Rare Vintage 80s Motorhome Still Turns Heads

Last updated on September 20th, 2021 at 09:13 am. Originally published on August 8th, 2015

Have you ever heard of a Vixen 21 motorhome? Probably not. With a price tag that surpassed 50 grand back in the ’80s, you wont see many of these babies on the road. In fact, only 587 of them were ever made.

Some would say that Vixen 21 is considered to be the DeLorean of RVs. Why? Because it can reach a top speed of almost 100 mph! The 2.6 liter turbo BMW diesel engine and 5 speed manual transmission probably has something to do with this extraordinary speed.

Not only was the Vixen fast, it was also small and fuel efficient, getting upwards of 30 mpg. This classic 80s motorhome with its heavy engine can most likely outhaul any other vehicle in its weight class.


Teo Ruspoli/ Outsideonline

The Vixen has a low center of gravity and was designed to be small and easy to drive. It also has an automatic lift rook that raises the ceiling to almost 7 feet while parked!

The Vixen was available in 3 floor plans:

  • 21 TD: This is the standard model designed in the traditional RV style a 25 gallon fresh water tank, full size bed, 4 person dinette, and a kitchen with a 12 volt refrigerator, sink and microwave.  It also has a bathroom with a 12 gallon black water tank.
  • 21 XC: The XC featured enough couches to seat up to a whopping 10 passengers plus a full size bed.
  • 21 SE: This hybrid camper with luxury seating and many of the amenities found in the TD version.



With less than 600 made, you can imagine that owning one of these unique RVs is a quite a privilege. Tao Ruspoli is one of the lucky owners ones. He discovered the Vixen 21 in Nevada and used his love of luxury yachts as inspiration to remodel this rare treasure. To make his vision come to life, he hired carpenters Richard Draut and Steve Levinson to do the woodwork. It took them about 200 hours to redo the console and trim with wenge, sapele, and teak woods.


Tao Ruspoli/ Outside.com

Take a look at the flip table where Tao added a custom inlaid marquetry chess board. Trés chic.

Tao also bought a custom side console for his captain’s chair. Now it’s able to hold his coffee cups along with his camera and specialty lenses. In this way, he’s always within easy reach of his coffee and his camera. This is pretty convenient for when he wants to take some pictures while on the road.


Tao Ruspoli/ Outside.com

So, what do you think? Would you buy one of these? Leave your answers in the comment section.

Source: Outside.com and Do It Yourself RV

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