By Stephanie Stijkel

A RENOWNED automotive artist has built a $500,000 motorhome that you can drive from the roof

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Videographer / director: Grayson Beras

Producer: Frazer Randalls

Editor: Ian Phillips

Randy Grubb, from Oregon, is well-known for building beautiful and unique chrome vehicles.

Some of his masterpieces include the Blastolene Indy Special, Jay Leno Tank Car, Decoson and the $500,000 motorhome - the Decoliner.

Inspired by the 1980s sci-fi space traveller Flash Gordon, Randy spent over $100,000 in parts and 6,000 hours in manpower on the stylised mobile home.  


Executed over 18 months, Randy used the chassis of a 1973 GMC motorhome which sports a front-wheel drive, allowing the frame of the Decoliner to be very low to the ground; around 14 inches.

This means that Randy had enough space to stack the vehicle as a double decker and still keep it under the 13ft 6" requirements.

The design of the remarkable motorhome also allowed for an additional driving position on the roof low enough to fit under most bridges and overpasses.

Randy said: “I was never a big motor homer, I always thought it was kind of weird, driving around in a big box and sleeping in it.

“Then I built the Decoliner, it’s really cool, we had a lot of fun with it.”

Randy and his wife drove the Decoliner all over America, putting over 15,000 miles on the camper without being stopped for the unusual driving position. 

Randy said: “I always get asked ‘is that legal?’ Well, it's not illegal. And it's a very fine line.

“For a policeman to pull you over and write you a ticket, he has got to put down what vehicle code you violated. And there’s nothing on the books about driving a car from the roof.”

Recently, Randy was invited to the Frankenmuth Auto-Fest in Michigan to show off the 26ft aluminium Decoliner.

Joining Randy was the new owner of motorhome, Mike Jahns, who first saw the mobile home on TV and fell in love with the art-deco design of the vehicle.

“It’s an amazing vehicle to be involved with because everybody smiles profusely at it, it just brings a lot of joy to people.” Mike said.

The Decoliner is the centre of attention wherever it goes.

Randy said: “One of the lessons I learned very early on about the Decoliner is that there's a certain responsibility that comes with driving it.

“When you bring the circus to town; you better have the patience to deal with the response that you've elicited.”

And Randy has no problem dealing with the attention the Decoliner amasses.

“It's really an honour and a privilege to drive this thing and make people smile and laugh wherever it goes,” he said.

“I'm a lucky guy.”