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When you’re trying to sell your RV you can get stuck thinking that your consignment recreational vehicle and the few on the lot competing with it (for the three local buyers in your area) are the only ones in the world. Your focus gets extremely limited. Don’t be blinded. RVs, also known as recreational vehicles, have been around as long as cars have been around – over 100 years. RVs have officially made history. The very first one debuted in 1910, and it was Pierce-Arrow’s Touring Landau. Some of the additions at this time included a seat that folded into a bed, a chamber pot and a sink. The RV’s ability to adapt and evolve along with technological advances, and the needs of travelers everywhere, are what has made it so enormously popular throughout the years. It wasn’t long until a number of other companies got in on the act. Soon dozens of companies were producing campers, travel trailers and recreational vehicles.
Throughout the years they’ve become quite popular, with over 8.2 million households now owning a recreational vehicle. A 2005 University of Michigan study estimated that the average family that owned an RV used it for 26 days, and 4,500 miles every year. There are also people that consider themselves “full time RVers.” Full time RVers live in their RV. Their home is the road.
As more people became interested in recreational vehicles for travel, the more the nation responded. Tourist destinations, including locations such as national parks, soon built campgrounds to accommodate a large number of recreational vehicles. They also began providing additional amenities that RV visitors might need or want. By 1922 there were a good number of these campgrounds dispersed throughout the country.
Unfortunately, the stock market crash in 1929 put a halt to the popularity of recreational vehicles as it did to many things during that time period. People didn’t have the money to spend on a luxury item like a recreational vehicle, and they weren’t traveling nearly as much anymore. There were, however, some people that chose to live out of their RVs. Unable to afford their homes, they simply lived out of the camper. They were actually lucky, as RVs offered all of the essentials necessary for survival. The decline in sales and use of RVs continued into World War II, when many of the companies and factories that had previously been dedicated to making recreational vehicles put their efforts towards other items needed for the war effort.
Once the soldiers returned home, however, the need for recreational vehicles resurged. These young men had seen the horrors of war. Now that they were home, they just wanted to relax and see the country. They also placed a high priority on spending time with their families, so the desire to take family trips was very prevalent. Add in the fact that the US highway system had been booming, and it was the obvious choice to purchase an RV and take the family on a cross-country trip across America.
The next big event to occur in the history of recreational vehicles is the invention of the motorized RV. Though they first debuted in the 1950’s, they didn’t really become popular until 1967. The technology of recreational vehicles increased as technology itself improved, and everything that was available in the home started becoming available in the campers. Refrigerators, televisions, and more made travel even more peaceful, comfortable and fun for the whole family. More destinations began adding campsites for recreational vehicles, including Disney World, where you can take your camper to Fort Wilderness. Today, if you have the money, you can have almost anything in your RV – a washer and dryer, microwave, satellite TV – you name it, chances are good that you can put it into your recreational vehicle.
The idea of being able to travel while taking your home with you is what really appeals to many people who take an RV with them on their journey. The convenience and ease of having your bed, food, and any other things you might need with you at all times is very comforting for many travelers. This is one of the reasons why the RV has been such a successful invention with many campers and travelers throughout these past 100 years. While the vehicle itself has changed and grown throughout time, the desire of human beings to explore the country with comfort and ease has remained the same, and is the thing that keeps RVs popular. RVs have made history, and they’re not finished. They’ll keep making history as more and more consumers realize that they offer unique opportunities for affordable adventure and travel.