Long Lasting Dodges

News & Updates


I enjoy going to your website and can see that you have put a lot of effort into it. It is a great resource for people that are interested in vintage motor homes, weather they own one or are thinking of restoring one or just love the history.

I don't know if are aware but I am the owner of two places of business, Soapstone Valley Equipment is a truck and equipment repair shop, with myself and three mechanics since 1994, and next door Classic Motorcars of Ellington, where we have a show room with 20 - 25 antique cars for sale, we also offer repair service and parts for old cars and trucks.

The reason I tell you all this is because after being in the truck and antique car repair bussniess for 35 years, I have a few thoughts I would like to share with people who are thinking of restoring a vintage motor home.

I'm sure you have seen other web sites or blogs about Travcos. Some have done wonderful jobs and inspire the rest of us. Others seem to jump into a total restoration project without sitting down first and counting the cost. I have seen this many times when it comes to old cars.

I tell people the most expensive car (or in this case motor home) is the one you can get for free.

The real cost of a restoration is staggering.

People start with good intensions, tow home an old Travco and rip out the interior, try to get it running, after a while reality sinks in, the list starts getting longer and longer, rust issues, fluid leaks, wood rot, glass, electrical, paint, brakes, tires, exhaust, interior, etc. and all they wanted to do is take a trip in a cool old motor home. Sadly some get frustrated and give up.

I really admire those who stick with it and end up with beautiful rigs even if at a great cost.

I would encourage wannabees to consider buying a vintage coach that has had most of the work done, this has proved over and over to be the most cost effective way to enjoy the hobby.

Good running, driving Travco can be bought for $5,000 - $7500 and is far less than the cost of a restoration.

We that have old vehicles know that there is always things that need attention or find that even a good unit is a continuous work in progress. Or better said, we get to use out rigs and are always tinkering with them too.

It is my hope that someone reading this might give it some thought and that more people would be able to enjoy this great hobby.

Thanks Arlo Hoffman


Free Bird Problems

I found the Freedom Bird on eBay.  I was a little shy about buying a Motorhome without looking at it first.  It was for sale at what I thought was a fair price.  I had spent over $12,000.00 and two years time restoring Shaggy.  I wanted to go full time and Shaggy was high mileage and too small.  The Freedom Bird had only 10,000 miles on a new engine and transmission.  The person who restored her did not waste any money in the process, but like any thing in life, Nothing is perfect. Two people that I know looked at her and told me, " it's a very nice Travco for the price." The pages in this section will show what I found and the repairs that I had to make so the Freedom Bird could be a great Motorhome like when she was new.

James Gary "Andy" Anderson

ebay picture of the freedom bird
This is the eBay picture when she was for sale.

Going to Henderson

Getting off the expressway to see my new Motorhome.

My New Motorhome

I now have my New Motorhome.

First night Inside

I am at my first overnight stop.  It is November in Henderson North Carolina.  It was 70 degrees in the daytime, but it got down to 30 degrees that night.  The furnace did not work.  It was full of mud daubers.
The first of a few problems.

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