During the pandemic, camper and motorhome sales have exploded as people look for ways to get out of the house while social distancing. And though vaccinations signal light at the end of the tunnel, this summer might be another season for more campers to head out onto the road. So, if you’re one of the many people into the RV lifestyle, you might be interested in a unique motorhome with an interesting backstory.
The crazy tale of the RV with the airplane body
In the early ’80s, two men used a Convair CV-240 fuselage to make a motorhome, The Drive reports. They were Tony Tosta and Jason Von Straussenburg. According to Santa Barbara Independent in 2008, the latter was one of a few pseudonyms used by Roger Crona.
He had been incarcerated in a Michigan prison in 1972 but escaped that year. Crona eventually made it to Southern California, where he met Tosta in 1983. They formed a friendship and began constructing RVs. The airplane fuselage motorhome, christened The Andromeda, was one of a few vehicles they built from airplane parts.
In 2008, an anonymous tipster turned Crona in to authorities, who took him back into custody and sent him to Michigan. There, he was to serve out the rest of his prison sentence. But soon, his health began to decline. And in 2009, he passed away, Daily Nexus reported. The Andromeda then shuffled among many owners, suffering a degrading condition along the way.
What does this airplane-based motorhome offer?
Now it’s up for sale once again, this time on Craigslist. The owner says this unique motorhome is the perfect solution for off-grid camping. It boasts a 50-amp landline plus generator and solar power to run whatever appliances you need for your adventures.
The airplane fuselage comes from a Convair CV-240, in production from 1947 to 1954, The Drive reports. This airplane body sits on a 1979 Pace Arrow motorhome base, which Tosta and Crona were renovating using airplane parts.
Inside, you’ll find a Jacuzzi tub under the floor in the living room. Walk past that, and you’ll find yourself in a cleverly placed lavatory. It also contains a galley-style kitchen complete with a gas stove and oven, sink, and full-sized fridge. A sleeping area above the gangway offers enough room for four people.
This motorhome is operational, and what’s interesting is you can drive it from either the driver or passenger seat (or pilot and co-pilot seat, if you will). The current owner says you can comfortably drive it at 65 mph.
But is it worth the hefty price tag?
The plane-based RV has exchanged many hands over the years, purchased for undisclosed amounts. However, now that it has found its way to Craigslist, the owner has posted an asking price of $27,995.
That’s a good chunk of change for what apparently needs some TLC. Though that alone could make you look the other way, the poster offers some interesting points. First, it has an interesting history thanks to its builders, making it wholly unique. You’re not likely to find another quite like this one.
Also, you could use it as an Airbnb rental. You’d need to fix it up a bit, park it on your chosen plot of land, and advertise it. There are always people looking to experience the weird, and this would fit the bill perfectly.
So, are you in the market for a spacious RV camper to use as a motorhome for vacations? Or do you like the prospect of making a little money on the side? If your answer is yes to both, you might want to check out the airplane-bodied motorhome to own a piece of unusual history.