April 17, 2020
Started project by removing door, screen door, and both jambs from the trailer. This was necesary in order to remove the existing ice box from the trailer and to get the new lp/ac refrigerator into the trailer as neither one would fit through the door opening with doors and jambs in place.
Did some preliminary demo of the opening that housed the old ice box.
These steps took approximately 4 1/2 hours.
April 22, 2020
Installed 2 1" pvc conudits under the trailer in order to get the gas supply and electrical wire to the side of trailer where the fridge will be placed.
Also today ran the 12-2 romex in the new conduit.
Need to order my gas supply line as I now have a good idea how long it needs to be. Worked about 5.5 hours today
April 25, 2020
Today the electrical tie-in was done at the main panel, with a loop to an outlet behind the stove. 12 ga. wire was used per Norcolds recommendations.
Also cut in the lower fresh air/access panel, which allowed me to locate the electrical outlet which will service the fridge; and get an idea as to where the gas supply will be placed. It's a tight fit but do-able. Thankfully the Shasta side vertical framing members are placed exactly where needed for the lower and upper intake/exhaust vents! Just had to add 1 horizontal framing member for the bottom vent, but the top will require 2 horizontals, which will be held in place with screws through the 1/4 " plywood from the inside. Worked about 6 hours today
April 27, 2020
The gas hose to extend gas supply to the new fridge arrived from Amazon today. Routed it from tie-in behind stove to new fridge, installed a temporary cap at fridge end so I could double, triple check for leaks behind stove before it is bolted back in place; (left the gas on so tomorrow I can quadruple check for leaks before the stove goes back in place).
Also today, completed electical installation at new outlet location for new fridge. Checked for proper voltage (120v), which I have; sweet!
Finally finished today with locating and cutting in the rough opening for the upper side vent.
It's easy to write all these jobs down, however, I worked on this about 7 hours today.
April 29, 2020
Finished framing in upper vent rough opening and pre-drilled mounting holes for exterior vent cover.
Removed floor and gave top and bottom a coat of sealer.
Installed some extra sheilding for gas supply line where it enters the trailer floor at both locations.
Started fabricating the upper fridge enclosure panels.
Worked about 5 hours today.
April 30, 2020
Completed the upper enclosure shelf and baffle (which directs hot air out to the upper vent), and stained the interior side to match the ash Shasta paneling. Installed 1" rigid foil faced insul-board on either side of the enclosure which closes the gaps on the fridge sides (Norcold recommends less than 1/2 inch clearance for both sides); I wound up with about as close to zero clearance as possible. Using urethane sealant I also seals the floor penetrations where the gas/electric was routed. Worked about 3 1/2 hours today.
May 1, 2020
Finally! Ready to slide the fridge in for the last time, and it was a perfect fit! Hooked up the gas supply, checked and triple checked for leaks then lit the fridge on propane for the first time, ( we had already tested the AC side prior to this). After about 3 hours the fridge started to cool; filled the ice cube tray and checked after another 3 hours to find ice starting to form, walked away from it for today; checked early the next morning to find solid cubes in the tray. I plan on running the fridge on propane for 3-4 days to get a feel for how much gas is being used.*
Remaining tasks include deciding on a door panel insert, matching the paneling or brushed aluminum/stainless?? Securing the fridge to the enclosure/floor with provided screws. Will also need to modify the storage door/mirror above the fridge as it encroached about 3 inches into that existing space. This should be a nice upgrade to make camping just that much more enjoyable. Stained/varnished fridge panel in place (turned out a little darker as a different species of plywood was used, but it will do for now).(painting vents, fridge door panel, and modifying upper cabinet door/mirror: about 6 hours)
* ran the fridge on gas from a hot start-up for 5 + days in 100 degree heat and it used about 3.5 gal. propane. It should do better if I pre-cool first using 110 v, then switch to gas before travelling.
At this time last year we were traveling across the country in our Capri Camper towing the Gold Airstream.
After “sheltering in place” for several months, many of us are ready to get back on the road. Campgrounds are opening for families and small groups, and highway travel may be the safest way to get out of the house during the cautionary “re-opening” period of the COVID-19. Before you hit the road, make sure you are prepared for a safe journey.
