During this month’s version of our RV Navigator podcast, we mentioned an RV Museum in Amarillo, TX that we’d read about. After encouraging our listeners to visit, it dawned on us that we would be going right through Amarillo and we should take our own advice. It would have been nice to stop by yesterday when we arrived mid afternoon, but this is Christian country, so the place was closed.
So before we hit the road for a much longer driving day, we stopped by the Jack Sisemore's RV Museum, which is part of large business called Traveland that sells and repairs modern RV’s. Jack started business with a gas station, but realized that he loved RV camping and in 1974 he bought his first one. When he wasn’t traveling himself, he rented it out and by the end of the year had six. Eventually he left the gasoline business entirely and went into RV’s hook, line and sinker with his brother. Judging by how busy the place was and the depth of his new inventory, business has been good.
The RV’s in his museum have been purchased and restored by Jack and his son. All of them are in working order and were driven into the museum. We could feel the love the Sisemore family had put into each rig and signs explained where they got the rigs and how they rebuilt them. Strategically placed flood lights lit up the interiors so we could see every nook and cranny. It was fun to see the Flxible Bus that Robin Williams drove in the movie RV. A little trailer had been brought in by an 84 year old woman who had still been using it. The Ford Lamsteed Kampkar Body came complete with full equipment and ready to mount on a standard Model T ford chassis. It cost only $535 and was made by Anheuser-Busch of St. Louis, MO. Only five were made and one of them was here. The 1937 Kozy Kamp was one of the first tent trailers ever built. The one in the museum was own by one family all its life and garaged when not in use. The first Itasca Motorhome built in 1975, serial # 1 was especially impressive. It had been in Winnebago’s Welcome center and had only 6,000 miles on it. We’ve seen many of them in campgrounds over the years. Casually scattered among the old RV’s were accessories and tools that were part of the camping experience over the years. It all felt so very authentic.
As we were about to leave the Sisemore’s, father and son, came inside to discuss their plans for knocking out a wall in the museum and making space for even more of their classic RV’s. Like us, they had been impressed by their visit to the RV Museum in Elkhart, IN, but they didn’t want to charge admission for theirs. They gave us a warm Texas welcome and we wished we could have stayed longer and perhaps interviewed them for the podcast, but there were many miles ahead to drive.
And so we did. And we're spending the night in yet another casino parking lot. The price is right.