually became a primarily immobile and permanent form of housing. First used by vacationers, itinerant travelers, and migrant workers, the mobile home gained greater recognition and legitimacy during World War II, when it was used as emergency housing for war workers. In the postwar period, it became a popular form of year-round housing for people on a limited budget. Today, once situated, most mobile homes do not move.

Glider Dealer Sign

During the early years of the mobile home, production was concentrated in the Midwest. In 1942, Illinois ranked fourth among mobile home-producing states, behind California, Indiana, and Michigan. Chicago was the center of Illinois’ mobile home industry. Reflecting the broad manufacturing base of the city and its strength in the areas of metalworking and machinery, the local mobile home industry included two of the largest early producers, Glider Trailer Company and Indian Trailer Corporation. Still, the local industry did not survive into the 1960s. The high cost of labor and factory space in Chicago and difficulties transporting the ever-larger mobile home units through the area compelled manufacturers to locate in other parts of the country.


Originally, they called their trailers “Handy Homes”

No. 17 Model – two complete rooms actually separated from each other. This handy home has a 6 foot 3 inch ceiling. Sleeps four. Loads of carrying space and an open fireplace. $395


Glider is a 1947, Model 35

From the TCT Classifieds: 1949 Glider: This is a single axle 20′ Glider Travel Trailer. She looks and feels like a 1940s Pullman Car. It was previously restored by Vintage-Vacations and was sitting in a garage for three years till I bought it last year. It is in better then showroom condition. Sleeps four, has new vintage looking awning. ( no bathroom.) I up graded the trailer with a 12 volt electrical system for dry camping.

1930’s Advertisement

It was a beautiful day at Camp Dearborn today as we attended the fall rally open house. I took a number of photos so I thought I’d start sharing them on the Featured page. This stunning 1949 Glider is owned by Tin Can Tourist members; Keith and Jane Kesler.

I can see why this one was has a manufacture name as a “Glider”. It’s exterior appearance is sleek looking, as if it just glides along the highway.


The wood work is absolutely gorgeous! You step into this trailer and it feels so warm and yet so spacious.


It has a very nicely appointed kitchen with plenty of counter space on each side of the sink.


I also loved the bedroom. While little trailers have my heart, there is something to be said about having a completely separate bedroom area.


Interior of this fully restored 1950s Glider puts modern campers to shame

Reminiscing about the 1950s conjures the taste of strawberry milkshakes, the shape of poodle skirts, and the sound of Elvis. But perhaps one of the strongest memories of the 1950s is the whizzing by of the American landscape. According to travel blogger Nomadic Matt, the advent of the highway system in the 1950s led to the rise in the phenomenon known as the great American road trip. From there, the mobile home was popularized.
While road trips are still essential to the American experience, the right vehicle makes all the difference. And neither minivans nor Mini Coopers offer an authentic experience.
The Facebook page for Vintage Camper Trailers posted pictures of a 1950 Glider renovated to be the perfect road trip trailer.
The Tin Can Tourists Wiki explains Glider Trailer Co. built some of the first mobile homes. Named Handy Homes, the motto for the Chicago-based company was “Gives you comfort and distinction.” A plan of the No. 17 model shows the trailers had two rooms with two double beds, capable of sleeping up to four people. The Gilder even included a fireplace and gun closet.
The Vintage Camper Trailers website shows photographs of the 1950 Glider before it was restored. The trailer was completely trashed and rusted when Will Ward found it.
Those looking for a taste of the vintage trailer camping experience can rent a 1960s camper parked in the backyard of a Nashville, Tenn., home. The Airbnb advertisement for the 1962 Shasta camper says the 100-square-foot camper has been remodeled to be as spacious as possible. Photographs show an interior of white wood and tasteful decorations with color accents. Other vintage vehicles available for rent on Airbnb include an Airstream trailer, now parked in Malibu, Calif.; a 1954 trailer parked inside a loft in the Arts District of Los Angeles; and a colorful, vintage caravan named The Muffin Mansion in Oakland.
According to Facebook, the Glider trailer was found by Ward in a desolate area of Nevada. Ward restored the trailer, complete with details like wood paneling and midcentury clocks.
Vintage trailers, complete with necessities like beds, stoves, and toilets are the ultimate “glamping” experience.
The trailer is now outfitted with enough sleeping space to accommodate parents and their two children.
A comfy sofa ensures a smooth ride.
The shower may be tight, but at least you’ll be clean on your wild ventures.