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The Invention of the First Motorhome

The Invention of the First Motorhome

Camping has been around for some time, and people did this in various ways. Some people just walked until they found a nice campsite. Others had a horse or a wagon before the car came along, but things always get better and take major leaps forward, such as the first motorhome.

Looking Back at the Prototype

The first thing you should know is that the first motorhome prototype was built in 1904. An RV-looking thing was hand built onto a car. This RV was pretty basic, but it did the job.

You would have seen a few bunk beds, a radio, and an icebox. The prototype was basic, but it was clear that the hunger for something like this was there. The good thing is people didn’t have to wait too long before the real thing came along.

How Was It All Possible?

The reality was that camping by car wasn’t something everyone was able to do early on. Vehicles were expensive, so the vehicle camping industry didn’t take off for a long time.

As vehicles became more accessible, the middle class was able to afford them, and that was instrumental in paving the way for the motorhome. Of course, it took some time before it happened, but it did. People began to have more disposable income. People in the middle class had more freedom to take off for a few weeks or even longer to explore the United States.

All of these little factors helped contribute to an industry that hadn’t quite started yet. Without the prosperity some Americans were experiencing, this industry wouldn’t have developed.

The First Motorhome

You know all of the factors that led to this invention and why people were hungry for it. The first motorhome, the predecessor to all the motorhomes today, showed up in 1910. It was built using a regular Packard truck.

It makes sense that it was built out of a three-ton truck. This vehicle is pretty large, and it was able to hold a lot of things that would make it easier for families to camp in the wild.

Families back in those days were much larger than today. A regular family could have more than two children, way more in fact. It wasn’t strange to find a family with seven or more children. Perhaps this was one reason the first motorhome had a total of 11 beds. That might seem excessive nowadays since most families don’t have more than a few children, but it was perfect in the past.

The truck was 28 feet long and about six and a half feet wide, which should give you a good idea of how large this old motorhome was. You were able to find some basic things in the motorhome like a toilet for the family. The problem was there was only one bathroom. You could imagine the kind of issues you might run into if there’s only one restroom for a big family.

There were no fridges back in those days, so they had a regular icebox. This type of box isn’t perfect since the people have to buy ice every so often so that they can keep their food preserved throughout the trip. Most of the time, people packed animal products in those iceboxes that they were able to use throughout the entire trip.

The motorhome also had a salon, which is strange to add, but if you think about it, it’s not so weird. Every person who looks for a motorhome will always want to see something special that’ll make the trip much nicer. This salon was an example of something nice for the folks using this motorhome.

You should know that this motorhome lived for a long time. Everyone used this particular model until 1924 when a new and more sophisticated motorhome came out.

One of the most famous magazines at the time, the Motor Magazine, took a picture of a motorhome that shows you what you might expect from this motorhome. You couldn’t see much inside, but you could still see that it was a large vehicle that should be comfortable to live in while you travel throughout the United States.


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