An actress with curly blond hair, sunglasses, and a large hat turns to look over her shoulder.

What Is the Dana Plato Motorhome and Why Do We Care?

Have you ever wanted a piece of memorabilia? Maybe you collect baseball cards or save ticket stubs from famous places you’ve visited. You might scour eBay for collector coins, or jerseys won by famous athletes.

If you’re a fan of “Diff’rent Strokes,” you could own the Dana Plato motorhome. This is where Dana spent the last few months of her life, and it’s for sale.

An actress with curly blond hair, sunglasses, and a large hat turns to look over her shoulder.

Who Was Dana Plato?

Most well-known for her role as Kimberly Drummond on “Diff’rent Strokes,” Dana Plato was on VH1’s list of “100 Greatest Kid Stars.” She debuted at age ten on the television show “The Six Million Dollar Man.”

In 1977, she appeared in her first film, the horror film Exorcist II: The Heretic. Plato was in 15 films, including one posthumous release and 19 television shows. She earned a nomination twice for a Young Artist Award and a TV Land Award.

The tragic life and death of Dana Plato.

Plato married Lenny Lambert in 1984 and had one son, Tyler Lambert. The couple divorced in 1990, and Plato remarried Scott Atkins in 1996. That marriage only lasted one month.

Police arrested her twice, one time for theft after she held up a video store for $164. The second arrest was for forging a diazepam prescription.

Because she violated her probation from the first arrest, Plato spent 30 days in jail. Plato struggled with substance abuse and mental health, and some have called her career and personal life a tragedy.

What Happened to Dana Plato?

On May 8, 1999, Dana Plato committed suicide inside her 37-foot Winnebago motorhome. The day before, Plato had an interview with Howard Stern. The discussion turned rancorous when listeners called in, claiming she was under the influence even though Plato claimed she was sober.

Stern asked if Plato would take a drug test, which she agreed to. But she never conducted that drug test, as officials found Plato in her motorhome the next day. She had overdosed on a painkiller, Lortab, and valium.

Did Dana Plato Have a Child? 

Sadly, Tyler Lambert also died by suicide. Two days shy of the 11th anniversary of his mother’s death, Lambert took his life.

The Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Tulsa released a statement that the cause of Lambert’s death was a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Since he was 14 when his mother died, Lambert struggled to overcome her death.

This is what RVing was like in the 1980’s!

Why Did Dana Plato Get Fired?

In 1983, the executives of “Diff’rent Strokes” fired Dana Plato for being pregnant. After she moved in with Lanny Lambert, they married, and Plato had Tyler three months later. She returned for the final season of “Diff’rent Strokes” from 1985-1986. The network canceled the show, and Plato’s life began a downward spiral.

In 1988, Plato’s adoptive mother died from a blood disease. In the same week, Lanny Lambert left Plato and filed for divorce. After the divorce in 1990, Lambert won custody of Tyler, citing Plato’s alcohol and drug abuse. Plato was bankrupt and addicted to painkillers.

What Is the Dana Plato Motorhome?

The 1987 Winnebago Chieftain is in Oklahoma City and remains empty. The exterior is clean and in fair condition, although it could use a paint job. The original tires, hoses, and belts are still intact but need replacement.

Plato’s motorhome is for sale and in the same condition Plato left it.

Inside, the new owner will want to remodel and clean it up. It’s like taking a step back in time. The same furniture and appliances that Plato used are still there.

Is the Motorhome for Sale?

The 37-foot Winnebago has 46,000 miles on it. It has an 8-cylinder gas engine and rear-wheel drive. The exterior and interior are tan.

However, although the Dana Plato motorhome is for sale, it’s not road-ready. If the new owner intends to drive it, they’ll need some updates and upgrades. Otherwise, the new owner will purchase it as a piece of memorabilia.

Why Do We Care About the Dana Plato Motorhome?

Other than signed photographs, little remains of the once-popular “Diff’rent Strokes” actress. Dana Plato had a fantastic start to her career, but her life spiraled out of control to a tragic end.

For fans, owning this piece of memorabilia is a one-of-a-kind opportunity. No one else will have the Dana Plato motorhome.

An old Winnebago motorhome parked behind a neighborhood home with fading orange decals and a large W on the side.
There are a lot of old Winnebago RVs out there, but only is the Dana Plato motorhome.
James Tworow | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 | Image via Flickr

You Could Own a Celebrity RV

If interested, you could purchase the motorhome in Oklahoma City by calling Tim at (408) 464-4900. You can check out the listing online here.

Growing up in the 1970s, you probably watched Dana Plato on “Diff’rent Strokes” with Gary Coleman, Conrad Bain, and Todd Bridges. Perhaps you’d like to own a piece of memorabilia, but it may be too creepy to own a motorhome where a celebrity died of a drug overdose.

Would you buy the Dana Plato motorhome?

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