Wednesday, August 14, 2013

1937 Travel Trailer

Better than a tent, this trailer was luxury in 1937.

On display at the Forney Transportation Museum, 
a sign tells the full story for the 1937 Unadilla.

Not sure why the well dressed mannequin is included here.
How about someone who actually looks like they are camping.
The museum might need a new curator.

Imagine this trailer exploring the national parks of the west -- long before the traffic jams that is the usual visit today at the busiest western national parks: Yosemite, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon -- and Rocky Mountain not far behind.

Today most see the national parks from the air conditioned comfort of cars with kids in the back seat bored of the scenery and playing their tablet/video games. With that vision of today's visitor to a National Park, I am reminded of a favored quote from Edward Abbey's Desert Solitaire (1968):
“Look here, I want to say, for godsake fellas get out of them there machines, take off those fucking sunglasses and unpeel both eyeballs, look around; throw away those goddamned idiotic cameras! For chrissakes folks what is this life if full of care we have no time to stand and stare? eh? Take off your shoes for awhile, unzip your fly, piss hearty, dig your toes in the hot sand, feel that raw and rugged earth, split a couple of big toenails, draw blood! Why not? Jesus Christ lady, roll that window down! You can’t see the desert if you can’t smell it. Dusty? Of course it’s dusty — this is Utah! But it’s good dust, good red Utahn dust, rich in iron, rich in irony. Turn that motor off. Get out of that piece of iron and stretch your varicose veins, take off your brassiere and get some hot sun on your wrinkled old dugs! You sir, squinting at the map with your radiator boiling over and your fuel pump vapor-locked, crawl out of that shiny hunk of GMC junk and take a walk-yes, leave the old lady and those squawling brats behind for awhile and take a long quiet walk straight into the canyons, get lost for awhile, come back when you damn well feel like it, it’ll do you and her and them a world of good. Give the kids a break too. let them out of the car, let them go scrambling over rocks and hunting for rattlesnakes and scorpions and anthills-yes sir, let them out, turn them loose; how dare you imprison little children in your goddamned upholstered horseless hearse? Yes sir, yes madam, I entreat you, get out of those motorized wheelchairs, get off your foam rubber backsides, stand up straight like men! like women! like human beings! and walk — walk — WALK upon our sweet and blessed land!”


  1. Thank you so much for finding the quote that I have been looking for, for so many years!

  2. My parents spent a whole summer living in one of those tiny trailers in the 1940's with 3 babies and traveling around the country on the old US highway system, long before the first Interstate. My father was between Air Force assignments and there was a dread disease outbreak they wanted to avoid the kids catching - pre-antibiotics too. Mother said flat tires were just expected out in the middle of nowhere so a repair kit was more essential than food.

  3. I have Desert Solitaire on my Kindle ever since I got the Kindle and I keep forgetting to read it...I will start it on my next trip in a couple of weeks since it offers quotes like that!

  4. I knew Boonie would like the quote! I was preparing to send it to him.

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