Americans Ready to Travel Domestically // 1966 Serro Scotty Sportsman Hilander // Retro Vintage Camping

Covid Camper Serro Scotty Hilander 1966, Americans Ready to Travel Domestically // 1966 Serro Scotty Sportsman Hilander // Retro Vintage Camping

June is National Camping month, and Americans really are desperate to travel. Camping in the backyard the last 12 weeks has been a fun diversion but now, I’m hearing more and more about people purchasing travel trailers and campers in order to travel domestically.

Even formerly international YouTube travelers are joining the trend to keep their audiences satisfied with new content. Families have run through the “staycation” trend and are ready to hit the road this summer to salvage some type of family vacation in 2020.

Covid Camper Serro Scotty Hilander 1966, Americans Ready to Travel Domestically // 1966 Serro Scotty Sportsman Hilander // Retro Vintage Camping

Camper Demand is Skyrocketing

Demand for campers, trailers, and anything that can camp has risen dramatically. People are wary of hotels, cities, and crowds. I’ve always pointed to fear as a buying motive, but I never thought “Covid Campers” would cause motor home sales to skyrocket.

Previously, buying indicators for “good” and “bad” times meant that a decrease in camper sales and increase in paid television subscriptions meant times were rough. The difference in this recession is that it is tied to an illness, not an economical event. That means, once this event is solved, consumers think economics will get back to “normal” quickly.

Buyers are adding up their normal summer vacation cruises, international flights, hotels, and restaurant-going, and realizing that they can spend about the same amount while maintaining social distancing. Americans who traditionally travelled abroad realize there are so many domestic destinations; an entire 50 states to explore. I read a great Bloomberg article full of statistics; RV sales and campground reservations are increasing.

Covid Camper Serro Scotty Hilander 1966, Americans Ready to Travel Domestically // 1966 Serro Scotty Sportsman Hilander // Retro Vintage Camping

Plus: Increased Living Space

Additionally, I believe many of these first-time camper, trailer, and recreational vehicle buyers plan to add these new living spaces to their own homes and earn a tiny bit of their investment back. Toward the end of this article, you’ll find an Airbnb listing for the one above that looks like someone did exactly that.

Quite by chance, I had the great fortune to have the opportunity to meet the cutest camper I have ever seen. It was a Serro Scotty Sportsman. According to the previous owner, the travel trailer is a 1966 Scotty Hilander, and her name is Rainbow.

I predict vintage, retro campers will enjoy a resurge in popularity as travelers want a recreational vehicle as unique as they are. The allure of recycle / repurpose / renew / reinvent feels like it will allay our guilt over all the non-recyclables we’ve consumed these past three months. Now, let’s meet Rainbow and inspire your own recreational renovation!

Covid Camper Serro Scotty Hilander 1966, Americans Ready to Travel Domestically // 1966 Serro Scotty Sportsman Hilander // Retro Vintage Camping

Rainbow the Scotty

Her name is Rainbow, and she has her own website at Rainbow and Her Scotty Blog. Owners Judi and Marla owned their 1966 Serro Scotty Hilander from 2011 through 2020, and I’m hoping the new owners take up the blog and continue the adventures of Rainbow.

Covid Camper Serro Scotty Hilander 1966, Americans Ready to Travel Domestically // 1966 Serro Scotty Sportsman Hilander // Retro Vintage Camping

Serro Scotty History

I had to research the Serro Scotty line history to learn that the Hilander models were produced from 1964-1975. The campers were not produced in large numbers, and their followers are loyal.

There is even The National Serro Scotty Organization for sharing resources and hosting events. One of the best parts of their site is the extensive rebuilds and restorations lists.

Covid Camper Serro Scotty Hilander 1966, Americans Ready to Travel Domestically // 1966 Serro Scotty Sportsman Hilander // Retro Vintage Camping

Tiny Campers Are Still in Style

First there was the “she shed” stage of cute campers popular in the last decade. Now we are in the serious social distancing travel option for Summer vacations.

