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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Before You Buy a Vintage Camper is a nonfiction RV and vehicles guide written by Crystal McCullough. Especially since the pandemic began, campers and recreational vehicles have tantalized the imaginations of countless armchair travelers. While the RV industry is booming and manufacturers are struggling to meet the demand for their products, many prefer to look at vintage campers. For some, a used or older camper is within their budget, while others simply love the classic looks of the Airstreams, Fireballs, and, for me, the GMC class A recreational vehicle. While used and vintage campers offer those advantages and are considered more durable than the new offerings, buying one of them is rife with potential pitfalls. Often, unscrupulous sellers will proudly show off a buffed and shiny camper that comes with a host of problems hidden underneath the gleaming exterior. How then does a camper-owner-wannabe find the camper of their dreams? How much work should they expect to put into the renovation process? What legal hoops will they need to navigate to even bring their new acquisition home? And when does it make sense to call it quits on a renovation project and sell it on to another buyer?
Crystal McCullough answers these questions and more as she shares details of her own experiences purchasing and restoring vintage campers. She details how she turned her hobby into a professional venture, and how her skills in wiring, plumbing, and construction were developed on the job as she gave her prized Argosy trailers new leases on life. I will most likely be purchasing an older or vintage trailer or Class A within the coming year and was thrilled to find this book. McCullough answers questions that I’ve been thinking about, and she’s helped me get a more realistic outlook on what I can expect when checking out prospective purchases.
This is a marvelous book for anyone who is in the market for an RV, whether new or old, and whether you’re a novice or a seasoned camper traveler. The author makes it clear that you can keep a vintage camper in its original condition or craft a whole new living space -- anything goes once you determine that the camper is sound and sturdy from the base up. While not a how-to book that shows you how to restore and repair a camper, this guide will give you a good starting place on your RV journey. And the pictures! They’ll have prospective buyers making lists of campers they might just fall in love with -- and that’s a good thing. Before You Buy a Vintage Camper is most highly recommended.