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Diecast Forums – Forum 43 – Diecast Zone

Posted By: Randy Rusk
Posted On: Saturday December 1, 2018 at 10:50 AM
What I was up to...
OK, long story short... Like many of you, I started asking myself what would happen to my collection after me. For my extensive collection of campers, I couldn't see myself ever selling them but the collection had gotten too big to be fully displayed in my home. So I came upon a solution!

I spent Thursday and Friday at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkart, Indiana setting up a permanent display of models in their museum of classic campers and RVs:

First, with help from their Operations Manager Ryan, we sorted everything out by category and country of origin:

Then I began unboxing everything. It was kinda like Christmas and I was really enjoying opening up stuff that I'd never taken out of the package. It was a long process and by the end of Day 1 I was glad I had planned two days for the work:

Day 2 was spent sorting, resorting and fine-tuning everything into three cases. One thing became apparent, though. I still had more boxes of models back home as there are numerous ones I know I have that didn't appear during set-up. Oh, well. Another trip for another time:

The top two shelves all the way across include some cold cast porcelain replicas of iconic stops along Route 66.

The two bottom shelves here feature all the great parts work models coming out of Europe. As you can see, they were packed in pretty tight. I contemplated removing them from their bases but thought people might appreciate knowing what they were (and I didn't have one of those weird triangle bits!)

I was quite exhausted - both physically and emotionally - as I finished up. But I left knowing that thousands of people will have the opportunity to view my collection each year.

Here's a sneak peek of the news release the museum is sending out next week:

RV/MH Museum Adds Expansive Scale Model Collection

December 3, 2018, ELKHART, INDIANA – The RV/MH Hall of Fame announced the addition of a new exhibit to its museum as it accepted the donation of one of the nation’s largest collections of scale model camping replicas from around the world.

Last summer, RV/MH President Darryl Searer received a letter from a long-time collector who was seeking a permanent home for his extensive collection of miniature replicas of campers, RVs, motorhomes and manufactured housing. “The Hall of Fame has a proud tradition of accepting and displaying unique camping vehicles in our nationally renowned museum,” said Searer. “We also have a few toys and models outside of our Founders Hall, along with other camping memorabilia, but nothing of substance. Today’s donation adds to our ability to tell an even richer story about the joys of camping while appealing to visitors young and old.”

The donation came from model collector Randy Rusk, who had driven from Fort Wayne to visit the museum several times in recent years. “My wife and I will soon be empty-nesters and we’re getting closer to our planned retirement,” said Rusk. “Model collecting has been a passion of mine since my mom gave me my first one at age 9. But my collection of campers had grown so large I realized I was never going to be able to display it all in our home. We wanted to downsize, but I couldn’t imagine selling off the models I’d spent my whole life acquiring. The RV/MH museum seemed like the perfect destination for my cherished collection.”

Searer and Rusk met soon afterward to discuss the details and select a date to create the new permanent display. Over two days in late November, Rusk and Operations Manager Ryan Szklarek sorted through the many boxes of models ranging in scale from 1:87 up to 1:16 and sorted them by category and country of origin. “With every box we opened, I kept saying, ‘Wow!’ There were just so many unusual and detailed models of campers, some of which we have here in full-size,” added Szklarek. “We are very fortunate to have these on display. It will definitely add a new must-see stop for visitors.”

While Rusk expressed some hesitation about leaving his collection behind, he was reassured of his decision when the display was completed. “This is everything I hoped it would be. I’ve had this pictured in my head for years and now to see it all organized in display cases is better than I ever imagined,” said Rusk. “I’m so appreciative to Darryl and Ryan for running such a quality museum and giving me the opportunity to contribute to the camping hobby.” Rusk was quick to note that he’ll still continue looking for unusual camper models and plans to return to the museum to add more of his finds in the coming year.

About the RV/MH Hall of Fame:

The RV and Manufactured Housing Hall of Fame, located in Elkhart, Indiana, is dedicated to preserving the history and honoring the pioneers and individuals who have made significant contributions to the RV and Manufactured Housing industries. Within their multi-use facility is the RV Founders Hall, which displays trailers, photos, and memorabilia reaching back to the 1920s and 1930s and is open to the public from 10 am to 4 pm Monday through Saturday. The museum presents chronological and technological advancements in the industry from before WW I to the present. Learn more about the RV/MH Hall of Fame at www.rvmhhalloffame.org.

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Message thread:

What I was up to... by Randy Rusk #24932
Brilliant idea Randy...and you can still go and enjoy them! (EOM) by John Roberts #24932.1
Did you notice this? by Randy Rusk #24932.1.1
I didn't! It's worn well!! A wonderful display all round Randy. (EOM) by John Roberts #24932.1.1.1
Congratulations, Randy. Your actions are most interesting. (EOM) by David Holcombe #24932.2
I'll admit... by Randy Rusk #24932.2.1
Very Impressive Randy! (EOM) by Gregory Gunn #24932.3
Outstanding Randy! An impressive and selfless donation. (EOM) by Harvey Goranson #24932.4
Randy, a wonderful way to celebrate & share your collection and the work of those who've gone before (EOM) by Randall Olson #24932.5
Wow! That was cool, Randy! If you have any more closeup shots of the display, love to see em! (EOM) by Scott Brown #24932.6
Here you go...close-ups of 1:43s by Randy Rusk #24932.6.1
Very good of you Randy. Elkhart is a very nice by Ken Smith #24932.6.1.1
I have many...... well next to you, not many at all of campers and motor homes. by Tom Ciryak #24932.6.1.2
Randy, What an amazing thing to do, what a perfect way to preserve a part of your life's by John Merritt #24932.7
Excellent ! I was at the museum some years back and it is by Mike DeTorrice #24932.8
Randy ... What an XCLNT idea ... Donate to Museum - I may follow your lead - Thanks (EOM) by Dennis Mong #24932.8.1

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