Just read “25 Vintage Campers That Will Make You Dream of Adventure,” and you will see just how adorable these mini-mobile-vacation vehicles are!

While Judi and Marla opted to update to a newer-model pop-up camper, many people are now seeking older classic campers as demand increases for vintage-style experiences.

Covid Camper Serro Scotty Hilander 1966, Americans Ready to Travel Domestically // 1966 Serro Scotty Sportsman Hilander // Retro Vintage Camping

Personalizing Your Space

All this attention has brought a new appreciation for campers large and small. Recently, I watched two completely different short videos about personalized campers and the people who are beginning to travel in that manner instead of internationally to satisfy their travel bug.

One of the campers was completely kitted out with wood interior and even a wood front door. It belonged to an artist who had artwork and personalization everywhere. The other was completely the opposite; streamlined, restored to original and looking like it just came off the showroom floor. The hat-making couple kept absolutely everything stowed away out of sight.

Rainbow’s Exterior Remodel

In 2015, Judi and Marla commissioned Mack Sturdivant at MacAir in Green Cove Springs, Florida, to airbrush a new exterior design for Rainbow their 1966 Serro Scotty Hilander. While the colors have faded since then, the little camper is just as jaunty as ever.

On the left, a couple months after her new airbrush paint job. You can see the signature slanted windows toward the front of the camper.

What a difference! Either way, Rainbow was sure to bring a smile to faces while heading down the highway.

Covid Camper Serro Scotty Hilander 1966, Americans Ready to Travel Domestically // 1966 Serro Scotty Sportsman Hilander // Retro Vintage Camping

Rainbow’s Interior

Stepping into the Scotty Hilander, to the right is a settee for eating, writing, or socializing. It can be lowered for additional sleeping space. Straight ahead in the 1966 Serro Scotty Hilander lies storage. To the left, a larger sleeping area. And to the far left, a small galley, or kitchen – which do you call it in a camper?

Covid Camper Serro Scotty Hilander 1966, Americans Ready to Travel Domestically // 1966 Serro Scotty Sportsman Hilander // Retro Vintage Camping
Covid Camper Serro Scotty Hilander 1966, Americans Ready to Travel Domestically // 1966 Serro Scotty Sportsman Hilander // Retro Vintage Camping

Here, Bill is actually standing in the doorway between the settee and the kitchen area.

Covid Camper Serro Scotty Hilander 1966, Americans Ready to Travel Domestically // 1966 Serro Scotty Sportsman Hilander // Retro Vintage Camping

Straight across from the entrance door. Some of the newer camper models are coming out with a “cubes” system. The cubes are moveable and greatly adaptable. This little 1966 Serro Scotty Hilander was over 50 years ahead of her time design-wise!

Covid Camper Serro Scotty Hilander 1966, Americans Ready to Travel Domestically // 1966 Serro Scotty Sportsman Hilander // Retro Vintage Camping

Panning left toward the rear sleeping bunk.

Covid Camper Serro Scotty Hilander 1966, Americans Ready to Travel Domestically // 1966 Serro Scotty Sportsman Hilander // Retro Vintage Camping

Here you can see the sleeping area, and start to see the kitchen area.

Covid Camper Serro Scotty Hilander 1966, Americans Ready to Travel Domestically // 1966 Serro Scotty Sportsman Hilander // Retro Vintage Camping

The galley / kitchen area of the 1966 Serro Scotty Hilander. The Nostalgia Breakfast Station was a gift – it combines a coffeemaker, griddle, and toaster oven. It’s so stinkin’ cute! Nostalgia even makes a countertop microwave oven, toaster, and a convection oven. Definitely on my list if I succumb to the lure of a 1960’s-era vintage camper!

Kitchen Remodel

The galley remodel was blogged by Rainbow herself on her website.

“Oh this is so embarrassing but yes I have to admit this is how I looked.  Not nice huh??  But look at me now!!!  I am grooving on the new color and my counter top just makes my spigot run..lol.”

