Believe it or not, recreational vehicles (RVs) have been around for well over 100 years - almost as long as the automobile. In that time RVs have come a long way; from motorhomes, small R-Pod trailers, to luxurious fifth wheel trailers and toy haulers, there is an RV to suit the needs of just about everyone.
Before you hit the road in your own trailer, take a minute to appreciate the intriguing history of the RV in North America.
Before the automobile, covered wagons of all sizes and designs were pretty common, and some say these were the first RVs, or at least inspiration for what would become what we now call a recreational vehicle. In the early 20th century the automobile became popular and widely available; people began modifying automobiles to suit their needs, and it was these customizations that were a step toward true recreational vehicles.
According to the Smithsonian Institution, 1910 was the year the first commercially sold RVs were made available. Finally, the RV was available to the masses. Soon, dozens of other companies had begun producing RVs and the industry soon gained steam and sales grew quickly. The popularity of road trips took off, with families visiting attractions like national parks. Of course, it didn’t hurt that important figures had joined the RV craze, including Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and many others.
“The first RV was Pierce-Arrow’s Touring Landau, which debuted at Madison Square Garden in 1910. The Landau had a back seat that folded into a bed, a chamber pot toilet and a sink that folded down from the back of the seat of the chauffeur, who was connected to his passengers via telephone. Camping trailers made by Los Angeles Trailer Works and Auto-Kamp Trailers also rolled off the assembly line beginning in 1910.” - Smithsonian.com
By the time the 1950s rolled around, RVs were available in a range of shapes and sizes and came with all sorts of comforts that wouldn’t have been available a few years prior. As RVs became more capable and reliable, people were taking longer trips and exploring North America. This includes Charles Kuralt, a correspondent with CBS news in the 1960s. Kuralt’s long running TV show On The Road saw him travelling across and exploring the US in a motorhome. Starting in 1967, the show aired for 25 years and in the time, according to the Smithsonian, Kuralt drove more than a million miles (1,609,344 km).
It was also in 1967 that the now well known Winnebago motorhomes were first mass produced and put up for sale. These affordable RVs made it easy for growing families to take affordable, fun vacations. For a long time RVs were popular among people who could afford them, but that was a limited number of well-to-do people. Now the average person could afford and enjoy an RV.
As the ‘70s,’80s,’90s, and early 2000s came and went, RVs continued to develop and progress along with technology. Just like a modern computer is capable of doing things that would never have even been imagined 20 years ago, modern RVs have an incredible amount of features available that make the RV life a dream.
“The evolution of the RV has pretty much followed technology. RVs have always been as comfortable as they can be for the time period.” - Smothsonian.com
There really is an RV for just about everyone. Browse our impressive inventory and find an RV that suits your needs. Contact our team anytime with any questions you may have about RVs - we’re always happy to give friendly advice and guidance.