My grandparents, Lauren and Dorothy Ober, first RV trip, a 9 month journey in 1946-1947.
They covered 34 states, 4 Canadian provinces, and 6 states in Mexico.
Dorothy typed a daily diary with colorful descriptions of the sights they saw, the miles traveled, the # of trailers they saw on the road. She added in photos, postcards, coasters, matchbook covers, newspaper clippings, receipts, etc. The 9 month diary is 2 volumes (each 3-1/2 inches thick) and every item added to the text is numbered and referred to in the diary. She was a bookkeeper, hense the detailed account and the 33 page ledger at the end itemizing every penny they spent! An eye opener!!!
271 days on the road
Total miles: 20,626
Total cost: $2,575.92
It is a wonderful look into the time. The people, farming and industry, the roads, Tourist attractions and RV parks at the time. Historically, it is interesting to me, as a nurse, the references to relatives they visited hospitalized for measles; and to Polo outbreaks in Minnesota and their inability to get ice for the trailer. ALL the ice went to the hospitals for the polio victums (infantile paralysis)! What an era gone bye, thank goodness!
Her diary was an inspiration for my husband and me to get our own 5th wheel and tour the country. Like them, our first trip was also cross-country, albeit much shorter at 2 months. And we, like most everyone we met had our ‘Newby RV story’. On the 4th day out we tore a 25ft rip in our roof pullling into our spot. They may say they trim their trees tall enought, but you’d better get out and look!!!! My grandparents had many repair adventures, the usual being their first stop and finding cupboards and drawers rocked open with contents rolling around the trailer floor. When in snow storms in Laredo, fellow RVers helped them by telling them to get cardboard boxes from the grocery store and line their floors to help keep the trailer warmer.
Some day we hope to use her diary to make the same trek.
Submitted by Evelyn Lancaster of Camas, WA as a part of the RV Centennial Celebration “Share Your Favorite RV Memory” contest.
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