Who is Al Hesselbart

Al Hesselbart is a graduate of Owosso High School in Owosso, Michigan, and Michigan State University after attending Albion College for a couple of years. Following college, he has had multiple careers; in Law Enforcement where, in addition to patrol work, he was on the faculty of a police academy, as a field worker and camp director for the Boy Scouts of America where he taught camp leaders as a member of their National Camp School faculty, in retail auto sales, construction material sales, and finally as a historian and speaker in the RV and manufactured housing industry. For several years he was a substitute teacher in the local school system somewhat specializing in secondary special education classes. He has three grown children and 5 grandchildren.

For 20 years, Al led the growth and development of the museum and library at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Indiana. He is now retired living as a full time RVer in his 1978 Newell Coach based in Florida

He has appeared or worked as an RV historian in documentaries about RV history on Home and Garden, Travel, History and Discovery cable channels in the US, on History TV and CBC in Canada, and on National Public Radio. He has been a frequent visitor to RVTV on the Outdoor channel and now on R & R channel on Direct TV and to RVNewsNet. He has worked with Belgian National TV, Voice of America digital TV, the BBC and other international media.

Having been recognized as the country's leading storyteller on RV history subjects, Al has presented seminars at RV shows and rallies for FMCA, Good Sam Club, Escapees, FCRV, Camper Club of America and at dozens of manufacturer club and private group events from coast to coast. He has provided antique unit displays at major retail shows throughout the country.

Al was appointed to the faculty of the nationally recognized "Life on Wheels" schools and taught RV history at programs at the University of Idaho, Western Kentucky University, and Harrisburg College in Pennsylvania and is now a presenter on its successor RV Lifestyle Conferences.


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Al travels to many rallies and shows in his vintage 1978 Newell Coach.


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As an active member and historical resource for the Tin Can Tourists, an international club of vintage trailer enthusiasts, he was honored to be the 2007 inductee into their vintage trailer Hall of Fame.


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In March of 2010, Al was honored to be invited to Hangzhou, China, by Chinese RV consumer organizations to address RV industry leaders, members of the Provincial Government and Chinese print and TV media on the evolution of the RV lifestyle and its effect on the American culture. He was one of only four representives of the international RV industry to be invited as guests of the Chinese government and the Chinese RV industry to help promote the rise of an RV lifestyle in China. in 2012 Al was again honored to be invited to address the 1st National China RV Rally at the Xiedao Resort In Beijing September 14-16.


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He has written dozens of articles for RV trade and consumer publications and published "The Dumb Things Sold...Just Like That" a popular history of the RV industry featuring short biographies of many of the early pioneers. He has been quoted as an authority on industry history in dozens of newspapers including the New York Times, USA Today and the National Post in Canada.

 

 


RV History Programs
Al Hesselbart
9683 CR 671
Bushnell, FL 33513
Phone: 574-361-7061   
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