COVID Travel Restrictions Map
Save On Campsite Fees and Fuel—our two biggest expenses on a road trip.
Don't have an RV? Why not rent one for your road trip? Rent an RV from Outdoorsy for your journey.
Basic Safety Precautions while traveling during the re-opening
The vintage trailering hobby has never been more popular. A limited inventory of vintage trailers for sale and the high demand of people looking to get into the hobby has driven up the prices. The more of these potential buyers that you can reach, the more likely you will maximize the amount you receive when you sell your trailer. Most "For Sale" websites allow photos to be posted, and buyers can search by keywords. Most of these sites are geared towards local buyers and are selling everything under the sun. These sites tend to get a lot of tire kickers, scammers, and low-ballers.
What MAKES VCT CLASSIFIED ADS DIFFERENT?
Our ads are anywhere from free to featured. You get what you pay for, and our sellers say it better than we can. Read their testimonials here. Don't rely on the free, local, social media, and catch-all sites to help you sell your trailer as quickly and at the fairest price possible. Lean on our years of experience and uniquely crafted network of reaching the masses. List Your Trailer. Subscribers to The Vintage Camper Trailers Magazine save 20% with your coupon code on page 4.
On March 19, 2020, the State Public Health Officer and Director of the California Department of Public Health issued an order requiring most Californians to stay at home to disrupt the spread of COVID-19 among the population.
The impact of COVID-19 on the health of Californians is not yet fully known. Reported illness ranges from very mild (some people have no symptoms) to severe illness that may result in death. Certain groups, including people aged 65 or older and those with serious underlying medical conditions, such as heart or lung disease or diabetes, are at higher risk of hospitalization and serious complications. Transmission is most likely when people are in close contact with an infected person, even if that person does not have any symptoms or has not yet developed symptoms.
Precise information about the number and rates of COVID-19 by industry or occupational groups, including among critical infrastructure workers, is not available at this time. There have been multiple outbreaks in a range of workplaces, indicating that workers are at risk of acquiring or transmitting COVID-19 infection. Examples of these workplaces include long-term care facilities, prisons, food production, warehouses, meat processing plants, and grocery stores.
As stay-at-home orders are modified, it is essential that all possible steps be taken to ensure the safety of workers and the public.
July is the 50th issue of the Vintage Camper Trailers Magazine. Don't miss it. click here to order.
Key prevention practices include:
In addition, it will be critical to have in place appropriate processes to identify new cases of illness in workplaces and, when they are identified, to intervene quickly and work with public health authorities to halt the spread of the virus.
PURPOSE This document provides guidance for campgrounds, RV parks, and outdoor recreation areas and operators/providers to support a safe, clean environment for the public, employees, interns and trainees, volunteers, and all other types of workers (referred to collectively as “staff”).
NOTE: Campgrounds with playgrounds, conference spaces, or meeting rooms should keep those areas closed until each of those types of establishments are allowed to resume modified or full operation. When allowed to reopen to modified or full operation, campgrounds and RV parks with these establishments should refer to guidance on such industries as it becomes available on the 3 COVID-19 Resilience Roadmap website. The guidance does not apply to youth camps, team or contact sports, school and educational activities, and other public gatherings. For guidance on summer camps, refer to the guidance on the COVID-19 Resilience Roadmap website. All public events or concentrated gatherings at campgrounds or RV parks, including group bonfires, group campsites, presentations at outdoor amphitheaters, musical or other performances, or other events must be cancelled or postponed. Most organized activities and sports such as basketball, baseball, soccer, and football that are held on park fields, open areas, and courts are not permitted to the extent that they require coaches and athletes who are not from the same household or living unit to be in close proximity, which increases their potential for exposure to COVID-19. Members of the same household may engage in such activities and sports together.
The guidance is not intended to revoke or repeal any employee rights, either statutory, regulatory or collectively bargained, and is not exhaustive, as it does not include county health orders, nor is it a substitute for any existing safety and health-related regulatory requirements such as those of Cal/OSHA.1 Stay current on changes to public health guidance and state/local orders, as the COVID-19 situation continues. Cal/OSHA has more safety and health guidance on their Cal/OSHA Guidance on Requirements to Protect Workers from Coronavirus webpage. The California Department of Parks and Recreation has an online resource center for state parks and operational updates, including safety information, are available for national parks on the National Park Service webpage. CDC has additional guidance for parks and recreational facilities administrators.
