Vintage Camper Addiction….

It’s 3am and I’m feeding my over active addiction….. Searching Craig’s List and eBay for vintage campers, travel trailers, canned hams, etc. I realize that TarTar is my dream trailer. It’s what I’ve always wanted and finally bought. We considered TarTar our second home. Our vacation home. Too big for day trips.

But I can’t help but feed my addiction……

I am on the search for a very small (bathroom not required) vintage camper that I can “store” in my backyard, away from the HOA police, and use for day trips to car shows, swim meets, picnics, tailgating, etc. Do I really need another vintage camper? Sadly, no. Am I still going to buy one? Happily and absolutely YES!

After searching for Shasta’s and Scotty trailers for over a month, I came to the realization that those were too large. I really need a tiny camper if I am going to store it in my backyard / deck. I came across an ad for a 1966 Aristocrat that was 30 minutes away. I have no clue what an Aristocrat is but this one appeared to be in great shape, cute decorating and only 10″! Definitely worth a look.


On a beautiful sunny Saturday, we went to check out this little cutie. It was being listed for $2600. We had agreed to pay no more than $2400. The excitement of driving up to a vintage trailer that you want to buy is like the excitement of a first kiss. The thrill in your heart when you turn the corner and see the camper in the near distance. Your hand is already on the door handle just waiting for the truck to stop. You jump out and head towards the camper that looked so beautiful and perfect on Craig’s List. Then up close you find out that the trailer is pretty beat on the outside and the crush of disappointment begins. Not to mention the frustration of your husband loudly pronouncing, “Oh, Hell No!”


This vintage camper is an Aristocrat Travelier. Check out this Pinterest site for more Travelier photos:

It is a true mess on the outside. Someone hand painted it in different shades of red with a roller (ugh!). Clearly, a kindergartener takes more care with painting. The back fender is destroyed and part of the skin is slipping out. Dents and bangs along with another shade of red to cover up boo boo’s define the back. And a faded, warped and peeling sign that says “Gone with the Wind”. A huge ugh! The water intake is filled with dried mud. And eye hooks “secure” every exterior access panel. Those eye hooks are woefully rusted. The front window cover is decorated with cracked and peeling paint. Really bad first impression. But all is not lost! The interior has promise!

The inside is so cute!!! It has a futon that converts to a bed along with all the basics: microwave, tv, sink, oven/stove. The true interest of the interior is that all the walls are boarded and it makes it feel like a Swedish cottage. It’s truly adorable and comfortable inside.


The Good

It is the perfect size
It is vintage
It seems to have no leaks or dampness
It has an oven and a stove along with other appliances
It’s already decorated and comfortable

The Bad

It needs reprinted
It needs a new bumper and the back boo boo’s need fixed
The PO has never used the stove or oven and has no clue if it works (serious bummer)
The water system needs flushed
The flooring does not cover the entire floor area
The exterior electrical outlet was “jerry rigged” and that needs corrected
All the emblems have disappeared and their holes remain.
A huge Eagle on the back where an Aristocrat emblem should be needs removed
That tacky, ugly Gone With the Wind signage needs removed.

All in all, these are fixes that we can do ourselves or have re-fabricated. This is a 40 year old trailer and obviously needs a little TLC. We offered $1900. She said she would take $2000. SOLD! I estimate another $500 to $600 to fix it so I think we got a good deal.

On our way to pick it up…..



One thought on “Vintage Camper Addiction….

  1. cannedhamcrazy says:

    The Craig’s list search addiction, the HOA police, the butterflies-in-the-belly thrill of love at first sight, the pains of renovation, I can unbelieveably, completely relate! It’s like we’re living parallel lives!! Looking forward to reading more of both your blogs.

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