The RV (recreational vehicle) industry had its beginnings in the 1920s, shortly after the advent of the automobile industry, when a number of companies began manufacturing house trailers or trailer coaches, as they were then called. An early attempt at a self-contained RV featuring all the amenities of home is pictured in Tampa in the 1923 “then” photo, apparently built on a Ford Model TT truck chassis.
Today, more than 9 million Americans own a recreational vehicle, a 16 percent increase since 2001, and a 64 percent gain since 1980. The RV industry is projected to be a growth industry as the baby boomers prepare to retire.
In the “now” photo, an RV is on display at the 2013 Florida RV SuperShow at the Florida State Fairgrounds. The 2014 show opens Wednesday and runs through Jan. 19. Adult admission is $10 for a two-day pass and parking is $6 for cars or $12 for RVs and oversized vehicles. (Kids under 16 are free.)