Finding a vintage camper that doubled as a house boat isn’t so easy today. Only a few models were made, and most succumbed to the elements long ago. After all, water damage is enemy number one for vintage campers (or any RV).
Vintage Terra Marina campers doubled as house boats.
The classic Aqua-Trail “Terra Marina” was only in production for one year, from 1969-1970, and only 35 were ever made. This camping trailer doubled as a house boat, and was completely self-contained, to make towing it or rowing it a breeze.
Pontoons concealed behind access panels slid out for buoyancy, and the “boat” would be launched for a day at the lake. After your fun on the water, you’d tow it back to dry land for a night of camping.
While remaining Terra Marina boat-campers are few and far between, it seems the best evidence of their existence is old photographs and vintage ads from their hey-day.
Vintage photographs and advertisements are nearly all that’s left of the camper boats from the 1950’s-1970’s.
However, like most really good ideas, everything old is new again. A German company named “Sealander” has invented the modern answer to the camper-yachts of the past.
The Sealander is a camper on land, and a boat in the water.
The Sealander creator, industrial designer Daniel Straub, worked with automobile and ship builders to create the first prototypes, and the Sealander is now in full production.
The light camper boat is easily pulled by small cars.
On land the Sealander is a light and maneuverable camper, easily towed by even small vehicles. In the water, it is a boat, powered by a long pin outboard motor.
Just attach the motor, make a few small conversions, and you are ready to launch the camper in the water – it’s now a boat!
Not to mention it’s easier to launch than a traditional boat. Unhook from your vehicle, attach the motor, and push it into the water. Unlike the camper-boats of yesteryear, there are no tricky pontoons to slide out, or any additional steps, making this design far more functional and likely to last than its predecessors.
The camper boat easily launches into the water.
Although the Sealander is currently only available in Europe, there are hopes that it will be available in the United States in the future.