By Steve Katkowski
Well, just exactly where do I start here? Nobody likes goodbyes, right? I know I don’t. S0000, let me open this letter with a friendly “HELLO” Hello to all the trailer buddies I’ve made over the years. All of us got started in this hobby with a good story, here’s my story and I hope you enjoy it.
Many years ago I received a phone call from a guy in Florida who was selling an antique trailer. He told me it was like new, never used. Parked in a barn since 1953. Suuuuuuurrrrrre, do you think I would believe that? I had at the time already bought the deed to the Empire State Building and the Brooklyn Bridge. Could this be another opportunity to impress my wife at how stupid I could be?
I passed on it because it sounded too good to be true. In fact, I passed on it several times when he persisted with his calls. One time he said “Steve, you are going to buy my trailer!” Well, curiosity got the best of me. I was going to Michigan to visit family, so I made a simple change to my ticket and made a stop in Florida. This was a real experience guys. I was picked up at the airport by a guy in an old Dodge van that looked like it could have been in that old black and white photo of Hiroshima after the bombing ended WWII. Rust holes, smoking exhaust. And when he stopped, it was in front of an old building that didn’t look much better.
How was I going to explain to Jenay that once again I went on a wild goose chase? First of all, I’d never owned a vintage trailer. The hobby was in its infancy. Secondly, I could just imagine where this sales pitch was going. When he opened the door to the building and I was floored. There right in front of my eyes was basically a brand new, Tweetie Pie yellow 1953 35 foot Vagabond trailer. I’m sure if we took it outside you could see it from a satellite. Trying to control myself so as not to show my excitement, - and look cool and reserved----(as if I am capable of that)--- I asked him “what’s it like inside? He stepped up nose to nose with me and said “I TOLD YOU, IT’S NEW!)
Steves ever changing collection of vintage trailers, cars and memorabilia was featured in the Vintage Camper Trailers Book.
When I walked inside I almost fainted. This thing had everything but the smell from the factory applied final finishes. I had to ask “how much” and for the second time I was floored. I blurted out, “FOR AN OLD TRAILER”? Well, sometimes you’ve got to step up to the plate and thankfully I did. We shook hands on the deal and I took out my checkbook to give him a deposit. This folks is where I got my first inkling about just exactly how great the trailer hobby was going to be. You see—he said “why would I take a check from you for a deposit, we shook hands” wow.
I got home and mailed him a check anyways. He mailed it right back. “ Pay me when you pick it up.” And the rest they say, is history. From the very first Craig Dorsey Vintage Vacations rally at Newport Beach to my lastTrailerfest Rally with Caroline and Paul, it’s been one incredible journey. More friends than I ever imagined without ever having to turn on a computer or cell phone. Over the years the hobby grew into an obsession that slowly evolved into a museum. And through my conversations with each and every one of you I’ve gained a wealth of information. It’s truly been an honor to share it all with you and I appreciate you sharing your lives with me.
Both of these trailers were pictured in the Vintage Camper Trailers Book along with others in Steve's collection at the now disbanded museum.
The time has come for Jenay and I to move on. We have sold everything in the museum, wall to wall, floor to ceiling. We have sold our home and moved away from our beloved redwood trees and the occasional earthquakes and scary fires--- to our new, beloved “old peoples 55 and over” gated community. We will now have unlimited golf courses and hurricanes. I should have done this sooner. Being in my 70’s may make me the youngest neighbor on the block. (hee hee hee).
I will be searching for one last vintage camper for the two of us to enjoy for the next 50 or so years we have left. I just hope my truck lasts until I’m 120 years old. I may not be able to afford a self-driving autonomous ¾ ton solar powered electric four wheel drive vehicle when I really need it.
Steve's museum and the Masonite vagabond with the original interior (above) were featured in the Vintage Camper Trailers Book and The VCT Magazine issue #30 of the VCT Magazine.
