My first RV trip was in 1945 or 1946, when I was 5 or 6 years old. My Mom, Dad, Grandfather, and I took a trip to Michigan to visit relatives. The RV was a Pierce Arrow Travel Lodge Trailer. I have no idea of the vintage year of the trailer. It had a rivited aluminum skin and looked similar to Airstream Trailers of today. My Dad being an inventor of sorts equipped the unit with an electric generator mounted on the trailer tongue, and a window mounted swamp cooler that used spanish moss with a drip system to cool the trailer. The fan for the cooler was run by the generator. The unit had a cook stove that burned white gas and had to be pumped up to use. The water supply was a tank under the cabinet that you pumped by hand to use it. The ice box used block ice for cooling, and the commode was a 5 gallon bucket with a toilet seat. (forerunner of todays chemical toilet) which had to be emptied daily at a public restroom.
One particular incident on that trip that my Dad related to me in later years and I vaguely remember. We set up on a beach at Lake Michigan and Dad fired up the generator and we had all the inside lights on and an outside light on. We were sitting in the trailer having dinner and we were hit by a beam from a large spotlight. When we went out to check on it, we were confronted by a Coast Guard boat and several emergency response people. Someone had seen all our lights and thought a boat had run aground and called the Coast Guard and police. After Daddy explained the lights and gave them a tour of the trailer, they went away and we finished our dinner.
Submitted by Jerry Turner of Crockett, TX as a part of the RV Centennial Celebration “Share Your Favorite RV Memory” contest.
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