Mobile Mansions: Taking "Home Sweet Home" on the Road

Overview

Mobile Mansions takes you on a captivating exploration of homes on wheels-everything from early diminutive camp cars to modern-day diesel-belching, lumbering leviathans complete with saunas, balconies, and gourmet kitchens. From the eclectic to the exquisite, the luxurious to the rare, this detailed RV guide showcases the diversity of some of the most lovingly restored RVs on the road today.

In this reference for pop culture connoisseurs as well as RV-loving enthusiasts, Keister...

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Overview

Mobile Mansions takes you on a captivating exploration of homes on wheels-everything from early diminutive camp cars to modern-day diesel-belching, lumbering leviathans complete with saunas, balconies, and gourmet kitchens. From the eclectic to the exquisite, the luxurious to the rare, this detailed RV guide showcases the diversity of some of the most lovingly restored RVs on the road today.

In this reference for pop culture connoisseurs as well as RV-loving enthusiasts, Keister documents an amazing range of vehicles, including small camp cars from the 1920s, house cars from the 1930s, campers from the 1950s, and finally modern-day motorhomes that first appeared in the 1960s. Well-known brands like Winnebago, GMC, and Travco are featured as well as one-of-a-kind vehicles like the Lamsteed Kampcar, built by Anheuser Busch, the Zeppelin House Car, and Buckminster Fuller's Dymaxion car.

Also included in this ultimate guide to RV nostalgia are descriptions, as well as a sampling of photos, of the RVs of cultural icons: Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Mae West, Howard Hughes, John Madden, the Partridge Family, Ken Kesey, The Who, and Barbie. Each had a home on wheels-be it an old converted school bus, massive RV cruiser, or elegant house car.

Entertaining and informative, Keister offers a fun-to-read, informative history of the recreational vehicle illustrated with luscious full-color images, rare vintage photographs, and a sampling of period advertisements. Step inside a wide variety of mobile mansions and feel yourself swept up in a wave of wistfulness, rediscovered adventuresome, and a longing to hit the road.

Douglas Keister has photographed more than twenty-five critically acclaimed books. He also writes and illustrates magazine articles and contributes photographs and essays to dozens of magazines, newspapers, books, calendars, posters, and greeting cards worldwide. Some of his books include Classic Cottages, Stories in Stone: A Field Guide to Cemetery Symbolism and Iconography, Ready to Roll, Red Tile Style, Silver Palaces, Victorian Glory, and Courtyards. Keister lives in Chico, California.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781586857738
  • Publisher: Smith, Gibbs Publisher
  • Publication date: 3/3/2006
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Chico, California-based photographer Douglas Keister has photographed twenty-two award-winning, critically acclaimed books. His seventeen books on architecture include four books on Victorian homes (Daughter's of Painted Ladies, Painted Ladies Revisited, America's Painted Ladies and Victorian Glory); three books on bungalow homes (The Bungalow, Inside the Bungalow and Outside the Bungalow), a book on 1920s whimsical homes (Storybook Style) a book about cemetery art and architecture (Going Out in Style), a book on Spanish architecture, (Red Tile Style), six books on bungalow details and Classic Cottages, that will be published by Gibbs Smith Publisher in the Spring of 2004. Keister photographed and wrote an award winning children's book (Fernando's Gift), has two monographs of his personal work (Black Rock and Driftwood Whimsy), a book on classic travel trailers, (Ready to Roll) and a book on cemetery symbolism, Stories in Stone: The Complete Illustrated Guide to Cemetery Symbolism, that will be published by Gibbs Smith Publisher in the Spring of 2004. His wealth of books on architecture has earned him the title, "America's most noted photographer of historic architecture."

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Read an Excerpt

The Romance of the Road

Americans are a restless people. We seem to have a wandering gene plugged into our DNA. After all, we are a nation of immigrants, born of social and political unrest. Even the Native Americans who gingerly welcomed us were, for the most part, nomadic people, content to follow the seasons or the buffalo. We Americans always seem to be looking for greener pastures and wondering what's over the next hill. Even the more sedentary of us find ways to express our wandering spirit. Indeed, inert folks, who seem to be permanently moored in their Barcaloungers, aren't content with a few channels on their televisions. They want dozens or even hundreds. Psychologists tell us to stop and smell the roses. Sure, we tell them, as long as we can be looking up the varieties of roses in our guidebooks while calling our friends on our cell phones to tell them how great they smell.

One of the best places to experience this restless, wandering spirit in action is on the nation's roads where millions (yes, millions) of recreational vehicle (RV) enthusiasts crisscross freeways, state highways, and dusty country roads. The size of their transporters range from diminutive pop-up tent trailers to diesel-belching, lumbering leviathans complete with hot tubs, balconies, and gourmet kitchens. Judging by the number of motorhomes, trailers, truck campers, and private busses on our nation's highways in recent years, especially compared with twenty or thirty years ago, it's easy to think that "RVing" is a relatively recent phenomenon. While it is certainly true that there are more modern-day gypsies than ever before, the phenomenon of hitting the road with a tidy little home on wheels has a long, rich history.

Mobile mansions are, for many, the greatest expression of our right of liberty. This right of liberty, which legal scholars translate as the freedom of movement, is spelled out in the Declaration of Independence. Indeed, the most quoted phrase in that treasured document is, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Most Americans also know Patrick Henry's famous demand, "Give me liberty, or give me death!"

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements

The Romance of the Road

Camp Cars and House Cars

Campers and Vans

Bus Conversions

Motorhomes

Personal Visions

Suggestions for Further Reading

Resources

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