Travel Trailer Renovation

image of old rusty car pulling a vintage travel trailer.

The Rustic Rusty Camper

Travel Trailer Renovation

When I was a kid back in the mid-’60s (“I know I’m old!”) I went on a summer camping adventure with my Grandmother, Aunt, and little sister. My Aunt had this old 50 something car and pulled a small travel trailer behind it. What a great time camping we had that summer. 

The journey started in central California with stops in Arizona and New Mexico. traveling on route 66 east and then south on highway 84 to 60 to spend some time with family that lived in Clovis, NM. After a short visit, it was time to travel back home, stopping along the way to camp at KOA’s and just anywhere we felt like camping. What a blast! That little travel trailer served us well. I have many fond memories of that time.

Well, many years later I was driving on some back two-lane country road and came upon this old rusted car with a small travel trailer behind it that had some age on it as well. Wow! Did that take me back down memory lane. “How great would it be to fix those two rust-buckets up?”

I didn’t have the time then to take on that kind of project and I don’t now.
I’ve always admired those of you who do have the time to restore moving history on wheels and help bring back good memories to people who lived those times and share with those who didn’t. 

Thank You!

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Vintage cartoon camping gif.

Image of vintage light blue and white travel trailer.

Restoring Old Travel Trailers

Image by Paul Brennan from Pixabay

Recently, there has been an increase in ‘Travel and Camping’ blogs. Renewed interest in the great outdoors brought on by the perfect storm, involving a ‘Great Pandemic’ and ‘Social Media’, and bringing in a new word set like Glamping, Skoolie, Off-Grid Camping, Rustic Camping, Van Life, Boondocking, Tramping, Tin-Can-Ping, and more.

I’ve also seen more and more people restoring old travel trailers. There was one that caught my eye. Fixing up an old “Airstream”. I have always wanted an Airstream. The one I wanted was a motorcoach that had a horseshoe-shaped sitting area in the back with wrap-around windows, Sweet!

What does it take to restore rustic travel trailers into vintage camping classics?
“Time and Money.”

Now, the time part is true. You will spend many hours working on your dream camper on wheels but it’s all worth it if you stick with it.

The money part is debatable. There’s a big difference in cost depending on how custom or authentic you want to go. You could just get a gently used trailer with a few minor problems and only spend a few hundred dollars in repairs and updating. Or, you could strip that bad boy down to the rusty or wood rotten frame and start building from the ground up spending boatloads of money to reach your camping happy place.

Image of a wood travel trailer frame.

Image clip credit from “RV 101

Now you might be wondering if you’re going to strip down the trailer to its frame, why not just buy a new RV?  Well, have you seen the prices of new RVs? And, what’s the fun of buying a new one when you can build an old one to your own custom specs for half the cost and have pride in knowing that you built it with your own two hands.

Below I found this very informative video on “Vintage Travel Trailer Restoration” by “RV 101 on YouTube”. It’s a 5 part series on the restoration of a 1967 “Yellowstone” travel trailer. Go check them out and give them a thumbs up and learn a few things.

Skoolie Bus Camping

Another camping restoration and conversion movement I like to follow is “School Bus Camping Conversions” also known as “Skoolies”

You can’t go wrong with taking an old school bus and converting it into a cozy camping tiny home on wheels. You can find very inexpensive school buses for sale online with usually low miles that run great and have a maintenance record from the schools they belonged to previously.

One young industrious Skoolie owner I follow is, “Lyss from REGRETLYSS”. 
She has a YouTube Vlog documenting her endeavors to convert her short-bus into a Skoolie Camper Home. Start to finish and beyond. If you want to know how to build your own Skoolie I suggest following her.

The Social Media Camping Boom

If you’ve been on “Facebook” or just about any social media platform, you have seen many new pages and posts pop-up on “Camping”. 

Camping of all kinds. Tent, camper, backpacking, day camping, camping on public land. If it has to do with camping, it’s on social media.


Look around and you will find many new and established influencer social feeds. I don’t know what it is about watching other people do things but it can definitely be an addiction. I myself have a handful of people I like to follow and watch but if you start following someone from the beginning of their journey, it can be even more rewarding to watch them grow as they go.

One couple that I recently started following is still in their infancy stage of creating a following on social media. “Your Camping Experience”.

Image of Laruen and Marcus from, "Your Camping Experience.
Image of hat from, "Your Camping Experience."

“Lauren and Marcus”, the founders of “Your Camping Experience” hope you will follow them on their “Camping and Travel Trailer Restoration Adventures.” They have recently purchased their first vintage camper and are eager to take on the tough work of restoring their dream camper/travel trailer. Go follow the links over to their page and give them a “Like and Follow”. Then, follow their progression. Let’s see where this goes together.

The Rustic Rusty End

Just about everyone enjoys or has enjoyed some type of camping experience in their lifetime.
If you have a story to share on anything camping or travel trailer-RV restoration, we would love to hear about it.

Follow our blog or leave a comment below. Until the next time, “Happy Camping!”

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Written by Twales

January 19, 2022

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