Posted In: Adventure, Process

1973 Bell Vintage Camper Adventure Rig Restoration

Bell Mfg - Canned Ham Adventure Camper

After years of sleeping on the ground, we decided that a camper-trailer would be worthwhile investment for extending our days on the road. We’ve been considering a number of options from pop-up and slide-in campers, to dedicated rigs such as Sportsmobiles and VW camper vans, but with our current vehicle setup a bumper-pull style camper best fit our needs.

Additionally, we knew we wanted the camper to be adventure-ready with the following features:

  • Comfortably sleep 2 adults and 2 dogs
  • Beefy enough to tackle light off-roading and chundery fire roads
  • Racks to haul bikes
  • Lightweight/compact
  • Shower/hose
  • No toilet

With that in mind a variety of options and directions remained. At first we considered something along the lines of a T@B or Cricket camper, as well as the more conventional Jayco/Fleetwood breed of campers you find at your KOA & state park campgrounds. The T@B’s seemed like the best match, however, one equipped with the necessary features well-exceeded the budget. Eventually we started looking for older “vintage” style options such as Shasta’s (canned hams), Scamp & Casita (fibergless egg shaped trailers), and Airstreams (the holy grail of pull-behinds and way outside the budget). While an older camper offered an attractive price-point, it also meant putting some TLC into the restoration and bringing it inline with our vision.

I had come across Salt Lake based camper restoration company, Camper Reparadise, and contacted them with our needs and budget. Camper Reparadise specializes in bringing vintage campers back to life as modern adventure rigs, so from there, it seemed like an obvious match. After an initial consultation, they gave me the heads up on what to look for in a vintage camper, and I began the search for our future home-on-the-road. Fortunately I didn’t have to look too far, and was able to locate one a buddy was looking to unload nearby.

The camper is a 1973 era Bell Manufacturing canned ham very similar to the once popular Shasta Compact. Google didn’t yield many results, so I don’t think there were many of these guys made, and once it’s finished it will truly be one of a kind. We’ve enlisted Camper Reparadise for a full inside-out, top-to-bottom rebuild, and we can’t wait to see the finished product. Below are a few of the before photos.

Bell Mfg Canned Ham Adventure Camper Bell Mfg Canned Ham Adventure Camper Bell Mfg Canned Ham Adventure Camper Bell Mfg Canned Ham Adventure Camper Bell Mfg Canned Ham Adventure Camper

I’ll be posting more throughout the build so be sure and check back. In the meantime, head over and check out some of Camper Reparadise’s handiwork.


February 4th Progress Report

Camper Reparadise Camper Reparadise Camper Reparadise Camper Reparadise Bell_087 Camper Reparadise Camper Reparadise Camper Reparadise Camper Reparadise

February 14th Progress Report

Vintage Trailer Restoration - Canned-Ham Adventure Rig Vintage Trailer Restoration - Canned-Ham Adventure Rig Vintage Trailer Restoration - Canned-Ham Adventure Rig Vintage Trailer Restoration - Canned-Ham Adventure Rig Vintage Trailer Restoration - Canned-Ham Adventure Rig Vintage Trailer Restoration - Canned-Ham Adventure Rig Vintage Trailer Restoration - Canned-Ham Adventure Rig Vintage Trailer Restoration - Canned-Ham Adventure Rig Vintage Trailer Restoration - Canned-Ham Adventure Rig Vintage Trailer Restoration - Canned-Ham Adventure Rig Vintage Trailer Restoration - Canned-Ham Adventure Rig Vintage Trailer Restoration - Canned-Ham Adventure Rig

March/April Progress Report

Bell Adventure Rig Bell Adventure Rig Bell Adventure Rig Bell Adventure Rig Bell Adventure Rig Bell Adventure Rig Bell Adventure Rig Bell_469 Bell_420 Bell_477 Bell Adventure Rig Bell Adventure Rig

Now that she’s finished, be sure and also check out the Bell’s Maiden Voyage.


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4 Responses to “1973 Bell Vintage Camper Adventure Rig Restoration”
  1. Julie

    Love it! Can I ask…how much does something like this cost. Ok…in the end after purchasing the trailer and then having it restored and rebuilt custom. How much did ya need to spend. I am so curious how much these renovations cost. Thanks. Nice taste and perfect size! -Julie

  2. Upriverdavid

    We started out in a 1968 Alladin…16’….Had great fun in it and I’m sure your condo will take you lots of fun places…Yes it beats sleeping on the ground.
    Have Fun!!
    David


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