RV historian and collector David Woodworth today (April 12) kicked off RVIA’s RV Centennial media tour with 15 interviews conducted via satellite with local network affiliates from Boston to Yuma, as well as cable channels across the country. Woodworth’s interviews began airing live at 7:45 a.m. this morning and continued through the early afternoon, according to a news release.
“For a century, Americans have enjoyed exploring what’s over the next hill and around the bend,” Woodworth said during the morning’s interviews. “That pioneering spirit is still alive and well today.”
Woodworth will spend the next two weeks traveling to media markets across the country with a 1916 Telescoping Apartment RV and a modern 2010 Fleetwood Discovery, talking to reporters about the RV industry’s century of bringing families closer together. The tour will include a live appearance on NBC’s Weekend Today show on Saturday (April 17).
“For 100 years, Americans have enjoyed the freedom that RVs provide,” said Woodworth, widely recognized as a leading RV historian. He once owned the world’s largest collection of antique RVs, now on display at the RV Heritage Museum in Elkhart, Ind., and consults with the Smithsonian.
The roots of RVing are as old as pioneers and covered wagons. “The first mass-produced motorized campers were built in 1910,” says Woodworth, the preeminent collector of early RVs and RV camping memorabilia. “Before then, people camped in private rail cars that were pulled to sidings along train routes. 1910 brought a new freedom to people who didn’t want to be limited by the rail system. RVs allowed them to go where they wanted, when they wanted.”
Known as “auto campers” or “camping trailers,” these vehicles were the forerunners of today’s modern RVs.
“The first RVs offered minimal comforts compared to today’s homes-on-wheels,” says Woodworth. “But they did provide the freedom to travel anywhere, to get a good night’s sleep and enjoy home cooking. One notable exception to today’s RV was the bathroom. Back in 1910, it was usually either yonder tree or yonder bush.”
Today, RV travelers are able to enjoy all the comforts and conveniences of home while they’re on the road. RVs can come fully equipped with gourmet kitchens, baths and living rooms, and bedrooms that slide out at the push of a button to create extra space.
“We take great pride in our past and look forward to a bright future,” said RVIA President Richard Coon. “RVing has been able to thrive and grow because people still enjoy the fun and freedom it provides.”