MOTORHOMES AND AMERICAN RVS HAVE STARRED IN A HOST of films and TV series – and we think they’ve added a special dash of cool to the mix. Let’s take a look at motorhomes in the movies. 


This summer TV stars Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston caused a stir by driving their A-class motorhome to the premiere of Breaking Bad. (Season five, second part.) No limousines for them – with yellow smoke billowing from the vehicle’s vents, the pair made a spectacular entrance at the glamorous party in Culver City California on Wednesday night, 24 July, 2013.




The stunt was designed to give credit where it’s due; the RV plays a starring role in the popular show. Bryan Cranston’s character, chemistry teacher-turned drug baron Walter White, uses the RV as a portable crystal meth lab. Not a bad man, his character has been driven to it by circumstances. In earlier episodes the 40-year-old teacher was shocked to discover that he had cancer and – having no insurance – reluctantly turned to cooking up illegal substances with Aaron Paul’s character Jesse Pinkman in order to provide for his family.



“He lives moment to moment. He doesn’t have the luxury of retrospective thought,” Cranston said. “He’s trying to stay alive.”
Director Jason Reitman organised the premiere, which was attended by Breaking Bad’s series creator Vince Gilligan, plus the stars, including Cranston, Paul and leather-clad blonde Anna Gunn, who plays the drug dealer’s wife Skyler. According to The Hollywood Reporter there was lots of horseplay between the stars as they chinked Champagne glasses in the RV. Then, “At the after-party, goodies included blue meth candy and a cake featuring Gilligan’s severed head on a tortoise. Talk about going out in style.”

The final episodes will be shown in America from 13 August.




Breaking Bad is the hottest thing from Hollywood now, but it’s not the only movie to feature a motorhome or an RV. And that’s not even counting all the RVs used backstage on movie lots to keep the stars happy and prepare them for some of the biggest scenes of their careers. There’s no doubt about it – RVs and glamour go together. Here are a few of our favourite movie moments from the past.



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About Schmidt (2003) ****

Genre Black comedy

Motorhome appears after 
10 mins 15 secs

Proportion featuring a ’van 22%

Jack Nicholson stars in this film about a retired insurance salesman whose wife dies just before they begin a cross-country trip 
in their new 35ft Winnebago Adventurer. Searching for meaning 
in his now empty life, Schmidt (Nicholson) takes off in a bid to become close again to his soon-to-be married daughter and on the way gets into the swing of the motorhome lifestyle, discovering 
a new-found freedom on the road. The story is a sad one at times, but this Golden Globe winner has an uplifting conclusion, memorable performances and a genuine affection for RVs.
Best motorhome moment

Jack’s epiphany when sat on the roof 
of his Winnebago in his jim-jams.



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Stir Crazy (1980) ****

Genre Comedy

Motorhome appears after 
14 mins

Proportion featuring a ’van 2%

This is a laugh-out-loud comedy classic. Gene Wilder 
and Richard Pryor, one of the greatest silver screen double acts of their generation, are framed for a bank robbery and end up imprisoned on the west coast of America. Before they’re incarcerated they drive cross-country in an old Dodge camper.
Best motorhome moment

The old camper, slowly crawling into shot.


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Meet the Fockers (2004) ****

Genre Comedy
Motorhome appears after 9 mins 46 secs
Proportion featuring 
a ’van 24%

Starring Hoffman, De Niro, Streisand and Stiller, this comedy packs an all-star punch. In this sequel to ‘Meet the Parents’ it’s De Niro’s character who once again gets most of the choice lines, and this time it’s while he’s behind the wheel of what he lovingly describes as “a custom-designed, climate-controlled motor-coach” that’s “the highlight of our twilight”. And how… De Niro has a huge RV, rich in ridiculous technology such as a Kevlar reinforced hull with 2-inch thick plexiglass windows, “…just like the ones they designed on the Russian Udemaker submarines”. The RV is as insane as the on-screen antics in this pants-wettingly funny film.
Best motorhome moment

De Niro’s captain’s driving hat and on-board PA system.



National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)


Genre Comedy

Motorhome appears after 
40 mins 22 secs

Proportion featuring a ’van 2%

This farcical goof-fest only features a motorhome for about two minutes – when the black sheep of the family turn up unannounced over the Christmas break in a comically-battered old RV. We’ve included it to help get you into the Christmas spirit. There are 
a lot of slapstick gags, which Chevy Chase ties together, making this a fun film to watch 
over the holidays. The famous plugging-in-the-lights scene will soon be emulated across the land and certainly eclipses any tasteful decorations that you may see on site this Xmas.
Best motorhome moment

The look on Chevy’s face when the RV and his unexpected guests arrive.



