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RV historian David Woodworth’s effort to sell his extensive collection of “antique” RVs and camping paraphernalia has failed for the moment, but a town in Alaska has expressed some interest.
The city of Sitka, Alaska, has tentatively proposed moving the collection to the Great North as a museum attraction for cruise-ship passengers.
Despite the inability to sell the collection, Woodworth was not discouraged as he headed out on his annual 30-city “National RV History Tour,” on which he serves as a media spokesman for the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).
“I might buy another RV or two,” he said. “My goal is to hit 50. I’m convinced that something positive is going to happen to my collection some day.”
The California Department of Parks and Recreation at the end of last year told Woodworth that it didn’t have the money to renew a two-year option to buy Woodworth’s collection of 37 motorhomes, towable trailers and camping equipment, all of which he values at more than $1 million.
The glitch? After spending $75,000 to catalog Woodworth’s 1,800-piece collection, the state ran into a shortfall that stood at an estimated $34.6 billion in mid-May.
“The state sent me a letter and said that they can’t afford to buy the collection,” said Woodworth, who keeps most of the collection at his 11-acre homestead in Tehachapi, Calif. “They said they are hoping that they could do it in a couple of years. I could easily sell it all piece by piece, but I want this to go into a collection or a museum.”
Negotiations with the RV/MH Heritage Foundation Inc., Elkhart, Ind., have stalled – also for financial reasons.
“Mostly what is happening is a lot of talk and no action,” Woodworth said. “We are shuffling a lot of paperwork.” As Woodworth took off on his annual tour he drove a 32-foot 2003 Itasca Horizon diesel-pusher borrowed from Winnebago Industries Inc. of Forest City Iowa.
The Horizon tows a 16-foot telescoping RV manufactured in 1916 that sits atop a Ford Model T and transforms into living space complete with a stove that mounts on the Model T’s engine.