Mom and dad on the main floor, and the kids upstairs. And everyone’s smiling too! A camping happy trip, once the kids got their own rooftop tent.
Everybody smiling while camping, definitely the not-Niedermeyers again 🙂
Could be the early ’70s. That ’68 Impala looks a little over 1 year old…
Can I get a tent like that for my TSX wagon? I’d also like to have my hatch be a tailgate, well some of the time anyway.
We have talked a lot about X frame Chevrolets, I guess this is the A frame Chevrolet?
+1 on the A-frame! Old drip rails were quite sturdy.
These were advertised by all of the carmakers in the ’60s but I’ve never seen one in use. If you try to imagine the process of putting up a tent while standing in the doorframes and on the tailgate, it’s easy to see why they weren’t used. Also, what happens if Junior rolls over while sleeping? The canvas wouldn’t hold.
I imagined it wound up from that base
This is a pretty neat design. It looks like it folds up nicely too. My dad never would have gone for this though. Way too much risk of the kids scratching the paint, and I can hear him complaining about the extra drag.
I did sleep in the back of my old fullsize wagons a few times. It wasn’t very comfortable (the floor is pretty hard). My parents also used our family wagon as a pseudo ambulance when my Great Uncle had a stroke down in Texas and was flown back to Canada. They had to transport him from the airport to the the local hospital. It worked decent for the job, but likely couldn’t do that these days.
When I was young, cartop sleepers were pretty popular with the guys who fished a lot. They were usually home made. The purpose of the trip was to fish and and the sleeper just gave you a place to crash so that you could be rested enough to get up and fish some more.
Those ‘Dachzelte’ (roof tents) were very, very common in the former East Germany. The Dachzelte were cheap and easily transported in a small ‘luggage’ set up on the roof rack.
I guess it doesn’t get too windy in East Germany! Or maybe you can put a stake through the front bumper and the whole thing will turn like a weather vane.
Awesome photo 🙂
That looks like a lot of fun! Could you imagine young people today doing this? After 10 minutes without their iPhone, Pad or Tablet, they’d be wailing, “Mom, I’m BOOORRRED!” So glad I grew up in the era I did.
“The rose-colored glasses they had back in my day were so much better than the ones they have now.”
Useful in alligator or crocodile country.
A friend just got a rooftop camper fitted to her new Hilux no crocs in Tassie where she lives though
We actually had one of these…it was our first purchased camping equipment, bought around 1967. The brand is “Camp O’Tel” and it was really nicely thought out, you don’t see it but there was a box as wide as the folded tent unit on the back (where the landing for the ladder is with the tent open) which was the kitchen unit, it had a small gas stove in the middle with plastic basins for washing up, and 2 fold down sides that served as a picnic table (kind of a picnic table that had a gas stove and dish bins in the middle)…legs would unfold and it was freestanding…there were also 2 folding wooden benches that fit underneath the tent unit when it was in travel trim.
You can also kind of make out the muffler shaped water tank on the passenger side (under the open tent platform). There were 2 of these, mounted on expandable rails that slid out from under the tent unit. The reason for the slide out was that there was also a cabana unit on the side that had a primitive (bag type) potty and the water tank could be tilted and used as a shower (albeit cold water).
There wasn’t a lot of headroom on the sides, so on a rainy day it could get a bit claustophobic but you were up high and dry. The unit actually stored at the top of the garage ceiling (if you had one low enough) and racheted down onto the raingutters of the car.
We always had a station wagon (our Olds F85 wagon was the first) to use with this, and the storage and extra sleeping in the back of the wagon were handy to have. With 4 people, you could lift the tent unit off the car and place it on the ground, which wasn’t easy but let you use your car without bringing the tent unit (leaving it at the campsite).
We lived in Vermont when we bought this, and it was great for summer camping…our farthest excursion was to Prince Edward Island in 1969, returning though Quebec.
We brought it with us when we moved to Virginia, but by that time my youngest (now deceased) sister was born, and we moved onto a poptop camper trailer…stored the
Camp O’Tel in our basement, but the canvas was torn and we never used it for camping, my Father either giving it away or selling it, sometime around 1973.
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