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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

"Reading about the early iterations of these niche vehicles has been something of an eye-opener
The Bulletin of the Vintage Sports Car Club, No. 316, Summer 2022 (UK)

"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)

"This was a title that grabbed my attention – and having got a copy, I couldn't put it down."

What Motorhome magazine (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

"I was taken by the cover of this book. And soon found its inside to be fascinating. Helped by innumerable well reproduced period photos, showing all manner of unlikely vehicles, it takes you on a world tour of caravans, from beginnings you probably will not have thought of, up to the start of the Second World War. It is intriguing to look at and carefully and thoroughly researched, written and produced."
Mercedes Benz Club (UK)

"This book is well written, well presented and extremely enlightening."
Vintage Airfix (UK)
from The Society of Automotive Historians of Britain Times (edition 108): 
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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)

"This well-written and -produced book, generously illustrated, too, offers its readers "a curated selection of early RVs from countries where these vehicles have become part of the leisure culture." If the topic or the times are of interest, you'll not be disappointed when your copy arrives."

Antique Automobile Club of America, Nov/Dec 2022 Newsletter (USA)

"This is a splendid book on a virtually unexplored topic... Truly a delight for any and all transportation-oriented historians."
The Society of Automotive Historians, Newsletter No. 317 (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.

"It’s a fun and fascinatingly well-written and -produced book that is also generously illustrated...We might only hope that Andrew Woodmansey might be contemplating another book!"
From Read the full review here. (USA)

Snowbirds and RV Travelers magazine of Canada have produced a short video based on the book here.

Society of Automotive Historians newsletter cover Jul/Aug 1922
The 1926 Flatavan motorhome and caravan at Buckingham Palace from p55 of the book featured on the cover of The Society of Automotive Historians Journal No. 317
Australian Reviews
"An entertaining and informative introduction to this type of vehicle...It is absolutely loaded with photographs which provide the most valuable resource for the historian."
Harriet Edquist, Professor Emerita of Architectural History at RMIT University, Melbourne and founder and inaugural President of Automotive Historians Australia Inc (2015-2019)

" 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 here.

"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)

"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

"Many rare photos of early RVs were uncovered during the research for this book and are being published for the first time. We’re keen researchers, but we haven’t seen most of them before." (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

Jacket Comments

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Back Cover, Contents, Preface and Introduction

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Recreational Vehicles: A World History 1872-1939 is now available from all good bookshops. Please support your local bookshop if you can. The book is also slowly becoming available in libraries around the world. If your local library doesn't have a copy, ask them to acquire one.

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