Top Gear USA Goes RVing

101212topgear134MATTAlmost one in ten American families owns a Motorhome, and RVing (for recreational vehicles, anagram fans) is a national pastime, but being able to sleep where you want comes at a price: said vehicles are horrendously un-fun. Which is precisely the task Adam, Rut and Tanner gave themselves – build something useful, and enjoyable.

Fun for Tanner means fast and driftable, so he came turned up to our meeting point – an RV campsite in the Carolinas – with a 1983 Porsche 928S, which is good for 146 mph. Well, it was until he attached a slightly unwieldy sleeping pod-cum-rocket appendage to the roof…

New Yorker, Adam, figures that if RVs are homes away from home, why not bring home with you? This faultless logic lead to the Flaturion – a seamless marriage of the iconic Flatiron building and a 1973 Buick Centurion convertible. His wheeled duplex features five-foot ceilings, a sleeping loft, TV, fully stocked bar and a proper porcelain toilet. Which will probably come in handy after attempting a corner.

Rut’s weekly run-ins with NASCAR means he should know RVs better than anyone, so Adam and Tanner are particularly mystified when Rut turns up in “Mini Winne” (Winnebago) based on a 1989 Honda Civic “Wagovan.”

Following a race to their designated RV camping spots that threatens the well being of fauna, fowl and small wandering children, Adam shows off the Centurion’s open-flame cooking facilities as well as Rut’s Wagovan’s hidden gadgetry. The trio soon learns, however, they will be spending the night 100 miles away in the infield of a NASCAR race in Charlottesville.

After surviving the hazards of low bridges and carbon monoxide poisoning, the hosts arrive at the spectacular four-lane, zMAX Dragway in Concord, NC. A $400K Class A RV turns up and challenges them to a half-mile race to the end of the drag strip and back. And the results are… surprising.

RVs need to keep their occupants safe and dry come wind or high water, so their next challenge pits the team’s RVs up against three Chevy 350 V8s – to which are strapped propellers capable of producing 80 mph of water-soaked wind. Think gale-force hurricane, flying lawn chairs, rain slickers and hail.

What’s left of the RVs arrive to take their rightful slots on “Redneck Hill” in the famous infield at Charlotte Motor Speedway. No better way to test the popularity of innovative RV designs than to see who can attract the most partiers. Can Tanner’s box wine best Adam’s hot-dog roasting Buick or Rut’s keg (and NASCAR notoriety)?

With drinking comes betting, and apparently one of the hosts bet Kenny Wallace that they could whoop them on an oval, mano-a-mano, RV to RV. In this winner-takes-all race, fiberglass, steel and egos will fall in the pursuit of Motorhome supremacy. Max Papis, Kenny Wallace and Hermie Sadler show up to preserve the honor of the NASCAR league. Can our team of, umm, rookies best the pros? And which Top Gear RV will live to fly the flag for fun?

To find out, tune in to History this Tuesday at 9/8 central. You can see older episodes on the History Channel Top Gear site, and get breaking news on the Top Gear USA Facebook Page. Let us know what you think!

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