Marjorie Suddard
Marjorie Suddard General Manager
11/29/18 4:12 p.m.


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Story by Marjorie Suddard • Photos as Credited

They’re on the streets and at outdoor markets vending food; they’re parked at classic car shows adding color and interest; they’re spotted in the magazines with famous owners like Matthew McConaughey and Brian Johnson; and they’re all over movies, commercials, TV shows, music videos and Pinterest: It seems that from auctions and concours to museums and festivals, you can’t go anywhere without encountering some sort of vintage camper trailer.

And why not? These rolling time capsules represent the convergence of several exploding trends, from the raging popularity of midcentury design and enthusiasm for tiny-house living to the profusion of people seeking to define and personalize themselves with the trappings of the past. Besides, old trailers are just plain cool, and seemingly the perfect accessory to the classic car lifestyle.

We admit, we’re more than a little fascinated. We’ve spent quite a bit of time down the rabbit hole looking at trailer photos online, shopping for vintage campers, strolling some of the big rallies, and talking with restorers and owners. We’ve learned that it’s not all s’mores and woodsy fun, but if you go in knowing what you want, what’s available, and what the realities are of living with (and in) an antique camper trailer, you could find yourself realizing your own dream of hitting the road with your house on your back, classic style.

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frenchyd
frenchyd UltraDork
12/2/18 10:57 a.m.

 In the Navy during the 1960’s I bought a 23 foot Shasta and lived in it whenever I wasn’t at sea.  Paid $1500 for it  and my rent to park it was $30 month. 

It had a full rear bath including a bathtub!!!!!! ( shorty but I could almost get my legs stretched out in it! ). 

2 single beds that slid together when access to the bathroom wasn’t needed. Plus a full kitchen in the front. Including a gas/ electric refrigerator.  Amazing amount of storage  and a roll out cabana  with full sides that was 16x12 and amounted to the living room.  

The interior was the full blond wood ( birch)  so popular. And Orange shag carpet!   

By living in it I was able to put nearly my full BOQ ( Basic Allowance for Quarters) into my race car 

Marjorie Suddard
Marjorie Suddard General Manager
12/3/18 11:32 a.m.

Our little 16SC is amazingly roomy inside. Tim's been making great progress on it... I really need to get back on that build thread and relink all my now-obsolete picture links, get in recent developments. We're aiming for an April debut. Been a long road to, you know, the road.

Margie

wlkelley3
wlkelley3 UltraDork
12/3/18 12:08 p.m.

Been wondering what happened to that. Was keeping up with it. Spent a some of my youth is an early 60's Shasta before dad moved to an RV. Have a friend local that restored an old camper and regularly uses it.

pirate
pirate Reader
12/4/18 9:42 a.m.

In the late 60’s when my wife and I were married we began camping as I had done with my family since I was a little boy. We had a tent then but would get away on weekends and for summer vacations. After our first child we bought a used pickup camper. It was a Travel Queen on a 3/4 Ton Ford pickup. Travel Queens were rather unique with their rounded roof lines and I think built in California which made them rare in the Midwest.

It was a great unit that we put thousands of miles on traveling in the midwest and southeast. As the family grew we eventually bought a Minni Winne motorhome which we also used a lot including an extended trip out west. Our adult kids still talk about the trips and sights from their childhood. 

We currently have a modern motorhome we use for travel and also attending Motorsports races and events. In our travels I have noticed the interest in vintage campers and it’s always interesting talking to the owners. Also have noticed manufacturers now producing retro looking models.  There is also a TV program dedicated to restoring travel trailers named Flipping RV’s. 

Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
12/10/18 5:00 p.m.

The woodwork is done. The chassis is done. Next it get's wired and insulated and the inside varnished. And then the siding can go back on.

Karl La Follette
Karl La Follette UltraDork
12/11/18 9:35 a.m.

In reply to Tim Suddard :

How is the bike coming?

pirate
pirate Reader
12/17/18 9:04 a.m.

E

Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
12/18/18 7:14 a.m.

Karl,

 

I will restore both the ladie's and the men's vintage bikes after the trailer is done. I did build a bike rack holder (trailer receiver) into the tailer already. And thanks for fining me that men's bike.

 

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