Your Next Summer Project: Restore a Vintage Trailer

Save a little money, add some personal flair, and enjoy an eye-catching ticket to outdoor adventure. Check out these classic fixer-upper pull-behinds.


As the van life craze begins to cool and campers realize living in their car all the time isn’t nonstop awesome, remember there’s another fun mobile-living option.

Pull-behind trailers are more spacious than van conversions and don’t require you to sleep next to an e-brake. Plus, if you’re seeking rugged adventures, there are a number of affordable, nimble, off-road-ready teardrops and trailers.

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But if you’re looking for something with a tad more luxury and style to boot, consider a live-in trailer. If you’ve got an eye for DIY, you can save some greenbacks and add some serious style to your excursions by restoring a vintage trailer. Based out of Bend, Ore., Flyte Campers collects, sells, and restores classic trailers dating as far back as 1928!

Flyte Campers: 5 Vintage Camper Trailers

Flyte began restoring and selling vintage trailers in 2010. According to husband-and-wife owners Justin and Anna Scribner, the brand is “dedicated to preserving these amazing rolling pieces of art.”

Note: If you’re not interested in the time and possible tetanus shots required to restore a near century-old trailer, Flyte Campers takes on some projects in-house and sells fully restored trailers.

But for those looking for a months-long project to revive a blast from the past, the brand also sells TLC-starved fixer-uppers. Check out these five vintage trailers on sale right now.

1949 Palace Royale: $3,000

1948 Palace Royale trailer

If you’re over 60, you probably recognize this Palace Royale trailer. Based out of Flint, Mich., Palace Royale made trailers in the ’40s and ’50s. Round porthole windows on the doors are the calling card of these trailers. But you’ll have to track one down your own because the door is missing (as shown above). Regardless of what you add to the interior, this trailer’s all-steel body will weigh at least 4,000 pounds.

1955 Road Ranger: $5,000

1955 Road Ranger pop-up trailer

According to Flyte, this pop-up camper “could be campable right now.” The canvas walls are all new, but the inside could use some love. There are cabinets and a sink, so one day it could potentially house a small refrigerator. But the primary focus here is a convertible sitting/sleeping area with big zip-down windows.

1952 Spartanette Tandem: $6,000

1952 Spartenette Tandem trailer

The Airstream that’s not an Airstream, this Spartanette Tandem has that familiar silver, riveted Twinkie look. This model will have full live-in capability with kitchenette and bathroom, but Flyte claims it’s not “campable” as is. Used as a hunting and fishing cabin for most of its life, this Spartanette also requires new wheels and tires. And if all that sounds like too much work, this camper is also available fully restored — for extra moolah, of course.

1936 Albatross: $2,000

1936 Albatross trailer

With a name like Albatross, it’s gotta be good! But it also needs a ton of work. The exterior is full masonite — probably because masonite was brand new when it was built. Broken windows, obliterated paint, and plenty more inside make this kidney bean-shaped camper a true fixer-upper. But it’s well worth it — Flyte calls this Albatross very rare, saying it might be the only one ever built. It’s also available as a full restoration.

1936 Hammerblow: Restoration only, call for price

1936 Hammerblow trailer

This trailer doesn’t just sound cool: It’s a rare find from1936 Hammerblow trailer interior Hammerblow Tool Company, based in Wausau, Wisc. Founded in 1926, Hammerblow still exists, though it’s since been acquired by a larger corporation. And Hammerblow trailers are all but gone, so Flyte aims to do this restoration in-house before selling. This stout pull-behind has windows and is a blank slate inside.

Adam Ruggiero

Adam Ruggiero is the Editor In Chief of GearJunkie.

Adam has been covering daily news and writing about cycling, camping, hiking, and gear of all kinds for 15+ years. Prior to that, Adam lived in Hawaii and Puerto Rico, at which time he realized he’d never have a “normal job.” His pastimes — farming, bike racing, and fitness — provided a gateway to all manner of physical challenges and recreation outdoors.

Based in Kansas City, MO, Adam tests as much gear as he can get his hands, feet (and dog) into each and every day. As editor in chief, he works to maintain GearJunkie’s voice, style, and commitment to accurate and expert reporting across every category.