They’re cute, they’re quaint and they’re cozy: The appeal of old camping trailers from the 1950s and ‘60s is undeniable. Maybe it’s some sort of nesting instinct combined with a sense of adventure, but vintage trailers are gaining popularity.
“There’s a lot of demand for nostalgia,” said Steve Hauser, sales manager of Genesis Supreme RV, makers of the Genesis Classic, a vintage-looking trailer with modern conveniences inside. “A lot of retirees used to go camping when they were kids and they have happy memories of that.”
MarketWatch reported that the curved corners and corrugated side walls are key vintage styling cues. Shasta, which started making travel trailers in 1941 to house soldiers during the war, also offers vintage-looking trailers.
But rather than buying a new/old trailer, most vintage trailer enthusiasts like finding and restoring the originals. There are gatherings across the country, with hundreds of the little haulers lining up in campgrounds and fields surrounded by the requisite pink flamingos. We came across a small settlement of them at the California RV Show, the largest gathering of new RVs in the world.
“I first met these vintage trailer people in Buellton (Calif., on Hwy 101),” said RV Show director Tom Gaither. “I have a modern RV but I love this older stuff.”
Gaither loved it so much he asked several vintage trailer owners to set up camp on the sprawling grounds of the Fairplex during the week of his show. About six or seven did, everything from a 1955 aquamarine Nash Metropolitain pulling a teardrop aluminum Serro Scotty Sportsman with aquamarine trim to a 35-foot aluminum Silver Streak towed behind an immaculate 1959 Cadillac.
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