Local Boise Sites
El Dorado Motorhomes (This site maintained by a former employee of Honorbuilt Industries, the dates are close recalling from my memory).
History: El Dorado Motor Coach has a history dating back to 1950's founded and created by Donald Hamel and his father and brother. The name of the trailers were called Romer Trailers and the original Honorbuilt Industries, but due to legal issues the name ElDorado. ElDorado originally started in Lakewood, CA. The company was sold sometime in 1968. (I believe the buyer at that time was Robert Stewart of which then created/moved to the plant in Minneapolis, KS where El Dorado grew to several areas of manufacturing in the 1980's from the Class "A" production facility, Class "C" production, and the transit bus division (which is now owned by Thor Industries (main plant located in Salina, KS)). In late 1988, El Dorado (EMC) filed bankruptcy, and the plant eventually closed in 1989. A new group of investors bought the assets from the bankruptcy sale and formed a new company (Honorbuilt Industries) and re-opened the plant in Minneapolis, Kansas, and began producing Class "C" and Class "A" motorhomes, and Class "B" Vans. Production was slow in starting while establishing new dealers. Most of the fiberglass molds came from the sale of ElDorado Motor Corporation.
(Thanks to Deborah Hamel Cornell for filling in some of the blanks)
Honorbuilt Industries developed new products and distributed through Bass Pro Shops of Springfield, MO called the Outdoor Inn. The company was still growing but still having financial trouble and production personnel was difficult to find at low cost, and overhead was high. The production facility was out-dated but was somewhat efficient, but sales were difficult. The competition had better availability of materials and was buying at much bigger volume. Service and warranty costs were about average or a little lower than average within the industry, but the name recognition just wasn't there like it used to be with the former company. Pricing was an issue as it always is within this competitive industry. Honorbuilt took on projects for special coaches for Medical Coaches, The Federal Government, and others. This was not enough.
In 1996 Honorbuilt Industries was sold to SMC Corporation, known for products such as Safari Motor Coach, and Beaver Motor Coach located in Oregon. SMC re-tooled the production facility to make it more efficient. Again the problem being is freight for raw materials was much higher and made the actual cost of the coaches slightly more expensive than some of it's competitors. About 13 months of the plant operating in Kansas, SMC Corporation decided to move the El Dorado Coach manufacturing to Burns, Oregon to keep the production closer to its other production facilities. This left the Kansas facility vacant, however SMC decided to make the Kansas facility into a central service center. This worked for awhile, but wasn't showing substantial growth, so they decided to close and sell the facility for a loss. Production continued for awhile longer of the El Dorado name until SMC Corporation decided to redefine the Class "C" coach changed the look and began building the coach with an SMC name. The El Dorado name at that time now ceased to exist. Monoco Coach Corporation purchased SMC Corporation later, and currently is building the Safari, and Beaver brand motorhomes. What they have done with the El Dorado name is unknown to me at this time.
EL Dorado Today: El Dorado the name and the company do not exist in the recreational vehicle industry today, however to date there are several owners of El Dorado Motorhomes and Pickup Campers, and Class "C" Mini Motorhomes across the U.S., Canada and Europe, and Japan.
I was one of the individuals that went through and experienced the changes of the companies. I personally have custom built, and re-built several El Dorado coaches, from the Starfire, Renaissance, Encore, Outdoor Inn, and El Dorado, at the plant service facility. Most of my knowledge is still with me (in my head) of how the units were produced. As for parts for the coaches they are few and far between however I may be able to get my hands on some things.
As a service to owners of El Dorado coaches I will post a message board on this web site (coming soon), and provide as much information as I can. I spent a lot of years with the company in several different capacities, and I believed in the products that we were producing. Maybe someday we can bring back the El Dorado Name and produce a quality product again, anything is possible. I personally would like to find a Starfire (shell if possible (cheap or for nearly nothing) so that I can reproduce a luxury coach for my use).
Until I get some of the pictures scanned of the ones I have, here are a few pictures that I have found on the web from owners. I invite your pictures of your coaches.
ElDorado/Starfire Owners Manual are now available, Honorbuilt Manual is also now available.
Once payment is received you will receive an email (within 1 business day) to your registered paypal account with the direct link to the pages for access to the entire catalog of drawings that are available. Please book mark the link that is sent to you for further use. Thank you for your support in continuing to keep this portion of this web site available.
email for other information to firstname.lastname@example.org Back to Main Page
For those who have never seen me, I'm the one on the left, this picture was taken for the March 1999 issue, where at Kit Manufacturing I was the service manager for nearly 3 years.
I am considering with my previous experience in the RV industry as a separate business and project, offering my service in refurbishing and repairing ElDorado Motorhomes. If you are interested in me providing this service please email me at email@example.com
Send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with
questions or comments about this web site.