Vintage RVs and Motorhomes (Pics)


“Campers” have never been CAMPers, hence the name change. “RVs” are the antithesis of roughing it. Some of the newer models are basically real-life Transformers, with the ability to literally double in size when parked. Sometimes upwards of $350,000 new, today’s RVs are the proving ground for nearly every automotive luxury you can imagine. From digital television to rear-end alert systems, RVs have led the way in most every area.

Like other cars, this opulence began on the outside with style and design. Just as 50s era Chevys sported ornate exteriors with fins and wood siding, most of the RVs of yesterday were not short in the eye-candy department. Have a look at a few examples from the late 60s on.

Airstream Streamline Travel Home

(Source: Hugo90)

A little confusion concerning manufacturing here. In the early 60s, Airstream produced Streamline Motorcoaches, which became Streamline Travel Homes when Streamline broke off from Airstream around 1966. Sometime later, Newell acquired Streamline, with the Streamline name being discontinued sometime in the 1970s.

Daystar

(Source: Slideshow Bruce)

The Daystar, built in 1975, utilized a Dodge chassis as a foundation for its design. The eye-catching design boasted an all COR-TEN steel body and teak interior and purportedly sold over $70,000. Only 16 were ever built, making this unique motor-home one of the rarest ever built.

Winnebago Brave

(Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Winnebago is likely the best known recreational vehicle manufacturer in the world. The name has acquired Xerox-like saturation, whereas all motor homes can be referred to as either RVs or Winnebagos. When you say Winnebago, the person you’re speaking to instantly knows you mean RV, not truck, car, or snowmobile.

Volkswagen Microbus Campervan

(Source: Martin Pettitt)

Most people would consider this a van, but they actually make a great RV. Consider the decades’ worth of Deadheads that traveled the country in these things, sleeping in the woods. The Microbus worked just fine. You can still see some of them on the road from time to time, but beware purchasing this little nostalgia trip. The engine was built mounted sideways, and when it breaks, it’s usually done.

Hanomag-Henschel Orion

(Source: Wikimedia Commons)

The Hanomag-Henschel was a German truck company that started in 1969 in Hanover. The company folded in 1974, however Mercedes acquired the intellectual property rights and continued to manufacture them until 1978. During this time, several of their models made it overseas, the Orion being one of them. Not many were sold here, and they are extremely rare.

Dodge Superior

(Source: terrybone)

Here’s a little known gem from the American automotive past. Not so much on the style and beauty and unlike the preceding examples, this Dodge was all function and utility, just like their trucks. The Superior slept 4 to 6 people and was fully stocked with amenities. You can still find one for sale from time to time.

GMC Motorhome

(Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Perhaps one of Detroit’s illegitimate step-children, such as the DeLorean, the GMC Motorhome was a RV for the masses. Modular and cheap, the GMC sold well for several years before being swallowed by the 1980s.

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4 comments
  1. Hugo90

    July 10, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    That Hanomag has a Borgward grille, perhaps added by an owner. Borgward went out of business in the early sixties, well before this one was built.

    Reply
  2. Steven Thompson

    November 29, 2014 at 1:35 am

    Hello,

    I am writing to see if anyone has any information about a 1966 Streamline Travel home that was featured in the August 27, 2011 LeMay Open House. Your blog post Vintage RVs and Motorhomes Pics from April 15, 2013 has a photo featuring a particular motor home.

    This particular motor home picture may be the one that belonged to my grandfather. His had those black metal flags on both sides in the front and a Washington State license plate with those orange flood lights on the front. The motorhome was living in Palm Springs for a long time. He passed away in 2010, and his estranged wife sold all of his assets out from underneath the family. I grew up traveling the states in this motorhome with my grandfather. I’ve been trying to find the motorhome that belonged to him & this looks exactly like it.

    On the inside of his, it had a semi-gold dining benches, with dark brown counter & table tops with a light brown couch just behind the driver seat. Brown carpet inside. A brown wood floor in the kitchen. There are two adjustable twin beds in the rear with dresser in-between and a small black box TV right above the beds. The shower is green and there are brown doors throughout.

    If anyone has any information, I would be so grateful.

    Thank you so much!

    Respectfully,
    Steven Thompson

    Reply
    • Steven Thompson

      November 29, 2014 at 1:36 am

      You may reach me at steven[dot]thompson[at]outlook[dot]com

      Reply
    • Admin

      December 1, 2014 at 10:06 pm

      Hello Steven the Streamliner in that image is currently on display in the car show area at the LeMay Open House in Washington.

      Reply

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