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The O’Banion family has a long local history with deep roots in the Dallas/Fort Worth community and the automotive industry abroad.
Doug O’Banion, founder of Motor Home Specialist, moved his family from Corpus Christi Texas to Arlington Texas in 1966. Later that year Doug invented the Port-O-Lift trailer that went on to have great success for U-Haul industries. In 1976 he then invented the E-Z Fill Gas Cap that you never have to take off. It was a huge commercial success and was sold nationally at Sears, Kmart, NAPA and Pep Boys to mention just a few retailers. The current version of this product is still available and now produced by Stant Manufacturing. During all of this Doug owned and operated various automotive dealerships and never lost sight of his true passion for virtually everything that cranks.
Later in 1976 Doug’s love of motorcycles and Colorado summers put him in search of a new RV for his wife and four sons. He was surprised at the difficulty finding an RV floor plan that suited his family. On a dare from a friend he decided to build his own RV just as he wanted it.
For the next 18 years Doug owned & operated many businesses that included sales in mobile homes, RVs, cars, boats and in particular a Ford Mustang only car dealership. “Mustang Specialist” built more than 3000 custom and performance Mustangs over a ten year period.
In 1994 Doug and his son Donny were visiting an auto auction in Ocala Florida. Late that afternoon they found out that their plane ride home to Texas had been cancelled. On a whim Doug bought a motor home at the auction because he was ready to “head to the house!” Between Florida and Texas the idea of Motor Home Specialist was born.
After returning to Texas they sold the motor home and in-turn took two motor homes in trade. It was settled. The O’Banions’ were going to become part of the motor home industry.
In 1995 Doug sold off his remaining car dealership and began a new chapter in his life and a life’s work for his family.
Motor Home Specialist was founded in 1996. Doug, Sharon (his wife of more than 20 years) and his son Donny began selling pre-owned motor homes from a local RV storage location in Arlington Texas.
In late 1998 Doug purchased the property where Motor Home Specialist resides today and on January 1st 1999 hired their first full time employee, Robert Brake. Robert has since become the company’s general manager and a part of the O’Banion family, like it or not!
Together they quickly became one of the largest pre-owned motor home dealerships in the country, selling tens of millions of dollars of quality pre-owned motor homes, at huge discounts, to families across America for the next five years.
In 2004 Doug took the company to another level when deciding to become a franchise dealership for new RVs as well as pre-owned. They began construction of a new service and delivery center and expanded their sales and office facilities to handle their latest endeavor.
In 2007 Motor Home Specialist became the #1 volume selling motor home dealership in Texas and in 2008 became the first motor home dealership in Texas history to sell more Class A units as well as Class C units in a single year.
Since then Motor Home Specialist has only grown. They now represent approximately 40% of all new motor homes sold in Texas and in late 2013 surpassed all other dealers, including those with multiple stores, in total volume sales making Motor Home Specialist the #1 volume selling motor home dealer in the world.
Motor Home Specialist now employs more than 90 dedicated RV techs, service writers, sales associates and finance specialist. It spans over 40 acres with 60 more acres of property already purchased and currently under construction. New facilities will include an indoor showroom, restaurant, additional sales and finance offices and an additional service facility. Much of the staff now includes other family members including Doug’s sons Tyler, Kelly and Patrick who returned home in 2007 after 22 years in the U.S Army Infantry. You will also find Sharon’s mom in warranty claims and even “Uncle Paul” in parts. Doug’s first grandson Bobby has also joined the team making Motor Home Specialist have 3 generations of family involved in the day to day operations.
The O’Banion family is very proud of what their years of hard work have produced. Motor Home Specialist has become an industry leader and has always maintained a financially sound business for their customers to purchase from. The entire facility, as well as everything in and around it, is 100% paid for and all future expansions will be as well. Motor Home Specialist is proud to be able to provide a stable buying environment for their customers, but also a stable work environment for their employees. Unfortunately, due to the economic slowdown of 2008 & 2009, many RV Dealers had to close their doors or reduce their staff. Motor Home Specialist has never had to lay anyone off at any time and continues to add new hires while promoting its current staff.
Motor Home Specialist looks forward to serving the RV industry and its consumers for years to come, doing what they have always done, offering superior new and used motor homes, courteous and professional sales and service personnel and everyday low prices.
Thanks for reading Our Story and thank you for visiting Motor Home Specialist online. If you have any questions or comments for us please let us know. We all look forward to hearing from you soon.