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First RV trip celebrated 130 years later


The Wanderer | Caravan Club Collection photos
The Wanderer | Caravan Club Collection photos

June marks the 130th anniversary of the maiden voyage of what is believed to be the world’s first “caravan” or recreation vehicle, The Wanderer, a horse-drawn camping trailer owned by physician and Victorian author William Gordon Stables. It was in the summer of 1885 that Stables traveled some 1,400 miles and recorded his journey in detail in The Cruise of the Land Yacht Wanderer.

Stables’ trip is being celebrated with the first public display of photographs and illustrations of the caravan at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu. The Wanderer was bequeathed to The Caravan Club of the UK in the 1960s by Stables’ daughter, and it is on display at the club’s facilities at Broadway, Worcestershire.

Inside the first RV
Inside the first RV

“William Gordon Stables was a true adventurer, with a pioneering spirit and a genuine appreciation of the great outdoors and the benefits the natural world brings to mind and body,” Nick Lomas, director general of The Caravan Club, said in a news release from the Beaulieu museum.

To Caravan Club Collection also is sharing reports on Stables’ journey through its twitter account @TheCCCollection and through the #Wanderer130 hashtag.

Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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