Million Dollar Baby

Climb on up. It's a 007 pad on wheels. Try that button. The walls slide out, expanding the living room. Notice the white leather sofas, mirrored ceiling, and sparkling full bar. Push it again and the room slides in, road ready and slimmed down to single-lane width. Want to keep the party going but block out the onlookers? Summon the electronic shades that quietly cover the windows.

For seven figures, take all the luxuries of home on the road           

Climb on up. It's a 007 pad on wheels. Try that button. The walls slide out, expanding the living room. Notice the white leather sofas, mirrored ceiling, and sparkling full bar. Push it again and the room slides in, road ready and slimmed down to single-lane width. Want to keep the party going but block out the onlookers? Summon the electronic shades that quietly cover the windows.

Now come to the outside of this recreational vehicle.

Here's a button that rolls out three separate awnings along the RV's forty-five-foot length. Open that door there and you've got a grill. The fridge is under that one. Oh, and we can set up our lawn chairs and watch the game on the wide-screen TV behind this door. Just give me a minute to press this while it glides out and rights itself to an angle. Keeps the glare down.

All this and more can be yours for about $1.3 million at Tom Johnson Camping Center, just a golf cart ride down the street from Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord. Although only a half dozen people purchase these big-ticket RVs each year, Johnson's got the inventory that draws a steady clientele. It's a happy line of work, Johnson explains, "because we don't sell anything anybody has to have." For those looking for an over-the-top experience, custom Italian tile floors, posh upholstery, hidden cameras and monitors, and exotic wood cabinets are some of the options for upfitting luxury RVs. Just the chassis on these pop stars starts at $700,000.

If you're just getting started, there are several choices in the $400K-$600K range. You can also get a T@B model for $16,357, a teardrop-shaped retro-style camper that comes in lemon yellow, aqua, or fire-engine red with a sea captain door and Down with Love-esque upholstery.

Johnson, a former teacher who got started by selling a foldout trailer from his front yard forty years ago, has an egalitarian approach to camping. His sixteen-acre lot in Concord covers the gamut, from used trailers for a young family to the luxury homes on wheels that are popular with baby boomers. Plenty of NASCAR drivers and fans do business with him, too, sparked by a purchase more than a decade ago. Rusty Wallace, tired of leaving a hotel room in the early-morning hours to beat the crowds, bought an RV and took it to the track. The idea spread, forcing racing venues to create drivers' compounds by the tracks to give teams easy access.

Although Johnson travels to the races in a fashionable motor coach, his tastes remain simple. "I still like the old foldout trailer," he says. —Laurie Prince

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