The history of the motorhome: When was the first motorhome invented?
The motorhome, also known as an RV (Recreation Vehicle), has become a popular way to travel and explore the world on wheels. It provides a convenient way for people to travel with all the amenities of home while enjoying the freedom and flexibility of the open road. Let’s take a closer look at the history of the motorhome, from its invention to its rise in popularity and the largest manufacturers.
The history of the motorhome dates back to the early 20th century when the automobile became widely available. The first motorhome was created by Pierce-Arrow, an American manufacturer of luxury cars, in 1910. The vehicle was called the Touring Landau, and it was essentially a Pierce-Arrow touring car with a modified back seat that could fold down into a bed. This allowed for a comfortable sleeping space for two people, making it a practical vehicle for camping and traveling.
1910 Pierce Arrow Touring Landau – the first motorhome?
In the 1920s and 1930s, more and more people began to use automobiles for recreational purposes, leading to the development of dedicated travel trailers. These trailers were essentially small homes on wheels, complete with kitchens, bedrooms, and bathrooms. They were towed behind cars, providing a convenient way for families to travel and explore the country and were the very first forms of caravan prior to the emergence of the motorhome.
It wasn’t until the 1950s and 1960s that motorhomes as we know them today began to appear. These were vehicles that combined the convenience of a travel trailer with the power and mobility of a motor vehicle. The first motorhome as we know it today was invented in the late 1950s by Ray Frank, who built the first “house car” using a Dodge truck chassis. The house car featured a sleeping area, kitchen, and bathroom, and it quickly became popular with families who wanted to travel in comfort and style.
1961 Frank Ray Motorhome
During the 1960s and 1970s, the popularity of motorhomes continued to grow, fueled by the freedom and flexibility they offered. Manufacturers like Winnebago and Fleetwood began producing motorhomes in large numbers, offering a range of models to suit different needs and budgets. The 1970s also saw the rise of the Class C motorhome, which was built on a van chassis and offered a more compact and affordable option for families.
1970 Winnebago motorhome
Today, the motorhome is a popular way to travel, with millions of people around the world using them to explore new places and enjoy the great outdoors. Some of the largest manufacturers of motorhomes include Winnebago, Thor Industries, Forest River, and Coachmen. These companies offer a wide range of models, from small and compact campervans to large and luxurious Class A motorhomes.
The motorhome has come a long way since its humble beginnings as a modified touring car. Today, it offers a comfortable and convenient way to travel and explore the world, and it shows no signs of losing its popularity anytime soon.