Where can I buy one of these campers?
That’s a great question! From time to time I have someone contact me wanting to sell their American Road camper. I will post it on the classifieds/for sale page. If you want to leave your contact information with me, I’ll keep an eye out for you and let you know if something pops up. The only other suggestion I can make is to diligently watch craigslist and eBay. Since it’s been 40+ years since these were made, and they only produced 800+ units, they don’t surface very often.
What can I expect to pay for an American Road camper?
A lot depends on how motivated the seller is, and how badly you want one (what you’re willing to pay). Blue Book prices are usually based upon actual sales figures and averaged out. Since these are so scarce and maybe one or two of these a year are sold, plus the condition of the camper is going to vary greatly between the units, there isn’t really a price guide to go off of. The prices are all over the place on the ones I’ve seen/heard of. Sorry I’m not much help on this one. Each buy/sell experience is likely to be unique.
What are things to watch out for when buying one of these campers?
Simply due to the age, expect to find some issues. Unless the camper you’re interested in has been in a garage or barn its whole life, the elements have surely taken a toll to some degree. Although the fiberglass shell eliminates a lot of the places for water to seep in, the windows and roof vents still used a sealer that dried out and allowed leaks. Look at the screws that secure the window frames to the body. Are they rusty or even rusted away? if so, the window has most likely loosened up to some degree, allowing water to seep in. I’m basing this upon the damage I’ve seen on both of my campers. Common areas for rot are the upper bunk and rear entrance floor area near the door. The paneling on the door may show deterioration indicating a poor seal. If the door shows water damage, chances are the floor area at the door is suspect, as well. The 4 jacking point areas are good places to take a hard look at, also. Look inside the camper. Is the area behind the dinette showing signs of water damage? Is the table support loose? The small counter area next to the refrigerator no longer level, indicating a weak structure? Chances are, you will have issues on some level. It’s to be expected. These are old. Not unlike a classic car, a certain amount of maintenance and repairs go with having something this rare and unique.
Can I get replacement parts for the American Road camper?
If you mean, original, genuine Ford/Starcraft service parts, not really. I have the Ford parts catalog and have researched the Ford part numbers. I’ve inquired with most, if not all of the obsolete parts suppliers. NOTHING, is out there. However, most of the appliances and components used were common to other RVs of the time. Manufacturers such as Suburban, DuoTherm, Thetford, InstaMatic, etc, supplied stoves, furnaces, toilets, etc, to everyone. So you may be able to find used items. A few new parts, like the Grote clearance lamps are still available. (Please see the vendors page on this site). I’m hoping to reproduce and offer other items in the near future. Decals, tail lamp parts, etc. I’ll post them as they become a reality. If you’re interested in anything, please let me know.