The world’s first RV (built in 1914) was actually made from a single redwood tree!
As a result, they called the vehicle “the Travel Log”.
The Travel Log was constructed by Charles Kellogg from a fallen redwood in the state of California.
Kellogg, a popular performer, wanted people to see the magnificent trees and to save these gifts of Nature, for logging was claiming them at a frightful pace. He spread the word by making a fallen redwood into a rolling home.” Source
Inside, there was a bed, a table, a tiny closet and some shelves. There was also a small sink and toilet, but no running water. Kellogg did all of the interior cabinet work himself.
The Travel Log RV is estimated to weigh about 9500 pounds and the top speed is 5 mph atop the solid rubber tires which provide no traction.
It is 9’9″ high, 6′ 1/16″ wide, 19’4″ long and 11 feet in diameter. The interior is about 5’8″ high and the gas tank holds 26.7 gallons. Source
Timeline For This Log Cabin On Wheels
Kellogg drove the Travel Log for the first time in the fall of 1917. In all, he drove “the world’s first RV” around the USA a total of 4 times on his vaudeville tours as a performer who sang (not whistled) bird songs.
In 1931 he retired, sold the truck and gave the redwood shell to two sisters who took care of him. They used it as a sewing room until 1994, when they donated it to the Humboldt Redwood Interpretative Association (HRIA).
In 1999, the HRIA restored the vehicle with the help of carpenters from Pacific Lumber Company. To put the log camper portion back on wheels, the HRIA bought a 1914 Nash 4-wheel truck from the Hays Truck Museum in Woodland, California.
Currently the historic vehicle is on exhibit at the Humboldt Redwoods State Park Visitor Center.
More details about Kellogg, the RV itself, and the areas surrounding Humboldt County, California — should you decide to take a drive to see the giant redwoods.
Related (yet not)… Check out these “house trucks“!
I like to help people find unique ways to do things in order to save time & money — so I write about “outside the box” ideas that most wouldn’t think of. As a lifelong dog owner, I often share my best tips for living with and training dogs. I worked in Higher Ed over 10 years before switching gears to pursue activities that I’m truly passionate about. I’ve worked at a vet, in a photo lab, and at a zoo — to name a few. I enjoy the outdoors via bicycle, motorcycle, Jeep, or RV. You can always find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).