Curbside Outtake: #VanLife In The Seventies

VanLife is hotter than ever, as the pandemic has made them the way to go, just about anywhere. I’m seeing more older camper vans from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s back on the street and cleaned up, having been bought for shockingly high prices (I sold my Dodge Chinook too soon and too cheap).

VanLife was red hot in the ’70s too, and not just the classic shag-carpeting lined shag-mobiles. Camper vans like these two were a big thing, along with RVs of all kinds. It peaked in 1978, before the second energy crisis knocked the wind out of the whole industry. Not surprisingly, these are both from about ’77 or ’78, and look to be in pretty good shape yet.

They’re both based on the extended body Dodge Maxivan, and the Cobra in front even has a bed over the cab. As I know all too well, these are tough as nails, especially the drive train. We’ll probably be seeing them around for a few more decades.