Oct 112009

I stole the title of today’s blog from our dear friends Ron and Brenda Speidel, who presented an excellent seminar by the same name at our Eastern Gypsy Gathering rallies this year and last. One of the most popular seminars at our rallies, the Speidels show RVers how they can save tens of thousands of dollars by upgrading and refurbishing their current motorhome or fifth wheel trailer instead of buying a new one.

Ron and Brenda know what they are talking about; they have turned their stock 2002 Winnebago Journey DL Speidel_RVmotorhome into a palace on wheels with the addition of a new custom full body paint job, custom built computer work station/dining table, replacing the original kitchen sink with a larger style, and several other projects. Most people who see their coach cannot believe that it is almost eight years old! It looks like a much newer, much more expensive motorhome.Speidel desk

Yesterday we visited their rig to admire their latest addition, a beautiful wood floor installed by Brad and Hall, an RV furniture dealer here in Elkhart, Indiana. Monday they will take the Winnebago to another local shop, Duncan RV Repair, where a new shower unit will be Speidel floorinstalled.

While they have invested some money in upgrading their RV, Ron says it has been a fraction of what it would have cost them to buy a different motorhome.

There is probably no better place in the country than the Elkhart area to refurbish an RV. Long known as the RV Capital of the World, you can find shops offering every service needed to complete any RV upgrade project here, as well as RV supply and surplus parts stores that have anything you might need. Some of the best known companies that we have dealt with ourselves, or whose work we have seen are listed below:

Phoenix Commercial Paint, (574) 238-5668 – Michele Henry does first class custom RV full body paint jobs for much less than anybody else in the RV industry. Most folks who have shopped the competition can’t believe the prices she quotes, and when they see the end result, they are always delighted.

Focal Wood Products (574) 773-4268 – We are just two of Amish craftsman Carlyle Lehman’s many satisfied customers. He’s the man to see for custom RV furniture.

Brad and Hall (574) 522-7435 – For RV furniture and flooring, the crew at Brad and Hall have seen many RVers driving out with a smile.

Duncan RV Repair (888) 738-6226 – For everything from general RV repairs to custom installations, these folks can do the job right the first time. 

RV Surplus (574) 264-5575 – When we built our bus conversion, we saved a fortune by shopping at RV Surplus, where they have anything and everything that goes in, on, and under an RV.

Sierra Custom Interiors (574) 848-1300 – Michael Greene builds custom interiors for horse and cargo trailers, and has a lot of creative ideas you might be able to tap into.

Master Tech RV Services (574) 522-6224 Master Tech offers a full line of services, from repairs and upgrades, to paint and graphics.

These are just a few of the companies here that can help you transform that plain vanilla RV into a custom home on wheels that will serve you well for years to come, for much less than the cost of purchasing a new RV. So if you’ve been thinking about buying a new RV, think again. You may be able to get what you want for a lot less than you would expect to have to pay!

Thought For The Day – Growing old beats the alternative of dying young.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  7 Responses to “Don’t Replace, Refurbish!”

  1. We took a ton of great ideas from Ron and Brenda’s seminars (remodeling and storage solutions). We agree their rig is gorgeous; we adopted several of their ideas after touring their MH.

    We also had work done by Duncan RV last month. They were able to solve our difficult structural problem on the 5th wheel when no one else could. We were very happy with everything they did for us.

  2. I stopped into RV Surplus just a few days ago. I need a little plastic doohickie for my screen door (of course they had it). I also walked out with a FanTastic Endless Breeze fan (something I’ve been meaning to get). If you spend any time in there wandering the aisles, you’ll surely leave with more than just what you came for!

  3. Just last month Carlyle that owns Focal Wood installed a computer desk, matching window sills, matching trim around our ceiling lights and made a free standing coffee table with a tray on top for our 2005 Dutch Star. What GREAT work. We feel that the window sills transformed our space from a “RV” to more of a “Home”.

  4. Yep I agree Nick, much better to repair than to get new in this day and age. These Rv’s are just like women. It takes a while to get familiar with where all there parts are,,,but once you do, and find out how to keep them happy, its much better than going out and getting a new one and start looking for all those parts all over again…… Just my experience, others may vary!!

    PS. we are back in Retama,,,stop by !!!!

  5. When in Elkhart a couple months ago, we called Master Tech and were invited to email our needs. We did, and never heard from them again, despite several followup calls. And it wasn’t a nuisance sort of list, either. We got prompt service instead from Charger Enterprises.

  6. Carlyle from Focal Wood Products installed a new dinette table/computer desk in our 5th wheel before we left for the Eastern Rally. We could not believe the difference it made. We knew we were going to get more storage space but thought it would make our living area look smaller. Wrong!!! It makes it look bigger, brighter, gives us more walk thru space in addition to giving us more storage.
    Thanks Nick for letting us know about Carlyle. We have already shown many friends our new dining area, and they all want to go and see all of the products at Focal Wood Products!!!

  7. We also had some work done at MasterTech this last summer. In the process, I asked (3) times for an estimate to have a major project completed this winter. I never heard from them again. The job they did do, I had to have it corrected.

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>



Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.