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Windows To The Past: Indiana's Amish Country

RV Travel in Indiana's Amish Country
Article Date: December, 2011


Our RV travels frequently take us to northern Indiana. Originally it was to visit various manufacturers when deciding which RV to purchase. After all, the greater Elkhart area is known as the RV Capital of the World. It's also the home to one of the largest Amish communities.

Approximately 20,000 Amish people live in northern Indiana. The Amish movement began in Switzerland back in 1525 and went against the state-controlled church that required infant baptisms. The Anabaptists, as they were known, headed for the freedoms offered by William Penn in the New World. In 1693 Jacob Ammann led a group that was to become known as Amish and split from the more liberal doctrine of the Mennonites. Both the Amish and larger Mennonite factions migrated from Pennsylvania into Ohio and northern Indiana.

The combination of the RV industry and the Amish people has been a great fit for the area. The Amish have a great reputation for building quality products that last. That reputation, as well as an excellent work ethic, is well put to use in the many RV assembly plants scattered throughout the area.

Horse-drawn buggies and flowered gardens are a common sight in Indiana's Amish country.

One popular event is the annual quilt gardens tour. Eighteen gigantic gardens are located at 12 locations throughout the area. Each garden is planted with uniquely colored flowers that are arranged in a patchwork quilt pattern. Between Memorial Day and October 1 these brightly colored gardens can be a real photographer's paradise.

Local roads are shared by motorized vehicles and horse-drawn buggies. Major thoroughfares are generally quite wide with dedicated buggy lanes to minimize any conflict. On some narrow roads you just need to extend a bit of courtesy when encountering a horse and buggy. Even the parking lots have parking and tie-up rails for the buggies. Just be careful of where you step when walking through the lot.


The RV/MH Hall of Fame will take you through time as you walk the road of RV development over the years.

Numerous campgrounds and RV parks can be found throughout the area. Reservations are helpful during the busy summer season.

Elkhart is home to the RV/Motorhome Hall of Fame, which will take you back in time with displays of early RVs, covering everything from the first Model T campers to 1970s vintage motorhomes. The library houses an extensive collection that can be used to help document most anything RV related. The museum is easy to find because it's located right off of Exit 96 on the Indiana Toll Road.

Another popular stop is the Bradd and Hall showroom. It handles Flexsteel furniture, as well as the popular Lambright wall hugger recliners, MCD shades, and a wide variety of other RV interior accessories. You can purchase your interior upgrades outright or have its crew install them in your RV. Its service center is capable of performing a complete interior restoration should you decide to do some major upgrading to your RV's interior.

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