Meet Vintage Camper (and Pink!) Proponent Stephanie Towle

She and her Shasta are regulars at Shore Hills Campground & RV Park’s Vintage Camper Jamboree.

Stephanie Towle standing in front of her pink refurbished 1964 Shasta 16SC
By Sarah Stebbins
Photos by Hilary Susan Photography
From our June 2018 issue

On a summer morning in 2015, Stephanie Towle, of Chelsea, was driving the back roads between Bangor and Millinocket in search of a vintage camper. Drawn to the area by a Craigslist ad for a 1966 Yellowstone that turned out to be a “rat-infested mess,” she decided to see what she could find in residents’ driveways. After stopping at a handful of houses where she spotted campers, then inquiring with or leaving notes for their owners, she found her way to Roger Davis, of Bradley, and his 1964 Shasta 16SC. “You can look, but it’s not for sale,” he told her. Davis’s “man cave” had significant water damage but many of its original features. When he learned that Towle wanted to rehab the trailer, he softened on selling but held firm on price. “When I tried to negotiate a deal,” Towle says, “he told me, ‘If you don’t pay what I want, I’m going to turn this into a flatbed trailer!’” She forked over the requested $900.

In Maine, a well-cared-for vintage camper is a hard find. “People let them sit outside and rot into the ground,” Towle laments. Her Shasta, now a vision in Mamie Eisenhower pink, is her fourth trailer and, she freely admits, her most “over the top.” “My husband’s not a big camper, so I figured I could get away with it,” she says.

Working with Fayette contractor Dana Whitney, Augusta auto body repairman Steve Johnson, and vintage camper specialist Jim Roy, of Monmouth’s Silver Moose Restorations, Towle restored, painted, and polished the exterior and renovated the interior, which includes the original birch cabinetry, enameled sink, and tiny wall oven, now painted pink. A new fridge, painted to match, along with new Formica countertops, vinyl flooring, and seat cushions in bubble gum shades all drive home the pretty/mod motif.

The Shasta was finished just in time for last year’s Vintage Camper Jamboree at Boothbay’s Shore Hills Campground & RV Park, an annual showcase of Chris Van Dusen-esque recreational nostalgia that Towle co-founded. Among those who crowded around Towle’s setup was Davis, who came to see what became of his man cave. “You have done a stand-up job,” he told her. “I love everything except the color.”

This year’s Vintage Camper Jamboree will be held June 2–3, 2023. Shore Hills Campground & RV Park, 553 Wiscasset Rd, Boothbay. 207-633-4782.

May 2024, Down East Magazine

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