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Politicians representating large geographic areas have used motorhomes for many years to reach constituents during election campaigns. And most likely among the first to do so was President Ronald Reagan, according to The Press-Enterprise of Riverside, Calif.
Gil Martinez, of Hemet, Calif., now owns the 33-foot Sportscoach III Class A that Reagan used during his 1984 re-election campaign.
Martinez, 79, thought about taking his piece of Ronald Reagan memorabilia to see the president’s casket before it left Southern California this week but then he thought about the traffic that he and the motorhome would have to fight, the newspaper reported.
“I’ll wait till he gets back (from Washinngton, D.C.). Then I’ll go pay my respects,” Martinez said, referring to the fact that Reagan will be buried at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, California. “Now that he’s gone to heaven, I’ve got a piece of memorabilia he’s associated with.”
According to a plaque near the motorhome’s stairwell, the cream-colored model year 1984 Sportscoach III motorhome ferried President Reagan 20 years ago during his re-election campaign.
It was donated to the campaign by Marvin K. Brown’s RV dealership in San Diego. Neither Marvin Brown nor Jim Brown at the dealership could be reached Tuesday (June 8), The Press-Enterprise reported.
The inside of the RV features cedar cabinets, two white beds where the president may have relaxed, an icemaker, bar and plenty of other places “for your tequila … or jelly beans,” Martinez said.
There’s a Reagan/Bush ‘84 pin in the vehicle as well, right next to a campaign pin for another famous, but less successful, Republican presidential candidate: Thomas Dewey.
Martinez is the second owner of the vehicle since it was used for the presidential campaign. He bought it in Beaumont, Calif., in 1997.
Nowadays, the motorhome is used by the pony-tailed retired accountant and his wife – another Nancy – to travel to Arizona and the Silicon Valley to see their children.
It gets seven or eight miles per gallon and has 75,800 miles, Martinez said.
When the resident of Seven Hills, a golf-course community in west Hemet, is through using it, he said he may donate it to the Reagan Library.