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Walter King is known as the father of the pickup camper. He helped to popularize pickup campers with the innovations he developed. Chief among them were the first cab-over camper and the first large-scale production line for campers. King, who grew up in Boys Town, Nebraska, journeyed to California in the late 1930s as a young man. It was there that he developed his love of the outdoors. While in California, he designed and built a teardrop trailer. In the fall of 1944, he and a couple of buddies hitched up the tiny trailer to a pickup truck and took off on a hunting expedition to Montana. The trio soon found that cooking outside the trailer and trying to fit three bodies inside during inclement weather was more than a little challenging. At one point, King wondered why they weren’t using the truck as part of their camping accommodations. When King returned to California, he began sketching ideas for a camper that would nestle into a pickup truck’s bed. Materials were in short supply in the latter years of World War II, but when the war ended in August 1945, King was ready to build his camper aided by a finely tuned set of plans he had been working on.<br />
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As materials became available in the first weeks after the war ended, King devoted all the time he could to building his homemade truck camper so it would be ready for elk hunting season that fall. He completed the camper in time, but on this hunting trip King brought along his wife instead of his two buddies. He and his wife could now sleep and cook in comfort, freed from the confines of the teardrop trailer. At one point, the couple encountered a crusty old sheepherder who enquired about their tidy little camper. A conversation and negotiations ensued and soon King found himself in possession of five $100 bills that the sheepherder gave him as a deposit for five campers King agreed to make as soon as he returned to California. <br />
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After returning to California, King hastily set up a modest production line in Torr