GREGG COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - It seems there are a lot of people out there who would like a change of scenery for some reason. One can only guess as to why. But a good indicator of that is just how much business has picked up at American RV Restoration in Gregg County.
Ethan Langley owns American RV Restoration and he is one busy guy. He says he’s busier now than he was before the coronavirus.
“COVID hit and we had a little slump there. I put out a video and said hey, anybody need an RV restored, come see us. That next week we had over 13 RVs, and it just kept almost doubling. Every day it seemed that we get two to three in and maybe one to two out,” Langley said.
He has 10 full time employees and eight part time so they keep in mind:
“Social distancing, you know, trying to keep everything clean. We have 15,000 square feet. We’ve got plenty of room to be on top of that,” Langley said.
He dabbles in refrigerator and vehicle restoration as well, and maybe the one with the biggest taillights wins. But RV customers, well:
“Some come in and they’ll just need a tail light or AC, or a leaky toilet fixed. And some are complete ground up, frame up restoration. Some need painted, some need polished, some need axels, everything’s really different in this business,” Langley said.
And speaking of different, he is also working on a playland, McDonalds style.
“Last year we travelled 77,000 and 27 states picking up pieces from across the United States and got to really meet and see a lot of cool people, a lot of cool things. So we brought that back to Longview, Texas. Now I have the world’s largest McDonalds memorabilia collection in the United States,” Langley said.
Pretty much all of it is from the 1970s and 80s, and a restored long, long trailer will be parked next to the planned McPlayground.
“No McDonalds had all the things they had in the playground, we do though. We’ll have 95 percent of the pieces if we can get a hold of them,” Langley said.
A reason the RVs are so popular may well be because of pretty much built in social distancing, and of course:
“Bringing up memories and good times, you know; Americana basically,” Langley said.
And you never know who will be waving out of a window in one of these things. It looks like Ronald McDonald may be primed for that, well, after he gets some new paint.
Originally American RV Restoration was buying and restoring RVs for sale. But they’ve had so many customers bring in their own RVs for repair that they are concentrating on that.
Most of the McDonalds pieces are going to be reworked and installed on site as a playground for visiting customers, although a few duplicates are for sale.