Motorhomes Featured In Films and TV
It’s a curious thing, whenever you drive a particular type of vehicle, no matter what it is, you always seem to notice more of them when you’re out driving. Motorhomes are no exception and it’s with a knowing smile that we greet comments from our lovely customers who’re new to the joys of motorhome travel, when they tell us that they suddenly see motorhomes everywhere.
Of course, we live and breath luxury motorhomes, so we don’t just spot them on the road. You might be surprised at just how often a motorhome plays a supporting role in the movies or on TV. We’ve yet to see a motorhome be the star of show, like Herbie, KITT or Lightning McQueen, but we’re sure it’s just a matter of the time before the heroes of your family holidays get the limelight they deserve, but in the meantime, here are some of our favourite films and TV programmes where a motorhome has played a pivotal role.
Motorhomes In The Movies
A Star Wars parody written by and starring Mel Brooks, this 1987 cult classic is a great comedic story in its own right packed full of pop culture references and silly send-ups. Rick Moranis’ villainous yet whiny antagonist ‘Dark Helmet’ steals the show sending up Darth Vader.
The motorhome featuring in Spaceballs is the ‘Eagle 5’ a spacefaring Winnebago Chieftain piloted by Bill Pullman’s ‘Lone Star’ the hero of the film and ‘Barf’ the ‘Mawg’ played by the late John Candy – A being who’s half man, half dog (he’s his own best friend). We’re not sure if this counts as a ‘Pet Friendly Motorhome‘. The Eagle 5 inwardly and outwardly has the appearance of a classic 80’s motorhome with wings attached and secret hyper jets (a feature not found even on Priory Motorhomes) to allow it to travel through space at ‘Ludicrous speed’.
If you’re a fan of Star Wars (and many of the other films which are referenced during the movie), you should definitely see Spaceballs, if you’re not a fan of Star Wars, you should also see Spaceballs. There’s something for everyone!
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Another 80’s classic and a great example of motorhomes in the movies, is one in a long line of Films featuring Chevy Chase and his hapless on screen family ‘The Griswolds’.
In The Christmas Vacation, the Griswold family invite their relatives over to spend Christmas with them and much like the other National Lampoon movies, things very quickly go disastrously and hilariously wrong. If you ever wanted to know why cats should be kept away from Christmas lights and why motorhome cassettes should be emptied only in the proper facilities, then watch this film!
A rather run down Winnebago provides the motorhome interest in this movie, driven by ‘Cousin Eddie’ played by Randy Quaid, who turns up to the Christmas family gathering uninvited and is revealed to be his home now that his house has been repossessed. The phrase ‘VanLife’ had yet to be coined in 1989 when the film was released.
The titular ‘Paul’ is the name given to an alien (voiced by Seth Rogan) discovered outside Area 51 by friends and fellow nerds Graeme and Clive (played by British Duo Simon Pegg and Nick Frost) during their road trip across America in a rented Winnebago.
As far as motorhomes in the movies go, Paul features the vehicle quite prominently. Much of this comedy is set within the motorhome itself as the Graeme and Clive befriend Paul and embark on a journey to take him to his mothership. Evading government agents and the father of a woman they accidentally abduct, Paul is full of humour and pop culture references.
We’re The Millers
A comedy drama Starring Jennifer Anniston, We’re The Millers follow the exploits of David Clark, played by Jason Sudeikis, a marijuana dealer who’s forced, after having his money stolen, to travel from America to Mexico and back in order to collect a large shipment of this illicit cargo.
In order to recover the ‘goods’ and make it past the border, David hires an RV (motorhome) and also recruits a couple of teens and a stripper he knows to play the parts of his kids and his wife respectively in order to appear as a family when crossing the border. Needless to say, one or two things go wrong along the way.
There’s an easter egg at the end for fans of the series ‘Friends’ which we won’t spoil!
Motorhomes featured on TV
The Walking Dead
Adapted from the comic series of the same name, The Walking Dead is hugely successful series chronicling a group of survivors as they attempt to continue to survive a zombie apocalypse. Not all succeed, which is one of the draws of the series, as you know, at any given moment, that a character you’ve gotten to know over multiple episodes or even series, might fall prey to zombies (which are never referred to as zombies) or other, less noble survivors.
Early on in the series and for a number of seasons, the ragtag group of survivors use a motorhome – a Winnebago Chieftain as a mobile base of operations, vantage point, weapons store and occasional battering ram as they travel and attempt to find a place to settle in a hostile world. The old motorhome serves to escalate the tension by having the occasional me
chanical issue which serves the plot well.
A massively successful drama about an overqualified High School Chemistry teacher; the mild-mannered Walter White who, after being diagnosed with cancer, embarks upon an unconventional way to pay for his care an provide for his family – manufacturing and distributing the narcotic, ‘Crystal Meth’.
Along with his former student Jesse Pinkman, Walter White ‘Acquires’ a motorhome (A Fleetwood Bounder), nicknamed ‘The Krystal Ship’ by Jesse and strip it out to serve as a mobile laboratory in which to manufacture the illicit narcotic out of the way in the desert. The Krystal Ship causes problems thanks to its habit of breaking down, which, of course, wouldn’t happen in a Priory Motorhome as all our fleet are well maintained and fewer than five years old.
The series is at times comedic, at times hard hitting and at other times heart wrenching and nailbiting. Being a study of a man, who thanks to extreme circumstances and a series of small and relatable steps transforms from an upstanding member of society into his ruthless druglord alter ego ‘Heisenberg’. As well as being gripping TV, the series serves as a dark satire of the American Healthcare system, where the Anti-Hero of the story is forced to turn to such extreme means in order to pay for his hideously expensive medical bills.
When will we see European Motorhomes in the movies?
One of the things you’ve probably noticed is that most of the motorhomes in the movies and on TV seem to be made by the manufacturer Winnebago. These large highway cruisers, while being popular in America, are rarely seen this side of ‘The Pond’, mostly due to them being a little too large, too impractical and a little too thirsty to make sense over here, but they’re worth trying out if you ever find yourself Stateside.
A Volkswagen Type 2 Campervan did feature prominently in the 2006 movie Little Miss Sunshine, but so far we’ve yet to see a European luxury motorhome featuring on either the large or the small screen.
While we’re waiting for European motorhomes to get the representation they so richly deserve, why not give a luxury motorhome a supporting role in your own story? Get in touch with us to book a motorhome of your very own, to get out, see the world, take your family on an adventure and feel like a movie star on set while you’re camping!