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Clintonville Couple Restores Vintage 1960s Camper

Randi Walle Randi Walle Clintonville Couple Restores Vintage 1960s CamperAll photos by Randi Walle.
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While the term “glamping” is relatively new — coming into common lexicon within the past decade — the concept of escaping in a home-away-from home is not. The first travel trailer was manufactured around 100 years ago, with familiar names like Airstream (1920s), Shasta RV (1940s), and Winnebago (1950s) quickly coming onto the camping scene. The freedom to travel anywhere a vehicle could drive opened endless possibilities for the outdoor adventurers.

Last fall, Clintonville couple Matt and Amy Szabo joined the glamping scene. After much research about “What not to buy under any circumstance,” the couple took the plunge and purchased a vintage 1968 Serro Scotty Highlander. They believed they were the third owners of this camper, and were excited to customize and adapt the trailer to their needs and preferences.

The couple spent several Saturdays working to update their new-to-them trailer. New flooring, upholstery, curtains, and paint were all essentials. As with any fixer upper project — cue Joanna calling and saying “We need a lot more money from you” — unexpected hiccups arose along the way. A major one was a leaking roof which needed to be fixed, as well as windows which needed resealing.

Although the total space inside the camper is roughly 13 feet by 7 feet, the Szabos make the most of it. The dinette table and couch both fold down into beds, and what once was a bathroom now serves as a multipurpose closet. They replaced the microwave with a toaster oven to compliment the existing mini-fridge and stove top in the kitchenette area. The camper runs on electricity, and the small space is easily heated with a space heater or cooled with a fan, so the lack of central air is not noticed.

The Szabos hope to join other Columbus area locals in camping trips in the coming months. A problem they noticed with bigger RVs and travel trailers is most people spend too much time inside of them and miss out on the community of camping. Amy wants to camp with others for the social aspect, enjoying pot luck meals, picnic table games, and campfire s’mores with their camping neighbors. They hope that as the retro-glamping trend spreads, Columbus will produce a community of like-minded socialites who want to exchange the hustle of everyday life for a few days of rest.

Matt and Amy encourage anyone who is interested in starting, or joining, an informal camping gathering to reach out to them at [email protected].

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