We have spent over a year looking at vintage travel trailers on the internet and on the road. When I happened upon this display at the Iowa State Fair in the 4-H Exhibit Building, I just knew that THIS WOULD BE THE YEAR! We looked at some of the new reproduction Shasta’s just days before this and fell in love, but we couldn’t justify spending that kind of money if we were to keep our large 5th wheel also.
Setting our budget and being PATIENT
We wanted to be realistic. When looking at the used campers online we quickly realized that location, location, location can mean everything when searching for a camper. It just so happened that we were in a good location, the Midwest. I had read several articles about folks buying their travel trailers on the internet and then they had them shipped to them. We knew we did not want our money going into shipping, we wanted it into the camper. We also knew that finding one could take weeks, or even months. We were right but it was well worth our wait.
Narrowing down the possibilities
The internet has been an extremely helpful tool in figuring out just what we wanted our little vintage camper to be. After having had an extremely wet summer we were able to rule out the teardrop style. We loved the looks of the teardrops, but wanted something that we could stand up in comfortably should we be caught in the rain for several days. We also knew that we wanted to keep the camper as small as possible and yet big enough that we could take our grandchild with us if the opportunity should arise. We decided that something between 8-15 foot would be just perfect for us. We also both loved the Shasta “wings” but were willing to settle for another brand if need be.
Where do we look?
I stumbled across an article on a blog called “Fresh Vintage-getting fresh with my Vintage Finds” that had a lot of helpful information. One of my favorite sites they recommended was “Tin Can Tourists” . Although we didn’t actually get our camper through this site, it was very entertaining to look at the many there are to choose from.
Facebook, Craig’s List, Want Ads, and the list goes on….
As a bi-weekly and sometimes tri-weekly (OK, DAILY) event we (I) would check out Craig’s List. I kept finding lots of little beauties but they were either more than we wanted to spend, too far away, or just too big for what we wanted. We didn’t give up though. We knew it was out there, we just had to find it.
I turned to Facebook. I found out that if you type in a simple word like “campers” or “travel trailers” in the search bar, there were numerous groups that were in our area. I searched it like a hawk on a regular basis also.
Help from our friends
After trying to find something on our own, we started asking our friends to keep a close lookout, just in case they saw something on the street, in a field, a ditch, a parking lot, the back 40, you get the picture.
One day we went on a wild goose chase on a tip from a friend. She had seen what she thought we wanted with a 4-sale sign in the window. It was about 45 minutes away. I convinced my hubby to go take a look at it. On the trip we saw some old pick-up campers in a field behind a house. We stopped and inquired about them. Talk about SCARY!!!! This was NOT where we would be finding our diamond in the rough.
By now, we were getting a little discouraged. Fall season was upon us and it was starting to look like we wouldn’t be finding anything this year. I then found a couple of trailers on Craig’s List that we might be interested in. I had questions to ask though. I replied to both, asking length and if they were still available. After a couple of days I had not heard from them and figured they were sold.
I finally decided to go out posting ISO (In Search Of) ads on local Facebook Swap pages. I found a stock photo on Google that was similar to what we wanted, minus the “wings”. I also made sure to use a photo that looked vintage, not just a camper that looked vintage. They said the old black & white photo was what caught their attention. Just a bit of advice if you try this route.