CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The campgrounds at every state park sport a plethora of new fifth-wheels, shiny pull-behinds and an assortment of pop-ups, but interspersed among these shiny modern trailers, you will find some gems of yesteryear.
Like the tiny pink and white trailer Amiee Figgatt, of Charleston, has restored.
In the 1940s and '50s, the then-modern recreational vehicles began to dot the landscape, and movies like "The Long, Long Trailer" starring Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz revolved around the luxuries offered in the new trailers.
Space efficiency and modern conveniences like tiny stoves and stow-away dining areas were novel and new. The quirky modernities of those vintage campers appeal to many RV owners.
"I started playing in campers when I was 3. I've always loved to camp. We camp as a family, and I love to camp with my girlfriends," said Figgatt, a supervisor at the Capitol Conservation District.
About five years ago, she was at a Country Living Fair in Columbus, Ohio, where Sisters on the Fly were gathered.
"I saw all the cute vintage campers and I thought, 'I can do that!'"
Sisters on the Fly is a national women's camping club that focuses mainly on vintage campers. Women from all over meet at different campsites around the country, pulling their custom trailers behind them.
The only rule of the club is: "No men and no kids," Figgatt said.
Once she discovered Sisters on the Fly, she began the search for a vintage camper of her own. She found on Craigslist her Shasta brand trailer in Ohio. Although the camper was a little worse for wear, it didn't have any leaks, which is the key to a successful remodel, she said.
The interior size of the camper is 60 square feet. In actuality, with a dining table that converts into a bed, there's only about 10 square feet of floor space. When she travels, Figgatt increases her living area by setting up a patio area outdoor, complete with wrought-iron dinette and tin canopy.
If you want vintage, Figgatt warned, you have to be willing to accept a few imperfections. She says vintage campers are like women: "You can't be afraid of dents, dings and dimples. She's old! Be proud. Wear that cellulite. It's OK to be old!"
Figgatt and her husband, Chris, painted the vintage 1966 Shasta compact a vivid pink-and-white combo. She also redid the interior in what she calls a "junktique" style. It is ultra girly, all frills and lace. She christened her trailer "The Crazy Daisy."
The Crazy Daisy has been featured at the arts and crafts show at the Charleston Civic Center and earlier this month at the Country Living Fair in Atlanta.
Her next "victim" is a Shasta "canned ham with ground-pounder fenders" already parked in her yard awaiting its makeover. She said she and her husband will restore this one more traditionally, matching the original teal color scheme as closely as possible, so her husband and son "will be seen in it."
Women interested in "glamping" (glamour + camping), can find the local glampers on Facebook at Appalachian Glamper Chicks Camping Club.