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Porridge (1979)


Genre Comedy

Motorhome appears after 
1 hour 6 mins 46 secs

Proportion featuring a ’van 3%

A celebrities versus inmates football match is arranged by Fletcher (Ronnie Barker) at the behest of Grouty, Slade Prison’s 
‘Mr Big’. But the match is merely 
a ruse designed to cover an escape plot. Fletch and Lennie (Richard Beckinsale) get caught up in the escape and end up on the run in a CI Travelhome, based on the Mk1 Ford Transit. As the ’van drives off with the pair cracking open tins of beer in the rear dinette, nobody seems worried about the lack of three-point, forward-facing seatbelts!
Best motorhome moment

Questioning the awfully bad, brown, flowery curtains.


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The Blues Brothers (1980)


Genre Musical

Motorhome appears after 1 hour 23 mins 8 secs

Proportion featuring a ’van 3%

Names don’t come much bigger than those in this classic. There’s Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and James Brown performing music, and comic actors including John Belushi, 
Dan Aykroyd and John Candy. Keep your eyes peeled for the 
Ford-based Outdoorsman, which has three people perched 
in the overcab as they chase the Blues Brothers.
Best motorhome moment

The RV, speeding past police cars.

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Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) *****

Genre Horror

Motorhome appears after 
4 mins 56 secs

Proportion featuring a ’van 31%

If you can handle the gore and chilling undertones that make this modern horror classic feel so sinister, then you might be able to fully appreciate the movie. If not, you’re best switching off after you first see the dark green Ford-based camper. In truth, the unfortunate kids only really use 
the ’van to stash their camping equipment, but seeing as it’s such an iconic movie we couldn’t resist including it. Just don’t watch it if you’re out in the middle of nowhere, or travelling through Texas. It could put you off the open road for life.
Best motorhome moment

The kids picking up the creepy hitch-hiker. Lesson learned.


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Escape to Witch Mountain (1975) *****

Genre Family adventure

Motorhome appears after 
39 mins 17 secs

Proportion featuring a ’van 16%

For many people this heart-warming Disney yarn takes them back to their childhood – merely mentioning it around the office induced gushing nostalgia. The plot involves two orphans with telekinetic powers escaping from 
a rich and evil patriarch. They stow away and escape in a big old overcab Winnebago, owned by 
a grumpy stranger, and proceed 
to follow a mysterious map that belongs to the two children. 
It sounds a rather odd concept, but 
is a fun family flick and a trip down memory lane for fans from the ‘70s.
Best motorhome moment

Undoubtedly when the Winnebago takes off and flies. Priceless. 


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Little Miss Sunshine (2006) *****

Genre Comedy

Motorhome appears after 21 mins 5 secs

Proportion featuring a ’van 31%

A dysfunctional family, a bright-yellow VW camper and 
a kids’ beauty pageant. It’s a strange mix of ingredients but the result is a funny, touching and life-affirming film. The family have to get to the pageant in California so that little Olive can realise her dream. But with a busted clutch and hundreds of miles to cover, their trip isn’t helped by having to push-start the bus after every stop. The endearing characters and lively script transform what could be just another road-trip flick into a memorable, touching and occasionally hilarious film.
Best motorhome moment

The constant and various malfunctions 
of the clapped-out VW camper.

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Photo: The overcab of this classic VW ’van is used as a make-shift cell in ‘The Edukators’

The Edukators (2004)


Genre Drama

Motorhome appears after 
10 mins 58 secs

Proportion featuring a ’van 19%

Subtitles, anti-capitalism and kidnapping make this an unusual flick, but an expertly crafted and acted one. This German-made film revolves around three socialist revolutionaries who drive a powder-blue VW high-top campervan and break into rich people’s mansions to rearrange their belongings. Their reign of 
non-violent protests are going swell until one of their break-ins goes wrong and they’re forced to kidnap a rich businessman.
Best motorhome moment

The inventive use of the VW’s overcab for stowing the hostage.




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Motorhome Massacre

Genre Horror

This movie is hard to track 
down but watch ten seconds 
of the online trailer and you’ll be thankful for such small mercies. It’s a budget slasher flick, made independently, and has all the hallmarks of a movie that’s never been anywhere near 
a cinema projector. It’s good for laughing at the hammy acting and inane dialogue but if you’re after serious entertainment avoid this cheesy farce.


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Genre: Comedy

Reactions to this Robin Williams film vary wildly – some love it, most hate it. Admittedly it has 
a few funny moments, such as the obligatory mishap-when-emptying-the-toilet scene. 
But the plot’s as predictable 
as the majority of the jokes, 
in this bog-standard family film.














Rolling Family – Familia Rodante (2004)

Genre: Comedy

This comedy divides viewers – is it really bad or so awful it’s good? A wedding invite from an estranged sibiling inspires an 84-year-old grandmother to

assemble her family and embark on a roadtrip in a broken down old motorhome. Her two daughters, their husbands and children, a great-grandchild,

and a child’s friend somehow fit into a camper van built on an old Chevy pickup. It’s a chaotic look at family life as they battle with mosquitos, a heatwave, cousins kissing, toothache, and engine trouble! They’re crammed in like sardines and spend a lot of time pushing it!


Kate Taylor

Practical Motorhome

26 July 2013


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Read more – Hollywood’s motorhomes: We’re the Millers