All about Chinook
Chinook had been one of the top names in motorhomes since its debut as Mair & Son, Inc. back in 1938. However, it was not until the early 1950s that mass produced motorhomes started hitting the road, only proving that Chinook RV has consistently been an innovative leader in the motorhome industry, which stayed true throughout the years. With the incorporation of fiberglass, Chinook was able to be one of the first companies to create a sleek and aerodynamic design; making Chinook one of the most sought after brands.
Due to Chinook’s early success, they began to further their use of fiberglass throughout the overall construction process. In 1971, the first one-piece all fiberglass shell had been successfully developed and this sleek body style revolutionized the entire RV industry and had customers trading in their boxy, gas guzzlers for the beautiful aerodynamic design.
Chinook’s unparalleled innovation set a tone in the market as the best brand in the nation for decades. However, no one stays at the top forever. The Great Recession in America hit hard and Chinook RV was forced to end production in 2005. By the following year, the doors were officially closed.
In a phone conversation in February 2011 with Chinook’s then owner Gary Lukehart, he stated the original manufacturing jigs and equipment were being kept in storage on his ranch in Yakima, “until a time when the economy may improve and someone may decide to make an investment to bring Chinook back.” Luckily, his patience paid off when he received a call from a man in Las Vegas. The online community of Chinook owners felt the ground shake as news broke that the rebirth of the brand was in progress. Phil Rizzio, the owner of several large U.S. dealerships, purchased most everything from Lukehart and took over the process of resurrecting the brand in 2013. After three years of hard work and dedication, the Chinook RV legacy was reborn.