In July of 1955, my parents and I set out from our home in central PA with the Sedan Deville (equipped with the best towing apparatus available and the trunk loaded with clothing, pots, pans, dinnerware, linens and cleaning supplies for our first destination the following day: Trotwood, Ohio, where our shiny, new, aluminum 22’ Trotwood trailer was towed onto the lot where it was hooked up to the Caddy and thoroughly cleaned by my mother before the furnishings were loaded and neatly put in place inside the trailer (the term “RV” had not been coined).
This was in preparation for our 8-week trip traversing 2-land highways west via the northern route, visiting the Badlands, Yellowstone, Reno, Tahoe, California and back east via the southern route, stopping to visit all the state parks, Grand Canyon, etc. not to mention the amazing Hoover Dam. Except for overheating and the need to a new thermostat in the Caddy in Bakersfield, California, the trailer was successfully pulled throughout the trip.
Since we were traveling during the months of July and August there were many National Guard troops on the road traveling to and from their summer camps. Passing these caravans that traveled under the legal speed limit on two-lane highways was quite an accomplishment and by the time we’d passed the first vehicle in the caravan, it was not a good idea for either Mother or me to suggest stopping for a restroom or for a meal, so we continued on, enduring whatever discomfort we were experiencing. As I recall, there were no holding tanks in the trailers of this era, so a gas station or restaurant was required when nature called. Roadside rests??? Don’t remember encountering any of these on the trip.
How exciting it was to stop along the highway in the mountains to make snowballs in August, just before crossing the desert in 132° heat.
My parents continued to travel the country with groups and alone with newer and larger trailers that would come to be known as RV’s until my father was in his late 70s. My husband and I now travel in our 38’ Newmar motorhome, which has been our home for the past 4½ years, spending our winters on our lot in Florida and summers near our hometown where we enjoy spending time with our children, grandchildren and great-grandchild. They have enjoyed spending time with us and traveling with us as well.
Our mode of travel is certainly a wonderful, comfortable opportunity, but no trip can surpass the enjoyment and pride our family felt on that first trip cross-country in our “Trotwood travel trailer.”
<em>Submitted by Gloria Mincemoyer of Mifflinburg, PA as a part of the RV Centennial Celebration “Share Your Favorite RV Memory” contest.
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