What is a Travel Trailer?

A Travel Trailer is probably one of the most flexible and versatile RVs in the marketplace today. Models can include smaller units with basic features to larger units with triple slide-outs, two bedrooms and all the comforts and conveniences of home. They range from a compact 13-foot unit able to be towed with a car to 36-foot units requiring a pickup truck or other truck-based tow vehicle. And, of course, everything in between.

Floorplans and amenities in Travel Trailers are almost endless.  Options can include zero, one, two or three slide-outs, one or two entry/exit doors, full size bed(s) and/or bunk beds, compact or full-size refrigerators, stoves with ovens, multiple dining facilities, full bathroom facilities with a tub/shower, and the list goes on and on.

A Brief History of Route 66

All Seasons RV is a proud member of the ROUTE 66 RV Network, the largest network of independent RV dealers in North America. But not too many people know the real history of America’s Mother Road. Time magazine offers a great summary here: 

For nearly six decades, a two-lane road, running 2,448 miles, connected Chicago to Los Angeles. It was the path to Western promise for “Okies” escaping the Dust Bowl in the 1930s, the road under the soles of American nomads like Jack Kerouac. Route 66 was once considered an essential artery, its travelers a measure of America’s pulse. But by the mid-1980s, the road was deemed obsolete.

 Twenty-five years ago on June 27, Route 66 was decommissioned. But even as the no-tell motels and mom-and-pop shops along the road disappeared, the fables of America’s “Mother Road” continued to ramble on.

In the 1920s, federal highway officials, faced with growing automobile ownership (registered motor vehicles grew from 500,000 in 1910 to almost 10 million in 1920) and the impracticality of disjointed, named trails, began to develop a numbered road system. Oklahoma real estate agent and coal company owner Cyrus Avery worked with John Woodruff, a highway proponent, to advocate a diagonal roadway running from Chicago to Los Angeles. 

As an Oklahoman, Avery, who was also largely responsible for getting America’s Main Street its name, lobbied for the route because it would redirect traffic from Kansas City, Mo., and Denver and boost the state’s prosperity. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) initially named the road Route 60 and then Route 62. 

Avery “strenuously objected” to the switch, even penning a letter to AASHTO executive secretary William Markham saying, “You are making a joke of the interstate highway.” On April 30, 1926, the route was renamed. Avery became known as the “Father of Route 66,” with Springfield, Mo., its birthplace.

 

Rules For Riding Shotgun

c16a8ed1e2152ca31dabdcf2ab70e800As a passenger in any vehicle, you may think that you’re off the hook from having to do any work, but you’re really a second pair of eyes and hands for the driver. Knowing how to be the best shotgun rider can help out your driver and make the ride that much more fun (and safe) for everyone.

Let The Driver Be In Charge

No one likes a backseat driver, especially from the front seat. As a passenger, you usually don’t get to choose the radio station or decide if it’s too cold, although you’re welcome to make suggestions. But, you should be the one to adjust those things when the driver is ready. In the front seat, you have the unique advantage of being there to help your friend behind the wheel. Reaching for controls takes the focus off of the road and an extra pair of hands can be incredibly advantageous in a moment where a second’s glance towards the dash could cause trouble.

Watch The Road Too

Your driver obviously knows the rules of the road. They wouldn’t have a set of keys if they didn’t. But things come up quickly and if it looks like your driver hasn’t seen something that you have from your vantage point, bring it up calmly. (I mention “calmly” as the way to do it because there’s nothing scarier as a driver than a passenger yelling about possible danger.) This is just as true for highway driving as it is for backing out of a parking space. With cars on either side, it can be difficult to see if anyone is coming your way and a passenger can be a second pair of eyes to be sure that your vehicle is in the clear.

Road Tripping It?

If you’re heading out for a longer trip, you’re responsibilities as a shotgun rider are even greater. You might be in charge of food distribution if you stop at a drive-thru, keeping the driver (and yourself) attentive and awake, giving directions, and much more. If you’re traveling with a group, keep the rest of the car in line and protect your driver from more distraction from the crowd.

Remember that even though you’re not the one behind the wheel, you’ll want to be just as attentive to the road, conditions, and other passengers as if you were, simply to help the driver out. You’ll want to be the best front seat passenger you can be for your driver so that nothing (preventable) goes wrong on your drive.