RV Capital: Elkhart, Indiana

Elkhart Indiana is definitely worth a stop for RVers traveling in Indiana. Often called the RV Capital of the World, the Elkhart area is filled with RV manufacturers, dealers, service centers, and sellers of RV-related after-market products.

Elkhart - RV Factory Tours:

We took several RV factory tours and would definitely recommend this free and interesting activity. It is great way to learn more about the various RV manufacturers and construction processes -- whether you are in the market for a new RV or just want to expand your overall knowledge.

Plan on spending at least an hour and a half on each tour. Most tours will take you through the plant to see the various stages of construction, with perhaps some time outdoors. You will likely see a number of the manufacturers' different models at various stages of completion, and usually can take a look inside completed RVs. You will certainly be able to pick up brochures, floor plans and price sheets.

Wear comfortable shoes. At Newmar, we found they prohibited open-toed shoes for safety reasons, and this may be true in some of the other plants. So, it might be best to forego the sandals and don your sneakers instead. By the way, Newmar employees a large number of Mennonite/Amish employees - a fact they make note of in their tour.

Here is a list of RV factory tours in the Elkhart area , with the times and days they are offered. Plan to arrive 10-15 minutes early. Many plants close down for a week or two around the fourth of July (and perhaps at other times of the year), so call ahead to confirm the schedule.

Don't miss the RV Museum!

The RV/MH Hall of Fame, Museum and Library showcase the history and growth of the RV industry. The museum houses a variety of vintage RVs, photos and memorabilia dating back to the 1920's

Vintage Trailer
Camping out in RV Museum
Pin It

It is fascinating to see how much things have changed, as well as how much they have stayed the same. We spotted an old issue of an RVing magazine with an article about farmhouses that welcome "trailerites" - it seems the quest for stopping places is longstanding.

The RVMH Hall of Fame's new facility is at 21565 Executive Parkway in Elkhart. See the museum's vintage units, including the “oldest RV in America” a travel trailer built in 1913 and displayed behind a 1913 Model T Ford, and the classic 1973 GMC Motorhome.

The display shows the evolution of technology as the primitive early units evolved into the luxury travel vehicles of today. Features in addition to the 1913 trailer include a 1931 housecar and a 1932 folding tent trailer as well as early examples of the work of modern RV companies. The units are displayed amidst huge photographic banners of various points of national interest.

The RV/MH Hall of Fame honors industry leaders with plaques and biographies. Over 300 leaders of the industry from its early days in the 1930s right up to the current time are honored with induction into the Hall of Fame.

The RV/MH Hall of Fame Library is available to all visitors and holds the world’s largest collection of RV and manufactured housing related literature and photos. The library’s resources are used by university scholars, museum researchers, and international travel writers as well as owners of vintage RVs or RV history buffs.

Learn about the Amish and Mennonite lifestyle:

You will find Amish and Mennonite communities scattered throughout 22 states and in Ontario Canada. It is a fascinating and enjoyable experience to learn about these people and visit countryside dotted with Amish farms and families traveling by horse and buggy.

  • Shipshewana is a small town set amidst the Indiana farmland, about 25 miles east of Elkhart.   The Shipshewana Flea Market is well-known and well-attended.   Open Tuesdays and Wednesdays May through October, it is the largest outdoor flea market in the Midwest.   Over 1000 vendors welcome visitors with a wide assortment of merchandise and local products.    Across the street is the Trading Place Antique Gallery, or walk the short distance to the wide variety of shops downtown. Shipshewana has over 75 specialty shops and many antique dealers. You will find quilts and quilting supplies, crafts, food, hand-crafted furniture, and many more treasures.    You can visit Menno-Hof, a non-profit information center about the faith and life of Amish and Mennonites.    It has multi-image presentations and displays that teach visitors about the world of the Mennonites and Amish.
  • Amish Acres is another nearby tourist attraction, listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It is just south of Elkhart in Nappanee, Indiana. This is a historic 80-acre farm with guided tours, craft demonstrations, farm animals, restaurants, shops and a musical theater.
  • The Heritage Trail Auto Tape and CD Tour is a self-guided driving tour. Two audio tapes or two CDs lead you through a 90 plus-mile loop as you visit Elkhart, Bristol, Middlebury, Shipshewana, Goshen, Nappanee and Wakarusa. As you travel, you'll learn about the history of the area and the Amish/Mennonite influences and can visit local attractions and shops at your own pace. The Elkhart County Visitors Center can give you additional information on this and other tours. Call 800.262.8161 for more information.
  • However you plan to take in the Amish experience...not to be missed is an authentic home-cooked Amish or Mennonite dinner, served family style in one of the area restaurants. Go hungry and save room for dessert!

More about the Amish

Go To RVT.com Now!

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

Wal-Mart.com USA, LLC

Search this Site

Good Sam Roadside Assistance - $69.95 Sale
About this Site
BobWards.com...Your #1 source for sporting goods.
Special Offers: Save on quality tires with these manufacturer's promotions available from Tire Rack.

Fulltiming Ever Wonder about the Full-time RV Lifestyle?

New vs. Used RV Which Should You Buy? A big decision.

RV Clubs Rally and Save You Money RV clubs benefit RV wannabees, new and experienced RVers.

Budget for RV Costs Plan a budget for RV costs, financing, insurance, and living expenses. Enjoy your RV lifestyle more by planning ahead.

RV Internet Access How to stay connected.

Top Ten Tips

Tips for Choosing Campgrounds

RV Travel Where to go and getting there.

About this Site We wanted to do something different with our lives.

RVer Jobs Ways to earn income as part of your RV lifestyle.

RV Books What You Need to Know

RV Products Many ways to make the most of RVing.

RV Advice Tips and suggestions.

RV Types Class A, C, B, 5th wheel, trailer. Which is right for you?

Internet Specials

Popular items purchased by RVers, and for RVers.

Good Sam ESP
The Next Exit - The Most Complete Interstate Hwy Guide Ever Printed


[?]Subscribe To This Site
  • follow us in feedly
  • Add to My Yahoo!
  • Add to My MSN
  • Subscribe with Bloglines