Happy trails my friends---- I love you all--- and don’t ever forget, one trailer is never enough. Nothing compares to the thrill of the hunt. On top of that, decorating is the real icing on the cake. BYE BYE, NOT!
Steven and Jenay Katkowsky
p.s. You can still visit the website to experience just exactly how much fun it can be letting a hobby get the best of you. The stories are all there.
So you see, I’m not gone at all. What the heck, I may as well tell you now---it only took me a few months to pick up another two trailers. If you’d like a peek, let me know. And I’ve managed to terrorize a whole new group of people at 3 vintage trailer rallies out here in Florida.
P.S. And a special thank you to my friends Paul and Caroline (akaVintage Camper Trailers Magazine) for taking this hobby to new heights. Not that many years have gone by since I first met you both. You shared your dreams and in a relatively short period of time they’ve all been achieved. I think I can say this for all of your trailer family---------we love you.
Hosting rallies this year has presented organizers with new scheduling challenges. Events are being rescheduled, postponed, and even canceled. It is important that campers are informed about any changes or new rally dates. You can be sure that most of us are ready to get out and go camping as soon as possible!
Be prepared for possible changes to rallies based on COVID-19 regulations.
www.VintageTrailerRallies.com takes you directly to the Vintage Trailer Rallies page on www.PeriodEvents.com. The Period Events platform is a calendar of events that celebrate America's past. It is totally FREE to post your event or venue on this directory. Vintage trailer rallies posted here will be added to the Vintage Camper Trailers Magazine calendar that is published inside of each issue.
The photos in this blog post are from Glamperfest last year. This rally is held in May in Red Bluff, CA. Registration for this rally will begin in October. Registration for Trailerfest Rallies is open now and we have space available at all of them at the present moment.
Over 34 years of saving lives
It was quickly realized that this safe ride service needed to be free. Many intoxicated people didn’t want to go home until they were out of money. We needed to get their cars home too (no I would not leave my car behind as I need it in the morning!) The International Good Samaritans Safe Ride Program (IGS) plan was to start a 501c3 nonprofit charity and provide two sober drivers per team, one IGS driver to follow the other IGS driver in the intoxicated driver's car along with the intoxicated person and all their friends to point the way home (not always easy but always free!)
Many regulations and much attention was given to this new safe ride start-up program, and many bars, their patrons, and the police watched to see what was going to happen with this new idea.
Miracle of miracles! The Program worked! During the first 10 years of service more than 50,000 carefully documented safe rides were given to intoxicated drivers and their intoxicated passengers, and their cars were safely delivered home by a small group of dedicated sober (My turn to drink, Your turn to drive) volunteers. For the first time in Tahoe history, DUI deaths and DUI crashes decreased as reported by the South Tahoe Police Dept.
Now for The FUN part of this story! To keep these safe rides free, IGS decided to host an annual fundraiser based on the 50’s lifestyle and 50’s cars and call it Cool September Days Car, Truck, Motorcycle and Vintage Camper Show. Along with an old car show, IGS would put on a 50’s style Sock Hop with dance, dress-up and hairdo contests and at mid-night at the Hop as a grand prize IGS would give away a locally donated and restored old car on a $1 raffle ticket.
A lot of things have changed over the past 30 years but the Good Samaritans Safe Ride Program is still alive and well in Tahoe and the 30th annual Cool September Days Car Show was held at the South Lake Tahoe Heavenly Village shopping center on September 18-20, 2015.
Over the 30 years of this safe ride programs history, many different cars, trucks, and motorcycles have been located, donated, and restored to be used in IGS’ fundraiser raffles, from a 1953 Buick Special in 1986, to a 500hp Ford PU and new Harley in 2002, to a grand prize of a 1953 Chevy Sedan Delivery with a new teardrop trailer all set up to go camping in 2010.
IGS volunteers would like to invite everyone with an interest in vintage cars and/or campers or motorcycles to come to Lake Tahoe for the day or for one of our weekend shows at the Heavenly Village Shopping Center (near the Gondola). This package will be given away October 18th, 2020.
