The RV Insider

Earlton RV: Home to the Ontario’s Only Boler Trailer Factory

August 1, 2021
Boler-Factory

Our story began in 1976 when our site was home to the only and one Boler trailer factory in Ontario. The factory was named Earlton Manufacturing Company.

Between 1976 and 1982, Earlton Manufacturing built over 2,300 Boler trailers that were sold through 51 dealerships in Canada and the United States.

The Boler is an iconic travel trailer invented and built by Ray Olecko – a born and raised Albertan. Its design was a simple and lightweight family trailer offering a cozy and comfortable inside that included a stove, fridge and sink with hand pump. It could sleep four people by lowering the rear dinette table between the seats to create a double bed, and the front gaucho converted into bunk beds.

The original Canadian-built Boler molded fiberglass trailer was introduced in 1968 in Winnipeg, Man. where the first Canadian boler trailer factory originated.

Why Earlton?

The Boler trailer adventure in Earlton began in 1961 when a group of Ontario farmers and businessmen gathered to discuss ways of developing and improving the town’s economy. A total of 27 men from this group pledged to contribute $20 each per month for a total of $3,000.

The Earlton Development Corporation was then founded. Over the next 10 years, these men built homes, a bowling alley, a dance hall, a supermarket, a branch for the Bank of Nova Scotia and even extended the water service to 100 homes in Earlton. The Corporation also formed and invested in the Northern Milk Transportation Company that went on to become the largest in North America at the time.

Fast forward to 1971, when Laurent Bélanger – the manager of the Corporation – formed the Earlton Manufacturing Company with the Corporation as its major shareholder. That is when Bélanger approached Ray Olecko to acquire the Boler franchise for Eastern Canada and the Eastern United States.

On top of the Boler trailers, the company also built a line of recreational vehicles, truck camper tops, swimming pools and truck caps. The Boler frames were contracted out to a small steel fabrication company called NORAC located in Earlton that is still operating today only under a different name.

Unfortunately, high interest rates combined with a general decline in the recreational vehicle industry forced Earlton Manufacturing to close its doors in 1982.

Still Here

Earlton Manufacturing Corporation eventually became Earlton Camping under the Bélanger family and then Earlton RV, which is now owned and operated by Richard Taché.

In 2020, Earlton RV expanded further across Northern Ontario with the creation of Timmins RV and Kapuskasing RV.

The Bélanger family and former employees of the Boler factory gathered for the first time in 2001 during the Ontario Bolerama, and did so once again in 2020.

Learn more about the Boler trailer history in Ontario and Canada.

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August 1, 2021