The New Winnebago: Downsizing the Double-Wide

Campers have come a long way since the Pierce-Arrow Touring Landau debuted in 1910, complete with a chamber pot.

Like other devices that drive our life, today’s models are smaller, more eco-friendly, and can be controlled by a tablet.

“The RV has become a kind of app for modern peripatetic life,” says James Twitchell, author of Winnebago Nation: The RV in American Culture (2014). “A whole new demographic is driving the market.”

The Roadtrek E-Trek boasts solar panels, EverGreen RV’s trailers are made from recycled materials, and So-Cal’s retro-inspired Teardrop Buzz is light enough for fuel-efficient vehicles to tow without hogging the highway.

Want to try before you buy? Bunk in a late-model solar-powered Airstream Bambi at Mariposa Creamery in Altadena, California, or in a 1969 Barth Caravan at the Tierra Soul Urban Farm and Guesthouse in Portland, Oregon. No driver’s license required.

This piece, written by Jeannette Kimmel, first appeared in the February 2015 issue of National Geographic Traveler magazine. Follow Jeannette on Twitter @JeannetteKimmel.

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