1970 Avion C11
Classic Truck 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.
Picking a Truck Camper
How We Settled on a 1970 Avion C11
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!
Renovating The Avion
The Avion is a beautiful rig. Yet, despite the love of previous owners, our Avion is 47 years old when we purchase it and showing its age. The jacks are broken, structurally critical portions of plywood are rotted through, and the bed is so unstable that we are disinclined to put our weight onto it. So, we strip and replace every piece of wood with a fiberglass foam composite. We tear out the inner walls, chip out the aging insulation, and reinforce the original camper ribs. It is a long, extensively researched, and meticulous process. And we have documented every step.
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. We spent years considering camper options. A cheap new camper? A custom pop up? A rugged specialty off-road rig? There were so many options that we wasted hours upon hours discussing and stepping through what it would take for each to serve our needs. In the end, we wanted an adventure and, when the opportunity arose, we took it—partially out of a love for the design, and partially in a desperate need to stop looking and start doing.