What Is the Origin of Sunline Coach Travel Trailers?

by Sandra Hosking

Sunline Coach, formerly of Denver, Pennsylvania, began manufacturing truck campers in 1964 and later added high-end, fifth-wheel trailers to its line. The company closed its doors in November 2006.

The Beginning

According to the "Lancaster New Era," Sunline launched in 1964, founded by Lewis Martin and a partner. In the 1970s, John Zimmerman and Wayne Lawrence, Sr., joined the company and became part-owners. The manufacturer originally made campers for truck beds.

The Middle Years

When the oil crisis hit in the 1970s, Sunline started making lighter trailers; the company added luxury models in 1982. During the 2000s, Sunline built four lines of trailers: Solaris Lite, Solaris, Solaris SR and Advancer. The company's products were recognized by the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association and "Consumer Reports."

The End

In 2004, the "Reading Eagle" reported that an investment group--which included Paul Kozloff, John Whitehall, Bruce Cobb, Joe Bucara and former Sunline president Dale Zimmerman--had bought Sunline's assets. Sunline employed 230 people in 2005 but shuttered a year later. During its 40-year history, the company made 70,000 RVs. It filed for Chapter 7 liquidation in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania, on December 6, 2006, with debts of $4.2 million.

About the Author

Sandra Hosking has been a Spokane, Wash.-based journalist since 1997. She is editor of “InSight for Playwrights” and former editor of “Inland NW Homes & Lifestyles.” Her work also has appeared in “Down to Earth,” “AwayFinder,” the “Journal of Business,” the “Coeur d’Alene Press” and the “Midwest Book Review.” Hosking holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Eastern Washington University.