After looking at the Playboy Land Yacht Concept by Syd Mead, I was surprised at how simple it looks compared to the RVs of today.
Here is the description from the 1975 Playboy Magazine:
THE OLD CHUCK BERRY SONG No Money Down told about a fantasy Cadillac with a bed in the back, phone, TV, shortwave radio and other optional extras; but the machine Chuck sang about couldn’t touch what’s pictured here and on the following pages. The land yacht we commissioned Detroit designer Syd Mead to create is a six-wheel wonder vehicle that combines many of today’s mechanical innovations with some space-age technology that you can expect to be incorporated into tomorrow’s assembly-line mobile homes. Not only does it contain almost all the same amenities you would ordinarily leave behind when embarking on an extended trip, or just out for a day’s cruise, it can also drive itself — via electronic sensors — while you and a companion relax in the yacht’s luxurious front lounge.
…you’ll see that the yacht’s pointed nose serves two functions: It provides the aerodynamic styling that a machine of this size demands and it allows for the four lounge seats up front to be arranged at a 45-degree angle to the axis of the vehicle, thus saving considering interior space.
When our land yacht is parked, its brain box (front center) can be closed and pivoted to double as a cocktail table. The bath is shown with its door cut away; to its left are the food-prep unit and audio-video center. At rear, you see the open-air skylight with its electronic sun deck partially lowered.
This is the rear lounge — and that bed, gentlemen, measures seven feet by six feet. In the center, below the TV and the movie projector (a screen rolls down over the rear window, foreground), is the bar capsule; it’s lined with crushed velvet, like the phone container to its right.
The nocturnal view — through the rear window — shows the expandable bathroom wall. Atop is the sun deck; when traveling, a bubble of air arches over the space so that the deck can be open. Obviously, the couple pictured here couldn’t care less about all of this.
For night driving, the yacht’s front lighting consists of two swing-down iodine quartz lamps, plus four normal high/low/intermediate lights, which are folded back when off, swinging out against adjustable stops (for proper aiming) when the sliding cover door is activated. In addition, a front-scanning infrared lamp produces a wide-angle fan of radiation, for pickup on the yacht’s console-mounted TV screen. What you see in the monitor is an infrared-filter view of the roadway. This system is an outgrowth of the exotic Air Force fighter-pilot technology, which produces an animated, terrain-characteristic “picture” in front of the pilot, regardless of the weather or visibility conditions.
Rather than being a futuristic take on travel, it appears to be a relic from the Seventies. In fact, it reminds me more of the vehicle from the 1970s children’s show, Ark II, than of a motorhome of the future.