To be the preeminent global provider for high-reliability precision-engineered environmental control units.
In the late 1980’s, all across the U.S., “computer rooms” began to emerge in commercial buildings. Invariably, these rooms, filled with heat-producing yet heat-sensitive equipment, were located deep within buildings' interior walls. The buildings' central air systems were not sufficient to handle the extra heat load. Fans and “spot coolers” were brought in. They just circulated the hot air which only exacerbated the problem.
Jack L. Stiles, my dad and founder of Air Rover, Inc., saw a need for “true” supplemental air conditioning to be “rolled in” to solve the problem. The “Air Rover” portable air conditioning unit was born.
When Jack set out to create a line of portable air conditioners in a variety of sizes, he wanted to locate the company right here in his hometown of Tyler, Texas. He was told, “No one manufactures in the U.S. anymore. You can make A.C. units cheaper out of plastic in China.” But Jack wasn’t having any of that! People in this area of east Texas needed work and Jack knew the work ethic of the people here. He and my family never regretted this decision.
So, for 30 plus years, the Air Rover team has made more than specialized air conditioning products, it’s made a contribution to this community and to our country.
Today, Air Rover portable air conditioning units and military-grade environmental control units (ECUs) can be found all over the world. We are proud to manufacture in the United States and equally proud to call Tyler, Texas our home.
Air Rover, Inc. is a certified Woman-Owned Small Business. Frances (“Fran”) Stiles has led the company since the death of her husband, Jack Stiles, in 2004.
Since that time, Fran has continued to build on the company’s mission to manufacture a premium line of portable environmental control systems for a “Who’s Who” list of defense and commercial customers. (Click here to view non-exhaustive list of customers.) She has also advanced Air Rover’s custom design capabilities, as customers continue to push the boundaries of where they need mission-critical, temperature-sensitive technology.
Located 90 miles east of Dallas, the Air Rover facility sits adjacent to Interstate 20 between Lindale and Longview, Texas. Air Rover’s property includes a 60,000 plus square foot building with corporate offices, an engineering design and research department, test laboratory, precision sheet metal fabrication center, shipping & receiving docks and more than five acres of undeveloped land for further expansion.
As a DoDAAD (Department of Defense Activity Address) with a unique DoDAAC (Department of Defense Address Code), Air Rover is authorized to directly receive, have custody of, rework, store and ship DoD assets.
Air Rover’s original building was part of a World War II military training facility called Camp Fannin. Therefore, in a way, the facility is still be used in service to our great country – as it is where Air Rover military environmental control units (ECUs) are manufactured. These ECUs keep mission-essential equipment of the U.S. Armed Forces performing its best in the world’s hottest and hostile enviroments.
Making air conditioning better is the family business. Jack Stiles started his career as an HVAC service contractor in Louisiana and Mississippi. He became interested in improving the reliability and serviceability of the packaged air conditioners built in the 1950’s. Jack was all too familiar with how quickly the South’s humidity and heat would soften and rot the wooden frames used to support rooftop equipment. Without timely repair and maintenance, this situation could be quite dangerous! Jack saw an opportunity to improve roof-mounted HVAC applications by using metal-fabricated roof curbs and other metal accessories.
Jack started Stiles Corporation in a small warehouse in Irving, Texas, in 1968, building the first line of metal roof curbs specifically designed for name-brand rooftop air conditioning units. He incorporated the company in 1973. Eventually it produced a full line of metal accessories for U.S. air conditioning manufacturers including Carrier, Day & Night, General Electric, Lennox, Rheem-Ruud, Trane and York.
Functioning as the chief design engineer, Jack developed and manufactured some of the first systemized rooftop accessories – roof curbs, plenums, slide-in economizers and concentric diffusers. Together with Honeywell, he developed an energy management system that controlled multiple rooftop units individually.
According to those who knew him best, Jack was passionate about his work, creating air conditioning products that solved problems or filled an unmet need . . . “the more challenging, the better!”
That spirit continues to this day, in the highly-configurable and custom air conditioning systems built by Air Rover’s team of HVAC specialists.