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


Water Water Everywhere

The weather was getting nice outside now.  I wanted to take the Freedom Bird to a Rally in Michigan.  They had electricity, but no water hookup.  I needed to check the holding tanks and pump.  I opened the compartment where the water tank was to find this.

Tank Covered with Foam
The Electric water heater was covered in spray insulating foam.  I guess they were trying to keep some of the heat from making the bed warm or the water heater more efficient.  The problem was that you could not get to the elements or the drain valve.  This RV spent most of it's previous life in the south, so maybe they did not need to drain the tank in the winter.  I needed access to the drain and the elements, so I needed to get rid of the foam.


It took a little while, but the job of removing the foam was over.  Now, I could fill the tank with water.

Leaking Tank

The tank leaked once again getting my beautiful wood floor wet.  I removed the tank and found this.  There was an attempt made to plug this hole with a freeze plug repair plug.  As you can see, it only cracked the tank further, making it leak even more. 

Drying the Floor

I took everything out of the tank area to allow it to dry and went to Elkhart, Indiana to RV Surplus to find a new tank.

Small Tank

The only tank I could find was too small, but everything else was too big for the space.  I needed to get something so I could have water.  I would look for a larger tank later, but for now, I hooked up this small one and headed for Berrien Springs for the Rally.

Glass Rally 2008
Here I am at the Glass Rally in 2008.  The water tank solved my problem for now, but it sure restricted my ability to boondock for too long.


I turned 60 at the Rally.  I had two more years to go to make my full-timing dream come true.  I am only a few months away now.

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