I can tell Rainbow really is a product of the 60’s – she used the double space after punctuation when penning her blog posts! Daydreaming, I like to think she would have composed her earliest log entries on a manual typewriter. Maybe it also was a light aqua color…

Ovenette Cook-Offs in Scotties

If you are lucky enough to have a Serro Scotty, you too can enter to be an award-winning Ovenette cook. I read that you can still find them on eBay, new in box, leftover 50’s and 60’s wedding presents that are perfect for small campers.

On the NSSO website, under “Fun Stuff,” the information on “Ovenettes” is simply – so simply 60’s. An Ovenette was a cross between a hot plate, fondue maker, and pizza oven. Basically, it’s a hot plate with a domed lid.

For years, my mother had only an electric frypan skillet for baking at my parents’ summer home. She even baked bread and desserts, so I know that cooking and baking on an Ovenette is more than possible. It would be creative and fun!

There are links to an Ovenette cookbook on the NSSO site, and I did find several West Bend Ovenettes for sale on eBay, and it looks like Hot Point and Gem also produced these skillet dome bakers.

Covid Camper Serro Scotty Hilander 1966, Americans Ready to Travel Domestically // 1966 Serro Scotty Sportsman Hilander // Retro Vintage Camping

Defining Characteristics of a Serro Scotty

Covid Camper Serro Scotty Hilander 1966, Americans Ready to Travel Domestically // 1966 Serro Scotty Sportsman Hilander // Retro Vintage Camping

If you’re looking at campers and trying to identify them, here are some of the Serro Scotty-specific features for the campers produced around the time of this 1966 Serro Scotty Hilander model. For the full list, see the NSSO Historical Timeline.

  • Tear-drop “swoosh-shaped” wheel well opening. Visible below.
  • Wider three panel front window after 1962
  • Separate eyebrow above the window
  • Jalousy (how they spell it) windows, square-cornered, no separate eyebrow after 1969
  • Overhead skylight window in earlier models
  • Aqua and white exterior, blue splatter interior
  • Slanty front windows
Covid Camper Serro Scotty Hilander 1966, Americans Ready to Travel Domestically // 1966 Serro Scotty Sportsman Hilander // Retro Vintage Camping

The “swoosh” wheel well. Lonnnnnng before it showed up on athletic shoes!

Covid Camper Serro Scotty Hilander 1966, Americans Ready to Travel Domestically // 1966 Serro Scotty Sportsman Hilander // Retro Vintage Camping

Iconic Serro Scotty slanty front windows with separate eyebrow.

Covid Camper Serro Scotty Hilander 1966, Americans Ready to Travel Domestically // 1966 Serro Scotty Sportsman Hilander // Retro Vintage Camping

On The National Serro Scotty Resource Page, just take a look at “Exterior, Scotty Wings” – hello, ’60’s! I found this adorable example that serves as a sweets and cakes display stand, at the Vintage Cupcake Trailer. It’s actually a Shasta trailer, but the Scotty wings are very similar.

Some Hilanders that had a top bunk had a ladder to access it – and that same ladder could be placed horizontally as a safety railing to keep children from falling out of the bunk! Such attention to details. So smart!

Covid Camper Serro Scotty Hilander 1966, Americans Ready to Travel Domestically // 1966 Serro Scotty Sportsman Hilander // Retro Vintage Camping

More Serro Scotty Identification

The VIN shown above on this 1966 Serro Scotty Hilander would also be found on the right arm of the tongue. The “H” at the end indicated this is a “Hilander” model. Others were “G” for the Gaucho model, “T” for Tonga, “FK” for Front Kitchen, “M” for Mattress.

This VIN indicates this was a 66 year, 15 foot length including tongue, 3999 is the production number, and the “H” for Hilander.

Covid Camper Serro Scotty Hilander 1966, Americans Ready to Travel Domestically // 1966 Serro Scotty Sportsman Hilander // Retro Vintage Camping

I Want One!

