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When it comes to retro RVs, few better live out this title than the Camelot Cruiser.
The Camelot Cruiser was a beast of a motorhome and offered just about everything you could have possibly needed while traveling. This RV was a state-of-the-art home on wheels for its time.
Let’s take a step back almost 50 years ago and see what manufacturers created in the 1970s.
About the Camelot Cruiser
The Camelot Cruiser was a massive semi-length motorhome that featured a basement garage, an intercom system with actual residential furnishings.
It sat on a Ford C750 cab and driveline and looked more like a semi-hauler than an RV.
It was more literally a home on wheels and a luxurious way to travel during the mid-1970s. The manufacturer wanted to communicate the rig’s luxury by including four porterhouse steaks with every model to serve your first meal on the road.
The Camelot Cruiser had the avocado greens and Bahama yellows you expect to find in a camper or motorhome during this period.
It has paneling on the walls, purple shag carpets, and yellow leather furnishings. One step into this rig, and you’ll feel like you’ve jumped back into the 1970s.
Who Makes the Camelot Cruiser?
Elder & Company made Camelot Cruisers in the northern Illinois town of Skokie. It had three variations which either came with a snowmobile, a boat, or a horse trailer.
However, these three models were the only ones built by Elder & Company. Unfortunately, not many people could pay over $150,000 for a motorhome in the 1970s.
Are Camelot Cruisers Still Made?
Unfortunately, the company only made three Camelot Cruisers in the mid-1970s.
While no longer in production, you can occasionally find one up for auction. The ones you can find appear well taken care of and in almost like-new condition.
Since you’re not likely to get your hands on one of these beasts, most of us will have to experience them through the many pictures posted on the auction listing. You can even watch Richard Rawlings purchase two of them on the TV show Fast N’ Loud.
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What’s Unique About the Camelot Cruiser?
The Camelot Cruiser was unlike any other motorhome during its time. It was the definition of luxury during the 1970s. The yellow vinyl and wood paneling were just a glimpse of what Americans could expect from motorhomes in the future.
Let’s learn more about what made the Camelot Cruiser so unique.
It’s Incredibly Large
The first thing you’ll likely notice about the Camelot Cruiser is its massive size. It comes with a wheelbase of 55 feet, and the rig measures 12 feet tall and weighs 40,000 pounds.
This is more than double the weight of most fifth wheels and their tow vehicles today. You can’t park it in any standard campsite.
If you somehow become the owner of one, you better find a place to put it and get used to people staring at you when they see it.
A Fully Outfitted Kitchen
Elder & Company wanted to ensure the kitchen had everything you could need to hit the road. You’ll find enough dishes and utensils to make a four-course meal.
According to Autoevolution.com, Elder & Company said, “I can’t imagine something worse than selling a $150,000 RV to someone and having their first night ruined because they don’t have a can opener.”
So they made sure it included everything so families would have a great start to their travels.
The Basement Garage
While many RVs and motorhomes have under-storage compartments, the Camelot Cruiser has a basement garage. It came with the option for storing two snowmobiles or a boat matching the Cruiser’s color scheme.
It also had a third option for hauling horses. Elder & Company wanted to do whatever it could to make a rig that met any customer’s needs.
They Were Fully Furnished
The Camelot Cruiser came fully furnished. This means you have all the dishes, linens, and everything you need. It also featured standard residential furniture.
Seeing how the ones that have come up on auction still have the original pieces shows they used high-quality materials for constructing the rig and selecting the furniture.
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Only Three Were Built
While these high-quality rigs were well-built and loaded with remarkable features, the company only built three units.
As we mentioned earlier, the $150,000 price tag in the 1970s wasn’t a very appealing option for many consumers.
First, the average person didn’t have the cash to afford one, but they were also incredibly massive. Finding a place to park these semi-length RVs wasn’t easy or possible for most people.
Teleport to the 70s in the Camelot Cruiser
If you want to teleport yourself back into the 1970s, the Camelot Cruiser will do just that. If you can find one of these rigs up for auction, it’s likely all original.
From the carpets to the color schemes that scream the 1970s, you’ll feel like you’ve taken a trip back in time.
While they’re not ideal for every camping situation or everyone’s preferences, we still love how the Camelot Cruiser is a blast from the past.