The History Of Recreational Vehicles And Its Associated Free-Spirited Style Of Living

By Jimmy Dalton

Like most other forms of travel, the history of recreational vehicles (or "RVs") dates back further than most people are aware of. Their use as a means of living while in transit, arose for a number of reasons around 1910, although arguably, these mobile homes find their origins much earlier, during the times of gypsy wagons and the covered wagons associated with historical settlement movements.

Early models included basic conveniences like a kitchen and smaller areas for eating and sleeping. Their structure was simple and allowed travellers to overcome the restrictions of the railway travel of the time. Caravan-like structures consisting of these elements would be built steadily on the outer bodies of cars and trucks.

Societies and clubs quickly spread, due to the increased popularity of this lifestyle, many of which are still around today and continue to celebrate the "free" lifestyle. This led to the emergence of networks formed around the "RV living culture". Unpaved roads and lack of camping areas did not deter these groups from thriving.

Mass production, experienced in the 1920s, allowed an increasing number of families to enjoy this lifestyle and own a vehicle of this kind. Travelling via the roads, became cheaper, and allowed many more families to enjoy sightseeing at affordable rates. Many became "full-timers", and lived permanently in their motor-homes.

An associated lifestyle began to develop amongst these groups, which included not only those on vacation but those who found innovative ways to work at the various campgrounds, and travel from location to location. In its formative years, this culture seemed somewhat isolated from the rest of society and very distinct from town living. This was because there was no telephone access, or internet coverage, and no luxury facilities like air conditioning and on-board ablution facilities.

Today, top-end RVs include facilities tailor-made to meet the needs of its preferred clientele base - from those who only use their motor-homes for vacations, to those who prefer to travel in style and luxury. Added features include spas, Jacuzzis, on-board cable television, home entertainment systems as well as phone and internet access.

The history of recreational vehicles illustrates that this kind of lifestyle was birthed from a love for the outdoors and travelling, although today, luxury travellers use these motor-homes to accommodate their busy lifestyles. For over 100 years, this subculture has thrived, from the Unites States to countries all over the world.

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