From the AutoCult website
The birth of camping in motorized vehicles in Germany can be traced to the 1920s. It began even earlier in North America as pioneering motorists began exploring the countryside in early vehicles and overnight accommodations were difficult to find. Camping became known as a "weekend getaway" from the privacy of one's home to get out into nature, and these motorists became known as "auto tourists".
In the beginning, early campers used simple tents, but, as time passed, a new sector of the fledgling automotive industry began to grow that involved modifying production automobiles and light trucks with special bodies that contained cooking, sleeping, and dining spaces. The first camping caravans in Germany were constructed in 1931 and proved to be the cornerstone for the camping vehicle industry that flourishes today.
As Europe rebuilt economically during the 1950s, camping enthusiasts in Western Germany reawakened to the enjoyment of recreational life in the outdoors. Family albums typically contained photos of families enjoying camping in southern Europe. By the 1960s, the demand for self-contained camping vehicles reached the degree that most vehicle types were adapted to camping conversions by aftermarket manufacturers. The conversion of the rugged Citroen 2CV into a compact alcove camper known as the "Duck" proved to be very popular, but, the conversions that won legions of enthusiasts worldwide were based on the Volkwagen Type 2 Kombi from 1950 - 1978. These versatile campers were fitted with external tents, kitchens, and equipment storage. In the camping vehicle range, the Volkswagen conversions were most popular and have become valuable collector vehicles.
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