Vintage Glamping In The Pines
By Dana Goolsby
ETX- Vintage campers are making a comeback. It is not unusual to see a 30 or 40 year old tin can in tow behind a modern day vehicle headed to a state park in Texas. This 1967 Avion cabover was spotted at Crip’s Camp in Uncertain, Texas last March. The camper is owned by Marshall business man Dennis Rhoades. Rhoades was on a spring vacation with his family enjoying Caddo Lake.
The Avion camper was designed by a man who worked for Airstream, but later branched out on his own. The 1967 Avion Cabover Camper was only made for two years, making Rhoades vintage camper that much more unique.
You might remember seeing the article I wrote about restoring a 1965 Northwest Coach over the summer of 2012. If not, refresh your memory here. Almost monthly someone would knock on my door and ask if I would consider selling the camper. I was so proud of that little camper, and I was reluctant to part with it but I decided to sell it with hopes of finding another project camper to work on.
I showed the camper to numerous people from the time I listed it to the time I sold it. The lucky buyer was a woman named Kathy Long from the Houston area. Long has given the little Northwest Coach another makeover! I am happy to say the camper is even cuter than it was! It was nice to know someone who enjoys the camper as much as I did owns it now.
Long and her sister both have vintage campers. The two are planning to use their vintage campers to sell shabby chic furniture.
Cassie Severn, local Slocum resident, and her family are also the proud owners of a 1974 Prowler. She and her family enjoy glamping in state parks around the state. When the Severns purchased their trailer it was avocado green and harvest gold, inside and out. But with a little elbow grease and determination the Severns transformed the camper into something that will turn heads at state parks.
“We gutted it completely down to the wall studs, removed all the old nails, wiring, and plumbing. We replace and upgraded the insulation. Then we rebuilt the walls, reusing old cedar boards up to the chair rail and green-ish silver wall covering the rest of the way. We recovered the ceiling with sheets of used tin,” Severn said.
Cassie went the extra mile to scout out garage and estate sales to find vintage decor for their Prowler. She and her husband gave the exterior a new turquoise and white paint job and called it a day.
Revamping a vintage camper can be lots of fun! And for some folks very profitable. Vintage campers are back in style and people all over the state are giving their old campers a makeover.
Have you completed a vintage camper makeover? If so, we want to see it! Email us your vintage camper before and after photos to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us where you like to camp in East Texas or beyond the Pineywoods.