If you’ve ever spent more than 10 minutes with me, I’ve probably started talking about my vintage camper at some point. It’s safe to say – I’m obsessed!
Like many of my projects, it all started on Pinterest. I stumbled across a vintage camper that someone had bought – old and broken down – and then restored to her former glory. The inside had been completely updated and remodeled in the cutest way, and the outside had been fixed of all dents and leaks, and fully repainted.
Now I had always been of the mindset that after a certain amount of damage, old trailers just weren’t salvageable any longer. And here I was seeing that not only were they salvageable, but that they could be incredible again! Discovering this restored vintage masterpiece also helped me realize just how great these little travel trailers were – your own personal adventure-mobile to explore the great outdoors in style.
They Don’t Make ‘Em Like They Used to…
Campers back in the day were so cool! There was so much thought put into their design and so many different body shapes. These days, it seems we’ve leaned more towards “bigger is better”, and box-shaped campers, which lack the personality and character of these adorable little vintage ones. I’ve never been a big thrift store or antique shopper, but when it comes to campers, I am ALL about the vintage!
I mean, look how cute!!
I also love adventures. The idea of being able to just hook up my own little house on wheels and go explore for a weekend was incredibly enticing. I live in the Pacific Northwest, and there is so much to see that I I’ve been dying to tap into.
So I came to the only logical next decision: I should buy a camper and renovate it (obviously!). When I told my mom, I think the exact words out of her mouth were, “you just never cease to surprise me with what you decide to do.” Just keeping you on your toes, mom!
Finding My Own Vintage Camper
Finding these vintage campers is not easy. I knew I needed one that was in pretty solid shape structurally, as I didn’t have the equipment or knowledge to do a total restoration myself. I searched for months, visited multiple campers, and finally found the one I wanted – it was a 1959 Shasta Airflyte. I had been open to other models when I was looking, but something about that Airflyte and the adorable little wings on the back just had me coming back to the Shasta over and over. To me, that was the epitome of the vintage camper, and somehow, I stumbled across one that was local, in great shape AND within my budget. In addition to that, it had a sticker on it indicating that the original location and owners were in Montana. It was meant to be.
I hooked the camper up to my car, and this little baby followed me all the way home. Throughout the entire trip home, people were honking, waving, and giving the thumbs up as they passed us on the freeway. This was my first glimpse into understanding just how many people loved vintage campers as much as I did, and little did I know what an amazing culture I had just become a part of.
Now that I was officially a camper owner, it was time to get to work. Over the next couple of months, I embarked on completely remodeling and restoring the inside of the new/old Shasta…