Articles

10 VINTAGE CAMPERS THAT WERE “AHEAD OF THEIR TIME”


– [Glen] Innovation does not
always equate to success. Even nowadays, new and unique designs aren’t always loved by the public. I’m Glen, and today we’re
looking at 10 vintage campers that may have been a
bit ahead of their time. (funky music) (serene music) – This episode of Minds Eye Design is brought to you by Ztylus Stinger, an emergency escape tool
that can save your life. With a sharp razor to cut your seatbelt, a two stage spring-loaded window punch, and can even be used, a
phone charger in your car. For more information on this product, the link is the description below. (gentle music) (serene music) Number 10. – [Glen] Launched in 1913,
the Earl Travel Trailer is believed to be the world’s oldest non-tent travel trailer. It was built for a CAL Tech
professor in Los Angeles, and pulled by a Ford Model T Runabout. It has a dark wood
exterior, and an interior that is surprisingly roomy, containing a four person dining table that could be converted into
a double bed when needed. An original is currently on display at the RV and Motor Home Hall
of Fame Museum in Indiana. But if you are a true fan, then you’ll be glad to
know that a replica model went on sale last year, priced at $12,000. – [Announcer] Number nine. (happy music) – [Glen] True to its name, the 1939 Lindbergh Travel Trailer was used by none other than the famous aviator
Charles Lindbergh himself. When he wasn’t off breaking records, he enjoyed keeping his
feet firmly on the ground, to enjoy some camping. His reflective aluminum skin
trailer boasts two axles, one at each end. This allowed it to be
unhitched from the tow vehicle without the need for a
support jack for the tongue. The oak interior features
bunk beds, a fold out table, and a U shaped kitchen. This trailer might not be the
most luxurious on the list, but because of their namesake, they sell for around 150 to $200,000. – [Announcer] Number eight. (serene music) – [Glen] Unveiled in
1937, the Ford Housecar features a distinctive
boxed shaped trailer mounted on top of a ’37 Ford
pickup frame and cowling. The rear framing is all wood, painted a distinctive dark green, with a metal skin wrapped around it. The roof is made from a
heavy waterproof canvas top, which can expand to give
the Housecar more height. The door and window frames
are made of thick solid oak, and lead guests into an all wood interior. Inside, there is a single
bed with storage underneath, as well as cabinets and
a collapsible table. A wood headliner, and
curtains on all the windows really complete the feeling
of a warm, cozy camper. During the 1930s, on average, only six Housecars were
manufactured per year, at the Ford plant in Minnesota. – [Announcer] Number seven. (happy music) – [Glen] Founded in the 1930s,
the Airstream Trailer Company initially sold plans, kits, and partially completely trailers. Customers would only purchase
the silver aluminum shell, which they had to put together themselves. One of the available designs
was the Airstream Torpedo. This model was purchased
by medical student Dr. Holman in 1935, for a mere $5. The equivalent of under $80 today, and it’s recognized as being the oldest existing
Airstream in the world. It only took him three
weeks to install the shell, but two and 1/2 years to
complete the interior. By day, it features a sofa,
flanked by two cabinets, and a small kitchenette in the front. By night, the sofa folds
out into a double bed. And extensions open from the cabinet, allowing two single beds to
be placed over the cabinets, and a portion of the double bed. – [Announcer] Number six. (gentle music) – [Glen] If this groovy camper van is stirring up memories of
the 60s, it’s because by 1965, a total of 187,000 had been built, making the Ford Thames 400E somewhat of a commercial success. Minivan versions could
seat up to 12 people, and without all those extra seats, it’s square shape lent well
to a caravan conversion. It allowed plenty of
space for a pullout sofa, sink and stove top, while
still feeling quite roomy, thanks to the collapsible roof, which created extra head
space when standing. Modifications to the van
meant that a larger engine had to be used, to compensate
for the added weight. – [Announcer] Number five. (serene music) – [Glen] The 1954 Hille
Ranger is considered to be the first modern pop up camping trailer. The roof can be raised by
operating a hand crank, that’s connected to a pulley system. Once cranked to its full
height of just over six feet, the trailer is completed
