The RV Hall of Fame is a treasure trove of all things related to recreational vehicles. If you love RVing, you should pay a visit to this hall of fame museum at least once in your lifetime.
Here you can learn to appreciate all the improvements made to our homes on wheels over the years. You can explore RV history in a museum dedicated to the life of our beloved mobile homes.
Table of contents
- What Is the RV Hall of Fame?
- How Big Is the RV/MH Hall of Fame Museum?
- Does the RV Hall of Fame Have Overnight Parking?
- Learn About the History of RVing at the RV/MH Hall of Fame
- Tour RVs from the Beginning to Now
- Do You Need Tickets for the RV Hall of Fame?
- How Much Time Do You Need At The RV Hall of Fame?
- Is the RV Hall of Fame Worth a Visit?
What Is the RV Hall of Fame?
The RV Hall of Fame is a museum located in Elkhart, Indiana commemorating the birth of the RV industry. According to the RV/MH Hall of Fame website, “It is a place to recognize, preserve, and honor the history, pioneers, and individuals who have been instrumental in making the RV (recreational vehicle) and MH (manufactured housing) industries what they are today.”
You can find the RV/MH Hall of Fame and the Northern Indiana Event Center in Elkhart, Indiana, at 21565 Executive Parkway. Elkhart County produces over 80% of RVs manufactured in the U.S.
The RV/MH Hall of Fame includes members and inductees prevalent in the RV and manufactured housing industries. Along with its growing number of supporters, it also has a comprehensive library of periodicals, records, and photos, along with a full event center, a gift shop, and a museum.
How Big Is the RV/MH Hall of Fame Museum?
The RV/MH Hall of Fame Museum offers 100,000 square feet of history, education, and fun. It has plenty of space for parking available to cars and RVs of all sizes. You can visit this place to go back in RV history.
Does the RV Hall of Fame Have Overnight Parking?
The RV Hall of Fame does offer overnight parking. Head on over to the RV capital of the world, Elkhart, Indiana. Buy a ticket to the RV Hall of Fame and park your RV overnight. However, they limit the RV length to 60 feet or less and request that you don’t put out your slides or jacks until after business hours.
Once you finish exploring the museum, parking overnight at the RV/MH Hall of Fame may give you a greater appreciation for all the comforts of your home on wheels.
Learn About the History of RVing at the RV/MH Hall of Fame
In 1904, they didn’t think of comfort when they built the first RV onto an automobile. They could only think about getting back to nature without having to do it in a tent.
But comfort made its way into the RV industry pretty quickly. In 1915, the Conklin Family became known for their cross-country trip from New York to San Francisco — not because of their journey, but because of what they were journeying in. The “Gypsy Van” resembled a double-decker bus and had all the comforts of home.
Camping trailers were beginning to be designed and built around that time as well. In the early 1900s, people realized they could leave their trailers at their campsite and use their automobiles to visit other places.
Arthur Sherman saw an opportunity when his tent camper couldn’t keep him dry. So, he built a boxy solid-body trailer that didn’t leak and still had all the home necessities, named the “Covered Wagon.” Sherman’s design became the first camper trailer produced on an assembly line. Thus, the RV industry was born.
Experience all of this history from the Smithsonian Magazine and more at the RV Hall of Fame. Walk through time as you set foot in traveling campers from the early 1900s to today. Since the “Covered Wagon’s” reinvention in the 1930s and with the glamorous innovations within the industry today, we have left behind the initial idea of “roughing it.” In its place, we have found luxury.
Tour RVs from the Beginning to Now
The museum provides a walk through time with its extensive collection of RVs dating back to the 1900s, including its oldest exhibit, the 1913 Earl Travel Trailer. You can also view Mae West’s original 1931 Chevrolet Housecar.
As you stroll down the road, you’ll come across tent trailers and motorhomes from the ’30s, pop-up campers from the ’50s, truck campers from the ’60s, and more. You can explore over 50 vintage campers on display here, many of them made for you to step inside.
You’ll also see the beginnings of some of the biggest RV brands you’ll still see today.
In the Exhibitors Hall, you’ll find history and facts from the manufacturers and service providers. Many names have helped create the RV/MH industry that we know today, including Onan, Dometic, and Kampgrounds of America (KOA).
Pro Tip: Stop to see the model RV collection – it is so fun!
Finish your visit in the Go RVing Hall. Here, you’ll find access to new RVs to compare to the vintage ones throughout the museum. Through this exhibit, you may gain a new understanding of RV travel and its advantages. The RV industry continues to change, and you can come along for the ride.
Do You Need Tickets for the RV Hall of Fame?
You can purchase tickets on the RV Hall of Fame site. Tickets cost $12 for adults and $9 for children six to 16. Kids five and under get in free. Tickets for seniors 60 and over cost $10. If you have more than 13 people attending, you can get group rates for $8 each. You can also get a family rate for $30, including a parent and three or more dependent children under 16 years.
How Much Time Do You Need At The RV Hall of Fame?
Depending on how in-depth you want to dive into the history of RVing, RV brands, and particular specs on vintage models, a tour of the RV exhibits will take 1-2 hours.
If you want to spend time digging through the archives and researching, you could spend an entire afternoon.
Is the RV Hall of Fame Worth a Visit?
Whether you travel in an RV or not, the RV Hall of Fame is worth a visit. Here you can wander through history and gain an understanding of what RV life was like before. It offers a glimpse into the travel world before technology defined our travel plans, giving us perspective on how RVs have changed over the years.
Not to mention, you might find a few mind-boggling RVs you wish you could take for a test drive.
Have you been to the RV Hall of Fame? Let us know what you thought in the comments below!
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Thursday 22nd of July 2021
Elkhart produces junk. You have to go to other parts of the USA and Canada to find quality RVs.
Thursday 22nd of July 2021
We visited the museum in late April. We both wanted to go and it was so much more enlightening than we could have imagined. Even Model A's had all the basics. The only thing lacking was modern technology and building materials. It is hard to explain to others how good the museum is!
Mortons on the Move
Thursday 22nd of July 2021
Glad to hear you enjoyed it, too!