To date, more than 100,000 intoxicated drivers and their friends have been delivered safely home in the Tahoe area and much effort has been made to help start safe ride programs in other cities all around America. Many lives have been saved and many millions of dollars of damage has been avoided thanks to your generous donations for raffle tickets or when you attend one of our Car Shows. Get your raffle tickets here.
Thank you for 34 years and counting!
Tom and Polly Argo
PO Box 7007, Stateline NV 89449
In 1954 Chris-Craft astonished just about everyone when they introduced their new Land Cruiser Kit, a 14-foot mobile home that would sleep four adults. The kit contained everything from a steel chassis, aluminum roof covering, aluminum frame windows with screens, to wheels and a hinged door with lock.
In issue #49 of the Vintage Camper Trailers Magazine we featured a 1948 Horner & Thatcher Trailer Boat Prototype. Like a Trailorboat or KomPaK, the Thorner & Thatcher toted its boat upside down on top of its teardrop sized trailer. While researching “boat trailers” for the feature in the magazine, we stumbled on a boat company that offered a camping trailer along with their famous wooden boats. Since the product was so unique, Chris-Craft formed the Land Cruiser Kit Division just to accommodate the new product.
An article at the time proclaimed the following:
Think of it! Now you can own your own mobile home. You can go wherever you want, whenever you like, without the fuss and bother of stopping at expensive hotels and restaurants. You can follow your heart to new fun and adventure - and take your home right along with you!
The new Land Cruiser Kit by Chris-Craft makes all this possible. Now - for the first time! - anyone who can afford to drive an average car can afford this big, comfortable mobile home.
Finished in gleaming aluminum, with an all steel chassis. the Land Cruiser is a full 14-feet overall Inside, there's plenty of room for a double bed, a dinette that converts into another bed, a heating unit and cook stove, refrigerator, closets and cupboards
The Land Cruiser peaked our interest in trailers that were either offered in kit forms or built from plans. We are looking for history, literature, or information on these types of trailers for an upcoming issue of the VCT Magazine. If you own one or have anything to contribute, let us know. email me
More Photos of a Chris-Craft Land Cruiser: http://woodenrunabout.com/projects/1954-chris-craft-land-cruiser
I was looking on the back roads up by Reed City, Michigan, and saw some old campers. I liked the look of this one the best. It had been used as a chicken coop with no interior at all. I couldn't find any information on it. I happened to find out what it was when I was looking at a West Michigan Vintage Boats type of club on Facebook. I paid $300 for it, which was way too much, I thought, but I liked it. The guy thought I was buying it to make a small hauling trailer. Mine is in a little rougher shape than the other Cruisers that have been found, but it's still a unique little gem.
Big Rapids, West Michigan
I had read an article 8 or 9 years ago about the Chris Craft Land Cruiser that the co-owners, Mike Teusink and Kirk Wingard, had found and restored. After fully restoring theirs, I “heard” that they acquired a second one only 10 miles from their shop. I had lunch with Kirk at an ACBS event in Cassopolis in April 2017, and had asked if their shop had to restore the second one before they were ready to sell it. Kirk said, “No!” so, for about a year and a half, I continued to think about it and finally decided, “If I don’t get this camper now, I might lose my opportunity.” It made its debut at our house on Christmas morning 2019 nestled in the pines by a campfire. I’ve completed the interior, and it’s now in usable condition. The next task is polishing the aluminum. Our family has owned a wooden boat since 1973, built by Chris-Craft employee. I’m from Algonac, Michigan, home of Chris-Craft, so this purchase is very meaningful for many reasons. We now have a group of 13-14 campers and hope to do a reunion of sorts at the Antique and Classic Boat Society’s Michigan Chapter’s “Where it all Began” Wooden Boat show on the grounds of the original Chris Craft Plant the weekend of June 25-27, 2021,
Shelbyville, Southwest MI
I bought my trailer in Holt, Mi. in 2018, it was simply titled “Vintage camper”. Tim Heintz identified it for me and I was “off to the races” trying to track down as much info and other owners as I could; even joining some Chris Craft boat pages. I found David Irvine a few months later in a CC group and he has been my research partner ever since. We have since started a fb group for Chris Craft Land Cruiser owners. My trailer had “Peekstok” stenciled on two sides of the aluminum. While undergoing a rebuild I discovered the insulation was manufactured in Flint, MI. (these were kit trailers and you went to the local hardware store for the basics) so I figured it was a local build. I researched “Peekstok” until I was blue in the face, I finally remembered that my grandfather used to carve his ss # on everything he owned back in the 50’s, so I thought maybe it’s a last name? I joined a “finding lost friends of
Kalamazoo” page and found a relative who got me in touch with the original owners, they were ecstatic to hear the trailer was still on the road and sent me tons of old pictures including the build and camping into the 60’s. They owned it until ‘76, it was rear rended back in the 80’s and rebuilt. It is undergoing a ground up rebuild now. I used it for vintage rallies as well as family camping before it went under construction. I even found a vintage Chris Craft Cabin Boy folding bike to match the camper. These were an option on the bigger Chris Craft Constellation boats
for riding around the marinas. I use it for riding around the campgrounds and rallies, I’m looking forward to having my trailer done for the 2021 camping/rally season!
