History

Starcraft RV: Camping, Pure and Simple

At Starcraft, we’ve been in the business of making camping fun for over 50 years. Based in the heart of northern Indiana’s Amish country, we’ve built our reputation on crafting dependable campers at affordable prices, using the highest quality materials available. Add an unwavering, Amish-inspired attention to detail and time-tested design principles to the mix, and you’ll understand what we mean when we say Starcraft is camping. Pure and simple.

 

HISTORY: From Farm Equipment to Camper Manufacturer

Starcraft began the same year as Ford, Harley Davidson and Teddy Roosevelt.

1903-1991: Starcraft’s roots date back to a year in American history when The Rough Rider was President, Henry Ford assembled the first automobile under his namesake, and Bill Harley and Art Davidson founded HOG heaven. Here are some of the highlights from our storied past.

Historical Highlights:

  • Founded in 1903 as Star Tank Co. of Goshen, IN, manufacturing metal farm equipment.
  • Produced its first rowboat in 1915 and changed name to Star Tank & Boat Company.
  • 1920s to 1950s: Became a national galvanized steel boat maker. Innovated the first aluminum boat. Made its first fiberglass boat in 1956.
  • Became a camper manufacturer in 1964 by introducing three models of tent campers (Starmaster, Starliner and Star Rambler).
  • Changed name to Starcraft Corp. in 1966.
  • Lloyd Bontrager (who later founded Jayco) invented the first lifter mechanism in 1963 and ran operations at Starcraft until 1967.
  • Added “travel trailer manufacturer” to our list of accomplishments in 1968.
  • Starcraft became the first company to manufacture luxury van conversions in 1977.
  • In 1984, Lear Siegler (Learjet) acquired Starcraft.
  • Jayco purchased the RV Division of Starcraft Corp. in 1991.

 

TODAY: A Top RV Manufacturer in Indiana

Our legendary full line of quality Starcraft RVs didn’t just happen overnight.

1992-PRESENT: Well established as a top RV manufacturer in Indiana by the 1990s, today’s Starcraft has expanded product lines, facilities and its workforce throughout North Central Indiana—and its reputable name throughout North America. If you are a dealer, customer or prospective owner, you are experiencing the fruits of a long, successful history. Starcraft continues to focus on our commitment to innovation and leadership as a respected travel trailer and fifth wheel RV manufacturer.

Present-Day Facts:

  • Nearly 55,000 camping trailers produced by early 1990s.
  • 2003: Celebrated 100 years in business!
  • In spring of 2008, launched the popular Autumn Ridge RV brand.
  • Starcraft repositioned itself from a “niche manufacturer” to a “mainstream RV manufacturer” in the fall of 2008.
  • Started an EcoAdvantage environmental campaign in 2012 with a goal to become landfill-free.
  • Established a Two-Year Warranty in 2013.
  • In 2014, Starcraft celebrated 50 years in the RV Industry.
  • Operating facilities located in Topeka, Indiana—the heart of Amish Country. Starcraft’s workforce is still largely made up of old-world craftsmen. Their meticulous attention to detail and workmanship has positioned Starcraft as a quality leader.
  • Now offers a full line of camping trailers, lightweight and full-size travel trailers, and multiple fifth wheel brands.

 

LOOKING FORWARD: Improving the Integrity of our RV Brands

The next generation of RVs will be determined by the company that drives it.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Starcraft company and its RV brands are gaining in reputation and market share. So how will you benefit tomorrow? It’s a safe bet to say that a name dating back over 110 years and a leader in the RV industry for over 50 years will continue to prosper. With leading-edge product innovation and a customer-first-focus,we look forward to seeing where our next journey takes us.

Future Certainties & Goals:

  • Starcraft will always focus on meeting dealers’ and customers’ expectations first. With our long history, we take it personally.
  • Starcraft designers employ the latest in technology. 3D and solid modeling software assist in creating the next generation of sellable, customer-friendly RV brands.
  • A company goal of growing the Starcraft operation and doubling capacity within a decade.
  • The RV market will keep growing as well. It’s about bringing families together and connecting them with the great outdoors – a pastime many generations are coming to love.
  • No other RV company’s name dates back over 110 years! Customers are comfortable with the Starcraft brand, and we aim to build that loyalty with each fifth wheel and travel trailer manufactured.
  • Starcraft’s EcoAdvantage program for sustainability—better ways to build better RVs using fewer or renewable natural resources—means we will do our part to help protect the planet.