Vintage campers have always been popular, but more and more travelers nowadays decide to go old-school. The traditional aesthetic of a vintage camper is unmatched. They offer wonderful interior designs that take you back to the good old days.
As the world evolved, today we see vintage campers that kept their retro vibe. However, they are equipped with modern equipment featuring the latest technology. These trailers’ incredibly strong structure and high-reliability advantage since they can function well after restorations.
Class A – the biggest mobile homes on the road
Class A RVs are the largest mobile homes available which resemble enormous mansions on wheels. They can be basic or loaded with opulent features such as large-sized beds, washing machines, or entire entertainment systems.
Class B – modified vans for living life off the grid
These vehicles are also known as camper vans and are a mid-sized choice smaller than the A-class RVs. They are compact and efficient with luxurious features like eating spaces and increased sleeping capacities. While these camper vans are not as spacious as class A or C models, they have other advantages such as off-road capabilities or good fuel economy.
Class C – the middle option
The sleeping space in class C is frequently above the cab, with a second room in the back. Slide-outs might be present, which will increase the interior space when stationary. Most of the time, these campers have a separate, fully equipped bathroom.
Travel trailers – the most popular choice
These trailers come in various sizes with lengths and weigh varying across lots of models. These mobile homes need to be towed since they don’t feature an engine like the classes presented above. The smaller ones can be moved around with the help of any competent vehicle. The large-sized ones are heavier and require powerful trucks to tow them.
5th wheel trailer – the largest you can buy
These are the biggest travel trailers available on the market, with the distinctive feature represented by the front of the trailer, which crosses the truck bed. These travel trailers come with all amenities and living space of class A RVs while featuring the slide-outs on class C RVs.
Pop-up trailers – extendable compact models
These portable campers collapse into themselves for simpler transport and storage. When stationary, they extend and almost double in size. As a good alternative to tents, they include 2 sleeping areas on opposite sides. It does so while keeping the central space for living and dining. While these trailers are compact and efficient, they are not made for superior comfort.
If you are wondering which vintage camper brands are the best, we got you covered! Below, we will review some of the most popular ones:
Vintage camper brands
This famous company is well-known worldwide. Most camping enthusiasts have heard this name at least once since they are on the road. Their trailers are made of aluminum, hence the long lifespan and high durability. That’s how they survived the test of time. With increased interest from old-school campers, these trailers are continuously getting restored.
These vintage campers have a unique look, and their design is typical of the 1960s. Although their models look astonishing, the quality might vary, especially after a long time. That’s why finding a fully functional Scotty vintage trailer will be a hard but not impossible task.
Just like the Airstream model, Spartan ones are also built with a lot of aluminum. That makes them highly durable and resistant to all sorts of conditions. It proves to be a good choice for someone who values reliability. Their iconic design features large front windows. The exterior is highly reflective, making this trailer shiny.
Some of the most popular travel trailers with a great retro touch are the Riverside RV vintage models. These compact trailers have strong and durable exteriors, which allowed them to survive the test of time. Smooth curved lines and nostalgic interiors will easily convince travelers interested in retro mobile homes.
Usually, their trailers can be towed with an SUV equipped with such mechanisms. Almost all versions have a checkerboard flooring pattern that gives you the sense of a retro American diner. The exterior paint will be the finishing touch to their trailer’s looks, mostly red or orange.
There is no extreme weather condition able to bother the Riverside vintage travel trailers. Since they are made of high-quality materials, this trailer will keep you safe inside whenever the skies turn grey.
Riverside Retro 135
The Retro 135 made by Riverside is the best option for a family or small groups. You will get to experience superior comfort in the seating area in addition to your royal bed in the front of the trailer. A private bathroom with both a shower and a toilet is included, which is quite impressive for a vintage trailer.
While the design is old-school, the equipment is brand new and modern. A surround sound system will broadcast music into the trailer and around it to create an enjoyable ambiance. Although it wouldn’t fit the retro vibe, a supplemental HDTV can be installed if you don’t want to miss your favorite programs.
Riverside Retro 171DRD
The other vintage model from Riverside is the Retro 171DRD. It features all the newest amenities inside while still keeping the classic look.
A kitchen is installed in this trailer. It features a stove that can be either electric or gas-powered, depending on your choice. Plenty of space is available for you to prepare consistent dinners and a performant refrigerator to store the leftovers.
The dining area is situated in a corner where you and your partner will eat or work. This dinette can be converted into a sleeping space if you are hosting overnight guests.
The shower is located directly across the hallway from the restroom and will be useful after a long day of exploration. The sink and the toilet have their own private entrance, making this type of bathroom a dry one.
Riverside Whitewater 150
The Whitewater 150 combines retro appearance and design with contemporary amenities and features, a modern tribute to the past. This trailer has a length of 14.9 feet and a weight of fewer than 2,000 pounds, making it the perfect lightweight retro choice.
