Sunday, January 18, 2015

World's First Motorhome!!

The weird things you can find in the desert are just amazing.  Even when you have been there many times before, you can always find a treasure ... and we hit pay dirt yesterday!!  Dan wanted to check out the Yuma Proving Ground, so we piled in the car and headed out of town.  We saw several ramps of varying degrees, where they test drive tanks and other vehicles to see if they can go up a 45 degree mountain.  Not finding the Heritage Center that we were looking for, Dan pulled in to one of the gates where we were met by a nice guard with big guns, who informed us the center was closed today.
Just our luck ... but we kept driving anyway, running into the All American Canal at every turn, along with a very sad looking Colorado River.  Seems all the water from the Colorado is diverted into this canal to irrigate the Imperial Valley.  Lots of water was screaming down the channel ... the ducks didn't even have to paddle!!
It was then that we saw this old Ford on top of the fence.  Dan slammed on the brakes and pulled in to see what all the old equipment was about.  What a find THIS turned out to be!!
Here you have Cloud Museum.  I'm guessing there's someone out here who has lots of money and lots of time ... and he pulled up just as we did to collect $5.00 each to go in and check out the junk yard.  Turns out there's a lot more than junk here!!
Thou shalt NOT steal any of his stuff ... 
And THEN ..... Dan found the world's first motorhome!!  It's a 1930 Mobile House, and was totally worth the $5.00 entry fee!!  Check out the cute scalloped window shade.
It's not blue, as in the above picture ... that's the result of photography in the shadows.  It's really kind of off-white, dirty looking, but what a treasure!!  The tank on the fender here is for water, the one on the opposite side (above picture) is for propane.
As you walk in the door, you can see the drop-down step cover, the modern ice box with vegetable drawer and the drivers seat.  
Here's the gas stove with tons of storage space and an old pressure cooker ... older than I have ever seen before!!  To the left side of the rig, across from the stove is the kitchen sink with lots of counter space.
Straight back is the bedroom ... bunk beds with huge thick cushy matresses.  There's a large dresser on the left, a mirrored door and closet on the right.
This rig has it all .... a beautiful cultured porcelain sink .... and the best part of all .....
A toilet!!  Yes, this rig comes with it's very own toilet seat, bolted to the frame, with a drop down cover to keep the smell away and allow access to the top bunk.  Check out the modern linoleum floor covering.  What you DON'T see in this picture is the bucket that sits below the seat.  That's no 50 gallon black tank, and unfortunately needs to be dumped pretty often through a door on the outside.  How convenient!!
Here's the view from the back.  The passenger seat is a nice Queen Anne upholstered chair ... least it was upholstered at one time!!  This mobile house was a hoot!!!
Here's a desert taxi ... shake, rattle and roll!!  There had to be over 200 vehicles here, every single one up on jacks.  Most had name plates hanging off the front telling where they came from and the year.  Many had "assembled from parts" written on them.  
There are a couple of old houses on the property, full of very cool antiques.  This is one of the first gas stoves ever made. 
It's a shame that most of the vehicles are out in the elements.  There's every kind of Ford truck and car imaginable, a couple of Chevys and many pieces of farm equipment.
Then we came to this huge building of the "good" stuff.  This building will have you drooling immediately!!  All these great cars ... and none are driven ... what a shame.  This place is a gem in the desert!!
He had lots of advertisements, wanted posters, old boat motors, bikes and trikes ... you just can't imagine all the amazing stuff here, including the first Harley-Davidson advertisement!!
Well THAT was a find for sure.  If you're in the area next year, look up Cloud Museum, Bard California and check it out.  The men will LOVE it, allowing the women to hit the quilt shops!!

The Quilt Show was here yesterday and it's the biggest I've ever seen.  Patty and I spent a couple of hours here early in the morning and came home with lots of goodies.
I'll just show a couple for the ladies!!
There were some amazing quilts as well as some crazy modern ones, and more material than you can shake a stick at!!  There were more batiks at this show than anything ... and I picked up a couple of jelly rolls and several fat quarters.  
It was a great day, ending at Cracker Barrel for dinner.  Today we head out to Quartzsite for some desert time and Big Tent shopping!!  You can never have too much RV stuff!!!


  1. What a find! I didn't see the typical roped off barriers so you couldn't experience that motorhome. I'll definitively add it to my bucket list. Thanks for sharing.

  2. You didn't include a picture of the flat screen TV, why not? If you are going to be staying in Yuma for a while you might want to ask Judy to take you guys (by car) out to Mitry Lake. It is about 18 miles north. Very scenic . That's where some Escapees tend to meet for Thanksgiving and New Years. Gail & I spent Thanksgiving weekend there with the Boomers back in 2010.

    1. Yay! I can answer with my phone. Internet too slow. No TV in this model. Didn't stay in Yuma, but will check it out next year!!