September 19, 1941 gave birth to The Michigan Trailer Coach Dealer Association, Inc. It was the first state or regional association on record with continuous activity.
F.W. McKenny was the first director and was instrumental in the passage of the Michigan Trailer Coach Park Act in 1939. This is believed to be the first state wide legislation in the country regulating trailer parks. It was designed to replace all municipal laws and ordinances affecting parks. Other states used this as a model for similar legislation. In addition, McKenny was active in representing the Trailer Coach Dealers National Association during World War II. He moved his office to Washington, D.C. and in doing so took the Michigan Association office with him. In 1946 the association office was returned to Michigan and located in East Lansing. The name was then changed to the Michigan Trailer Coach Association.
In 1948, the members concerned with the operation of trailer parks formed a separate group, the Michigan Trailer Park Operators Association, Inc. This organization continued to represent the interests of the park owners until it again combined with the Michigan Mobile Home Association in 1966.
By 1956, the Michigan Trailer Coach Association had changed its name to the Michigan Mobile Home Association. Ben Hennink served as executive director for several years while the office was in East Lansing. In 1960 the association moved its office to Detroit. Its name was changed to the Michigan Mobile Home and Recreation Vehicle Institute in 1969. The Association purchased a headquarters building in the late sixties in Livonia. In 1984 the association incorporated manufactured housing into its name instead of mobile home. It still stands today, as the Michigan Manufactured Housing RV & Campground Association. In 1990 the association offices were moved back to the roots of its origin, Okemos, a suburb of East Lansing.
In 1960, Charles Snyder became executive director. He was followed by Haven La Bohn, Daniel Dowsett, Donald Rokos and Robert Pelkey. Timothy J. DeWitt became executive director in 1977 and served for 40 years until June 2016. William Sheffer is the current association executive director.
During the 80-year life of this association, it has had an extensive program for its members which undoubtedly accounts for its longevity. In addition to the executive directors there has always been an active and changing group of elected officers. Separate divisions of the association have a board and directors who work for the interests of manufactured housing dealers, communities, recreation vehicle dealers and campgrounds.
The Association’s legislative work has been helped by a lobbyist and active members. In 1977 the Michigan Mobile Home Commission was created as a state agency as a result of input from the association. Michigan consumers are also treated by the association to six separate recreation vehicle and camper shows around the state.
The Tim DeWitt HARVEST Education Foundation is 501(c)(3) nonprofit education foundation created by the Michigan Manufactured Housing Association and the Recreation Vehicle & Campground Association in 1991. The Foundation has awarded almost $400,000 in financial aid to more than 650 students.