top of page

"A good book takes you to places you’ve never been and opens your perspective in ways you might never have considered. This book does just that..."

Chris Smith, IPMS/USA

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

The Society of Automotive Historians in Britain

"If the topic or the times are of interest, you'll not be disappointed when your copy arrives."

Antique Automobile Club of America

"Perhaps the only port of call for anyone wanting a serious history of this most singular hobby."

The Automobile

Pathfinder Hi Res copy.jpg

A book that re-writes RV history.

The most-reviewed book ever published by Pen and Sword.

See what the reviews say.

"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)

"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)

"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 (USA)

"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)

02-24 Eccles 1919 copy.jpg

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.

"It is absolutely loaded with photographs which provide the most valuable resource for the historian."

Harriet Edquist

RMIT University


"It features not only the vehicles but also their designers, owners and users. As such it is a social and leisure history of the early twentieth century as well as an automotive one."

The Senior (Australia)

"Andrew Woodmansey’s research on the early days of the RV should be in the library of every historic vehicle and caravan club, we reckon. At A$85, it’s not a cheap volume, but is quality through and through."

Outback Travel Australia

"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

Le_logis-remorque_Cadel_ _pour_[.._edited.png

Featuring the quirky designers, owners and stories behind the first recreational vehicles

"The best quality RV history book on the market."

David Woodworth, RV Historian (USA)

"The best summary I've read about the club."

Terry Bone, The Tin Can Tourists (USA)

"The illustrations and photos are worth the book alone"

Escapees Magazine (USA)

"Truly a delight for any and all transportation-oriented historians."

Society of Automotive Historians (USA)

Recreational Vehicles: A World History 1872-1939 is available from all good online and physical bookshops as well as over 250 libraries worldwide. Book details from the publisher and more reviews can be found herea limited preview on Google Books can be read here. Snowbirds and RV Travelers magazine of Canada have produced a short video based on the book here.

Free to download

How did we end up with the RV designs of today? Why don't we have folding RVs? Three-wheeled RVs? Even amphibious RVs?


From his collection of several hundred pre-WW2 RV patents, the author has curated fifty noteworthy RV-related patents from 1889 to 1938 from six countries. There are twenty-three patents from the USA, nineteen from the UK, three from New Zealand, two each from France and Australia and one from Germany. Some are clever, some are weird and a few are just silly.


For each invention the author summarizes their special features and relevance. Readers might just be amazed how old some of our RV designs are. This book is a short but fascinating homage to the inventors and designers that made the RV what it is today.

Free pdf download below

Coming in 2024

The Curtiss Aerocar

The Curtiss Aerocar is one of America's earliest and best-known recreational vehicles. Richly illustrated with stunning photos from the archives of the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum, this book will be a must-read for anyone interested in America's transport history.

Recent Posts

bottom of page