by inserting canvas walls. Campers can then make use of
the two single beds inside, as well as the ample storage space. It was patented and manufactured in 1954, by Hille Engineering
in Anaheim, California, using fiberglass, and polyester resin. There were only 200 Ranger
trailers ever produced before the name was changed
to the Sport Ranger. Selling for the high price of $1,500, the equivalent of 13,000 today, it’s no surprise that the Ranger had limited commercial success. – [Announcer] Number four. (gentle music) – [Glen] Designed by the
Food Machinery Company, the FMC 2900R motorhome
took to the roads in 1974. At first glance it looks a bit like a bus, which led to many of these
being converted into buses, back during the 70s. The classic 70s interior
consisted of a long couch, and foldaway table, a spacious kitchen, and of course, shag
carpeting on the floor. Priced between 27 and $55,000, which was the cost of the
average home at the time, led to it mainly being popular among upscale motorhome
buyers at the time, touting celebrity clients
such as Clint Eastwood, Carol Burnett, and Pat
Boone to name a few. Nowadays you can find
models selling on eBay for around $2,000. And there are believed to still be around 700 to 800 units out there, down from the 1,000 that
were originally manufactured. – [Announcer] Number three. (happy music) – [Glen] Unveiled in 1961, the FaWoBoo, when hitched to a car, looked more like there was a boat trailer going down the road than a camper van. In fact, the name is an abbreviation which stands for driving, living and boat. Raising the roof is surprisingly simple. You lift one end up and prop it up, using the exterior wall, and then move to the other
end of the vehicle to repeat. The side walls are stored,
stacked on top of each other under the roof, and just
need to be moved into place to complete the set up. The resulting structure has
a submarine type aesthetic, with a porthole door for entry. Inside, there is extremely limited space, amounting to really only
enough for a small double bed, and a bit of storage. It was originally priced
at 5,960 Deutschmarks, the equivalent of around $12,000 today. – [Announcer] Number two. (serene music) – [Glen] Designed by Harmon Industries, the Shadow had one of the most innovative designs of its time. Its unique fifth wheel inspired design allowed even small compact cars to pull the trailer through a hitch mounted to the tow car’s roof. The hitch was made from
a removable steel plate bolted to brackets along the roof gutters. To take advantage of the roll resistance built into modern roofs,
to firmly anchor it. In addition, by placing the
hitch on the roof of the car, as opposed to the rear, you could turn the tow
car a full 360 degrees, while still hitched to the trailer. Harmon Industries sold
the shell for $1,700, and the fully equipped model for $6,500. But despite its innovative design, the Harmon Shadow never quite caught on. The public perception that
it required drilling a hole in the roof of their cars, and could cause damage to
the rear end of the vehicle, meant it was overshadowed
by the competition. – [Announcer] Number one. (happy music) – [Glen] Even more submarine-esque
is the 1962 Windspiel, which wouldn’t be out
of place as a movie prop from 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. This lightweight caravan
weighed in at only 661 pounds, despite having a propane stove, refrigerator, and water tank included. The interior features a sloped,
triangular booth seating that comes together at
a rear facing window. The front facing wall
houses the kitchenette, and a large window to look
out at the surroundings. Only five or six models were ever built, at a cost equivalent to
$11,000 in today’s money. Though some of these vintage trailers offered campers a completely
innovative experience, not all of them broke into
the crowded marketplace. (light rock music) Some were just a bit ahead of their time. Do you know any other vintage
campers this holds true for? Let us know in the comments. – Hey guys, this is Cassie. I hope you guys enjoyed this video. Tell us in the comments below what you found to be the
most interesting, and why. Also, if you haven’t done so yet, make sure to hit the bell notification next to the subscribe button, to stay up to date with
all of our latest videos. Thank you for watching,
I’ll see you guys next time. (light rock music) ♪ Here’s tomorrow and I’m holding on ♪ ♪ Searching for the last here ♪

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *