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This 1987 Fleetwood Camper is Our Home! We'll Keep it Class C.

Updated: Aug 13, 2022

1987 Fleetwood Rallye motorhome
Who you gonna call? AAA!

Take a virtual step inside Retro Injection's new base of operations! After eleven great years of service, the house has been sold. We moved the arcade from New York to Arizona, and we'll be joining it in this vintage Class C motorhome, which my wife Adrienne dubbed "The Bunker." This RV was immaculately cared for by her first owner and received tuneups and replacement parts from the gentleman who sold her to us. Built on a Ford chassis, our Fleetwood camper has a new air conditioner, a fresh fridge and a replaced radiator. The Rallye is leakproof and ready to roll, with over eleven grand worth of improvements between previous owners. (We've got the stack of receipts.) Most impressively, the body is totally rust free! In New York, that's the stuff of legend, because five months of road salt makes Swiss cheese out of new vehicles. Being presentable isn't just a vanity issue, as many RV parks will scrutinize campers over ten years old: If you're an eyesore, you're out of luck, Chuck. Before I go any further, I want to give a huge thanks to my mom and in-laws for their help with this monster.

I have some great '80s memories of hanging out in my grandmother's motorhome. I would join my dad and grandfather on their excursions to Watkins Glen racetrack, where I'd climb up on the roof and take everything in:

1970s Jamboree RV

Our RV reminded me a lot of those days. Grandma ended up careening the above motorhome into a hedge, after her brakes failed. Another time, she used a chair to pin a home-invader raccoon to the wall, while my uncle called the cops! She was ninety-five at that point.

We scored a great deal on our rolling abode. The seller told us that he had been working on the RV for his ex-wife. No further explanations were necessary. It took a little while to get the knack of starting a vehicle with a carburetor. After my dad showed up to rescue us from an in-town stranding, I learned the gas needed to be held down while turning the ignition. Life-changing stuff, people.

1987 Ford Ralley RV
Nothing says "the '80s" like brown striping. UPDATE: A vandal pulled off the pictured "Econoline" emblem! Seriously? I found a replacement on eBay.

Upon leaving our very first stop after buying the RV (Country Pride Restaurants for the win!), I was met with a horrifying sound followed by a lack of ignition. A guy in a pickup truck pulled up at that very moment, and told me to wait a second. "You either blew your water pump or your radiator's shot," he informed me. I felt sick, and it wasn't from the fish I'd just consumed. Sure enough, I got out and was witness to Coolant Lake. I'm far from Mr. Goodwrench, so I was thankful for the fellow sojourner's help. He spotted the culprit in seconds: a loose hose. I was instructed to go inside and purchase two gallons of antifreeze, and was shown how to "burp" the radiator. He even had the driver to tighten the hose connection! I'm convinced the perfectly-timed encounter was Divine intervention. That two gallons of antifreeze? The TA truck stop gouged me to the tune of forty bucks, but my options were pretty much nonexistent.

RV coolant leak
Adrienne caught the moment of truth from the chase vehicle.

My wife decided to give the interior a little love by reupholstering the cushions. Inspired by Pinterest, the seller covered them with plastic tablecloths to be spill-proof. A good idea in theory, but less than ideal in the desert heat, and they would last about three seconds under the wrath of our Persian cat. (We'll also be toting two dwarf hamsters, so it'll be a full house.)

Reupholstering RV cushions
Reupholstering RV cushions
The big reveal!
Reupholstering RV cushions
Daffy makes her first appearance on the blog. Not that she's thrilled about it.
Sewing and reupholstering RV cushions
Persian cat and sewing

I'm sitting on Adrienne's handiwork as I type in the former arcade. The finished cushions look like they came from a factory, and I'm in awe of her talent. (She also makes a really cute Ghostbuster.) We bought the material from Jo-Ann Fabric at deep discount, which was fortunate because we needed enough to cover a football field.

Here's the complete set of cushions, for the dinette and bed. She banged these out in a few weeks, not bad considering the insanity life has been throwing at us.

Reupholstering RV cushions
A Popple on a cushion
What's poppin'?
Sitting on a reupholstered RV cushion
"You have to use your hands?! That's like a baby's toy!" - A young Elijah Wood

My wife also constructed the curtains, a huge upgrade over what were actually pillowcases! (That's how a guy solves a problem.) Her new window treatments are backed with room-darkening curtains, so no one looking in will know how swanky our digs truly are. (Unless they're Retro Injection readers, but I wouldn't take those odds.)

Red striped RV curtain

Adrienne came up with an impressive Amazon camper shopping list, only some of which I would have understood without her guidance. Here's a sneak peek at our swag, including exciting gear like sewage tubing.

RV camping supplies
Did we forget anything?

I found the following WWE Legends M.U.S.C.L.E. figures at Five Below. At least in my mind, their placement has significance.

Macho Man Randy Savage is by the fuel gauge, because when your stomach is empty, you've gotta snap into a Slim Jim. "Rowdy" Roddy Piper is on the "hot" side of the temperature gauge due to his "Hot Rod" shirt, and Andre the Giant is next to the CD player, representing its huge sound! (It would have been nice if the RV had a vintage tape deck, but what can you do?) These guys and the Bluesmobile are attached to the console with 3M sticky tabs.

WWE Legends M.U.S.C.L.E on an RV dashboard
We'll roll the odometer and sell the rig as new! (Kidding.)
JVC car CD player with WWE Legends M.U.S.C.L.E Andre the Giant and Bluesmobile Johnny Lightning toy car
Yes, the cigarette lighter is accessible over the Bluesmobile!
Magnets on an RV stove hood: They Live, Powermaster Optimus Prime, Burger King ALF, Sailor Moon and Harley Quinn
Even the hood of the stove got decked out.
custom camper pillows
Adrienne also sewed these pillow covers.
Donkey Kong keychain hanger.
Extra credit if you get the movie reference printed on the keychain.

This vehicle will serve as our temporary home as we explore Arizona. When we were there in May 2019, we almost made the mistake of buying a house out of a combination of convenience and desperation. The place looked great, and so did the surrounding couple of blocks, but when we looked up the address on a police database, there were over eighty violent crimes in that neighborhood in the previous month! No thanks, REALTOR lady. We'll now be able to bounce around RV parks and Wal-Marts, while we get a feel for different areas.

1987 Ford Jamboree Rallye RV

I can't look at our Rallye without thinking of Rodimus Prime, a camper G1 Transformer, complete with rooftop AC! ("Autobot Commander.") The figure below is currently in our Arizona storage unit (somewhere). It's comforting to know that we've got a little safety net across the country, even though Adrienne thinks I've got too much stuff.

G1 Rodimus Prime Transformer reissue

The Fleetwood transforms and rolls out!

1987 Ford Jamboree Rallye RV interior
1987 Ford Jamboree Rallye RV interior
1987 Ford Jamboree Rallye RV interior
1987 Ford Jamboree Rallye RV interior
1987 Ford Jamboree Rallye RV interior