Carrie Schmidt, aka “Sakibear”
From what I remember, the trailer was found in Maryland. It was purchased by an attorney in southern California who restores Chris Craft boats. He completely disassembled it and rebuilt it from ground up. It is totally restored. There are a few very minor things I want to do to it, but nothing to change its originality. It is a museum piece for sure. Please feel free to give my contact info to any other Chris Craft Land Cruiser owner or interested party you know or meet.
Colorado Springs, CO
I needed a challenge. I had been on the hunt for a small vintage trailer to completely gut and redo. That’s when I came across a Facebook post of this little silver trailer located in Maryland. I didn’t know what it was or if it was worth anything. I was more excited of how little it was. My husband and I grabbed the trailer and were on the road. Once we got to the house where the trailer was located, I found out it had been in the family since it was assembled. The lady I bought it from inherited it from her dad. I tried to do some research on line and there was basically nothing out there. That’s when I posted on the Tin Can Tourist Facebook page and found Carrie Schmidt and David Irvine. They clued me in to just how rare it was and how neat it is to be a part of such a small community of owners. I don’t have plans to restore to original but more of a mostly white, nautical theme per say. I haven’t officially done anything with it but I can’t wait to actually get started.
This is a rare 1954 Chris-Craft Land Cruiser. We know of only five or six of these trailers in existence. Chris-Craft produced them as a kit for fewer than 6 months during the 1954 model year. We found this rare Chris-Craft Land Cruiser in northwest Minnesota. Chris-Craft produced these trailers as kits for less than one year. With the exception of the plywood floor, which we replaced, all of the components that came with the kit are still original to this trailer.
I bought the camper in early 2017 from a lady on the west coast of Florida who had it in her backyard after having it on the road for years. It now resides in my photo studio in Orlando and was once used as part of an "Indoor Camping" photo set. It is in unrestored condition but seems to be in great shape for its age so I haven't changed anything as of now. The original owner/builder looks to be from the Michigan area as there are some drawings in the owner's manual that show where some extra parts were bought. The lady I bought it from had the cushions made for the bed that you can make when you remove the table. I am looking forward to getting it on the road with my girlfriend at some point in 2021.
I was looking for a Chris Craft Land Cruiser and had heard that one was for sale in Murray, Kentucky. I contacted the owner and he stated he was in the process of restoring it, and had lost interest. I purchased it in pieces and brought it home in an enclosed trailer. It took us an hour to load it with a fourteen hour round trip to bring back to the Lake James, Indiana area where we live. I am presently in the process of reconstruction and am appreciative of all the research that other owners have been providing me with.
For the last several years I have had a big dream of turning a vintage landcruiser into a roaming sewing studio/mobil shop. I am a fashion designer and wanted to find something that I can take to craft fairs and schools all over the country. I have been searching for a canned ham style camper periodically over those years but never found anything that I particularly fell in love with. Recently, while unemployed due to Covid 19, I have been making masks, and remembered my little dream of that vintage landcruiser. I typed canned ham camper into my internet search engine and this one magically appeared on Ebay!! I read the details, then looked at the location, and much to my delight it was located only 30 minutes away from me. I thought this must be ment to be!! I traveled to John Parello's home and checked it out. I contemplated it for a little over a week, found a friend to look at it with me and commit to helping me fix her up, and then purchased her on Memorial Day.
