Saturday, July 18, 2009

Happy trailers to you: Elkhart, Indiana's RV Hall of Fame

This is the exterior. A little too tasteful and dignified for my liking. I would have liked to have seen a Zeppelin hangar-sized Airstream trailer, wouldn't you?

Elkhart, Indiana is a nice town you're likely to pass by on the Interstate if you're driving to Chicago from the east. Anyone who has ever played a wind instrument will probably recognize the town's name as the same one engraved in the bell of their Conn trumpet or on the label of their Selmer clarinet. Elkhart also has many recreational vehicle manufacturers and is known as the RV Capital of the World (maybe even the Universe, so take that, Pluto). It seems only appropriate, then, that they would be home to the RV Hall of Fame. Formerly in smaller quarters downtown, the RVHOF now sits in palatially new digs mere seconds off of Interstate 80. Inside is a dazzling historical array of all things trailer: you've got your Airstreams, you've got your Shastas, and don't even get me started on the Winnebagos. The vintage "cans" are complete with period interiors you can poke your head into to drink up the retro atmosphere. In the very early days of roadside travel, having your own hard-shelled home on wheels to dryly bed down in must have seemed like the lap of luxury, and this still holds true with today's astounding variety of RVs currently on the road. And there really is a Hall with lots of Fame in it. Scores of framed pictures of those with the right stuff to be so honored by such a prestigious organization line the walls. This place is terrific for roadside fans looking to take a little break while travelling cross-country and should not be missed. My one regret is that because the RVHOF is so close to the highway, you don't get into the town of Elkhart for a looksee. I hear they have a nice muffler man there.


Welcome to DeluxeVille said...

Oh WOW! How cool!!

Rick Kilby said...

I wanna go!

Unknown said...

Great post. I have to get down there to see this stuff soon!

Atomic Addiction

Unknown said...

What a whacky coincidence that today of all days I see your post on the airstreams. Today is the 40th anniversary of the moon landing, and it calls to mind that when the astronauts returned to Earth, they locked them in this air tight space-RV, due to the fear that Neil, Buzz and Mike may have brought back some type of Moon-Cooties that could wipe out civilization as we knew it. Stuck in my head is the famous picture of Richard Nixon standing outside the buggy, grinning like an idiot and waving like mad at the three guys stuck behind the glass.To the Moon, Alice!!!

Vintage Roadside said...

Great post & photos! Looks like they have some amazing things to see. We just added Indiana to our list of places to visit:-)

Gunnar and Sherry said...

Mary, Rick, Brian, Vintage R.: Thanks!

Bill: Haha! I'd forgotten about that. And you know, I looked it up... that was an actual Airstream they were quarantened in. Funny how NASA could build and a spacecraft on the moon but they rented an Airstream when their guys got back down to earth! Maybe they should have landed an Airstream on the moon!