Then & Now: A History of Campers

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Krrb — Then & Now: A History of Campers

Photo: Happiercamper.com

Ah, there’s nothing quite like the open road! With so much promise and possibility around every bend, the great american road trip makes for the perfect getaway adventure. So why would you even bother with airfare, baggage fees, and TSA checkpoints when you can bring all the amenities of home on the road. We are not talking about oversized RVs here, instead your best friend is the classic tag-along camper. Compact, yet crammed with all the necessary road trip essentials, the camper is really all you need. Variations of the modern camper can be traced back to the 1900’s, where it was little more than a folding bed rigged to a car. Since then, campers have come a long way! Keep on reading to learn more about the history of campers and to find out which camper you should hitch up to your ride.

The L.F. Schilling Company Auto Tent

Krrb — Then & Now: A History of Campers

Photo: Popupcamperhistory.com

With the growing popularity of automobiles, auto-touring grew out of necessity. One of the most well know options for car owners in the early 1900’s, was the L.F. Schilling Company Auto Tent and Bed Kit. When not in use, it was conveniently stored on the car’s running board until needed.

Campbell Folding Camping Trailer

Krrb — Then & Now: A History of Campers

Photo: Popupcamperhistory.com

The Campbell Folding Camping Trailer Company holds the very first patent for their namesake invention granted on July 1916. The camper consisted of a box spring mattress hoisted onto the trailer frame, room for storage underneath and several camping accessories. From packed to set-up took about 5 minutes.

Shattuck Trailer

Krrb — Then & Now: A History of Campers

Photo: Popupcamperhistory.com

The Shattuck Trailer was the the first mass-produced camper to hit the market. Unlike most of the campers, it had wood floors, pneumatic tires, and a full floating axle. By the end of the year, the market expanded with at least 6 other trailer manufacturing companies following suit.

Bethany Vacationeer

Krrb — Then & Now: A History of Campers

Photo: Popupcamperhistory.com

The first pop-up camper with a non-canvas top was Bethany International’s Vacationeer. Fabricated with a light weight fiberglass top, this camper was more durable than other camping trailers around in the 1950’s. The unique design meant more head room and could fit 4 or 5 people comfortably.

Coleman Camping Trailer

Krrb — Then & Now: A History of Campers

Photo: Popupcamperhistory.com

The 1970’s brought big change when it came to campers. Coleman’s model 596 Camper had top-of-the-line amenities from a 3-burner stove and portable bathroom to full beds and easy hand-crank set-up. Depending on the size, these campers could run up to $2,000!

Happier Camper

Krrb — Then & Now: A History of Campers

Photo: Happiercamper.com

A new take on the campers of yesteryear, Happier Camper is a lightweight, aerodynamic,vintage-inspired camper with a modular interior. Their unique Adaptiv system uses movable cube components that can be rearranged (like Legos) for any layout imaginable.

New school or old school…Which camper would you hitch up? Let us know in the comments!