Expect the unexpected at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Who would have thought one of the crowd-pleasers would be an RV? But when you see it, you know why. River City Rods in Davenport, Iowa, have applied the SEMA Show mindset to an old RV with spectacular results.
They are calling it “Brown Sugar.” There’s a lot to see both inside the camper, and outside. Those 1970s-inspired graphics fit the vintage of the 1980s Chevy square body. The eight-foot C10 pickup box has been widened and lengthened behind the axle to accommodate the camper. A little more room is always good in a camper.
Bagged, Beautiful “Brown Sugar”
Bagged and shod with big, painted alloy wheels and four-wheel discs, none of which came in the 1980s, the bold graphics, crazy proportions, and massive camper hung on the back make quite the statement outside of the Las Vegas Convention Center. The vertical lines of the camper combined with the vertical graphics make this RV seem a mile long. For SEMA it’s all about excess.
Inside there’s a sea of wood planking that first meets your eye. It’s everywhere-like floor, ceilings, cabinet, and light fixtures. The Kicker subwoofers are housed in what look like bongo drum enclosures. Or are those whiskey barrels? The giant stainless Moon tanks would be perfect for beer, but look to be tied into the RV. Maybe they’re for water storage?
Inside Wild RV
Perched on a stainless steel table is a Coca-Cola cooler, which is now a sink with running water. You can see it next to the folding big screen TV. The big screen is attached to a portion of the base for the bed. Folding it up gives access to the driver’s compartment. Folding it down completes the base of the bed in the area above the cab.
In the driver’s compartment 70s-vintage plaid fabric covers the seats. Within the context of this RV, it was a perfect choice.
Rather than for camping this looks more like a party bus or tailgate host for partying at a race track. Not to be a buzzkill but whatever it has been built for ramp angles will have to be monitored closely. With the outrageous amount of rear overhang this rig will be easy to hang up going into and out of any type of entry and exit.
This Wild RV Is What SEMA’s About
This encapsulates everything that makes the SEMA Show so much fun. Unique builds loaded with aftermarket components and great ideas, with imagination and some humor thrown in. Conceivably one could build something like this for almost nothing. 1980s C10 pickups with eight-foot beds are still dirt cheap. Older campers that need some love can be purchased for almost nothing.
If you’re willing to put in the time a project like this done on the cheap makes it better in many ways. You know you’ll get attention with a slick Porsche with a $20,000 paint job and $30,000 engine. It’s a whole other deal to take a beat old truck and wasted camper shell and the attention this is getting at the 2019 SEMA Show.