Tapping into a growing trend of RV enthusiasts who are restoring and renovating old RVs is the concept behind Project Terry, which will be on display at the National RV Trade Show, Dec. 3-5 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky.
According to a press release from Coast Distribution Systems Inc., the 1978 Terry travel trailer is being renovated by a team of RV enthusiasts in Eugene, Ore., and features products from program sponsors including Coleman-Mach, Dicor, Suburban, JR Products, Husky Towing, Carefree of Colorado, Winegard, Powerhouse Products, Horizon Transport, Norcold, Thetford and Arcon.
Late next spring, the Project Terry travel trailer will be auctioned off on eBay. The auction should gain the attention of RV enthusiasts looking for an upgraded vintage unit with current RV technology. The proceeds from the auction will be donated to the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Ind.
While restorations revive the original look and function of a motorhome or trailer, renovations can use modifications to bring a whole new look and feel to a travel-weary vehicle, “bringing it new life and even greater capability than the original,” according to Coast. Project Terry will not only update materials and color schemes, but also upgrade functionality with the latest technology in appliances, lighting, plumbing, heating and air conditioning.
These types of projects, both restoration and renovation, are being tackled by do-it-yourselfers in increasing numbers and the goal of the project is to spur the RV industry into finding ways to tap into this growing trend.
RV Magazine is covering the renovation in a multipart series called “Project Terry, Extreme Mobile Makeover.”
Project Terry will continue to help DIYers with the challenges and joys of tackling an extreme mobile makeover with design ideas and step-by-step how-to instructions. Project Terry also points consumers to the best available parts and products along with the occasional suggestion to take some jobs to their local RV service center.
With RV Magazine supplying the consumer reach, Coast looked to several RV product manufacturers for their expertise in supplying quality RV components for the project. Several of these companies signed on as primary sponsors, each getting their company logo included in the media coverage of the project.
RV Magazine recruited freelance photojournalist Larry Walton to oversee the build and report on the progress. Walton provides magazine content for outdoor enthusiasts and home improvement do-it-yourselfers. Walton is also a licensed contractor in Oregon. His Project Terry crew was manned with experienced carpenters and RV enthusiasts with very limited experience working on RVs, says the release.
The crew found a 1978 Terry travel trailer they thought would be a good candidate for an RV renovation. The decor included harvest gold counters and burnt orange dinette seats with matching faux brick vinyl flooring. But the subfloor was solid and the cabinets were in great condition. The open floorplan was similar to what we find in many newer models with a large bathroom and plenty of windows.
The crew noted “some damage from water leaks,” which, as with many home improvement projects, turned out to be more than anticipated, which helped Project Terry live up to its “Extreme” billing.
Planned aspects of the build included:
• Running gear: brakes, bearings, hubs, tires and wheels.
• Exterior: siding, awning, roof, vents, graphics.
• Plumbing and electrical: lights, toilet, sinks, tanks.
• Appliances: furnace, air conditioning, fridge, range, water heater.
• Interior: furniture, counters, floors, woodwork.
Project Terry was also made possible with the help of the team of product sponsors including AP Products, ASA Electronics, Specialty Recreation Inc., Duoform, LaSalle Bristol, MTI, Optronics, Phoenix, Schneider Electric, Sunforce, WFCO, YSN, Hickory and Shurflo.
RV industry insiders can see Project Terry on display in Booth No. 5326 at the show.