She Shed inspiration: 1966 Shasta Trailer

1966 Shasta camper she shed
shasta trailer
The dinette of Marsha’s 1966 Shasta trailer.

A friend is someone who is always up for adventure. A really good friend is someone who will travel an hour and a half in a snowstorm to look at a vintage Shasta trailer with you. Marsha and Beryl are that kind of really good friends.

Four years ago, Marsha retired from teaching elementary art and wanted a studio space where she could get off the grid; a place to escape from the phone and wifi and television. The solution came to her in a vision (through the windshield of her car). She saw a guy working on a vintage camper in his driveway pulled over to ask some questions and find out if maybe the best studio for her would be one that had wheels.

The camper was actually the pet project of the lady of the house, Kelly, who quickly brought Marsha up to speed on the ins and outs of camperdom and steered Marsha to Tin Can Tourists, an “all make and model vintage trailer and motor coach club.” Marsha patiently watched the site’s classified ads, until, finally the right camper in a nearby location appeared. Before you could say she-shed, she and her pal (former Shasta owner) Beryl (also a retired elementary teacher) found themselves sledding halfway across Massachusetts while the winter winds blew to inspect a 1966 Shasta camper.

The 17’ Shasta was completely original inside, structurally sound and freshly painted on the outside, authentic down to the white wall tires. Built to sleep five, it has a dinette that converts to a bed with a bunk over it, a gaucho fold out bed that also has a bunk over it and a kitchenette with working appliances. The only structural work Marsha did was adding a Luggable Loo to the lavatory and hiring a camper contractor to add waterproofing to the windows and to do a small repair on the ceiling.

Inside the 1966 Shasta, the gaucho bed and bunk above and words to inspire.

Then the fun started. The cushions were reupholstered in orange denim. Marsha made curtains from vintage fabric and added era appropriate décor including vinyl pillows and a starburst clock.

The Shasta is now happily parked in Marsha’s backyard, doing duty as part-time clubhouse/bunkhouse for her four grandchildren ages 5-14 and part-time studio, that place she can disconnect from reality and get lost in her painting.

Marsha and Beryl and Kelly have become something of a thrifting, picking, building and creating super team, aiding and assisting each other with actually doing the things most of us pin on our Pinterest boards but never get around to doing. Their biggest score to date: rescuing two 1958 Arne Jacobsen Swan chairs in seriously (but not fatally) overloved condition from the town Take It Leave It day.

paintings by Marsha Gleason


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  1. Fabulous post, beautifully written Laurie! your Friends are Fantastic Creators too. 1966 Shasta camper looks like a bit to “Digue camper” made in France at the same period. We appreciate a lot perfect quotes : “Go Where You’ve never been” and “take Nothing for Granted”. We also enjoy a lot caravaning:)so, Merci pour cette jolie tranche de vie.

  2. Love, love this posting, Laurie. You are great at writing and inspiring!!
    So excited that you featured my story. You made me a “Happy Camper” !!
    I’m a fan!!

    1. Marsha, what a wonderful tribute to your vision. The camper looks great
      and your artwork is marvelous.

  3. Such a well-written post, Laurie. Shasta is a woman after my own heart, who follows in the footsteps of Virgina Woolf. We all need a bit of money and room of our own. She created a beautiful room. Thanks for posting.

  4. I really enjoyed this story. How fun it would be to refurbish a vintage camper! I hope I get the chance to do this one day – thanks for the inspiration!

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