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Centennial Media Tour Off to Strong Start as David Woodworth Heads to TODAY Show

RV historian David Woodworth (at right, talking with reporters April 12) will appear on NBC’s Weekend TODAY show this Saturday, April 17, as he wraps up the first week of RVIA’s RV Centennial media tour. During his time on the road, Woodworth will travel to major Eastern media markets with a 1916 Telescoping Apartment RV and a modern 2010 Fleetwood Discovery motorhome, talking to reporters in New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, DC about the RV industry’s century of bringing families closer together.


The tour kicked off with a strong start on April 12, with Woodworth conducting 17 interviews via satellite with local network affiliates and cable channels across the country. (In photo above, Woodworth talks with reporters from the RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum.) Segments from the satellite media tour aired in an array of major media markets, including Boston, Denver, Kansas City, Seattle, Sacramento, and Milwaukee.  Woodworth enthusiastically described the joys of RVing and highlighted how RVs have evolved through the years, and also made sure to direct viewers to GoRVing.com for additional information.


“For a century, Americans have enjoyed exploring what’s over the next hill and around the bend,” Woodworth said during the morning’s interviews. “That pioneering spirit is still alive and well today.”


The roots of RVing are as old as pioneers and covered wagons. “The first mass-produced motorized campers were built in 1910,” says Woodworth, the preeminent collector of early RVs and RV camping memorabilia. “Before then, people camped in private rail cars that were pulled to sidings along train routes. 1910 brought a new freedom to people who didn’t want to be limited by the rail system. RVs allowed them to go where they wanted, when they wanted.”


Known as “auto campers” or “camping trailers,” these vehicles were the forerunners of today’s modern RVs.


“The first RVs offered minimal comforts compared to today’s homes-on-wheels,” said Woodworth. “But they did provide the freedom to travel anywhere, to get a good night’s sleep and enjoy home cooking. One notable exception to today’s RV was the bathroom. Back in 1910, it was usually either yonder tree or yonder bush.”


Today, RV travelers are able to enjoy all the comforts and conveniences of home while they’re on the road. RVs can come fully equipped with gourmet kitchens, baths and living rooms, and bedrooms that slide out at the push of a button to create extra space.  The type A motorhome by Fleetwood featured in the tour was selected in a lottery from among RVIA member manufacturers who responded.


Joining Woodworth on the tour is Centennial Charlie, the Official Ambassador of the 2010 RV Centennial.  Centennial Charlie is a 34” black bear stuffed animal, who has spent 2010 on a cross-country caravan to RV companies and consumer shows.  Inspired by the bear in the Go RVing Ambassadors of Affordability ad campaign, Centennial Charlie will be featured in a video chronicling his tour, which will be shown during the RV industry celebration on June 7 at the RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum.


“We take great pride in our past and look forward to a bright future,” said RVIA President Richard Coon. “RVing has been able to thrive and grow because people still enjoy the fun and freedom it provides.” 

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