History of RVs

History of RVs

People might find it surprising that RVs also known as recreational vehicles are around here since the car normalcy. The evolution of RVs is very astonishing, all thanks to American’s wanderlust and innovative nature. It is interesting to know that RVs have quite a rich history. If you want to dig a bit about how RVs came into existence and what made them look like this, keep reading below.

Gradual Modifications in RVs

The first RVs were manufactured as a single unit in the USA. It had limited capacity and facilities than we have now. RV took its time to be what it is now. Let’s have a look at it in different eras.

Early 1900s

In the early 1900s, the first RV was hand-built on a vehicle. It was customized with an Icebox, radio, and incandescent lights on board. There was space for four adults in the first RV.

RVs were made available commercially by the 1910s. With the frequent availability of vehicles and increasing interest of population in camping and road trips, people usually used trailers and towable attached to the cars for the purpose.

The Great Depression

In 1920, most of the people started living on the road with their RVs, this was not an expedition but a consequence of the great depression. RVs were highly used during this crisis.

First Solid bodied RVs

Solid-bodied RVs came into existence in the 1930s, all thanks to Arthur G. Sherman (a bacteriologist). He built an RV with the help of a local carpenter. He installed proper furniture, windows, and cupboards. He called his masterpiece the “Covered Wagon”. Despite the sturdy price tag of the Covered Wagon, it was still popular.

Aid in World War II

During world war II, RVs were used to aid in the war to transport soldiers to places with their stuff.


RV Example 1: Airstream

The Airstream is very recognizable from its polished aluminum and rounded coachwork. These trailers are manufactured in Jackson Center, Ohio. Airstream trailers were first created in 1929 by Wallace Merle “Wally” Byam. Nowadays the Airstream is becoming more modern and they are still manufacturing them in Jackson Center, Ohio. Byam had it hard for a while because of The Great Depression and WWII, but after the war sales started increasing again.

The upcoming generation helps a lot with making the trailers more modern such as things like: technology and improvements like those. Because of the trailers being built so well, couples and families often still use them today to do things like traveling. This is also a great trailer if you are trying to downsize and live a minimal life, which is very popular with the current generation.

Example 2: GMC Vintage Motorhome

This 23 to 26 foot motorhome was manufactured by the famous General Motors from the years 1973-1978. The location where the assembly was taking place was in Pontiac, Michigan. There were 12,921 GMC Motorhomes produced in the years above. This six-wheeled vehicle allowed so many people to have that creative freedom that they aspired. During this time period the bohemian culture/hippies really loved these vehicles. The sky was the limit during this time because this new mode of transportation really allowed people to roam freely and travel.

General Motors chose a great time to release the GMC Motorhome because the post-war generation was beginning to move into their retirement age. Having a huge population in this age group allowed for the increase in sales. The thought from “General Motors was to build a motorhome that blended the comfort and stylishness of a car with the living features of a “home from home”. This was not to be a “camper on a truck chassis”: this was to be a real motorhome.”

RVs in recent time

RVs have been evolving ever since their idea came into the limelight. Nowadays RVs are loaded with full kitchenettes, rooms, and all the necessities anyone could find in the house. RVs are very much admired by pop musicians.

Pandemic and RVing

With the rise in Covid cases, the global economy was in crisis. With people driven to stay home, many people opted for RVing instead of going on vacations. There was a rise in RV sales by new buyers. People looked to RVs for a better recreational time in isolation. RVs demand has boomed during a pandemic because people wanted to stay on road and have fun rather than caged in houses. This resulted in high demand and lower RV supply. RV dealers are reporting an increase in RV sales (abc7news.com).


It is mindblowing how RVs transformed from gypsyish wagons to fully equipped camping vehicles. People are hitting roads more than ever before in their campers to enjoy road trips yet feeling home. After the pandemic, the demand for this recreational activity has taken road trips to next level. People are choosing RV trips over staying at home. This is a creative way to isolate in pandemic yet having fun!







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