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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.)