I am very excited to tackle this project. I am currently removing all of the walls due to mold and water damage. I am going to try to salvage what I can and keep the layout very similar to now it currently looks inside. The outside of the camper will be shined up and have a simple logo scrawled on the side. Additionally, I hope to add some awnings and a little flower box. I plan to sew the awnings, and do the upholstery work myself and my friend Chuck Downey, an engineer by trade, is excited to take it apart and put it back together, and seal her up tight, just like an original Chris Craft Landcruiser. I will be blogging the process and hope to have her road ready by summer 2021.
Miranda Kay Levy
I found my Chris Craft Land Cruiser on eBay and purchased it after a short negotiation. It is currently in Arizona to be picked up soon to bring home to California.n I’m looking forward to learning more about our special trailers and doing a ground up restoration/rebuild. We are familiar with vintage trailers and have a 1956 Santa Fe that was completely rebuilt.
A recent purchase from a neighboring town about 20 minutes north from where I live in beautiful south central PA. With no camper on my mind, I was scrolling through Facebook and a local business posted a photo of the exterior buffing. My exact words on the post were “I want that!”. Of course I fell in love. The seller’s information was passed on to me and within weeks the deal was made! Previous to me Joe Faulkerson owned and restored this 1954 Chris Craft #LC 297. He did many upgrades including electric. The camper still features the original porcelain gas range, sink, and quaint refrigerator all still in working order. Not to mention the click-clack bed, sconces, the cast dolly wheel, and the cork screw jack are all original as well. There are many ideas and plans to take my children along in the coming years to adventure and make memories. We’ve used this as our weekend “getaway” in the yard for the past several weeks. It serves well as a quiet reading place or the perfect place to make a batch of pancakes on a Sunday morning. As of this writing I’m on my first official camping trip of the year at Lake Raystown in Entriken, PA. A few places I plan to take my camper this year are Shenandoah National Park Virginia, and Letchworth State Park New York. As well as and other local places. A close friend gifted me with vintage Impko window decals thus creating my Chris Craft bucket list. I’m elated to be part of the community of Chris Craft Land Cruisers!
Bonnie Sue Casey
Roaring Springs, PA
I was not looking for a vintage camper. My parents and I had just finished renovating a 1969 Nomad travel trailer, and I thought I was done with anything that needed the kind of constant love and maintenance an old camper often requires. Two days after selling the Nomad, my dad forwarded an email about a rare Chris Craft camper for sale in Colorado Springs; after seeing photos, I had to have it. Its former (and second) owner, a member of the Colorado Springs chapter of the Antique Boat Society, had restored the original interior in the last decade - it was in great condition and had retained that vintage boat cabin feel. And so in July of 2014 I became the excited new owner of a 1954 Chris Craft travel trailer. Since then we’ve had lots of memorable adventures around our home state of Colorado, as well as Utah, New Mexico, and even Lake Tahoe. Six years in, we have a laundry list of maintenance items that need to be addressed, including water damage in the rear - a project my husband Jay would love to avoid by finding the Chris Craft a new home. I sometimes pretend that I’d consider selling, but it’s almost certain that he’s stuck with this cool piece of history for the long haul.
Meghan Grabow Wright
I saved this Chris Craft from being scrapped. The inside needs to be rebuilt. The outside is straight.
This is Tim Nickerson’s Parent’s trailer. It is stated that it is a 1953 Red River Manufacturing Trailer out of Moorhead, Minnesota. It looks very similar to the Land Cruiser. A possible theory is they purchased the kits from Chris Craft and then sold them assembled under their own name.
This article lists the 14 known Chris Craft Land Cruiser Campers known to exist. My 8th Grade History Teacher and friend Spencer Adkins, Sr. knew I had acquired this camper and found an original 50-page instruction manual that no one knew existed. His wife Mary (Ames) Adkins had a brother who worked for the “kit” division of Chris Craft Boats and may have been involved in the design. I have shared the manual, affectionately known as “the holy grail” with the 14 owners, as well as the Mariners Museum in Newport News, VA. It has been fun to research and meet these owners since acquiring mine a short 18 month ago.
