Are you considering the purchase of a retro camper? These days you don’t have to buy an old camper to get that vintage look you’ve always wanted.
Travel trailer manufacturers have designed and built retro-styling but modern features and construction. Let’s look at the Top 8 Retro Campers that we think you’ll love.
Our Retro Campers Top Picks
Here is our list of 8 retro campers to check out:
- Our Retro Campers Top Picks
- #1 Happier Camper HC1
- #2 Riverside RV Retro
- #3 Gulfstream Vintage Cruiser
- #4 Heartland Terry Classic
- #5 Barefoot Camper
- #6 Serro Scotty
- #7 Aristocrat Campers
- #8 Dub Box USA Dinky
- Retro Campers Summary
Below you’ll find more details on each of the 8 retro campers on our list.
Specifications are subject to change, consult the manufacturers or dealers’ website. Prices are based on average prices found on RV trader and may not be what you actually find when you go shopping.
#1 Happier Camper HC1
The Happier Camper is an all fiberglass modern camper with unique retro-styling. It offers an advanced modular interior system that lets you use pre-designed cubes to add functionality to the interior.
The Happier Camper is geared towards the younger generation with its cool styling. You can easily stick a dirt bike, mountain bike, and even a kayak inside. It can easily be towed with smaller SUVs and cars.
There is a lot we like about the Happier Camper. We think the modular system lends itself well to just about any floor layout you might want.
Recently a new Happier Camper retro model was added; it’s called the HCT. The HCT is the big brother of the HC1. It has two dedicated living spaces, a bathroom, and a kitchenette. It may look like a retro camper, but it has all the modern features you would expect.
The look is reminiscent of the canned ham campers.
For Tammy and I, if we had to choose one, it would be the Happier Camper Traveler. It is a larger, more comfortable camper with an integrated Adaptiv bathroom and kitchenette. They are expensive and nowhere near the price of a used retro camper, but they are built to last.
|Model and/or Floor Plan:||HCT||Sale Price:||$59,000|
|Hitch Weight:||229 lb.||Unloaded Vehicle Weight:||1800 lb.|
|Gross Vehicle Weight Rating:||3,500 lb.||Exterior Length:||14′|
|Exterior Height:||8′||Exterior Width:||6′ 5″|
|Fresh Water:||17 gal.||Gray Water:||17 gal.|
|Black Water:||N/A||Awning Size:||10′|
#2 Riverside RV Retro
The Riverside RV Retro has all the styles of classic travel trailers. From the whitewall tires to the red and white color scheme, it oozes the 50s and 60s. It’s available in 14-floor plans, including a travel trailer toy hauler.
It’s loaded with modern features such as a microwave, Bluetooth radio with inside and outside speakers, birch interior, USB ports, and more.
Riverside Retro is by far our favorite retro trailer. Not only does it have that beautiful vintage RV camper look, it has about everything you need for a fun adventure.
They make several models of this retro travel trailer, and they all have the same beautiful vintage look. They are a bit more than typical campers, but we think they are worth it if you look for that classic retro camper look.
The Retro 193 is our favorite model from the Riverside RV lineup. We like that it has a walk-around Murphy bed that converts to a retro-red sofa, the shower and toilet are separate, which we also like, and we like the spacious kitchen and full-size fridge. Here are the specifications of the Retro 193.
|Model and/or Floor Plan:||Retro 193||Sale Price:||$24,700|
|Hitch Weight:||380 lb.||Unloaded Vehicle Weight:||4,260 lb.|
|Cargo Carrying Weight:||3,120 lb.||Exterior Length:||21′ 10″|
|Exterior Height:||10′ 6″||Exterior Width:||8′|
|Fresh Water:||39 gal.||Gray Water:||32 gal.|
|Black Water:||17 gal.||Awning Size:||11′|
#3 Gulfstream Vintage Cruiser
The spirit of the fun-loving ’50s is alive and well in the Gulfstream Vintage Cruiser. It has a laminated wall construction and a one-piece laminated roof.
It is very light and aerodynamic. You get state-of-art features in a design that brings back the fun vibe and simple lifestyle of the 1950s.
You’ll also find vintage exterior graphics, moon hubcaps, stainless steel microwave, and a 2-burner stove with cover. Inside you get a classic camper drape package and your choice of 4 interior color combinations.
Tammy and I were able to do a walk-through of a Vintage Cruiser during the 2020 OKC RV and Boat Show. We fell in love with the interior right from the start. You can read our review of the Vintage Cruiser here.
