About us

My wife, Michelle,  and I are the proud owners of a 1973 Ford F350 Super Camper Special truck which has been in our family since new.  My dad special ordered it in the fall of ’72 to replace his ’69 C20 Chevrolet which couldn’t handle the weight or mass of his 11 1/2′ Travel Queen camper. The difference between the two trucks was nothing short of amazing. The Ford barely squatted when the camper was lowered into the bed. Later, my dad would replace the Travel Queen with a self contained 11 1/2 foot Franklin, and then sell the Franklin when he bought a class A motorhome. When he gave me the F350 in 1994, it only had around 30,000 miles. I thought that someday, I would want another slide in camper for the F350. I recalled seeing a really cool and modern looking camper in the original ’73 Ford truck brochures. I did a little research and took a hard look at the old camper literature and discovered that the cool camper I remembered was none other than Ford’s own American Road camper, designed and built for Ford by Starcraft.  I started searching for anything I could find about the American Road camper and soon realized they were not much more than a flash in the pan. From what I was able to find out, only 825-850 were produced in 1973-74. That was it. Rumors were that the energy crisis of ’74 killed people’s desire for the RV. Another suggested possibility was that the American Road may have had an issue with off-gassing from the fiberglass shell, which made them unpleasant to be in on a hot day and therefore unpopular. Another probable scenario was the fact they were a premium camper which carried a premium price. Whatever the reason, Ford pulled the plug and their original goal of selling a few thousand units was cut short and that was that. My next determination was to find one of these campers for our truck. I didn’t want anything else. It didn’t take long before I realized that after 40 years, very few of the 800+ campers built were no longer with us. I heard horror stories of campers being sent to the landfill. Being turned into storage sheds. It seemed likely that most of them had no doubt ended in a similar way.  I finally managed to locate one for sale so Michelle, our 5 dogs and I drove the F350 on a 1500 mile round trip to collect our “new” camper. That was a misadventure story for another time.  The pictures below are of our truck and camper as it was the day we brought it home. Both are undergoing restoration as I write this and as I have new details and pictures, I will post them.  Our camper, not unlike this  site will be a work in progress. This website is dedicated to all of the American Road campers.  Ours, and the few that remain.  I hope to hear from anyone who may have any interest or information regarding the American Road Camper.

I can be reached at tonyt@americanroadcamper.com

Happy Camping!

Tony

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15 thoughts on “About us”

  1. That’s an awsome truck man, my grandpagrandpa had a loaded 74 super camper special when I was young, he never used it for camping as he was a farmer but used the pile 4000 lbs of seed corn on it every spring when planting, he had the only truck in town that could carry it all, I still remember the bags piled 2 ft above the cab, I know where it’s shell sits but I’m sad to say there isn’t much left of it. sure miss that old truck.

    1. This is one of the most popular thing in icelnad for camping, even in those cold nights. Bugs have ainb4t been a proplem, you normally dont leave food out for anything to get into it.

  2. Cool truck man, my grandpa had a 74 Super camper special with every option, 460, a/c Ranger XLT, he was a farmer and never had a camper on it, but every spring he’d pile 2 tons of seed on it’s back and it carried it with ease. lot of memories in that old truck. cool to see your is still here.

    1. Hi Steve!
      How far gone is your grandpa’s truck? Take some pictures! If it’s not totally trashed or rusted out, it’s never too late! There are a lot of parts still available, if not new, used. :-)

      These trucks (and campers) were/are pretty special. Most people aren’t even aware they were ever made. Partly because of the low production numbers. I don’t have any hard numbers, but from what I have gathered, Ford only built several thousand of the 140″ wheelbase F350 which was produced between 73 and 79. I’ve seen numbers ranging from 2500-4000. It’s hard to believe there weren’t more. I am going to contact Kevin Marti and see if I can get the actual facts. The American Road camper was a joint venture between Ford and Starcraft. There were around 825-850 of these built in 73-74. They are super scarce today.

      My F350 is currently undergoing its first ever makeover. I have started disassembling it and will post pictures and progress reports from time to time. As soon as I am finished, I’ll start on the camper. I hope to have the whole package completed by the summer of 2015.

      Tony

  3. I have a barn (25+ years) kept Ford Road America that has to go by the end of the month (May 2014) Call me if you’re interested.
    Midwest – 5 minutes west of Batavia, Il.
    Lane Winter

    1. Interested in the Ford Road America, if you have it barn kept, would be interested and curious to see the condition of it.
      Currently have a 1970, f250 camper edition that my grandfather had, that was passed down to my Aunt, and I bought off of her.
      I have been restoring it and upgrading the engine over time. Saw the campers’s that ford made and thought I might go vintage with the model. Send me an e-mail and I will get in contact with you.

    2. Lane,
      Tell a little more about your barn kept American Road.
      What is condition, price, email contact?
      In your opinion would a Dodge 3500 w/ Cummins, crew cab,
      single wheels, and 8′ bed be able to comfortably handle the American Road cabover camper?
      Thanks,
      Marv

    3. hi just read about your ford American road camper
      very interested . please call 262-388-0868
      thank you , dave

  4. I would also possibly be interested in your american road camper thats in batavia….im in michigan, so thats not to far away…it would be going on a 2000 f350 dually crewcab diesel….I have a story i will post later about these campers.

    mike chanter

  5. Found a nice example of an American Road Camper for sale. No jacks since it was permanently mounted on an old F250. With the rounded edges is it possible to mount electric jacks? This would be going on my Flatbed Ram single rear wheels. None of the available photos show corner jacks. Any ideas. This looks to be a great camper at a fraction of the price of a new Bigfoot.
    Tom

    1. Hi Tom,
      To the best if my knowledge, these all came with reinforcements on all 4 corners to be used as jacking points and for the tie downs. It should still have these if it hasn’t been modified. You should be able to adapt commercially available electric jacks without too much trouble.
      These are great campers. Very aerodynamic and well made. Not to mention they look pretty cool, too.
      Send pictures if you buy it!
      Tony

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