Ram’d R/V: 1972 Dodge Motorhome

You know that phrase, “A face only a mother could love”? Well, this unusual R/V likely has a lineage involving a Dodge D150 pickup and a school bus given its distinctive grill and headlight combo, which isn’t exactly what you’d call handsome. Still, this bubble-shaped motorhome is dirt cheap at the moment, listed for $1,100 or best offer here on eBay

What’s unusual about this particular listing is that the seller is simultaneously parting it out and also selling the motorhome in one piece. That said, he recommends contacting him before bidding so you can be sure the part you need is still available. If you’re interested in the complete package, he has duplicates of some of the parts that have already gone missing.

As you can see, this includes the gauge panel, steering wheel and front seats. He has another steering wheel and dash cluster in good shape, but some other items have been sold that there are no replacements for. These include the hood, a side door and a rear storage door. My guess is having never seen another R/V that looks like this one that those parts may be hard to replace.

One design feature I definitely like about this flat-faced motorhome is the amount of daylight that pours in through those big windows. Sometimes, old conversions like this one appear dank and dark inside, but this looks quite inviting. The full kitchen looks practically ready to serve roadside breakfast as well. There’s 440 power on board so parts-sourcing for the mechanical bits should be simple – should this Dodge be saved before being parted out completely?

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    You know, we gasp in horror at the site of this, but actually, this was one of the early attempts at aerodynamics. Previous motorhomes were a box on wheels, and handled like one. This had at least some streamlining, and I bet did pretty good in a head wind. This particular one is another poker shack. Too much work. There’s better motorhomes. Pull the motor, tow it somewhere, level ‘er out, and done.

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    • DrinkinGasoline

      Yer not kidding Howard…that’s a face only a mother could love but, like an Airstream, it’ll do well in a wind tunnel.
      “Love Shack, baby Love Shack. I got me a Chrysler and it’s as big as a whale !”

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  2. DrinkinGasoline

    I’m curious about this:

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  3. dirtyharry

    I remember first seeing these in the movie “Slither” with James Caan, Peter Boyle and Sally Kellermen. They were radically new at the time of the movie and appeared to me to be Futuristic! They were a major part of the movie. As with everything, time makes new turn into old and perhaps forgotten too.

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    • David Wilk Staff

      One of my favorite movies of all time – thanks for posting this shot! The music that played every time the RV appeared always made me laugh. RIP the great Peter Boyle.

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    • Eric_10cars Eric Dashman Member

      Great catch! I knew that the R/V looked familiar, but you nailed it. I have the movie on a VHS tape (taken from Cinemax back in the 80s) and now I’m gonna pull it out and watch it again. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  4. angliagt

    There were a few of these around,years ago.
    Haven’t seen one lately.

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  5. Flman

    This is a Rectrans Discoverer. Disappointing design from the same pen that styled the ’63 and ’68 Corvettes!

    There was a decent one listed last year on BaT’s website.

    http://bringatrailer.com/2015/08/13/larry-shinoda-design-1973-rectrans-discoverer-rv/

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    • Johnny Tee

      Why are the rear wheels hanging down so low? Did the leaf springs break at the rear shackle?

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  6. boxdin

    They’re called Discovery and were made on one ton (D350) Dodges only as far as I can tell. This is what they are supposed to look like. And that chrome grill was an aftermarket plastic item made in NY back in the day for vans.

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    • Royal Ricci

      Correction Discoverer not Discovery and they were manufactured by Rectrans Corp which was a division trucking company White Motors. These were the larger units 25′ to 27′ built on Chrysler Truck Chassis (Dodge). They also made a smaller 22 to 24 unit on a Chevy C-30 Truck Chassis, which I own an example of. These were superior Motor-homes for their day, but the energy crisis of 1973 ran this company (Rectrans) into bankruptcy.

      There used to be a highly active owner/fan group on Yahoo about a decade ago.

      Such ashamed this guy parted out this RV because there was a demand for these by collectors.

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  7. daniel wright

    Park it, level it out and use it for a weekend man cave at the lake.

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    • Dave Wright

      That would be the highest and best use……….

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  8. sparkster

    I believe the front wheel drive GMC motorhomes started appearing a few years after the Dodge Discovery motorhomes made their introduction. Still strange that in this day and age we still have flat nosed motorhomes and diesel pushers. Perhaps they have” special motorhome wind tunnels.

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  9. Lynda

    I wonder if you could make it into a trailer? Anyone know if there is some law about towing a 4 wheeler?

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  10. Cattoo

    I was gonna comment that I had seen these vehicles in a movie years ago and couldn’t remember the name of it. Ever since that movie I’ve wanted one of these motorbikes done up like those in the movie.

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  11. Rustytech

    Star Treck shuttle craft on wheels! This is kinda like a bull dog, so ugly ya gotta love it. Too bad it’s been allowed to deteriorate to this point.

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  12. Jubjub

    I really dig these. That grille is hideous!!!

    Other than the pilot house missing stuff, the rest of it actually looks complete and decent if filthy. Hope the title can be sorted out and someone can dump time/money/work into it. Would be an awesome business promotional tool.

    Just needs to roll into the campsite jamming out to Deep Purple’s Space Truckin’.

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  13. Jubjub

    Just read that sold some other major stuff. Too bad.

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  14. Donna

    Its sad he destroyed it

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  15. BOBB MICHALS

    i have one of these survivors parked at my oak creek wisconsin storage yard and would be willing to sell the “complete” (no parts missing) motor home / title is available /

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  16. slickimp

    Butt ugly to say the least

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