Thursday, September 22, 2011

Elkhart RV/MH Hall of Fame/Museum & Library

A relaxing day...Eldy had lunch with his son, which was good for the two of them to be together, just father and son. I finished some craft projects here at home. In the afternoon, we went over to the RV Hall of Fame Museum. Neither one of us had ever seen it, and it's practically in our hometown backyard!

What a cool place! Vintage historical RV's, the history of motorhomes, hall of famers in the RV industry...the latest in technology for appliances in RV''s all here...I looked for a Shasta little mini trailer, like the one my brother found in a farm field and fixed up for his new bride. I didn't find one, but here's what I did find.....A 1916 automobile telescoping "apartment". The side cabinets slide in and the back telescopes into the front. Warm water for the shower is provided by heat from the radiator!
The oldest travel trailer in the world.....refurbished, of course!

A 1935 version of a Covered Wagon...Covered Wagon was the largest trailer manufacturer in 1935. They produced one out of six house trailers made in the country at that time...
How about this Cortez cruiser? The first American production front wheel drive motorhome. The dinette converted into an upper and lower bunk bed. The upper bed was suspended from the ceiling on leather straps--cool!
One of my favorites was a vintage motorhome called the Road Chief. Not sure of the year, somehow I didn't catch that, but it was in the 1930's...It was designed by a famous sailplane builder named Hawley Bowlus. What was his mother thinking when she named him!?  The Road Chief was a predecessor to the modern day Airstream clipper style. It had a segmented aluminum roof design and on the inside, it looked like silk fabric stretched over a wooden frame, just like the gliders Bowlus designed. It was very elegant!  Here's the outside:
And here's the beautiful inside:
There were many very cool vintage trailers, campers and motorhomes on display today along with very interesting explanations of the chassis, the components, etc. The interiors on some of these were beautiful woods. The examples of vintage trailers and motorhomes were in wonderful condition, some almost completely original fabrics and interior, others had been refurbished. You really got a feel for the evolution of the motorhome through this wonderful museum. There was also an extensive research library on the premises as well for the public to come in and browse. We're glad we took the time today to come out and explore the museum.....the vintage motorcars, trailers and forerunners of today's modern luxurious motorhomes were a real treat to see.  Admission was a very reasonable 6.00 per person, if you are a senior (60 and up)....There really are some perks to being a senior!

Tomorrow we leave for Celina, OH, to come in a little early for Nick Russell's Gypsy Journal Eastern Rally. Should be a LOT of fun! We'll tell you all about it in a couple of days...great seminars are lined up with some great entertainment....see you in Ohio!


  1. It does seem that you do not sight see in your own back yard.

  2. Thanks for posting all the pics of those vintage RV's - neat stuff!

  3. Very interesting museum. At one of the RV shows there was someone who had a slide show of vintages, most of which he owned. It was amazing.