Our favorite Vintage Cruiser model is the 19ERD due to the shower being on one side of the camper and the toilet and vanity across the aisle. The queen bed has space on either side so no more jumping over your spouse to get to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
|Model and/or Floor Plan:||19ERD||Sale Price:||$21,500|
|Hitch Weight:||370 lb.||Unloaded Vehicle Weight:||3,090 lb.|
|Cargo Carrying Weight:||1,294 lb.||Exterior Length:||23′ 2″|
|Exterior Height:||10′ 2″||Exterior Width:||7′ 6″|
|Fresh Water:||27 gal.||Gray Water:||33 gal.|
|Black Water:||33 gal.||Awning Size:||10′|
#4 Heartland Terry Classic
The last year of production I can find on the Heartland Terry Classic is the 2019 model, which means it came out in the latter part of 2018. I’ve not seen anything for a 2020 model so there is a possibility it is not being built anymore.
When it comes to looks, I’m torn between seeing it as a retro camper or a messed-up futuristic camper.
There is a lot of shiny aluminum and a boxy exterior reminiscent of a vintage camper however, the big Airstream-type panoramic front window throws things off for me.
The exterior is an old camper style; however, the interior is all modern. This is a very nice retro camper. The huge front bay window is exceptionally nice and adds a cool 50’s retro look to the entire camper.
The TE V21 is the floor plan in the video above. Here is the specification for it.
|Model and/or Floor Plan:||TE-V21||Sale Price:||$20,000|
|Hitch Weight:||780 lb.||Unloaded Vehicle Weight:||4,460 lb.|
|GVWR:||5,150 lb.||Exterior Length:||21′|
|Exterior Height:||11′||Exterior Width:||8′|
|Fresh Water:||41 gal.||Gray Water:||44 gal.|
|Black Water:||27 gal.||Awning Size (estimated):||10′|
#5 Barefoot Camper
The Barefoot Camper is a modern camper with retro styling. It is has a hand-built fiberglass shell and comes in a range of colors.
The interior can be customized to your liking and includes a kitchen, bathroom, sofa, wardrobes, and storage.
Since it is lightweight, slim, and aerodynamic, it is super easy to tow. Barefoot Caravan recently announced that nuCampRV would bring the Barefoot to the US in 2020.
#6 Serro Scotty
The Serro Scotty has a long history dating back to 1956 when John Serro built a 16 1/2′ trailer in his garage. Unfortunately, no one would buy his first model.
Though considered a vintage camper since it is not new construction, I placed it here simply because of its history.
The next year Serro introduced a 10′ teardrop travel trailer called the Sportsman. In 1960 the teardrop shape was replaced in favor of the tear-drop “swoosh” shaped wheel well opening. In 1995 they even added motorhomes to their lineup.
In 1997 the Serro manufacturing plant burns down, and they stopped making travel trailers. Scotty is still in business making Police and Fire Safety trailers. in 2016, Litte Guy Worldwide, well-known for its teardrops campers, announced they would be building retro “Serro Scottys” in 2017. From what I can find, they build one model.
#7 Aristocrat Campers
Aristocrat campers were first built in 1956 by Irving Perch. The last unit rolled out in 1974. One of the first models was the Lo Liner because it could easily fit in a residential garage if you purchased the optional metal wheels.
This one is not necessarily a retro camper and more of a vintage camper because they are no longer made this is not new construction.
But like the Scotty above, these campers have a terrific look and are well known in the vintage camper circle.
The Lo Liner was positioned in the market as a versatile vacation trailer designed for year-round use. It included all the essential features such as a bed, dining table, refrigerator, and sofa. Aristocrat had ten models available.
#8 Dub Box USA Dinky
I love the look of the Dinky Sleepers by Dub Box USA. The Dinky is their version of a teardrop trailer with modern features but a unique vintage VW look.
The Dinky includes a custom-made Queen mattress; if you want an outdoor kitchen, you can get that too.
Lots of options are available such as privacy window shutters, roof rack, A/C heater combo, portable cooler, and much more. They even make an empty Dinky suitable as a toy hauler or for business merchandise.
Retro Campers Summary
Who says you can’t have a nice selection of retro campers with modern construction techniques and features? These days there appears to be a desire to go back to the “good ole days” of RVing, and these vintage-inspired campers will take you there.
Most of these campers will cost more than typical travel trailers, so be prepared when you start looking around for one. However, we think the cost is well worth considering the unique styling, the retro look, and the modern amenities.
If shopping for used retro campers or one of the much older vintage travel trailers, note that it may require extensive renovations. There are some excellent resources on the web showing how to renovate a vintage camper.
There are also only stores that cater to vintage camper renovations, stock parts, and sometimes custom manufacturer parts. Vintage Trailer Supply is one of the vendors that come to mind.