A word of caution – about a year ago, I decided I too wanted a tiny camper. Straight online I went, and voila! My eye had been on either a Scamp or a Casita. Both have active member groups like Serro Scotty, and are soooo cute. I found a cutie at a good price, then experienced a bit of a run-around.

Immediately, I knew it was a scam, but went along to see jut how far the “seller” would go. They wanted money up front, then they would ship. Also, the camper was “in storage” and could not be viewed. Nope. Must see it in person!

Covid Camper Serro Scotty Hilander 1966, Americans Ready to Travel Domestically // 1966 Serro Scotty Sportsman Hilander // Retro Vintage Camping

I Want To Stay In A Tiny Camper!!

On Airbnb, under “More Filters,” check “Show all unique stays” and select the Camper/RV choice. First I viewed all of them in Florida – and found 224 when I searched “shared place” and 214 when I limited my search to “entire place.”

From a tiny house in Sarasota at $133 a night to a $23-a-night camper in Bonita Springs, there are plenty of options on Airbnb! Anyone thinking about purchasing a small camper can try one out to make sue it’s a”fit!”

Covid Camper Serro Scotty Hilander 1966, Americans Ready to Travel Domestically // 1966 Serro Scotty Sportsman Hilander // Retro Vintage Camping

You Can Book Miss Ruby 1965 –
Lake Glamping!

Miss Ruby in Lutz, Florida near Tampa is the epitome of glamping. She’s on a lake, is absolutely adorable, and includes a private outdoor bathhouse. She’s a renovated red and white 1965 vintage camper with outside seating featuring a red and white striped, fringed umbrella and twinkle lights. I spotted a mini-split air conditioner inside, as well as a limited kitchen. Also included are kayaks, hammock, grill, lounge chairs and fire pit. All Airbnb reviews of hostess Judi and camper Miss Ruby averaged to a 5.0 over 48 reviews going back to February of 2019, and all were complimentary. Several mentioned loving the outdoor shower and Ellie the cat.

The Airbnb listing is: Meet Miss Ruby Lake Glamping – great neighborhood, Superhost, Round Lake, Lutz, Florida. Camper/RV hosted by Judi, 2 guests, 1 bedroom, 1 bed, 1 bath. Read this first: My Method for Booking a Great Airbnb Property. I tell you all my booking secrets! There are a few sneak peeks in the paragraph above.

Another interesting opportunity is in Arizona. You can stay in your choice of several vintage, period-appropriate campers or even a boat at The Shady Dell in Bisbee.

Covid Camper Serro Scotty Hilander 1966, Americans Ready to Travel Domestically // 1966 Serro Scotty Sportsman Hilander // Retro Vintage Camping

I Don’t Go Anywhere Without

  • Stream2Sea Reef Safe SPF 20 or 30 mineral, regular or tinted sunscreen, mask defog, shampoo, conditioner, rash guards and more reef-safe supplies. Use my code “DeepWH” for 10% off.
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  • MyMedic Individual Bleeding Control Kits, this link and my code “DeepWH15” will save you 15% on your purchase. We take ours everywhere.
  • North American Rescue CAT tourniquets. Use code “MAY25” for 20% off through midnight on 5/31/20. This is a huge savings!
  • Airbnb, “Kimberly gave you up to $55 off your first trip.”
  • Airbnb says, “Deep gave you up to $415 off your first adventure.
  • Uber gives you $2 off your first three rides.
  • Travelex is our trip insurer – click for a free quote.
  • Girls That Scuba – members discount card for all things diving.
  • REI Co-op for great sports equipment and travel clothes.
  • Sailo for $100 off your next boat rental! Discount Code: “KimWa1”
  • PierShare to rent your dock out or rent a dock.
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  • RoadId for $5 off your cycling/running/kayaking/travel id.
  • Thank you for using my links – your price does not change, but they may gift me a small percentage of your sale in return for my mention, which allows me to continue to bring to you fun content.
  • AD: affiliate links used.

Covid Camper Serro Scotty Hilander 1966, Americans Ready to Travel Domestically // 1966 Serro Scotty Sportsman Hilander // Retro Vintage Camping

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