Michigan-based Xplorer Motor Homes division of Frank Industries Inc. – a manufacturer of high-end van campers and minimotorhomes with roots going back to the early days of RV manufacturing – has ceased production and is attempting to sell its plant in Brown City.
“They are in the process of looking to sell the business,” said Clint Holmes, city manager of Brown City, Mich., an east-central Michigan community of about 1,300 residents that bills itself as the “Birth Place of the Motor Home.”
“I’m told that their building will be leased on the first of April,” Holmes said. “The company is still in business, but they are not manufacturing motorhomes.”
Repeated efforts to contact company officials were unsuccessful.
Xplorer was founded by industry pioneer Ray Frank as Frank Motor Home Corp. in 1958 when motorhomes were still called “house cars.”
The company’s name was later changed to Travco Corp., and in 1979 was sold to Foretravel Inc., Nacogdoches, Texas. That same year, Frank founded Frank Industries Inc.
In 1995, Ray Frank’s son, Ron, sold controlling interest in Frank Industries Inc., dba Xplorer Motor Homes, to Joe Murray, the company’s national sales manager at the time, and David Bockstanz, a Michigan Chrysler dealer.
Most recently, Xplorer was producing the Xcursion van camper, based on the imported Mercedes Benz Sprinter commercial van, and an Xtreme “chassis mount” minimotorhome on a Dodge or Ford cutaway chassis in a 42,000-square-foot factory in Brown City.
Over the years, most of the company’s products have been Class B motorhomes, but it also experimented with Class A motorhomes, which it manufactured for a short time in the mid-1990s.