Our Story

Basden's American RV Center History

Columbia Street Where it all began
The American RV tradition of family ownership and operation spans more than 40 years. From its beginnings in a modest auto service center, through today's current operation, with hundreds of RVs, an 18-bay Service Center, 25,000 square foot showroom, and an outstanding reputation for quality, service, and selection, the tradition continues with three generations working together to deliver a unique and exceptional experience to the American RV customer.

1971 - The Beginning

In 1971, when Bill and Marge Basden added a couple RVs to their service center lot near Fulton Avenue and Columbia Streets in Evansville, they never dreamed that their efforts would evolve into the Tri-State's largest and most respected RV dealership. With the introduction of recreational vehicles, the Basdens soon needed room to grow because the RVs greatly outsold other items at the service center. To accommodate increased demand, they purchased a property on Columbia Street across from Red Spot Paint in Evansville, where the business continued to flourish.

1992 - "Well Jack, I'll sell you the whole place!"

In early 1992, Jack Strassweg and his son, J.B., were in the market for a new RV and stopped to shop at Basden's RV Center. During their inspection of a new Southwind motor home on the lot, Bill Basden quoted Jack a price for the beauty, to which Jack jokingly replied, "Heck, BilI... I don't want the whole dealership, just this one model!" After a moment, Bill replied, "Well, Jack, I'll sell you the whole place!" The rest is history. The Strassweg family had been looking for a business to operate as a family and they decided that Basden's RV would be a perfect fit. They were RVers themselves and had long known Basden's reputation for fairness and quality. On the other hand, Bill and Marge had been looking for a reason to retire and enjoy the fruits of their work. This was it - perfect for everyone - and they would call it Basden's American RV!


Since then, Basden's American RV has grown steadily. First, a new service center was added to the Columbia Street location, but, in time, the family decided that the location on Columbia St. could not allow the expansion needed to keep up with the growing business because the property was landlocked and further growth was impossible. The Strasswegs searched for a more suitable home for the dealership that would allow the expansion they envisioned to meet customer demand.

Late 1990's - Baseline Location

In the late 1990s, the property on the corner of Baseline Rd. and US-41 was acquired. Both locations were operated until the new millennium, with Coachmen products at the new location and Fleetwood and Forest River at Columbia Street. In time, the entire operation was moved to the Baseline location and a large indoor showroom and service center was added. The 25,000 square foot showroom, 18-bay service center, and the expansive lot with the Tri-State's best selection has been referred to as, "The Taj Mahal of RV Centers" in southwest Indiana.

Three Generations

Three generations of the Strassweg family are presently involved in the daily operations of the dealership and many current employees have been with the company for more than 20 years.

The Strassweg family philosophy is that, "When everyone, employees and customers, are treated like family, everyone wins!"

Company President JB Strassweg remembers that, as he was growing up, his family owned and operated several other businesses and says he learned some important lessons. "I learned how important it is to offer a customer a high-quality product and stand behind it," he says. "We are dedicated to offering the best value to our customers and selecting the top-rated and highest quality RVs to present on our lot. When you start with the best product from the best dealership, you are guaranteed the best experience. You have our word on that."

Baseline Road Our continuing commitment
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