Airstream, Streamline, Shasta and Scotty are the most recognizable retro travel trailer brands. Popular models include the Bambi, Caravan, Carousel and the Gaucho. They were originally built in the 1950s and 1960s. Many have been fully restored and remain on the road today.
Los Angeles Trailer Works and Auto-Kamp Trailers were two of the earliest manufacturers of camping trailers. The Pierce-Arrow Touring Landau model was first shown to the public at Madison Square Garden in 1910. The popular tear-drop design seen in many later models of the 1950s was first introduced by the Earl model in 1913.
In the 1920s and 1930s, recreational vehicle camping was popularized by travelers called Tin Can Tourists. They were so named because they fought through mud and dust to haul their Tin Lizzies across the U.S.before roads were paved. These travelers camped on the roadside, built campfires and withstood cold water baths for the freedom to roam. Many RV camping clubs from this era still remain active today.
Travel trailers that have not been restored for the road have been retired to backyards, communities and wooded retreats where they serve as homes, playhouses and studios. Enthusiasts have created many retro RV communities in the warmer climates in the U.S. Their likely occupants include an Oasis, Vagabond, a Streamline Mobile Bar and an Aristocrat Land Commander. The Bambi II is guaranteed to be present among them.