Despite its reduced size, many amenities and options are available in the 6.3 feet high interior. It has a roomy and spacious feel to it. This trailer’s primary sleeping space is in the back and has a bed that can easily fit two adults with some extra room left. Overhead storage compartments are situated above this bed, making storing your items for the trip easier.
A modest but fully functioning wet bathroom is located in the middle of the camper. It features only a toilet and a shower, with the sink being present in the kitchen area. While this bathroom’s facilities are basic, they are still functional and will be essential for your trip.
In front, there is a dining area that can accommodate 4 hungry people. There is enough space for everyone to move around. It can also be converted into a single bed accommodating one adult or 2 well-behaved little children.
If you are pleased with all the retro campers you see on the market, let us present 4 more below.
Small vintage campers
This is the ideal vehicle for you if a Class A RV is more of your style. Created by the famous American brand Winnebago, the retro Brave model brilliantly captures that classic vibe chased by most old-schooled travelers. It features both a traditional side on the exterior and a contemporary comfort inside provided by the modern pieces of equipment and features.
This trailer was created with high durability in mind and is made entirely out of fiberglass, making it as lightweight as possible. The charming retro design will satisfy your nostalgia, proving that the Dub Box is a vintage choice you should always consider. Whether you’re searching for a trailer for your family or your solo adventures, this one will be the best choice for most people.
Happier Camper HC1
This superior retro camper is made entirely of fiberglass and has a specific shape similar to the one of an egg. It has an increased appeal and sparks interest in the camping community because of its unique characteristics. At only 1,100 pounds, the Happier Camper HC1 might be the lightest retro camper ever produced. Due to its reduced weight, it’s easy to tow with any vehicle, including the most compact ones.
It is the best model for those specifically interested in a vintage teardrop trailer. Although it may appear basic at first impression, this camper has a kitchen and a fully functional wet bathroom. Comfortable sleeping spaces and modern air conditioning systems are also included. Your vehicle benefits from the light weight of this trailer, making it easy to tow. Because of the iconic aerodynamic teardrop shape, it ensures high fuel efficiency on long drives.
VW Retro RV
When most people hear “retro RV,” they immediately picture the recognizable Volkswagen Type 2. The iconic shape of this vehicle is its signature, and the German company started producing it as early as 1951. With time, this model grew exponentially in popularity. Even today, this is one of the best choices when travelers consider a retro camper.
Some people wonder if they can drive this vintage VW daily comfortably and confidently. The answer is yes, since these vehicles are built to be used to their maximum capacity. This Retro VW will do a good job moving you around the country while keeping high levels of comfort.
The current Type 2 models have many options, including heated front and rear screens. It makes it easier to clear the ice on the windows during the winter. The interior will remain warm at a specific temperature set by you. This RV’s heating system will outperform some installed on modern campers.
Speaking about fuel economy, you may anticipate consistently surpassing the 30 mpg mark while driving the long roads. Fuel efficiency isn’t one of this RV’s strong points. However, the engine does a good job considering the total weight of this vehicle. The fuel tank can take you 200 miles when it’s full. You should expect to refill more frequently than usual if you’re on a long journey.
What to look for in a camper
Inspect the floor
The floor is one of the most important things to look at when purchasing a vintage camper. Make sure the floor is sufficiently stable, as a decent one should support you for a long time. The replacement process can be difficult and expensive if the floor is damaged.
Check for electrical damage.
A vintage camper is vulnerable to electric damage, so you should examine the electrical system before buying the trailer. Ensure all the appliances are operating properly and everything is in order. This system will power up all the electronic equipment inside your mobile home, which is an important aspect to consider.
Inspect the exterior
While most of the time spent will be inside your trailer, you should also check the exterior. Examine every external component closely to see whether it is in excellent or damaged condition. Most people would assume that vintage trailers will look old and worn-out. With modern restoration techniques, such things should not be possible. A retro camper can look brand new when restored by skilled experts.
What about the tires?
The tires on your vintage trailer are critical to your safety during long journeys. Inspect the tires and make sure they are in excellent shape. In case they are worn out or damaged, tires for vintage campers can be quite expensive. That’s why you should only purchase retro trailers with functional or superior tires.
Riverside is certainly the most popular brand that manufactures retro travel trailers. There are many more other companies such as Airstream and Scotty.
Usually, a vintage camper will cost you around $6,000 to $10,000. Most camping enthusiasts consider this range reasonable, so retro campers are a reasonable investment for the passionate.
A retro trailer is a compact, lightweight mobile home with many customization options. These trailers are sometimes decades old, and their unique design and style are specific to the last century.
Vintage campers are considered to be older than retro RVs. Built after the second world war, these vintage campers are highly durable and managed to pass the test of time. Skilled workers are specialized in vintage campers restoration. It’s where they equip them with modern facilities and give them a fresh, brand-new look.