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Schiebout Little Gem Vintage Trailers

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1964 Ad:

 

1958 - 1963 Specs:

Please note the run of serial numbers in the above specs sheet.  They are very helpful if you know your serial number, but not the year your trailer was built.  This sheet shows 1958 serial numbers run from 3250 to 4000.  Year 1959 from 4000 to 4400, and so on. 

I've become fascinated with these unique Little Gem trailers.  Some of the "unique" features found on many Little Gems are the exterior contour touches, the crank out door windows,"stow-away" beds on the smaller units and "rounded" corners on the newer units.  On my quest to find more information, I found very little online.  Little Gems are not nearly as commonly seen as many other vintage trailer makes and models. 

Herman Schiebout began building trailers in 1941 and started Schiebout Mfg. Co. in 1947.  Schiebout was a very popular Trailer Company in Michigan.  This Company started out as Schiebout Little Gems in Grand Rapids, MI.   He Incorporated in 1966 and Schiebout Mfg.Co became Gem Industries Inc.    I have read they were in business until the mid-70s.  "Schiebout built very good units and was a small family run business. Their trailers were hand assembled and family members inspected each unit before letting it out."

Some Little Gem examples:

Pictured below is a early 60s Little Gem, 14',   Serial #4920.   Nice smaller trailer with the "Little Gem" contour details.  This trailer also has a great floorplan with both a dinette and a bed area.

    

    

I found the following photo and information in a Vintage Trailer Magazine someone sent me:

1963 Schiebout Mfg. Co.

Model

Length with Towbar

Length without towbar

Interior Height

Exterior Width

Weight

Cost

Little Gem 14

14'

11'

6'2"

7'

1170

$1050.00

Little Gem 17

17'

14'

6'4"

7'

2100

$1395.00

Little Gem 19

19'

16'

6'4"

8'

2750

$1695.00

All three models use 15" tires, Marvel Hitch, undercoated,

14' model, leaf Springs, 17' and 19' - Dexter springs;axles. 

Electric brakes standard on both 17' and 19'. 

Icebox only in both the 14' and 17'.  Only the 19' came with an oven.

Interior finish, paint. 

Here is a 1962 Little Gem, same model, that has been restored.  Serial #5138, 7' wide, Cabin, 11' long, with hitch - 14', weight of 1170.  This one utilizes the "Stow-away" bed with the table attached underneath.  This table/bed combination is another unique feature built into many of the smaller Little Gem models.  The table is attached to the underneath side of the bed with hinges and folds away when the bed is brought down into position.

   

A 1966 Gem Industries ad and trailer plate:

 

My favorites are the very small units.  The first 35 of these units were built in 1963, the year of this model:

Within a couple of years, these small units, though still considered 12', have a bit more contours.  They are also now called the "Bugg" model by Schiebout.  Here is a 1966 Little Gem "Bugg" #7590

    

1965 Little Gem #7500, 10' long (with hitch, 13') by 7' wide.  according to the title, it weighs 995 lbs

 

Other Little Gems Examples:

1958 16'? Schiebout Little Gem:

1961 17' Schiebout Little Gem: 

1963 20' Little Gem

1966 17' Little Gem Tel-Star:

 

Please contact me, Bev, if you have any information at all concerning Little Gems to share:  EMAIL

May 17th, 2008:  I found our our 1965 Little Gem today.  We drove 400 miles round trip to get it.  It is the small "Bugg" model.   Weight, 1000 pounds.   We were very lucky in the fact that most of the original interior is intact, which include the stow-away bed/table and a built in toilet that pulls out from one of the interior benches.

 

See  more photos here:  http://picasaweb.google.com/willowcb/BevS1965LittleGem

Sadly, our Little Gem has water damage and also needs chassis repairs.  I will be tearing our Little Gem down to the ground for a complete restoration.  Read along as we get started on renovations here:  http://littlegemrenovate.blogspot.com/

Two helpful reference files I have put together for folks.  This one is direction on the Murphy Bed if yours is missing.  Murphy Bed

The other is for the built-in Porta-John

I've started a Yahoogroup for owners to share Little Gem information.  Though there is little information on these trailers, we have already come up with quite a bit more than when we started.   Jaynie has added some great materials, such as original appliance manuals, etc.  Check out the files section for materials and please add what you can for others.

Click here to join Littlegemtrailers
Click to join Littlegemtrailers
 
If you would rather not join the Yahoogroup, but have little Gem materials or photos you would like to share with me for others, please email me HERE.  Any information would be very much appreciated.  
Also, many thanks to Juergen Eichermueller and  Herman Schiebout for their help and information.
 

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