from Caravanning and Camping Out by J. Harris Stone (1914)

"Artists, anglers, photographers and entomologists too are numerous in the ranks of the modern Gypsy; while not a few writers, like the late Dr. Gordon-Stables, find they do their best work on the road in a van."


The first ever international history of recreational vehicles. Published by Pen & Sword Books in early 2022. Fully illustrated with over 300 period, high quality black and white images of pre-WW2 RVs from the UK, France, USA, Germany, Australia and New Zealand including many published for the first time.

This book will re-write RV history.

Book Reviews

UK Reviews

"This is a superb book and a credit to its author. It is highly recommended."

The Society of Automotive Historians in Britain (UK). Read the full review here.

"The text is well-researched, wide-reaching and entertaining. It's as much a social history as it is a nuts-and-bolts look at the manufacturers of recreational vehicles and their products... The illustrations are superb too...It is a genuinely interesting and enjoyable read, and is perhaps the only port of call for anyone wanting a serious history of this most singular hobby."
The Automobile (UK), April 2022

"The book is the perfect addition to the coffee table of any caravan or motorhome owner wishing to discover more about the heritage of the leisure touring holiday."
Caravan and Motorhome Club (UK)

"A Kindle is great for many things, but sometimes you just need to chop down a tree.
This is one of those reasons."

Campervan magazine (UK), April 2022
from The Society of Automotive Historians of Britain Times (edition 108): 
SAHB Times 108 1.jpg
SAHB Time 108 2.jpg
North American Reviews

"A unique automotive pictorial history, "Recreational Vehicles: A World History 1872 - 1939" is a simply fascinating read from cover to cover. Of special and enduring interest for automotive enthusiasts and historians, "Recreational Vehicles: A World History 1872 - 1939" is profusely illustrated throughout with black-and-white photography in support of an impressively informative commentary. A pure pleasure to simply browse through one delightfully nostalgic page at a time, "Recreational Vehicles: A World History 1872 - 1939" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Automotive History collections and supplemental curriculum reading lists."
Midwest Book Review (USA)

"Overall this is a much needed history on a subject that has greatly influenced our way of life in the 21st century. We are now a mobile society and its origins have been overlooked and nearly forgotten until now. This is a must read for every historian, regardless of their chosen interest."
Rick Leisenring, Curator, Glenn H. Curtiss Museum (USA)

"The best quality RV history book on the market."
David Woodworth, RV historian (USA)

"Andrew Woodmansey has become the new authority on RV history...Even if you're not an RV historian, (the book) is a great read filled with incredible stories and characters."
RV Camping Magazine, June 2022

"The illustrations and photos are worth the book alone, and the history lessons are excellent - a treasure for any RVer's library."
Escapees Magazine, May/June 2022

"The best summary I've read about the club."
Terry Bone, Royal Chief,  The Tin Can Tourists (USA). Read the review here.
Australian Reviews
" This beautifully printed and packaged 240-page tour de force requires no fuel-thirsty tow vehicle or long transport stages to enjoy — only a comfortable chair and a willingness to let your fancy be tickled by the inventiveness or daring of those who came before us in seeking to enjoy the outside world in comfort."
The Wanderer, Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia magazine, April 2022

"What is particularly exciting about the book from an Australian perspective is that during his research on Australian caravans, Andrew ... completely overturned some of the things we thought we knew about the development of the caravan industry in our country."
Vintage Caravans Forum, Australia. See the full review

"Many moons ago, someone thought of putting a house on wheels and taking it on the road on holidays. It might have sounded odd at the time but the idea caught on, spawning generations of caravanners and, later, the grey nomads for which Australia is famous. This rich history has been beautifully documented in 'Recreational Vehicles: A World History 1872-1939' by Sydney author Andrew Woodmansey."
The Senior (Australia). Read the full review here.

"Everything you ever wanted to know about the early history of the RV."
Caravan Camping Sales (Australia)

"A great coffee table book and would make an excellent gift for that keen RVer in your life who has pretty much everything he could want and will provide many hours of reading that will be both educational and frequently surprising."
Caravan World (Australia). Download the full review below:
New Zealand Review

"This large and very well illustrated 240-page hardback covers a great deal of fascinating material. As someone who is immune to the charms of RVs generally, I still found this book really interesting and enjoyable."
New Zealand Classic Car, August 1922

Social Media

press to zoom

press to zoom

press to zoom

press to zoom

Jacket Comments

Screen Shot 2021-08-29 at 11.42.31 am.jpg

Back Cover, Contents, Preface and Introduction

Screen Shot 2021-08-29 at 11.38.32 am.jpg
Screen Shot 2021-08-29 at 11.39.06 am.jpg
Screen Shot 2021-08-29 at 11.40.02 am.jpg


Recreational Vehicles: A World History 1872-1939 will be available in early 2022 from all good bookshops.

Due to worldwide shipping delays, the book's availability outside the UK has been limited in early 2022, but supplies are now improving. Below is  a list of places where the book is currently available.

UK (around £25)

Widely available from both online and physical bookshops in the UK
The book's publishers Pen & Sword hold the largest stock

France (around €36)

Librarie Passion Automobile, Paris
Amazon France

Germany (around €45)

Disch Fachbuchhandlung, Hamburg
Amazon Germany

USA (around $45)

Amazon USA
Barnes and Noble


ow available from Amazon Australia below A$60. Also:

Constant Reader (NSW)

New Zealand (around NZ$75)


The book is also slowly becoming available in libraries around the world.
If your local library doesn't have a copy please make a reader suggestion to purchase it.

Recent Posts