History of camper voyages

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Praga Piccolo Cabriolet

How did RV travel start?

In the Erwin Hymer Museum we learn the history of Motorhome Travel know. When the invitation to the Erwin Hymer Museum in Bad Waldsee fluttered into our house, I first thought: "What should be interesting about a camper museum?" I have to admit that I'm not a vehicle freak. And my time as a camper was also a few years ago. For me, vehicles are usually used only for locomotion. I'm not particularly interested in their story. Unless there's a pink or turquoise Chevy Bel Air in front of me. At least that's what I thought before we visited the RV Museum in the Baden-Württemberg Visited Bad Waldsee.


A Dethleffs car from 1931
A Dethleffs car from 1931


The Erwin Hymer Museum in Bad Waldsee shows the history of mobile home travel

The museum is located - how can it be otherwise - near the company premises of Erwin Hymer AG in Bad Waldsee. It is housed in a modern building. When we are in the pouring rain our car on the Parking I'm still not convinced that this is an issue that may interest me. But on such a rainy day, there is nothing better than a visit to a museum. So we walk with umbrella to the entrance, where we arrive wet despite the short distance.


Suitcases were strapped to the rear of the beetle
Suitcases were strapped to the rear of the Beetle - history of motorhome travel


Walk through the history of camper voyages

In the museum, an employee guides us through the exhibition levels. Right at the start, we are standing in front of one of the first “caravans” in Germany. This was the name of the caravan in 1931, when Arist Dethleffs designed his first copy. It looks like a wooden box on wheels. Its interior exudes a dormitory atmosphere rather than a cozy atmosphere. "You had to be a die-hard camping fan to go on vacation with it," I think to myself.

Then our museum tour becomes more and more interesting. A beetle has the suitcase strapped to his rear while he pulls a trailer up the steep path to the third floor. Before that, a red cadet pulls a living ball up the jetty behind him. It was cooked in these basic equipped caravans with camping stoves. From a modern kitchen equipment could be no end of the 1930er years. The picnic basket with unbreakable plastic dishes replaced the domestic kitchen comfort.


Isabella coupe
With an Isabella coupe on the Italian holiday, that's it, right?


The campers are becoming more luxurious

Only in the 1960er years changed this. A living trailer pulled by a chic Isabella Coupé is comfortably furnished with a padded corner instead of a fold-up wooden bench. He has a sink and fitted wardrobes. However, you had to get the water for it by bucket. Mobile travelers are becoming more demanding. They do not want to give up their comfort on their travels. We see a Motorhome Deluxe with a rooftop terrace. Umbrella and deck chair included. Here are the first built-in showers. These were tight, but guaranteed the RV friends a degree of privacy.


Motorhome Deluxe - History of Motorhome Travel
Motorhome deluxe with sun terrace on the roof - history of motorhome travel


The history of motorhome travel becomes more adventurous

Our journey through the museum not only takes us past the historic RV models, but also through the history of mobile travel. This starts with tours in the mountains. She continues to the south of Italy. The globetrotters of the hippie generation come into play with compact campers. They went to the ashram in India or drove to the souks of Morocco. Almost this walk through the museum seems like a stroll through my own youth. On our vacation trips with my parents, who led us into the mountains, we watched the Schnauferln. They heaved their trailers laboriously over pass roads and mountain passes.


East German Motorhome - History of Motorhome Travel
What could not be bought, they built themselves in the GDR


We also get to know the ingenuity of DDR Camper. Anyway, a roof tent on the Trabbi makes me think of expedition vehicles in Namibia. In the desert of Africa you can still sleep in it today. But there are also comfortable living trailers that you built yourself. In those the upholstered furniture under a glass roof was not missing. Pure luxury in the East German way.


Ranger Airstream - History of RV Travel
A ranger pulls an Airstream - it can hardly be more American in the history of motorhome travel


After all, I still come to my vintage car. It's not a Chevy Bel Air, but a Ranger pulls the probably most typical caravan in America through the area. An aluminum airstream still on US roads today. Indestructible they are. Quite different than the caravans, campers and motorhomes modern construction.


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Travel Arrangements

Parking at the airport

Here you can reserve your parking space at the airport.

Arrival by plane, car, bus and train

Arrival by plane, bus or train*. The nearest airport is Stuttgart. You can also travel by train: Timetable and booking*

Car Rentals:

Cheap car hire - book quickly and easily!

Rent Motorhomes:

Book motorhomes in Europe here! With our Motorhome packing list You'll never forget anything again.


Campsites in the Bad Waldsee area* you can find and reserve here, for example.

Accommodations in the region:

Accommodation for online booking is also available in Bad Waldsee* via Booking.com.



Do you also know:


Source of the history of motorhome travel: On-site research into the history of motorhome travel at the invitation of Bad Waldsee. However, our opinion remains our own.


Text history of mobile home travel: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline
Video: © Copyright Petar Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline

History of camper voyages

Monika Fuchs

Monika Fuchs and Petar Fuchs are the authors and publishers of the Slow Travel and Enjoyment travel blog TravelWorldOnline Traveller. You have been publishing this blog since 2005. TravelWorldOnline has been online since 2001. Your topics are Trips to Savor and wine tourism worldwide and Slow Travel. During her studies, Monika Fuchs spent some time in North America, where she traveled to the USA and Canada - sometimes together with Petar Fuchs - and spent a research year in British Columbia. This strengthened her thirst for knowledge, which she pursued for 6 years Adventure Guide for Rotel Tours and then for 11 years as Study tour guide for Studiosus Reisen tried to breastfeed all over the world. She constantly expanded her travel regions, but curiosity still gnawed at her: “What is beyond the horizon? What else is there to discover in this city? Which people are interesting here? What do you eat in this region?” These are the questions she is now trying to answer as a freelance travel journalist (her articles have appeared in DIE ZEIT, 360° Canada, 360° USA, etc.), among others. travel writer and travel blogger answers in many countries around the world. Petar Fuchs produces the videos on this blog as well as on YouTube. Monika Fuchs from TravelWorldOnline is below Germany's top 50 bloggers in 2021 Other Information about Monika and Petar Fuchs. Recommendations on LinkedIn from tourism experts Further recommendations from cooperation partners and tourism experts Professional experience Monika on LinkedIn

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