“Basically, we make dreams come true,” Langley said.
The television network sent a crew to Longview on Wednesday to film the episode, which will feature American RV Restoration. Located in the Spring Hill area of Longview, American RV Restoration has been refurbishing vintage travel trailers for about 15 years with owner Ethan Langley turning it into a full-time career about 3 years ago.
“We knew we had something at that point,” he recalled.
Langley was in the automotive business for 26 years, but he said he got tired of “doing the same thing over and over.” He picked up a 1960s model travel trailer in Utah for himself and his family and he restored it. When the family went camping in it for the first time, people approached him wanting to buy it.
Today, American RV Restoration has a 15,000-square-foot warehouse located on five acres in Longview.
He decided to turn it into a part-time business. He picks up travel trailers from across the country, restores them and then sells them. Three years ago, he and his wife Amanda decided to turn their part-time hobby into a full-time business as its popularity grew.
“We have seven businesses out of this one complex here and employ over 24 people here,” Langley said.
Through his businesses, Langley said he can restore pretty much “everything and anything.” That includes vintage furniture and playground equipment, such as old McDonald’s playground pieces. In the past, he’s remodeled a 1970s VW bus, a DeLorean (the famous car from the “Back to the Future” film franchise) and he’s recently remodeled an AMC Gremlin that is being delivered to San Francisco. He said he’s even restoring a Ford Mustang for one of the Dallas Cowboys.
“A lot of my clientele are 70 to 90 years old, and I like that because they know what they want. They are ready to live their dream and we make it happen for them. We make them happy.” His business has gained attention nationwide, especially through social media. American RV Restoration is on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and other platforms. Langley said he hopes to bring more attention to the City of Longview through his work.
Langley said HGTV featured him in a segment in 2017 as he was a builder featured on a TV show about tiny houses. “We have been coast-to-coast eight times this year — almost 80,000 miles — to make all these dreams come true as we pick up and deliver these vintage travel trailers all across the United States,” Langley said.
For A&E’s TV show, which began filming Wednesday, a film crew was bringing in a semi-truck to simulate picking up one of Langley’s restored travel trailers, he said. “They are going to load it up and then take it to another state, deliver it to a buyer and film that,” Langley said. “Kind of what we do every single day — the experience, the magic. It’s so cool to see the expression and the excitement that these people have after waiting three to six months for these campers to be restored.”
“We are bringing a lot of publicity to Longview and showing people how great this town is,” he said. “That’s what we need to do.” To learn more about American RV Restoration, visit americanrvrestoration.com or find the business on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok or YouTube.
But A&E isn’t the only network that will be featuring Langley and his business soon. He said Discovery Channel is visiting him in February and the Travel Channel is coming in June. While filming began Wednesday, Langley said he does not currently know when the episode of “Shipping Wars” will air. He said when HGTV came out in 2017 it took about three to four months for the episode to air.