Classic Camper & Home
As of 2017, we travel in a 1970 Avion Ultra Truck Camper. While many people assume we took an Airstream and turned it into a truck camper, these classic rigs came from the manufacturer in this shape. Granted, we certainly have added our own flourishes. Yet, almost all of the exterior aluminum is original to the Avion.
A Brief History of Avion
Some might confuse an Avion for an Airstream, but back in the day, RV enthusiasts were upgrading to the savvy design and sleek details of the Avion fleet. Avion was the brain child of brothers Loren and Robert Cayo, both experienced in manufacturing. Originally named “Romany,” it was changed to “Avion” when Airstream challenged the name.*
Avion’s success brought the brand to the attention of Fleetwood. In 1970, the Cayo Brothers sold the still young company to Fleetwood. While they continued to build several of their classic models under their new brand, Cayo, Fleetwood marched on with the Avion brand.
As times and trends changed, so did the Avion. The Avion truck campers were soon discontinued but the trailers continued to be manufactures into the early 90s. By that point, Fleetwood had begun wrapping the aluminum bodies similar to the Airstream Argosy. Yet, the market wained and, which Avion, went one of the last aluminum bodied competitors to Airstream.
How We Settled on a 1970 Avion Ultra Truck Camper
After years traveling in a van and then a truck camper with a covered bed, we finally were ready to dive into our next home on wheels. Early on, we agreed that we wanted a truck camper. After all, that was why we bought the truck. We considered new and vintage models, popups and hard sided, flat beds and slide-ins. Heck, we even looked into building our own camper from scratch.
At the core of all this, was that we wanted a project. We wanted to make something awesome. And we wanted to make it our own. So, we settled on a vintage truck that we would gut and fully customize the interior. There were several models in the running: a vintage Alaskan, Amerigo, or Avion truck camper. We monitored Craigslist for any of these campers being listed. We visited sellers with other vintage truck campers. But nothing quite stuck with us until Spring of 2017 when a listing went up for a 1970 Avion Ultra in North-East Florida. It was a long, harrowing drive to pick up the aged classic. In the end, however, we had the project that we were looking for!
Avion Ultra: An OpportunityEarly on in our travels, we agree that we want a truck camper. We are not set on any one particular type. There are so many to choose from and each
Avion Ultra: Preparing For The JourneyBefore we can turn toward Florida, we have to dump the fiberglass shell that had formed the roof of our home this past year. To our thinking, fiberglass is designed to
Avion Ultra: ArrivalWe walk around the outside of the camper. We prod about on the inside. We look at each other and nod. It needs work, but we expect that. It smells like
Avion Ultra: The Return Trip (Day 1)There is something so relieving in closing a question. Whatever the solution may be, to just take any options off the table and proceed down that single, prescripted path is liberating.
Avion Ultra: The Return Trip (Day 2)In Day 2 of our return trip from picking up our new (to us) 1970 Avion C11 has us stopping by Silver Springs State Park and wandering into Georgia.
Airstream already had released a Romany trailer and retained rights to the name. Granted, in a more sensitive era, it’s also nice to travel in a rig that isn’t perpetuating the subjugation of a minority group of people. But I’ll leave that rant to better qualified individuals.