This vintage Cabana motor home showed up in our neighborhood about a year ago, and it’s still around. I saw it parked by the local hardware store just the other day. It’s a bit out of the ordinary; these were never exactly common back in the day, and it’s been quite a while since I saw one last.
Let’s give it the walk-around.
First off, we should note that it’s a local product, from Forest Grove, Oregon. They used to build travel trailers in the ’50s and at some point in the ’60s started a line of motor homes, which seems to have died like so many others in the ’74-’75 recession. I can’t find any examples beyond 1973-1974.
Its construction is a bit unusual for the times, consisting of several large fiberglass sections joined together. Actually, that’s how many typical motor homes are made now, so it was ahead of its time that way.
But the odd thing is that its driver’s door is made of steel, which rather sticks out, somewhat painfully so.
I got a bit of a peek into the driver’s compartment, which shows the predictable Dodge steering wheel. Dodge had almost a monopoly in motor home chassis back then.
It was sold at Bob’s Camper & Sport Sales.
The name is in the fiberglass mold. It should really have an ñ in its name, but I guess I’ve been exposed to too much Spanish.
What it clearly doesn’t have too is current license plates.
The side entry door is also steel, and as badly mismatched in color and trim as the driver’s door.
For posterity, here’s its serial number and type.
Those doors look like repurposed van doors.
They look like industrial freezer doors to me, wonder how the A/C is in that thing?
More than likely the original 318 power plant is still in its place duty fully performing the task of the day. Ganzaligas of the none none speedy verity but rugged as a berick.
I wonder if the doors once matched the body more closely, but the painted steel doors faded differently than the molded-in color of the fiberglass.
Based on this 1973 promotional photo, it appears the doors matched. I wonder if they faded differently, or if somehow the doors on this particular motorhome were replaced at some point?
You can rent this 1972 Cabana in L.A. if you so desire. It has the same funky door setup as the one in Oregon. More interior and exterior photos in the link:
Surprised at what it doesn’t have – air conditioning, refrigerator, heater, dining table.
The prideful example of the coachbuilder’s art. A Neonex Company.
Ad is from November 1978, so they survived the ’74-75 recession. May not have survived Dodge discontinuing their motorhome chassis a year later.
A little off-topic: CC Carriers, travel trailer version.
^ That looks like an accident waiting to happen. Probably from a forklift training program, listed under things not to do.
As a former Portland area resident I find it noteworthy that the dealer sticker shows locations on the major car dealer rows on the East and West sides.
The steel doors were on the armored version! LOL!
Meanwhile, in Australia, THIS was a ’70’s Cabana, a pop-top caravan with fold out fibreglass shells for beds. The windowless beds were about as attractive as sleeping in a rubbish bin.
I thought the name amusing as a kid, because “cabana” (so spelt) was a long and somewhat nasty sausage (known for chewy unknowns) that was served with cheese at parties. It was (and still is) about as far removed from its Polish origins as Poland is from Oz.
Anyway, I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to spend time camping inside a sausage.
Are these the shots you took last summer when I was there? That particular street corner with that motorhome sure looks familiar, or maybe it parked there again this time around. I remember the dealer tag for sure (well, I think). While we certainly have a variety of motorhomes around here as well, it’s nothing like what there was is Eugene and especially Berkeley when I traveled through last year, mostly lived in by people that are otherwise not housed anywhere. As difficult as it must be at times, I can also think of some upsides to it as well (but that’s probably easier to do when in a solid house, so far be it for me to try to project envy or anything). Sad though that the first thing that comes to mind when seeing an older motorhome like this is homeless people, rather than thinking the owner has chosen to drive a vintage motorhome around and revel in the “way things used to be”, as we’d probably think about someone driving a ’70’s Chevelle or a ’60’s Pontiac.
It’s dated 6/28. Is that when you were here? I can’t remember the exact date.
I don’t think this is being lived in; it’s often in the driveway of a house. And then I saw it at the store the other day.
Yep, that’s it, I was in LA on 6/25 and took a few days getting up there visiting others on the way. I thought I recalled people being in the RV when we walked around it but it’s been a while and I’ve walked near some other RVs since too…
There’s a Facebook group called Cabana Owners Unite! Enjoy:
What drive train is in these (motor/trans)