By Cheri Sicard
In the video below, Ethan Langley from American RV Restoration shares one of the rarest-ever RVs on The Art of RVing YouTube channel. In fact, his seems to be the ONLY restoration of the 1951 double-decker RV, the Lighthouse DuPlex. Not surprising since only 7 of these unusual RVs were known to exist.
In addition to the tour of the finished RV, the video also shares some behind-the-scenes glimpses of the exhaustive restoration process. The double-decker RV is 28 feet long but equates out to 48 feet because of the double-decker layout. Despite its large size, it only weighs 6800 pounds.
While they salvaged what they could, Ethan estimates that 90 percent of the rig is new, although they tried to keep the original look and feel of the Lighthouse DuPlex.
Along the way, they made improvements to make the rig convenient for today’s travelers. Yes, it is now roadworthy. It even has brand-new axles.
For instance, the coach now has a 50-amp service, necessary to run its two A/C units.
In the living room, they restored the original Firestone (yes, as in the tire company) sofa. It seems back then Firestone made a whole lot more than just tires. The sofa converts to a very comfortable sleeping mattress.
Upstairs you will find two bedrooms separated by the stairwell and pocket doors. The ingenious engineering offers more than 6 feet of headspace.
Why did this unique double-decker RV never catch on? Perhaps because it was so expensive to make. At the time it was new, it cost about three times what the average house did!