Robert ‘Boots’ Ingram Left Industry Legacy
September 24, 2010
Filed under Trailer News
Teton Homes Corp. founder Robert “Boots” Ingram passed away Thursday
(September 23) after a courageous battle with heart, kidney and
Ingram, 80, was a member of — and major benefactor to — the RV/MH
Heritage Foundation Inc.’s RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Indiana.
Ingram, best known as the founder in 1966 of Mills, Wyoming-based
Teton Homes, a high-line towable manufacturer that went out of business
two years ago under the ownership of a Boston-based investment firm, was
a member of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) for 33
years, having served six years on its board of directors. He also was
active in the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) throughout
the 1970s and ’80s.
Ingram — who earned his nickname as a child, wearing oversized
boots while working in his father’s meat shop — was a graduate of
Elkhart High School. He attended Depauw University before setting his
sights on the RV industry, founding Strato Track, a manufacturer of
sliding-door tracks for motorhomes, in 1954. He went on to found Teton,
which eventually settled in Wyoming in 1967.
Ingram’s Teton, specializing in luxury fifth-wheels with tasteful
interiors, was viewed as an industry innovator and was one of the first
to install EPDM roof membranes. Teton in 1990 developed the first full
electronic slideout room in the 15- to 18-foot range, more than doubling
the 8-foot-long slideouts then in use. Teton also is credited with
designing the first rear-bay-window concept utilizing a five-window
Ingram, whose son, Tony, had purchased the company from his father
and is himself a Hall of Fame inductee, also owned and developed
industrial, residential and business parks and built modular community
correction facilities in South Dakota and Wyoming.
A staunch supporter of the RV industry, Ingram, again, was a major
promoter and benefactor of the RV/MH Hall of Fame, financing the $1.5
million, 20,000-square-foot “Boots” & Betty Ingram Hall addition
that currently houses the David Woodworth collection of pre-World War II
Ingram was inducted into the RV/MH Hall of Fame in 2003 and in
2008 received the second annual “RV/MH Hall of Fame” award for his
leadership and support of the Hall’s programs and development. More
recently, Ingram was also known as a key supporter of the Go RVing
campaign, which encourages people to get out in the great outdoors and
enjoy the lifestyle that he loved so much.
Ingram was active in the Presbyterian Church, and was also a
member of the Elkhart 425 Elks Club for more than 50 years. He is
survived by Betty, his wife of 62 years, five children, 17 grandchildren
and seven great grandchildren.