Issue # 50 of The Vintage Camper Trailers Magazine features the Chris-Craft Land Cruiser Trailers.
If anyone has any information on the Chris-Craft Land Cruisers, please contact me at email@example.com or at 269/664-5274 (evenings). We will add the information to our database. David Irvine
This Westcraft Capistrano is the brilliant result of more than a decade of meticulous restoration, craftsmanship, and modernization. It is the largest and most rare model that Westcraft ever offered The 'Capistrano' is 33 feet long and features a Pullman roof (commonly referred to as a trolley top). Flanked with seven windows on each side, the raised center of the ceiling provides 6'4" of headroom. You would be the talk of the rally if you showed up in this one! Sound like fun? You'll be glad to know that this trailer is for sale.
When the current owner purchased this rare model coach, it was in poor condition. Being one of only two known to exist, he felt the trailer deserved a restoration by a team of some of the best craftspeople in California to achieve the finest restoration possible. The team was led by Steven Butcher to envision a resto-mod unlike any other. Butcher brought his years of trailer and vehicle restoration experience to the project. A collector himself, Butcher's eye for design and knowledge of vintage Americana made him a worthy collaborator.
The original design was modernized to improve the coach by integrating the latest in safety features, luxury, comfort, and connectivity. The Westcraft is featured in a 6-page spread in the Vintage Camper Trailers Magazine issue #48. If you are a subscriber to the magazine you have seen many more of the incredible photos by Pawel Litwinski. A profile shot of the exterior made the centerfold!
The trailer was most recently displayed in Palm Springs at Modernism Week in February of 2020. If this was your trailer, where would you take it? Trailers of this caliber are often displayed in museums, company show rooms or on estates where they are used as a tiny house or guest home. If you are looking for a vintage trailer to camp in or go to vintage trailer rallies his one would certainly be a contender if your budget will allow you a one-of-a-kind piece of art like this one.
The Calypso boasts an audio systems that can be played independently in the living and bedrooms, utilizing individual amps to drive NHT, Focal, and Sunfire speakers. Each room has a Sony flat-screen with Bose soundbars using common connections to both surround-sound systems. Concealed throughout the trailer are USB charging sockets, Ethernet, and coaxial cables and modern grounded outlets. There is even a remote-controlled quiet and energy-efficient Duotherm heating/AC system. If you are interested in purchasing this trailer, see the ad with more details and photos here.
One cold but sunny April day, I just needed some sun. I wanted to layout, but there was still snow on the ground! I found an old sleeping bag, wrapped myself up in it, and went and laid outside – it was freezing! I was feeling what old-timers called “cabin fever.” Many of us have never had to deal with those feelings until the recent quarantine. I know my vintage trailer friends are a breed of doers. We are not used to staying put, and this quarantine is challenging us. We are also a group that is kind, inventive. We have the willpower to do whatever it takes to accomplish our goal of protecting our community so we can camp together soon.
Wednesday morning, we had a meeting with business owners, builders, suppliers, etc., all connected to the Vintage Camper Trailer world. We are all trying to figure out how to help each other weather this storm so we can all restart again when the quarantine is lifted. Many great ideas were shared, and our community leaders are strong and innovative. If you are able, support our people. They are working hard to stay in business to support our hobby.
We had received a Zoom invite text to a virtual trailer rally from a random phone number. The invite said it was BYOB, so I replied and asked who I was going to be drinking with on Wednesday night. Turns out, that it was quite the group of trailer riff-raff! What a great way to check-in and connect with some of our trailer buddies! I miss them desperately but love them too much to see them in person. We had some good laughs, and it was nice to see everyone was in good spirits and adapting.
Cabin fever does pass as the sun sticks around and melts the snow. I am feeling a need to see my friends and go camping, but I know it is not yet the right time. So, I am sending you all my love and prayers and lots of long-distance hugs.
The Vintage Camper Trailers Magazine Blog
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This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.