Bob Kropf, former owner of Goshen, Ind.-based recreational park trailer builder Kropf Industries Inc., passed away Tuesday (July 10) following a long bout with cancer. He was 72.
Kropf, who helped found the Recreational Park Trailer Industry Association (RPTIA), is largely credited for spearheading the development of the industry. He served as president of RPTIA for nine years and was recently named as chairman emeritus for the association.
Kropf entered the manufacturing sector in 1948, working for the manufactured housing company his father founded. Not long after Kropf finished high school, he moved into sales and management.
After serving in an active role in the manufactured housing industry, Kropf began focusing on park models during the gasoline crisis of the mid-1970s, marketing a new and more spacious kind of RV product that didn’t have to be towed.
In 1993, Kropf and other park trailer manufacturers joined forces to form Newnan, Ga.-based RPTIA, which worked with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to develop national standards for recreational park trailers.
Kropf Industries is currently owned and operated by Kropf’s son, Don, and his son-in-law, Curt Yoder. Bob Kropf served as a consultant for the company.
Kropf is survived by his wife, Dorothy, son, Don, and three daughters, Rose Ann Whirledge, Bobbie Wogoman and Sheri Yoder, along with numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.