CH retro camper

Many people dream of restoring old campers — finding an old Shasta, painting it, redoing paneling, and driving off into the sunset. The reality of purchasing a vintage camper is often different and more complicated.

As reported by Mobile RVing, a website hosted by Southeast Publications, rusty parts, mold in the ceiling and plumbing leaks are a few reasons why restoring these pieces of Americana can cause a major headache, sometimes more than a headache.

“I’ve traveled this country delivering campers and have seen several vintage campers flipped on their side on the interstate because of rusted out parts,” says Jerry Ragon, who owns and operates CH Camper Co., which builds high quality replicas of vintage campers and sells restoration parts for DIY enthusiasts.

That isn’t the reason why Ragon got into the camper business, though. He was a building contractor from Tennessee who never went camping. “I wanted to go camping so I bought a 1961 Shasta about four years ago to restore,” recalls Ragon. He spent time restoring the camper in his driveway and before he finished, “Someone wanted to buy it, the price was right, and it ruined my camping trip,” he chuckles. So he bought another camper to restore and the same thing happened.

These campers he restored were eventually put on a website with information about Ragon as the restorer. A lady in Florida contacted and asked him to make a vendor bar for her out of a vintage camper. He decided to build it from the ground up and CH Camper was born.

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