Sunday, April 20, 2014

Visiting the RV Hall of Fame in Elkhart IN

If you're looking for an RV, there's no place like going to the mecca of RVs, right here in Elkhart IN.  There are several RV plants that you can tour, more RV dealers and parts distributors than you can imagine and the crown jewel, the RV Hall of Fame.

Maybe it's because this is our lifestyle, but I think anyone would be interested in seeing this museum...even if they've never been in an RV at all.  Some of the RVs were roped off, but many of them allowed you to go in and get up close and personal.

 This is a massive facility that shows everything you could want to see about RV's.  There is a scale model with an audio  narrated description of the assembly process, as well as videos that describe how it's done as well.  After taking this all in we decided we could skip taking an actual tour of a plant.

My favorite part was seeing the old RV's and seeing how improvements were made in time, but that the concepts used then are the same ones used now.

The tour follows a highway motif path and takes you through the progression of oldest to newer RVs.

The story begins with this RV on display.
There's far too many to share all of them, but these were some of my favorites.

This early version of the slide out system was pretty cool.  The storage drawers pull out to create the space for the bed.  It even had a curtain system that attached to the back to use as a dressing room or a shower.  Cold shower you say?  Nay nay...the water was heated by the engine during the drive.  How comfy!

This was one of my most favorites.  I liked the wood paneling and styling of the vehicle.  And who could resist those little lace curtains and metal fence...all the comforts of home.  And wouldn't Left Brain feel grand driving in that $35 accessory driving chair.

This long, long trailer made me think of the 1954 classic staring Lucy & Desi in "The long, long trailer".  I checked to see if perhaps it was the same, but alas that one was not nearly this long.

This just looked so homey and cute and I'll bet in it's day this was the cat's meow.  The warm light wood really brightens it up.  The door to the bedroom was there as an emergency exit as they did not yet have the windows that served as escape exits.

The rest of the photos are just random shots.  Let me translate that for you, it means I failed to take adequate notes to remember what they were....but they are still sweet images of an older time and place.

This is so darn cute - if we started out in this my blog would be called "llife in a toaster""

1964 Coachman Cadet Travel Trailer

I think we need to change our valve covers to dice - tres chic!

I took a little break here to talk to Poker Alice...she cheats, by the way.

This one reminded me of a James Bond movie

Love the kitchen that pulls down and the awning makes the dining area so inviting

Just enough space for two people (who really get along well) to sleep.  Then there's the tiny kitchen in the back.  Kind of like a mobile B&B.

The upper bunk in this Shasta is like a cot - just fabric over two poles.  This would be where George and Gracie would sleep if we owned this model.  The couch below opens into a bed.

This is reminiscent of our first "canned ham" based on the teardrop shape.

All the comforts of home - sink, ice box...bed

One of the early tent campeers

I can remember my grandmother making my toast in one of these.

I had to laugh that this Bounder had the identical layout that we now enjoy in See-More

We learned so much during our time spent at the RV Hall of Fame and much of that was due to chatting with Al Hesselbart, the librarian of the museum.  

Long Live the Queen of RVs


  1. some of those are SO darn cute - i liked the toaster, too! :)

    completely understand on the internet issues! good travels to you!

  2. Wow can't believe a place like that exits. We took "HaRvy" out this for his debut at the park this weekend. He was a real tropper.

  3. Looks like a terrific stop in more ways that one... makes you really appreciate the progress that has been made and also watch out Left Brain, new remodeling possibilities. WINK, WINK.

  4. Now this is interesting. Growing up in South Texas, we had a pop-up camper. It was the very early 1970s. We used it a lot, until a sudden summer squall rolled across the Gulf, and turned it inside out. That was like a mini-hurricane, but very fast moving.

  5. Gosh, what an awesome tour you've taken us on here. I loved it. As for your grandma's toaster, we had a toaster like that when we were kids. It worked pretty darn good too! It is simply fascinating to watch how things progress over time. Amazing when you think how technology seems to go round n round in a circle. Old ideas get polished up a bit and become new ideas. Thank you for the wonderful tour. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.