It’s a 1958 Alaskan Camper. “It raises and lowers”, the logo says. And it’s true, even today at age 54, she raises and lowers. Seen above in the aerodynamic lowered position.
I’ve been looking at campers for decades. You know the ads that say “serious inquiries only.” I was always serious, it just took me thirty years to decide. For one thing, I can’t stand being surrounded by plastic, so that rules out about 99% of the campers out there. This Alaskan model here has an all wood interior, plywood I should say, even the roof. It’s got a lot of window area, nine windows that open, plus a ventilating hatch.
First thing I did when I got it home was tear out all the modifications and add ons previous owners had made. Electric lights. A radio and speakers. Why when we go to the woods we go out of our way to take the stuff we’re going there to get away from is more than I can fathom. Anyway, all the wiring went, along with some well built ( in the structural sense) shelving that stuck in from the sides and made the interior claustrophobic.
Then I took out the table, large enough to seat four, and the thick foam upholstered seats. The latter smelled musty and took up a lot of space. Besides, I wasn’t going to run a diner. This thing is a one man camp, and there’s still plenty left in there to make it comfortable. There’s a hanging locker, a three burner gas stove with oven, a sink, a single bunk that could be a double, a comfortable place to sit, and more than enough drawers and cabinet space for storage. There’s an oil lamp for light, some pillows, sleeping bag, foam pad, and that’s about it. What more could you want? I realize I’ll probably think of something.
Just inside the door on the left is a bottle jack with copper lines connecting to four pistons. Pump the jack and the top raises to a place that provides about 6′ 4″ headroom. Let off the jack and she lowers down at about four feet of clearance. I don’t think the whole camper weighs 750 pounds. Sometime I’d like to weigh it. But meanwhile, it’s time to head up to the Golden Road, turn west, and go look for the origins of the Penobscot River.