Editor’s Note: The following column by Jon Gast, special to the USA Today Network-Wisconsin, chronicles a personal account of his visit to the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Ind.
So you’re driving along Interstate 80/90 in Indiana and you come across an exit ramp sign to the University of Notre Dame. You can’t see the campus from the highway, but just knowing you’re in the vicinity conjures up images of football stars Knute Rockne, Paul Hornung and, for those of us in Door County (Wis.), Jim Flanigan.
But the fact that it’s a highway sign pretty much tells you everything you need to know about driving across northern Indiana — it’s boring. Sorry, Hoosiers, but about the only things to break the monotony of the journey are the occasional toll booths. Yes, I actually had to pay for this boredom.
Suddenly you pass an attractive modern building with a glass façade and an odd title — the RV/MH Hall of Fame.
Then, when you realize that you are skirting Elkhart, Ind., it confirms that this is indeed a hall of fame (and museum, mind you) dedicated to recreational vehicles and manufactured homes.
Elkhart likes to think of itself as the RV capital of the country. The area is known for manufacturing many of these traveling vacation homes, and what better way of promoting it than by putting up a 100,000-square-foot structure honoring the individuals who put American vacations on wheels.
And there are a lot of Americans who vacation on wheels. Just go past any RV dealership and see just how many are spread across their lots. Is it possible that so many people hook these babies onto the back of their cars or trucks? Others get behind the wheel of something that can only be described as a rolling apartment.
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