The Harmon Shadow Trailer Had The Best Design… But What Happened To It?


When I think of a rare RV, the Harmon Shadow Trailer often comes to mind.

This unique fifth wheel-type 70s trailer had an innovative design that was praised for a long time. Harmon Industries did their best to create an outstanding trailer. It was the only one that used a hitch to mount on the roof of a small car.

Here you can see the Shadow Trailer fully mounted and ready to go.

The hitch was an amazing idea. With this hitch, any car could turn a full 360 degrees while still attached to the trailer. That means no more problems when you turn the car around, or when you get out of tight parking spaces. The main dilemma was why didn’t this interesting trailer catch the eyes of the public?

It’s very spacious, easy to handle, and you can take it anywhere you want. Rumor has it that people were concerned about the possible damage the hitch could have on their roof. They were absolutely right, and it was the main reason why this astonishing trailer to faded away.

One Harmon Industries worker said “The roof mounted system caused damage to the rear end of a vehicle so they didn’t last long”
Another RV insider reported that,

I worked in building RV’s for a long time. Three issues that come out of this ‘concept’ as to why you don’t see it now: 1. All car roofs are different, and where an Impala’s roof may have been strong enough to pull it, a Chevelle’s may not have been. 2. Get the trailer stuck, start abusing the car to unstick the trailer, and watch your roof turn into corrugated paper. Probably damages the A-pillars by the windshield, too. 3. Hit a tree, roof mount slides, instant slide-hammer on you.

The company had a great marketing campaign. Here is what the cover of the brochure looked like.

And here is a an advertisement.



So you pay $1700 to $6500 to have your car drilled from above. That doesn’t sound very pleasing, but I am sure that some people loved and purchased the Harmon Shadow Trailer at that time.

You had three interesting choices of this model ranging from 18 to 27 feet in length.

The trailer offered comfort in the form of a king sized bed with a 6” thick foam mattress.



You can still spot a few Shadow Trailers parked next to house and in driveways.

They look amazing, and I can hope they still get to go out for a spin every once in awhile.

It seems likely that the Harmon Shadow Trailer will remain a thing of the past. Maybe in the near future someone else will come with an innovative idea that will charm the hearts of RVers around the world.

You can see a short presentation of the vehicle from the Let’s Make a Deal Show in this next video. 


The design of the Harmon Shadow Trailer was great, but the company failed at delivering a safe product. The few people (and Harmon employees) that were captivated by it, complained about problems with the hitch. If you bought this great trailer I hope it didn’t scratch the surface of your rooftop. What do you think of this design concept? Should it stay in the past or do you wish someone would develop a modern version of the Harmon Shadow Trailer?

Via: Do It Yourself RV

What do you think?

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