The 100-year history of campers will be chronicled as an exhibit in the eighth annual Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance & Motoring Festival this fall.
The special display, which festival officials said is the first such exhibit at a Concours, is titled “Life on the Road.”
Harvey Geiger, a member of the show’s Automotive Advisory Board, researched the history of campers and travel trailers, according to the Hilton Head Post and Courier.
The interactive display will showcase more than 30 vehicles in the Motoring Midway field Oct. 31 and Nov. 1. According to organizers, the program “will depict a century of camping and living along the highway in RVs, trailers, motor homes and off-road vehicles.”
Carolyn Vanagel, the festival’s executive director, praised Geiger for researching “such authentic and exciting vehicles to make this a thorough and dynamic depiction of ‘life on the road.’”
Trailers in the exhibit include:
- A 1927 Auto Kamp Trailer that unfolds into a tent-like structure with vintage camping gear such as cooking devices, folding furniture and a portable gramophone.
- A 1936 Curtis Aero trailer being pulled by the fifth wheel attached to an ultra-streamlined custom 1938 International truck.
- A vintage 1962 Airstream with its 1955 GMC tow vehicle.
- The amphibious TerraWind coach.
- A 1929 Studebaker RV.
The exhibit will also include off-road “safari” and military vehicles, according to organizers.
“Auto camping was all the rage in the early years of the 20th century,” the Hilton Head Concours organizers said. By the 1920s, millions of Americans had traveled as so-called “tin can tourists” and “auto hobos.”
Aviation pioneer Glen Curtis built his first “motor bungalow” in 1919 and later invented the “fifth-wheel” coupling hitch. In 1927 he established Curtis Aerocar Co., which used airplane structural engineering concepts. By the 1930s, folding trailers had evolved into stand up “shoe box” camping units.
For more information on the three-day Concours and Motoring Festival Oct. 30-Nov. 1, call (843) 785-7469.