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Old 06-05-2013, 01:35 PM   #1
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What was the first legitimate RV?

We were talking the other night, and the topic of RV evolution came up.

Any of you senior members have any insight on when bonafide RV's started showing up?

Mal
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Old 06-05-2013, 01:36 PM   #2
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Depends on what you define as a bonafide RV. There were "housecars" as far back as the 20s, I think. Basically a modified car or truck with a box on the back fitted out with beds etc.
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Old 06-05-2013, 01:41 PM   #3
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Well... Google is a cool thing!!

Commemorating 100 Years of the RV | History & Archaeology | Smithsonian Magazine
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Old 06-05-2013, 01:44 PM   #4
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Oops. I was off by a decade. Oh well.
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Old 06-05-2013, 02:23 PM   #5
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Recreational Vehicle......
A chariot with guy, girl, and wine?
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Old 06-05-2013, 03:17 PM   #6
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A covered wagon making its' way across the USA? The RV museum has some RVs that are very old.
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Old 06-05-2013, 03:36 PM   #7
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Make a trip to the RV Museum sometime

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The oldest exhibit in the museum is the 1913 Earl Travel Trailer (the world's oldest survivor)
RV Museum and Hall of Fame, Elkhart, Indiana
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Old 06-05-2013, 04:26 PM   #8
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Conestoga wagon or similar.
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Old 06-05-2013, 04:30 PM   #9
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My RV sometimes must think it is illegitimate from the names I occasionally call it. Mostly depends on how big a check I have to write!
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Old 06-05-2013, 04:34 PM   #10
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Glenn Curtiss (of aircraft engine fame) invented the 5W trailer in 1927, a commercial refinement of the camping trailers he and Henry Ford had been using for a number of years. Ford and Curtiss were friends and hunting partners. Curtiss designed and built campers for them to use and Ford built specially-modified car in his factory to haul them around. The Curtiss Aerocar was the Newell Coach of its day. Every unit was custom built to the owner's specifications.

If you ever get near Hammondsport NY (central NY Finger Lakes region), make a stop at the Glenn Curtiss Museum - it's a real treat. Not just airplanes - Curtiss was also well known for his bicycles and motorcycles and also dabbled in boats and RVs. The museum also has many period cars, home furnishings, toys and what-all.
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Old 06-05-2013, 05:22 PM   #11
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I guess it is not my 1964 Sears popup, which was only that. It had a serial number of 195.

Bought in 1975 for $175. Used until 1989. The canvas died.

But I turned it into a utility trailer (removed only the canvas and the formed electrical conduit) and used it for tent camping and hauling whatever until 1992.

Sold it to a neighbor for $50 to haul wood. It is still doing that!

Certainly simpler than the first Ford RV
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:38 PM   #12
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Didn't Noah have one? No one said it had to have wheels.
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Old 06-06-2013, 08:49 AM   #13
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At one time, the term RV, as we use it now, was non-existent, and the term Winnebago was used for everything regardless of the manufacturer.

For this reason, I credit Winnebago with being the first mas-produced, and most successful originator of the modern RV movement.


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