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20 Most Iconic RVs From Movies and TV Shows

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RVs on the Big (and Little) Screen

Americans love their RVs, now more than ever, apparently — The RV Industry Association reported in June that RV shipments are up 11% over last year. With more and more people living and loving that #RVlife, we figured now was as good a time as any to compile a list of movies and TV shows in which RVs play nearly as important a role as the actors. From Lucy and Desi in the 1950s to much more recent fare, here are 20 movies and shows to queue up this weekend to inspire your next road trip — or apocalyptic escape. Whichever comes first.

Related: 25 Most Iconic Movie and TV Cars

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
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National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

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This film featured a 1972 Ford Condor II brought into the dysfunctional family fold by the Griswolds' Cousin Eddie. Chevy Chase's character refers to as a "tenement on wheels" and, in one memorable scene, Eddie, played by Randy Quaid, is seen dumping the Condor's black tank contents into the city sewer system. The RV is still alive and kicking — it's on display at Castle Noel in Medina, Ohio.

Related: 21 Famous Movie Homes That Will Bring Back Memories

About Schmidt
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About Schmidt

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This 2002 Oscar-winning movie features Jack Nicholson as Warren Schmidt, a bitter and recently retired widower who travels to his estranged daughter's wedding in a 35-foot 2001 Winnebago Adventurer. Along the way, Nicholson's character narrates via long letters to "Ndugu," a Tanzanian orphan that he's sponsoring.

Related: 26 Best Hollywood Movies About Getting Old

 The Blues Brothers
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Little Miss Sunshine
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Little Miss Sunshine

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The RV in this well-received 2006 indie comedy was a decades-old, bright yellow Volkswagen T2 that played heavily in the progression of the film's plot. Actor Greg Kinnear called the scenes filmed in the van "absolute un-orchestrated chaos every single time" and noting that production "didn't have the money to close the freeway down, so there's a great chance if you live in Southern California you'll be in our movie."

Related: The Coolest VW Vans Through the Decades

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The Long, Long Trailer
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The Long, Long Trailer

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The oldest production on this list, this movie was released in 1954 and stars Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz as newlyweds who decide to travel the U.S. while towing a 36-foot 1953 Redman New Moon trailer. As you can imagine with anything starring Lucy and Desi, disaster and hilarity ensue.

We're The Millers
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We're The Millers

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This 2013 raunchy comedy features Jason Sudeikis' character hiring a fake family in order to smuggle a massive amount of marijuana across the Mexican border. "Me, crossing the border alone? Huge red flag! But families, they don't get a second look, so I need you to be my wife," he says to Jennifer Aniston's character, a stripper. The RV in the movie is played by a 2013 Coachmen Encounter.

Breaking Bad
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Breaking Bad

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Few RVs have become as iconic as the 1986 Fleetwood Bounder in this long-running and mega-popular TV show. Used as Walt and Jesse's inaugural meth lab, the vehicle showed up in season one's first episode and continued to be a fixture until season 3, when it was destroyed in episode 6, "Sunset" — an occurrence hilariously documented by the show's official Twitter account. And Walt and Jesse's RV wasn't the only vehicle with a starring role on the show.

Related: 20 Crazy-Expensive Cars Destroyed by Hollywood

The Lost World: Jurassic Park
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The Walking Dead
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The Walking Dead

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The RV here — a 1973 D-27C Winnebago Chieftain — played heavily into the plot in the early episodes of this longtime AMC show (as did one in the original comic books themselves), but met its fiery fate in the aptly titled "Beside the Dying Fire," the final episode of season 2.

Independence Day
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Independence Day

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We guess Randy Quaid and RV movies just seem to go together? In this 1996 alien attack flick, Quaid plays Russell Case, a crop-duster pilot traveling through the desert with his kids in a 1967 Winnebago Brave, along with a convoy of other RVs.

Spaceballs
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Spaceballs

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This cult-classic "Star Wars" spoof takes nothing seriously, including its spaceships. The Eagle 5, piloted by characters portrayed by Bill Pullman and John Candy, was actually a winged 1986 Winnebago Chieftain that had seen better days.

RV
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RV

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This Robin Williams-helmed film stars the late actor as Bob Munro, who takes his family on a road trip that, of course, results in all manner of shenanigans and tomfoolery — including some of the specifically RV variety. The family's rig is a 2005 35-foot Forest River Georgetown 359, but another RV — the vintage 1948 Flxible Clipper — kind of steals the show. The latter can be toured at the Jack Sisemore RV Museum in Amarillo, Texas (or via this YouTube video).

Related: You Won't Believe These 25 RV Horror Stories

2012
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2012

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If you don't mind "ridiculous dialogue and impossible situations" along the way — a quote from one critic — you'll get to see John Cusack's character escape the scene of Yellowstone's apocalyptic super-volcano eruption in a Winnebago, even improbably dodging fireballs and jumping a massive crack in the earth's surface. Anyone who's ever driven an RV in real life will cackle.

Related: 50 Iconic Movie Locations Around the World

Lost in America
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Lost in America

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This 1985 Albert Brooks film sees Brooks and Julie Hagerty playing lead characters who decide to sell their house, liquidate their assets, and travel the country in search of new meaning for their lives. Things predictably do not go as planned. You can watch the trailer here — the movie made the American Film Institute's 2000 list of the Top 100 Funniest American Movies.

Related: 50 Movie and TV Locations Worthy of a Road Trip

Into the Wild
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Into the Wild

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By the end of this 2007 movie based on a true story, main character Christopher McCandless is living in a converted bus deep in the Alaskan wilderness. We won't spoil the ending for you in case you're not familiar with the story, but it is of note that the real-life bus was recently airlifted out of the area it had sat in since McCandless made it his home in 1992.

The Lady in the Van
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The Lady in the Van

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The van in this 2015 British film's title in a bright yellow 1957 Bedford model. The movie was based on a memoir of the same name, written by Alan Bennett, and it tells the story of Mary Shepherd, an elderly woman played by Maggie Smith, who lives in the van outside Bennett's home for well over a decade — and who is not as indigent as she seems.

Winnebago Man
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Winnebago Man

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After the delightfully profane-laced outtakes of a Winnebago spokesman began showing up on YouTube a decade or so ago, some documentary filmmakers decided to go looking for the guy. What came out of that search is this 2010 film — less about the vehicles than the Winnebago Man himself — Jack Rebney — but worth it for both his cranky demeanor and some thoroughly vintage RV shots.

The Incredibles
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The Wild Thornberrys
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The Wild Thornberrys

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This animated TV show, which ran from 1998 to 2004, was about a nomadic family who travel the world in their "ComVee," an imaginary vehicle that one writer for Bustle noted is "a house on wheels, but also a house on inflatable rafts that just majestically floats on river beds. I would spend my entire life in it."