The Streamline Royal Rovers of the '90's hardly resembles the Streamline Royal Rovers of the early '60's, when the travel club was formed. At that time, the Club had a sponsor -- The Streamline Trailer Company. It was a national organization with no chapters, and with Johnny Johnston as its national wagonmaster. Being a Company sponsored club, it was closed to all but those owning Streamline products (Streamline briefly made a motorhome, in addition to its trailer line, which it later sold out to an Oklahoma company). The basic activity of the Club in those days was caravans to our neighboring countries, as well as the United States. The Streamline Trailer Company had factories in California and Indiana, and Royal Rover Headquarters alternated between the two places at intervals. Our latest directory bears the names of just twelve members who are considered charter members of the Club. While still a Company sponsored club, it was opened to other brands of recreational vehicles for a short period, but became a strictly Streamline organization again, very soon.
The Royal Rovers continued to grow, and in the 1972-73 period had about 1,450 members in the United States and Canada; twenty-one chapters formed and Streamline had forty-three dealers throughout the United States. The Streamline Trailer Company built a spanking new factory in Chino, California and sold out to the giant (at that time) Guerdon Industries. Then, a big break came for Guerdon--the gas crunch hit, and they saw a chance for a huge tax write-off. They closed down Streamline Trailer Company, along with some of their other trailer and R.V. company acquisitions. Some of our loyal Royal Rover members tried to form a group to purchase the rights to manufacture the Streamline, but negotiations fell through, and we became an unsponsored group, once again open to all brands of self-contained R.V.'s.
In the meantime, the Streamline Royal Rovers became "Streamline Royal Rovers International, Inc.", an Indiana Corporation. The first International Rally was held July 27, to August 6, 1973 in Whitby, Ontario, Canada, at a gorgeous civic center type location right on the shores of Lake Ontario. The Streamline Trailer Company furnished the electric and water hook-ups, which were still in use when our Tenth International Rally was held there in 1982, and which were just removed within the past few years. Dr. Kenneth "Doc" Hobbs was elected first International President, to serve for a period of two years. Incidentally, he has been our only Canadian president.
The original International Constitution and By-laws were revised in 1974, after the Club became unsponsored, and again in 1975. They remain the same today, and are printed in every year's directory, for all members to familiarize themselves with. They have been supplemented, through the years, by Directives, implemented by the nine members of the Board of Directors; these also currently being printed in the directory.
There was a time, back during this period, when members of the Florida Chapter found a piece of land, and were trying to build a trailer park in which Streamline Royal Rovers could buy stock. Royal Rover members would have first choice for lot reservations, but the park was to be open to others, on a space available basis. This was in an area near Fort Myers, and sounded promising, but there was a plot right in the middle of this acreage that didn't have a clear title. Another project didn't materialize for us.
The "you're on your own" idea scared a good many members, and by the 1975-76 era, we were about half the size of the Royal Rovers of three years previous. We lost three chapters during this time--the Blue Angels of Lubbock, the Illinois Chapter and the Redwood Chapter of Northern California, still maintaining the Arizona, Canadian, Columbia, Florida, Houston, Hub City Wheels of Lubbock, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Lone Star, Michigan, Sun Fun of Southern California, Mount Hood, Mount Rainier, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma and Rocky Rovers of Colorado Chapters. The following year, the Hub City Wheels of Lubbock disbanded, bringing us to seventeen chapters. The next year came the loss of the Mount Hood Chapter of Oregon, but we gained the Alamo Rovers, keeping our seventeen chapter status! In the period 1978-79, the Michigan Chapter fell by the wayside. The following year we lost the Columbia Chapter of Washington. We maintained the status quo in chapters for a couple years, then lost Ohio during the 1982-83 period. Then, the old Florida Chapter decided to discontinue operation, as they were no longer able to get members who were willing to serve as officers. They could only stand it a couple years, then returned to the fold! The 1986-87 year brought the disbanding of the Minnesota Chapter. In 1991, the Canadian Chapter dissolved, bringing us to our current twelve chapters. Keep in mind, our Canadian members did not leave us; they just currently do not have a chapter. Thus, we're still "International" in scope.
At their meeting just prior to the official start of the 1981 International Rally at Storm Lake, Iowa, the Board of Directors adopted Directive No. 12, which delineated our three regional boundaries as they remain today.
Since about 1987, the Streamline Royal flowers International membership has stayed in the 325 to 350 range, losing some members to age and attrition, but gaining new members, to take up the slack. Nowadays, we travel in a wide array of self-contained R.V. 's from small campers to large motorhomes, but we're all equal in fun, friendship and congeniality! Some of our chapters hold meetings once a month, throughout the year; some disband for the hot or cold weather, depending on the area; some only meet twice a year; some only get together for a meal at a restaurant. Whatever the chapter arrangement, we all make an effort to get to the once-a-year International Rally, where we can see old friends from all over, meet new ones, and where our Officers and Board of Directors conduct most of the business for the Organization for the year. We really are a great group!
Incidentally, a note of interest to Texas members, through the 1992-93 year, of the nineteen International Presidents, four have been from Texas; one from Lone Star Chapter, and three from Houston Chapter. We have also had two pairs of Secretary-Treasurers, one from Lone Star Chapter, and one from Houston Chapter, as International officers.