What Is a Canned Ham Camper?
There is one camper that will almost always catch your eye in the midst of all the others in the campground, the canned ham camper.
Take a walk through an RV park, and you’re bound to see large Class A RVs, well-equipped fifth wheels, and everything in between.
While the amenities in these newer, larger RVs are appealing, they’re not unique. But the canned ham camper is!
Let’s take a look!
What Makes a ‘Canned Ham Camper’?
Simply put, a “canned ham camper” is a round, metal, vintage trailer that resembles a big tin of meat. While there is no ‘canned ham camper’ brand, trailers in this category share a few common traits.
Trailers known as canned ham campers are on the smaller side, have aluminum siding, and have round edges. Though the name might make you cringe a little, these small campers are both cute and functional.
Pro Tip: Here are the 5 vintage camper brands that we think are worth the effort of renovating.
What Are Some Examples?
As previously stated, canned ham campers aren’t a specific brand made by a single manufacturer. It’s simply a distinctive camper style that makes them easy to spot. Several brands have models that fit into this canned ham camper look. Those below are just a few of the more popular brands you’ll see on your travels.
Shasta campers are one of the most common brands that produce canned-ham-style campers. Shasta is a widely recognized brand and one you’ve likely often seen. These campers were very popular from the 1950s until the 1980s. However, Shasta campers are gaining popularity among renovators who love putting personalized touches on their RVs.
Zollinger is another brand you’ve likely come across at some point. These cute campers were very innovative for their time, making things like propane heat and refrigerators standard. The manufacturing of these campers was between 1947 and 1965.
The Sportscraft 15-foot is another brand to look to for in canned ham campers. While the company made various models, the Sportscraft has the most canned ham camper look and feel. Construction of the Sportscraft 15-foot camper ran from 1955 to 1960.
What is the Appeal of These Tiny Trailers?
Scroll through social media, and you’ll likely see canned ham campers in your feed. They’re cute, trendy, and gaining popularity. While they do make for great social media pictures, there are many more benefits to tiny trailers.
These tiny trailers are fun to renovate and make your own. Customizing your tiny trailer certainly has many benefits as you can make it perfect for your situation. If you need it to sleep four people, you can do that. If you’re a solo traveler and only need one bed, that’s easy to do as well.
These canned ham campers are easy to tow. While they are not necessarily lightweight for their size, they aren’t the heavy beasts we often see rolling down the road. Many people can tow them with whatever vehicle they already have. This lightweight is appealing as you’ll likely not need to purchase a specific tow vehicle to haul it to the campground.
Canned ham campers are usually smaller in size, meaning they will fit in more places. A small trailer opens up many campgrounds that are not accessible to larger rigs and doesn’t require a large truck. If you don’t need all of that extra space, these small units will reward you with a camping experience you won’t soon forget.
Are Canned Ham Campers Still Made?
While canned ham campers typically refer to renovated vintage units, a few manufacturers release a canned ham camper model from time to time. Most manufacturers make a few for a few years before moving on to something else. Because the novelty comes with renovating these vintage wonders, new models don’t seem to perform as well.
In 2015, Shasta produced a limited edition replica of the 1961 Shasta Airflyte. This throwback unit has all of the looks but none of the issues of an aged camper. The reproduction even came with the legendary Shasta wings on the side.
Those who were lucky enough to snag one of these units could pick between the three original colors; Matador Red, Seafoam Green, and Butternut Yellow. Manufacturing resulted in only 1,941 trailers, so to see one of these on the road is quite rare.
Camp Simply in a Canned Ham Camper
Sometimes it’s easy for us to get wrapped up in the latest and greatest technologies. We see bigger and better-equipped RVs and get a bit envious. It’s easy to think that more amenities and technologies can enhance our RVing experience.
But, sometimes, taking a few technological steps back to the simplicity of the canned ham camper is just what we need. You don’t require electronics for a fun and restful weekend at the campground. Would you ever consider a canned ham camper or renovation?
Discover the Best Free Camping Across the USA
To be honest with you, we hate paying for camping. There are so many free campsites in America (with complete privacy).
You should give it a try!
As a matter of fact, these free campsites are yours. Every time you pay federal taxes, you’re contributing to these lands.
Become a FREE CAMPING INSIDER and join the 100,000 campers that love to score the best site!
We’ll send you the 50 Best Free Campsites in the USA (one per state). Access the list by submitting your email below:
Best Bumper Pull Travel Trailers - Since the 60s Until Now! - Everything RVs and More
Tuesday 31st of January 2023
[…] Best in the 60s: Canned Ham […]
This Is What RVing Was Like in the 60s - Nomadic News
Thursday 23rd of December 2021
[…] around, vacationers were primed for exploration. Newly constructed roads and campers like the “Shasta Canned Ham” let travelers bring home cross-country. And travelers no longer had to sleep in their autos […]
Wednesday 9th of June 2021
IT'S MORE LIKE SARDINES IN A CAN, USELESS UNLESS IT'S 25FT. OR LONGER!
Kate F Eaton
Wednesday 9th of June 2021
Love our canned ham - 1961 Mobile Scout. Renovating a "pasture find" into a gem was half the fun.
Wednesday 9th of June 2021
Amazing Blog!! I`ll be adding your blog link to my website!! RV Cleaning In Tacoma