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50 Years of RV Travel: Motorhome December Issues

Originally Published in MotorHome Magazine

Retracing MotorHome’s December issues over the years

Motorhome 50-years-logoThis time of year can really bring out the kid in all of us. And so it was in the December 1973 issue, when “Let’s Play Camping” declared: “Time was when little boys played with trucks and cars; little girls played with dolls. Now little boys play with recreational vehicles — and so do little girls!”

The tongue-in-cheek “review” on these toys does tug on the heartstrings of youthful nostalgia, and acts as a reminder that we’re never too old to play with toys. It’s just that the toys become bigger, more sophisticated and, naturally, more expensive.

A new set of snow skis is always a great discovery underneath the tree. And, you might as well test them out while using your motorhome as a basecamp, as we did in 1983’s “Colorado’s RV-and-Ski Country,” and again in the ’84 feature “Skiing the Winter Sun,” the latter of which examines a cool baker’s dozen ski areas in New Mexico.

Or, perhaps you’re on a tight budget, and want to remain closer to home. “Stocking Stuffers Under $50” in the 1990 issue included dozens of affordable gifts for the traveling gourmet, the shade-tree handyman, the motorhome hobbyist and the RVing outdoorsman.
Spending a few dollars more could get you a laptop, a CB radio, an inflatable dinghy or a portable grill. At least it could in 1995’s “Gifts to Go,” which covered all the red-and-green bases.

“Key Presents” in 2004 was touted as “A Christmas gift list for RVers with an active lifestyle,” and it lived up to its billing with a wish list including a mountain bike, a jet ski, a snowmobile and a four-wheeler. Outdoor adventure, here we come!

Home50-Years-of-motorhome-December theater is always changing, which likely makes many of the components discussed in 2010’s “Big Screen Attraction” a bit behind the times. But we bet the A/V receiver, Blu-ray player, speaker systems and 40-inch LCD TV installed on the author’s 2008 Tiffin Phaeton continue to steal the show at the RV park.

If you want to go really big, nothing says “Happy Holidays” like a new motorhome. We tested a Forest River Charleston diesel pusher in 2013; check out page 32 in this issue for Forest River’s latest pusher, the Berkshire XL 40D.

And this is always a good time to ask Santa for new dinghy equipment. “Towing Safely,” in 2017, skipped the naughty and went straight to the nice in terms of new dinghy-braking systems.

We at MotorHome wish you the happiest of holidays. We have savored every moment of our yearlong celebration of the magazine’s days gone by, and raise our glasses to you, our readers, for a bright future together.


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