In the course of writing my kink modern Western, I began compiling the names of the older, weathered, 70s-80s-early 90s RVs I would see while driving around Oregon because these RVs and their inhabitants figured prominently in the novel.
My list has now topped 50 and I keep compiling because these rigs keep coming out of the woodwork in this ongoing new American diaspora. Surely you’ve seen it.
I always have a notebook open on the passenger seat and record the better names as I drive.
My only wish is I had a photographer riding shotgun with me. What a photo essay this would make! Shooting these rigs while they’re on the move and often falling apart. Not to mention the graphic design styles to document, styles created before the Digital Age.
The names of current RVs have changed dramatically since the 70s-80s-early 90s and I am still trying to figure out why. There is a novel in this big change but I won’ write it. It’s well beyond my ability as a writer. Someone else take it up.
Below are some the mores arresting names of the older models:
Spirit of America
The Executive (The model Bob Dylan drove on The Rolling Thunder Revue Tour! Watch the new Netflix doc on this remarkable event and see BOB DRIVE IT.)
Clark Cortez (Steve McQueen owned one!)
Midas (I don’t get this one at all.)
There are more, of course. I often wonder what went into the naming of these rigs. They represent so many metaphors and dreams and aspirations, some ironical, some irony-free.