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Engine fire ends dream; RV seeks new owner, and repairs

by: RITA A. LEONARD - This currently-inoperative ocean-themed RV at S.E. 39th (Chavez) and Raymond Street is for sale.If you've found yourself daydreaming of balmy ocean breezes while traveling along S.E. 39th Avenue (Chavez) in Woodstock, you can probably chalk it up to having glimpsed an ocean-themed recreational vehicle parked on the corner of S.E. Raymond Street.

The 1975 Vogue RV belongs to Dustin Olson, a former graphic designer. Olson bought the RV from some friends two years ago, then decided to paint it for a trip to the “Burning Man” art experience in the Nevada desert. Artist friend Chris Kimber helped him paint it. It took four days. The “burning” destination turned out to be sadly prophetic later on.

“We chose the theme randomly, after noticing that the round window on the door reminded us of a deep-sea diver’s helmet,” recounts Olson. “The diver was painted with his arms outstretched, like the classic ‘Burning Man’ image, and we referred to the RV as ‘The Sub-Burn’. After painting the diver, next came the octopus, then sea turtles, fish, a diving bird, jellyfish, and other under-sea details.

“The painting was finished off by adding a mustache, eyebrows, nose, and teeth to the front panel, to make it look like a face. When it was running, it used to have bubbles coming out the top in the front.”

However, the trip to Nevada was not to be. “We were all packed up and ready to go, but the engine caught fire in the parking lot,” recalls Olson. “When the firemen arrived, they thought it looked funny with smoke coming out of the ‘mouth’ painted on the grill, and some of them even took pictures.” With their trip cancelled, the group unpacked, and the RV has remained on the site ever since.

“I need to sell the vehicle now, to make more room,” says Olson. “It’s an eight-seater with two fold-down beds and a kitchenette…and it’s got a lot of character.”

Olson works as a commercial real estate agent with Marcus & Millichap, but would like to pass the RV on to another inspired owner who can get it running and send it – hopefully with more success – on its next voyage. “It brought a lot of fun into our lives, and needs a good home,” he remarks. Those interested can contact Olson at 970/988-6911 for more information.