Posts Tagged ‘RV Museum’

Thor President Bob Martin (right) and Darryl Searer (left), Hall of Fame president.Thor President Bob Martin (right) and Darryl Searer (left), Hall of Fame president.

Thor President Bob Martin (right) and Darryl Searer (left), Hall of Fame president.Thor President Bob Martin (right) and Darryl Searer (left), Hall of Fame president.

Bob Martin, president and COO of Thor Industries, Inc., recently made a personal contribution of $5,000 toward the RV/MH Heritage Foundation’s “Burn the Bank Note” campaign. He presented his check in December following Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels’ visit to the RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum (Hall) when the Governor presented his 2004 campaign motorhome to the museum which is on loan from the Indiana State Museum.

Thor Industries sponsored the presentation of the event.

Martin said, “The RV museum is a wonderful testament to the innovators and product innovations that have made the RV industry successful and resilient for over 100 years. We are proud to support this beautiful display of vintage and historically significant RVs.”

Hall President Darryl Searer said, “Bob’s personal donation is evidence that his commitment to the Hall’s success goes beyond Thor Industries’ continuing support. In addition to this contribution Bob was a driving force in Thor’s decision earlier this year to contribute $25,000 and another $25,000 from the Thompson Family Foundation Inc., a charitable foundation created by Wade F.B. Thompson, Thor co-founder.”

The “Burn the Bank Note” campaign’s goal is to raise $150,000 in voluntary contributions by April 30, 2013. If that goal is reached the Robert “Boots” Ingram family has offered a $50,000 challenge grant, and that would pay off the Hall’s bank note to 1st Source Bank.
Searer said that the bank loan to 1st Source Bank has gone from $840,000 in early 2012 to only about $200,000 now.

Searer said, “Since the RV/MH Heritage Foundation is a 501-c3 not-for-profit corporation, all donations are tax deductible. Donors can use our federal ID#: verify that we are a 501-c3 not-for-profit corporation in good standing with the IRS.

“Gifts may be made by mail, in person at the Hall, by phone at (800) 378-8694, or through the Hall’s web site:”

Jack Sisemore and his son, Trent, opened an RV Museum behind their Amarillo, Texas RV dealership this spring. It showcases RVs they have bought and lovingly restored over the years, just because they wanted to.

Inside a 6,000-square-foot metal building, the vintage RVs are staged with picnic tables and other camping paraphernalia, so that the museum has the surreal feel of an overnight trailer park — but with air conditioning. Admission is free.

“We’ve been restoring RVs for about 25 years,” Trent Sisemore says. “We just love doing it.”

Most of these campers, trailers and motor homes are beautifully restored, though a few have been cleaned but otherwise intentionally left in the condition in which they were found. About 15 of the Sisemores’ 25 vintage RVs are on display at any time.

The first RV you see when you walk in is a 1948 Flxible bus used in the 2006 Robin Williams movie “RV,” which plays in a constant loop on a TV screen near the long red-and-white bus that Trent Sisemore hunted down in a Hollywood studio.


Flexible Clipper Motorhome used in the movie RV

The Gornickes family from the movie “RV” didn’t come with the 1948 Flxible Clipper motorhome now parked at the Amarillo RV museum.

With the exception of a 1937 Elkhart Traveler the Sisemores recently acquired, all the RVs have steps at their doors, and you’re welcome to go inside and look around. Each is staged with appropriate kitchen gadgets, books, games and other knickknacks from its period.

Along with RVs, the museum displays about a dozen vintage motorcycles, because Jack Sisemore loves motorcycles. His favorite is a 1952 Blue Harley.

A replica gas station in the museum is a tribute to Jack Sisemore’s career. With money he borrowed from his grandmother, he opened a Chevron station in 1963. In the ’70s, he wanted to travel with his family, so he rented an RV. He later started renting RVs to other people, and that eventually led to the opening of his own RV dealership. Now, the family’s involved in RV manufacturing as well.

Find out more about the RV Museum at

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