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Who invented the RV or motor home?

Last Updated: 30.09.22



Recreational vehicles have been driving around North America since 1910 when campers were built onto the bodies of cars and trucks. By the start of the 1920’s RV parks were popping up across the United States, even though there were few established campsites and the majority of the nation’s roads were still unpaved. RVs are even more popular today and can be customized to fit any taste, style or budget, but before you go and invest in a motorhome it might be nice to know a little bit about the history behind them.

1.Who invented the RV or the motor home


The first RV introduced to the public was the Pierce-Arrow Touring Landau. Debuting in 1910 at New York City’s famed Madison Square Garden the Landau helped to reinvent how Americans went camping. The back seat of the RV folded down into a semi comfortable bed. The back of the driver’s seat could even fold down to reveal a small sink and chamber pot. The driver could even stay in touch with his passengers through a conveniently placed telephone.


The Landau wasn’t the only motorhome rolling off of the assembly in 1910, two other manufacturers were also producing their own RVs. Los Angeles Trailer Works and Auto-Kamp Trailers also began manufacturing the small “auto campers”, along with several other companies. By 1919 motorhomes were so popular with consumers that RV owners had even formed their own club. Complete with a secret handshake, initiation ceremonies and even an official song, with 150,000 members by the mid 1930’s it seemed like RVs were here to stay.


Known as the Tin Can Tourists, which refers to the way they used to heat tin cans of food over small gasoline stoves, many Americans depended on their RVs after the devastating stock market crash in 1929. While the depression era did cause a slump in RV sales, the popularity of the vehicles never truly went away. Once the Great Depression and WWII were over, Americans were ready to start touring the country again.


RVs provided young GIs and their families with an inexpensive way to vacation and travel, and by the 1960s there was even a mostly completed national highway system for Americans to enjoy. When Winnebago began manufacturing RVs measuring from 16 feet up to 27 feet, the way Americans traveled and camped together radically changed. First released in 1967, the new RVs were roomier, more comfortable, and even easier to drive. Since then recreational vehicles have been rapidly evolving to keep up with today’s changing technology. Now consumers can customize their RV to meet their needs, and there is very little that can’t be included in one if you can afford it.