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Winnebago NationThe RV in American Culture$
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James Twitchell

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231167789

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231167789.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

Thoreau at .29¢ $4.00 a Gallon

Thoreau at .29¢ $4.00 a Gallon

The Peculiar Place of the RV in American Culture

(p.1) Chapter One Thoreau at .29¢ $4.00 a Gallon
Winnebago Nation

James B. Twitchell

Columbia University Press

This chapter provides a brief history of the recreational vehicle (RV). While the idea of camping out for fun starts with the English Romantic poets and Robert Banden-Powell—the founder of the Scout Movement—wealthy Victorians refashioned the decorated wheeled wagon as a moveable bedroom. Once motors were added, the pastime in England was called caravanning, and the consuming class was no longer country gentlemen, but workingmen from the town. Though the Europeans were hampered by narrow roads and expensive fuel, Americans immediately loved it because it was democratic. Auto camping eventually became such a peculiarly American pastime because the threat of terrorism made at-home activity seem safer than foreign travel; airplane travel became exasperating; and developing technology provided a host of innovations.

Keywords:   recreational vehicle, camping, wheeled wagon, caravanning, auto camping, American pastime

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