By Gail Marsh
If you’ve never seen this hilarious, charming, classic movie, or haven’t viewed it in a while, it’s time to break out the popcorn! “The Long, Long Trailer” takes the best (and worst) parts of RV life and makes them all laugh-out-loud funny.
In this movie, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz star as newlyweds. They decide to purchase a trailer to live in as they travel the United States, following Desi’s civil engineering job. Sounds reasonable and eerily familiar to today, right? Well, just like in real life, things do not go as smoothly as planned.
I think every RVer wannabe should see this movie. It humorously portrays the very real challenges to owning and operating an RV. These include backing up, maneuvering tight corners, encountering bad weather, driving up and down steep grades, and dealing with all the other stresses of RVing.
Some behind-the-scenes facts
For those of you who’ve enjoyed this classic movie for years, here are a few behind-the-scenes facts that you may not know:
- “The Long, Long Trailer” movie is based on a novel written by Clinton Twiss (1951). Turns out, this author and his wife sold all their belongings and traveled the country, much like the characters in the movie. Twiss used many of his own experiences in the book.
- The RV featured in the film was a 36-foot Redman New Moon model. It sold new for $5,350 in 1953.
- A 1953 Mercury Monterey convertible pulled the trailer. This car featured a 125 HP flathead V8 engine.
- To pull the trailer up Whitney Portal Road (leading to Mount Whitney), producers had to replace the original car with a beefier Lincoln Capri (205 HP V8). Watch closely as the car makes the curve. You’ll see the iconic Lincoln grille.
- Many scenic places are featured in the movie. As you watch, see if you can spot a tunnel view of Yosemite Valley, Yosemite Falls, and panoramic views of Bridal Veil Falls, El Capitan, and Half Dome.
- Rumors claim that Desi Arnaz bet producers the movie would gross more than the highest-grossing comedy of the day, “Father of the Bride.” Arnaz won the $25,000 bet.
If you need a break from nightly news and sitcom reruns, rent or stream “The Long, Long Trailer“. You won’t regret it! Who knows? Maybe the movie will remind you of some of your own RV misadventures.