I STUMBLED ACROSS a beautiful photo of an old Model T Ford camper from Ballina Campervan & Motorhome Centre in New Zealand the other day and shared it on our Practical Motorhome Facebook page. Lots of other people admired it, too, so I went off to find out a little more about it. I really wanted to look inside…


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1926 camper based on Model T Ford


I soon discovered that those early campers were astonishing. In some ways, they were more advanced than the motorhomes of today!



The Model T Ford was launched in 1908 and had a 20 horse-power engine that ran on almost any fuel. You could put in mixtures of alcohol, gasoline (petrol), kerosene and coal oil. That was more than 100 years ago!



I found a fantastic video, History on Wheels by rvnn.tv, in which a lovely old American guy shows us round a 1916 camper, built on the 1915 Model T Ford base vehicle. 


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Here’s the kitchen! Clip from the History on Wheels video


This gorgeous old camper had a slide-out for its double bed, a slide-out for the kitchen, a zinc-lined coolbox and a gravity-fed shower. It looked very comfortable for the time.


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1916 camper, built on the 1915 Model T Ford base vehicle


Admittedly if you half closed your eyes you could imagine a bunch of them forming a wagon circle at night, Wild West style…


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Slide-out double bed


Hope you enjoy the video on YouTube – click here to watch History on Wheels, by rvnn.tv.

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There was even a coolbox in the 1916 camper



Kate Taylor

Practical Motorhome

14 November 2013


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