RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum

I made an autumn pilgrimage to the center of the recreational vehicle industry in Elkhart, Indiana, and specifically to the RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum.

RV/MH Hall of Fame Museum’s main gallery features a variety of historical recreational vehicles from Airstream, Winnebago, and other American makers.

RV/MH Hall of Fame Museum’s main gallery features a variety of historical, recreational vehicles from Airstream, Winnebago, and other American makers. Over a hundred years since the dawn of the RV industry began with homegrown motorhome and travel trailer creations and much innovation over the subsequent 20th Century evolved. As I have embraced the nomadic lifestyle and have become a full-time RVer traveling America towing my Airstream travel trailer, I felt the need to understand the roots and evolution of recreational vehicles. My visit to the RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum was done in the true style of a full-time RVer with a boondocking overnight in the parking lot as a member of Harvest Hosts and visiting the museum at my leisure. It was a quiet overnight stay as the museum is off the main highway and set back on a spacious property. Harvest Hosts is a membership program that provides access to a network of wineries, farms, breweries, museums, and other unique attractions that invite self-contained RVers to visit and stay overnight.

This 1915 Model T Ford with 1916 Telescope Apartment is a unique unit built in California on the back of a Model T Ford roadster. The novel features are multiple slide-outs, a fold-down exterior kitchen, and a shower that draws water warmed by the truck’s radiator.

The RV/MH Museum holds numerous examples of motorhomes, tent campers, travel trailers, teardrops, and several custom-crafted recreational vehicles that helped shape the RV industry. There are even RVs that were owned by those of fame, such as Charles Lindbergh and Mae West. The selection of RV examples and exhibits was too abundant to cover in this article but you are in luck that there are numerous captioned images that cover more of the museum in this Feature Gallery of RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum.

The museum has over a hundred years of RV history with vehicles and artifacts that span the beginnings of recreational vehicles through the early 1970s that have inspired an evolving travel industry. The museum is operated by the RV/MH Heritage Foundation. The museum has three distinct areas: the RV Founders Hall, the Exhibitor Hall, and the Go RVing exhibition. The RV Founders Hall displays trailers, photos, and memorabilia reaching back to the 1920s and 1930s. The museum presents chronological and technological advancements in the industry from before World War I to the present. The Exhibitor Hall contains interesting displays illustrating the history and products of many parts manufacturers and service providers to the RV and manufactured housing industry. The Go RVing exhibition features a new, state-of-the-art display celebrating the campaign’s vital role in the RV industry and invites visitors to discover RVing as it is today.

1916 Cozy Camp Tent Trailer, one of the first trailer models to be commercially produced. The 1931 Tennessee Traveler Housecar on a Model AA Ford is an early homemade American motorhome.
 
1958 Airstream ‘der Kleiner Prinz” is the only 10 foot fully equipped Airstream ever made. The 1958 Airstream Flying Cloud is 22 feet long. Built by the Airstream company, known for their distinctive rounded, polished aluminum shape.
1967 Winnebago 19 foot motorhome was built by Winnebago Industries. Winnebago Industries, Inc., is an American manufacturer of motorhomes based in Forest City, Iowa.

FMG Feature Gallery of RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum

RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum
21565 Executive Parkway
Elkhart, Indiana 46514

N 41°43’46.4″ W 85°52’51.1″

 

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