Jack Sisemore lives and breathes RVs. As my family and I toured his RV Museum in Amarillo, Texas, he recalled his 25+ years of collecting, restoring, servicing, and selling RVs, his passion for the glory days of road tripping, and his own yearly family RV trips from Texas all the way up to Maine.
The original Route 66 – an iconic road for any well-versed road trip fan – runs through Amarillo, Texas. It’s the ideal backdrop for the Jack Sisemore RV Museum, an impressive collection of vintage recreational vehicles and campers dating back to the 1920s. During our visit, we were taken on a journey through time that reflects not only Sisemore’s passion for the open road, but also the evolution of road tripping, camping, and the all-American family vacation.
As someone who dreams of selling all her belongings and living in an RV, this museum was inspiring. I enjoyed watching Jack light up as he pointed out vehicles he’d found neglected in barns, some in like-new condition and some he lovingly restored. The RVs were open for exploration and cleverly staged with items from the appropriate time period. Discovering Tinkertoys and packaged food containers from long gone brands that reminded me of my childhood brought the trip through time to life.
The RV Museum boasts the first Itasca motor home ever built, the oldest Fleetwood in existence, and classic Winnebago, Airstream, and Volkswagen models. For another little gem, Jack obtained the actual “Happy Max” bus from the Robin Williams movie, “RV.”
The most modern RVs were found in the showroom – quite a treat to tour in its own right! My kids were eagerly climbing from one vehicle to the next as if searching for their dream home. My son remarked, “I didn’t think looking at RVs could be so much fun!” High praise from a teenager!
Having built a career out of his love of travel, Jack is a man after my own heart. He started by opening a Chevron station with a loan from his grandmother and now owns and operates the huge Traveland where he rents, sells and services RVs and campers. He’s expanded 17 times – all financed with cash from the growth of his business.
Jack has plans to continue expanding both his RV business and the museum. He shared with me his hope to add a fruit stand and an A&W – a perfect fit for the American driving theme – to the museum in the coming years.
Don’t miss this highlight of our road trip (it’s free!) and be sure to talk to Jack Sisemore the next time you pass through Amarillo. His story, his love of travel and his gigantic RV showroom will inspire you, too.