Billed as “The World’s Fastest Winnebago,” the 1972 “Happy Camper” Winnebago Brave made its fi rst SEMA appearance last year. The 900 horsepower RV includes a tikki-themed lounge and a WWII Bomber-inspired, party-pimped interior – making this Ringbrothers-built Winnebago RV the perfect road-tripper. The Happy Camper started out as a 1972 Winnebago Brave the Ringbrothers purchased at a Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona. Its original plaid upholstery and wood paneling was cool in a kind of retro way, looking more like a mobile log cabin than an RV. The bad news however lay underneath.
A long-serving and tired Dodge 318ci V8 was at the very end of its usefulness. The rest was even worse. So the original engine was removed and replaced by a Wegner Motorsports LS 408 supercharged V8, pushing out an absurd amount of horsepower.
The engine uses a Callies crank and Callies Ultra rods to withstand the boost from the Magnuson supercharger that feeds air and fuel through the ported LSA heads. To deal with the additional power effectively, the engine is mated to a General Motors 4L80 transmission on to a Dynotec driveshaft and a John’s Industries Dana 80 rear axle with 4.11:1 gears. With a claimed 0 to 50 mph in 3 seconds, the new supercharged engine defies notions of what the average camper was capable of from the 70s. After completely stripping the entire inside of the motorhome, the brothers began fabricating a complete custom interior – including Restoration Hardware bomber-style seats, a gauge cluster reminiscent of a WWII-era bomber and accompanying the tiki-themed bar, a pizza oven, popcorn machine, and an airplane propeller originally owned by the Ring brothers’ father. The exposed metal bits were covered in a minty green while a couple of custom neon lights adorn the cabin walls.
With hardwood covering most of the floor except the acrylic windows in the floor and engine housing – to show off the Flowmaster mufflers and 6.0L powerplant, respectively. The seats are from a 1970 Ford bus, disinfected and reupholstered. Ringbrothers pulled out its traditional craftsmanship skills for the accommodation at the rear, where passengers can try hide from the sheer ridiculous surge in speeds. The interior was then filled with everything you’d ever want on a road trip, including a few TVs. With the exterior sheet metal showing its age, several custom panels had to be fabricated up front, including new headlight surrounds and dimple-died trim that filled the gap between the body and the bumper. The brothers decided to keep exterior modifications to a bare minimum, opting not to restore or repaint the body – only sponsored decals were placed along the bottom panels of the RV. Mounted to the nose of the 900 hp beast, is a detachable vintage Honda minibike, a useful addition for campground excursions. The rear features a fold-out bar, expectantly equipped with martini shaped neon lighting and a swingout grill and cooler. Cross-country road trip anyone?