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Camping in Pop Culture

Lucille Ball

You can tell just how popular an activity like camping is when it makes its way into pop culture. Over the years, there have been so many movies that have showcased all types of camping adventures (or misadventures). Back in 1953, newlyweds Lucile Ball and Desi Arnaz comically navigated the challenges of traveling across country in a motor home in the Long, Long Trailer. In the 80s, Dan Akroyd and John Candy poked fun at family camping trips in The Great Outdoors. And who can forget the summer camp antics of identical twins in The Parent Trap (whether you prefer the 1961 version with Hayley Mills or the 1998 remake with Lindsay Lohan)? In the 2004 buddy movie, Without a Paddle, three friends set out on a wilderness adventure in search of lost treasure, but things don’t quite turn out as they planned. And 2012’s Moonrise Kingdom takes a whimsical look at the time-honored tradition of going to scout camp. But for many, the “gold standard” of camping movies is 2006’s RV starring Robin Williams who plays an executive who takes his family on an RV trip to the Rockies and encounters plenty of hilarious misadventures along the way.

Camping has even made it into the world of reality TV. The cable channel Great American Country has a show called Flippin’ RVs that features a husband and wife who travel across the country in search of vintage RVs that they can transform.

Considering America’s love of camping, it’s a sure bet that camping trips will continue to have starring roles on a screen year you.