While offered as a project and stripped of its accessories, today’s Nice Price or No Dice Skamper is claimed by its seller to still be a solid camper that sleeps three. Let’s see if its condition and price make it a deal worth not sleeping on.
While the general consensus on yesterday’s 2011 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet may have been that it was ugly and that, yes, its mother did indeed dress it funny, it also suffered the ignominy of having a broken convertible top mechanism. The third strike for that oddball of a car was apparently its $US12,500 ($17,353) asking price, a number that few of you could find any favour in. That resulted in an 80 per cent No Dice Humpday drubbing.
As off-putting as the styling of yesterday’s Murano may have been, at least the once-working convertible top allowed its passengers to commune with nature. Getting out of the house to enjoy the great outdoors has been a scary concept for the past few years. Nowadays it seems that for one reason or another, people want to get away from not just the house but other people too. That means going camping, preferably someplace remote and ideally free of pesky crowds.
This Skamper 072S pop-top is a bit of a project, having been stripped of its sink, stove, and icebox, but seems a solid enough foundation to make it a more than hospitable base for those sorts of getaways. Plus, just how cute is that Skamper name?
The Skamper brand debuted in the 1960s as a model line of pop-top trailers manufactured by the Flota-Aire Marine Corporation. By the early 1970s, the company was merged into American Foundry Corporation (AMF) which, interestingly enough, at the same time also owned Harley-Davidson. The re-named Skamper Corporation was then acquired by Thor Industries in the mid-1990s.
No mention is made in the ad of under what guise this Skamper slide-in was manufactured, nor just how old it is. Based on the model and its appearance, it would seem to hail from sometime around the mid-‘80s. These are fairly sought-after among the slide-in camper community (yes, such people do exist), as it will fit in a number of compact or full-size pickups, and the low profile top means the whole package is a bit more wieldy than your standard cab-over camper.
What the ad does tell us is this Skamper is ready to go as it sits, so long as all you want to do is sleep and perhaps change your Underoos in private. If your camping needs extend to cooking and cleaning, then some accommodations will need to be made as it does lack its two-burner stovetop and sink. Those wouldn’t be too hard to procure or simply replace with pack-in style stand-ins.
Other issues are some tears in the pop-top screening and a leaky roof that needs more than just duct tape to fix. Those don’t appear to be insurmountable problems. Countering those problems, the camper does come with a small trailer (albeit currently un-licensed) and four working legs for stand-alone support.
It’s described as clean and cosy, and seems like a perfect project for a backwoods hideaway for someone with a 4X4 pickup or as just a cool piece of yard art that could also serve as a sanctuary away from the family.
Now, admittedly, this pop-top is in a bit of need, and it does have a pretty narrow audience. That’s why its $US1,200 ($1,666) asking price seems so intriguing. After all, it is a bit of a blank canvas for a very particular artistic crowd.