Last August we went to Nappanee, IN to watch our motorhome being built at the Newmar factory. While we were there we enjoyed the quaint surroundings of Northern Indiana to include the Amish culture and all that these folks bring to the area. A short drive from Nappanee is Elkhart, IN – the RV manufacturing capital of the US. Here is where we discovered the RV Museum and Hall of Fame. I may have mentioned it in an earlier post, but I want to share more information about it so I’m dedicating an entire post to it.
Frankly, I thought it would be a bust, but to our great surprise it is a very interesting and well done exhibit. Who knows – Maybe the RV you are now driving will be part of the display in 30 years????
There are a few classic RV’s still out there on the road and some of them are in really great condition. Plus there seems to be a resurgence in having something new that looks old. Winnebago for one has brought back a retro look on some of their units. In addition to the Rv’s on display at the museum, there is an area that recognizes those who contributed to the betterment of the industry and/or the RV experience. These folks have been inducted into the RV Hall of Fame just like musicians and sports figures are, in their respective fields.
I think the thing that fascinates me as a new RV’er is the pioneering spirit that many of these folks had back in the 30’s and 40’s. From some of the research I’ve done, many of these people were oil or construction workers that traveled from job to job. This lifestyle had not really caught on as recreational RV’ing as so many people see it today, but was born out of necessity. There was no internet or cell phones to keep in contact with friends and relatives or find out information on most services that we are now accustomed to having at our fingertips. I’m not sure that this lifestyle would be near as much fun for me if I didn’t have the internet and the wealth of information and services it provides. The internet has also opened up great opportunities for young people to live and work on the road, and even raise their families. I would imagine that providing quality education for the kids has increased dramatically now that the internet is available to those choosing this lifestyle.
Thanks to people like Kay Peterson, co-founder of Escapees, full time RV’ers started to have a network of like-minded individuals that could help each other enjoy and manage this lifestyle. Kay’s articles still appear in the Escapees magazine and are an inspiration to all RV’ers.
Note: Escapees is an organization that is committed to provide a total support network for RV’ers.
A brief bio of Kate and her husband Joe:
Below I have attached a sampling of some of the sights that we saw in the museum. You can “click” on each image for a larger view. There is an entire section of the Hall of Fame that is dedicated to individuals who have contributed significantly to RV’ing. I have not included any photos of that section as I don’t believe it translates well, so I’m leaving that for you to view during your visit.
For specific information on the RV/MH Hall of Fame please go to their website at:
Admission is $10.00 for adults and $8.00 for seniors. This exhibit is definitely worth your time, and there is plenty of RV parking available. : -)