Jun 192009

I spent most of yesterday doing the same thing I’ve been doing all week – working on the new issue of the Gypsy Journal. So I was ready for a break when Al Hesselbart from the RV Hall of Fame Museum stopped over in the afternoon for a visit.

While we were talking, Al mentioned that he wants a website to promote his RV history seminars, which he presents at RV rallies and events nationwide. So once we get the new issue of the paper out, we’ll set down and see if I can design a website that will meet his needs.

If you have not had the opportunity to see Al’s seminar 100 Years of RVs in America, he’ll be at our Ohio Gypsy Gathering rally in September. I have sat in on it a couple of times and always learn something new.  

I have always appreciated the odd and unusual when it comes to vehicles, which had led to me owning some really strange rides over the years. Has anybody reading this ever owned a Toyota Stout pickup? It was a boxy looking little truck with a four speed column shift manual transmission.

Another goofy little car I had, back when I was in high school, was a Daffodil, which wasn’t much bigger than a kid’s pedal car, and almost as powerful. (The Stout and Daffodil in these pictures are not the same ones I owned.)

While I enjoyed these unusual vehicles, finding parts for them can be darned hard, and if you have my limited mechanical skills, you’re better off owning something a mechanic has seen before when it comes breakdown time.

That’s why, while they would never work for our lifestyle, we really like the looks of the vintage Winnebago and Itasca mini-motorhomes. Several of them arrived at Elkhart Campground yesterday for a small rally. When Terry and I took our after dinner walk, we stopped and admired some of the neat old rigs, and took a few pictures.

Another interesting old motorhome that arrived yesterday is this Ultra Van, which is powered by a Corvair engine and transaxle. An estimated 370 of these unique RVs were made from the 1960s to 1970, and records show that some 200 are still on the road, many with over 200,000 miles on the odometer. They cruise comfortably at 60 miles per hour, and get about 15 miles per gallon. Pretty cool, huh? I wonder how many of today’s RVs will be able to meet that record for longevity forty years from now?

Thought For The Day – You know you’re getting on in years when the girls at the office start confiding in you.

Register Now For Our Ohio Gypsy Gathering Rally

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  2 Responses to “Vintage Mini-Motorhomes”

  1. Nick said:

    I wonder how many of today’s RVs will be able to meet that record for longevity forty years from now?

    George replied: ask me in 31 years.

    All kidding aside, those are some neat looking smaller motorhomes.

  2. Tell Al to go to WordPress.com (or even Blogger.com) and start his website for free. The most important part is content, and creating content is easy on these blogging systems. Write some content, collect some photos, put it together using blogging software. If, in the future, the blog doesn’t meet his needs – he’ll have something to work with.

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