Vintage campers oozed charm and inspired

Tue, 06/08/2021 - 10:45am

Shasta. Airstream. Teardrop. Serro Scotty.

The Vintage Camper Jamboree drew them all – and more - to Shore Hills Campground on Route 27 in Boothbay for a seventh year.

The campers, ranging in size from (roughly) 15 feet to 21 feet, were windows into the personalities of the owners. Themes ran the gamut from the New England Patriots to tea cups; from old time barbershops and 70s flowers and all things avocado, to a cosy cabin complete with electric fireplace and bear skin rug!

Most of the vintage camper owners had to gut the camper, others said they had to take it down to bare bones and then build their dream design. Most folks said it took them a good two to three years to finish what, in every case, was clearly a labor of love.

Campers ranged in age from 1950 to 1965 through the mid-70s. Turquoise was the most popular exterior – and often interior – usually paired with white, although there was one that was a turquoise and pale Granny Smith green; a few red, red and white, one dark green, exteriors … the Airstreams added silver to the exterior color mix … mirrors reflecting past and present; but always individuality and relaxation. And, most every one had an awning adorned with small lights of all shapes – some were mini red disposable cups, or mini campers, Edison bulbs, flamingos … Everything about these vintage campers was distinctive, creative, and absolutely delightful.

Stephanie Towle, of Chelsea, is an organizer of the Vintage Camper Jamboree who arrived with her newly restored and revamped camper, Rosie, a 1950 Spartonette Tandem. She enjoys restoring/designing vintage campers. Towle’s all pink “Wine Down” was featured in a 2018 edition of Down East’s MaineHomes magazine article, “Joy Ride.” She had a copy of the mag with her at this year’s event. It’s a nice spread – beautiful camper.

Rosie is another jewel of a vintage camper, with rose red highlights and furnishings that would delight every woman. The interior was rich in color, wood finishings, and just oozed comfort. And in a camper … imagine!

Just across from Rosie was an all wood camper that reminded me of a Lyman boat. And like a Lyman, this “camper” was also made of three kinds of wood: maple, knotty pine and white oak flooring ( Lymans were Douglas fir plywood, white oak and mahogany). This unit was a beauty. The couple who built it are from Massachusetts. And the exterior wasn’t the only source of warm feelings – once inside there was a queen-sized bed, bearskin rug and electric fireplace. There was an area at the back of this classy rig where cooking gear was stored, as well as a deep drawer for other eating and drinking necessities. Oh! And one more thing this one had that no other did: Cousin It. That’s right. Long hair. Black derby hat. You know … the Addams family. Enough said.

The Patriots vintage camper was outfitted to the max with team colors. The outdoor area was outfitted with a Patriots rug and chairs. The finishing touch: an official Patriots rocking horse attached to the front of the camper.

There had to have been 30-40 vintage campers in town last Saturday. And the two hour span (1-3 p.m.) to visit with the owners and check out their mobile dream vacation accommodations wasn’t nearly long enough. But, not to worry. They’ll be back in early June 2022.