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A Brief History of RVs

An old RVToday’s recreational vehicles are truly luxury homes on wheels, with options for pretty much every amenity a person could want. But they haven’t always been that way. Here’s a quick look at recreational vehicles, from their inception to present.

The First RVs

If you look past the automobile, the first recreational vehicle was simply a wagon that was designed for travel and sleeping. These first showed up in France around the turn of the 18th century and were used more for practical purposes than easy vacations.

When wagons came to America, the covered wagon was the iconic symbol of western expansion and the life of a pioneer. Again these wagons were designed for pure efficiency and function; there were no water beds or satellite televisions. They were the difference between life and death on the open prairie.

The recreational vehicle as we know it came about shortly after the invention of the automobile. Wise people found that while a car was great, a car you could sleep in was greater. These early creations were dubbed, fittingly enough, ‘House Trailers’. One of the earliest manufacturers, Airstream, is still doing business today!

One of the most iconic RVs, the Volkswagen Camper, debuted in 1951. This was the ancestor to today’s immense RVs, some large enough to store a VW camper inside!

From humble beginnings as creaky wooden wagons to the luxury liners speeding down the highways today, the recreational vehicle has always provided that missing element in travel: home.

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