Let’s Go Camping in Style

Welcome to Colleen’s Corner. This is a column meant for fun and some information About myself: I am Colleen Fielding, a Freelance Photographer you often see me on the side of the road  or in various places taking photos of different things animals, birds, places, people etc.  l have lived in Lumby just over 8 years, you have seen my photos in the newspaper (Lumby Valley Times) and once in awhile in the Vernon Morning Star, and the Lumby Art Gallery. Photography is my passion. Disclaimer:  The information on some of my photos that I write about a lot of times come from the Internet or books I research them, hopefully the facts are as close to the truth as I can come.

When I was a kid, we would see this big wonderful machinery going by. I would ask my mom what they were. She would tell me “that they were for rich people to go camping.” I thought “hey, that’s what I want to do.” I would ask my mom if we could get one. The answer was always “no, we are not rich.” If and when we went camping, (which was very, very rare)  it was in a tent. YUCK!

 If I went to a summer camp then I was usually lucky enough to get a cabin (hooray). But still sometimes going to the summer camps I had to tent it. As time passed and I was out on my own, I would go camping with my friends, again it was in a tent. (Double Yuck)

I know some people like to go camping in a tent, but that is just not for me. Give me a cabin or an RV anytime and yup I am happy to go camping. 

Did you know that RV’s were first thought of around 1901? The name ” Motor Home” did not come into effect until 1959. Becoming very popular by around 1910. A motor magazine in 1909 showed a car pulling a trailer, this was equipped with beds, a kitchen with running hot and cold water. Eventually in 1910 instead of pulling a trailer they took a Packard truck which weighed 3 tons, and put a trailer on top of it. This make shift motor home which looked like the something from the Beverly Hillbillies T.V. show was 28 feet long, 61/2 feet wide, slept 11 people, had an icebox, a toilet, and a salon. This mode, and others like it were used up until about 1924. 

In 1915 “the Gypsy Van” was created, this luxury model was built to look like an English Manor house weighing in at a whopping 8 tons. Refrigerators, Kitchenettes, Toilets, Running Water, Showers, and or Bathtubs, Telegraphs, and Electric Lighting were often found in these modernized motor homes.

By the year 1917 the first 5th wheel came along.

In 1923 the Ford company had built the Nomad House on top of the Model TT.

1927 Leonard S Whittier used an old bus chassis to make his RV. This RV contained wicker chairs, a couple of bookcases, a sink, an Eletric stove, and a septic tank.

By the 1930ès Motor Homes were even more popular, from very tiny to very large.

 1936 Glen Curtis an aircraft designer created the Aerocar. This magnificent machine that looked like an airplane slept 4 and could carry a great amount of supply water. 

In 1937 the Teardrop Shaped trailer was born this tiny motor home could only sleep 2.

1938 saw a company build the first 50-foot 5th wheel built from a semi- trailer, this large camper had an observation deck on the back, a wine cellar, electricity, toilets, running water, and everything else.

World War ll, came along, productions on the motor homes stopped as the trailers were needed for other things. Once the War ended production began again.

Howard Hughes, had 8 luxurious RVs built to be used as dressing rooms for his stars. This contain Mahogany walls, full bathrooms, refrigerators, stoves, and even air conditioning.

 1942 the US Military bought thousands of Motor Homes that had the name of Palace Expando, this was equipped with everything, it also expanded on both sides. and this would be where they house the military men and their families.

1946 saw an elaborate motor home-built by Chevrolet. This motor home would be stared at, and stopped by curious people where ever it went. It was 30 feet long, looking like it was built out of a very expensive wood. It had electric lights, and 3 rooms. The early 50’s saw the motor homes becoming more and more larger in length and luxury. They all contained bathrooms, some had an upstairs, kitchens, and plumbing were a must. Some of them even had separate bedrooms.

1952 saw the Executive Flagship. This went beyond luxury. The Flagship was 65 feet long, weighing 18 tons, had 10 wheels. This huge vehicle had 2 bathrooms, wall to wall carpet, a 21-inch TV, and it also had a portable pool with a diving board. Believe it or not, this Motor Home retailed for $ 75,000. (that was a lot of money in the early 50’s wow! I wasn’t born in the early 50’s , but it is no wonder that my mom thought that you had to be rich to own one)

1955 brought out the two-story Motor Home. This had two bedrooms upstairs, the Master Bedroom was downstairs with a bathroom, kitchen, etc. this one slept 8 people.

1958 here comes the Winnebago. At first the company had only been designing furniture for travel trailers. The Actual first Winnebago was not made until 1966. This is where their name became famous for Motor Homes. They were also sold at half the price of other motor homes making them very popular.

In 1959 the Shasta travel trailer was built. This little camper that you pulled behind your vehicle was a great hit.

Do you remember the Volkswagen Camper vans? They came out in 1967. Already having the popular Volkswagen cars introduced in the early 60’s, why not go with the flow and make a camper van. They had electrical hookups ready to be plugged in at a campsite. They had pop up tents; they were pretty cool looking. I remember my friend’s dad had one, they went camping a lot in it, and when they were not using it, we used it for our playhouse.

Some of there are still pretty expensive for me, but boy oh boy they sure are pretty.

Now a days the Motor Homes have everything you could ever want. Some people live in theirs all year round. 

Whatever Motor Home you have, whether you live in it or not, enjoy it.

Happy Camping Everyone