This 1974 Dodge Tradesman B300 Camper Van has been preserved with all of its classic 1970s retro charm intact. Inside you’ll find accommodation for two, a shower and toilet, a kitchenette, a dinette sofa area, and an expandable double bed platform.
Camper vans have been around since at least the 1910s, not long after the automobile first entered mass-production. The appeal of them is obvious – they allow you to hit the open road and travel indefinitely, well until the money runs out at least.
Fast Facts – A Dodge Tradesman B300 Camper Van
- This camper van was built by Open Road Inc, one of many companies that was founded to build these homes on wheels that enjoyed skyrocketing popularity across America and much of the Western world throughout the 1960s, 1970s, and beyond.
- It’s based on the Dodge Tradesman B300, a member of the B series of vans from the American manufacturer that was built between 1970 and 1978 before it was replaced by the second generation version.
- This van is fully equipped for extended off-grid travel, with a double bed, kitchen, shower, toilet, and sofa/dining are. Up front there are captain’s seats for two, and it has air conditioning, heating, power steering, and power brakes.
- Power is provided by the original 360 cubic inch V8 which is mated to a 3-speed automatic transmission, there are 80,000+ miles on the odometer, and it has a rather optimistic 120 mph speedometer.
Van Life – Retro Edition
The modern day van life movement exploded in popularity a few years ago, with an entire genre now dedicated to it on social media, countless YouTube channels, and many companies that will build a van to your own specifications.
Of course, this isn’t a new phenomena. People have been sleeping in the back of vans since shortly after the first van was invented, and bespoke camper vans followed soon after.
The truth of the matter is that humans have been sleeping in van-like vehicles going back hundreds, if not thousands, of years. These early “vans” were typically carts or wagons with simple roof structures and waxed cotton coverings, they were pulled by horses and famously used by American settlers in the days of the old Wild West as they migrated across the country.
Modern camper vans are vastly more advanced that this, many have fully functioning bathrooms with toilets and warm water showers, kitchens with ovens, hot plates, and sinks with running water, dinettes, sofas, and of course, bedrooms.
The 1970s were a time when camper vans began to grow in size and complexity, full-sized motorhomes became a more common sight on the highways and byways of the the country, and company names like Winnebago became well-known even among non-camping types.
In some respects the 1960s and 1970s are now looked back on as a golden age of camper vans, with many modern examples being built in the same style. There are still some well looked after original campers from this era around and every now and then they come up for sale – like this Dodge Tradesman.
A Classic Dodge Tradesman Camper Van
The van you see here is a survivor from 1974. It has over 80,000 miles on the clock and it has a few rust spots to fix, but it could make a great rolling project for the right person.
Power is provided by a 360 cubic inch V8 which sends power to the rear wheels via a 3-speed automatic transmission. Thanks in no small part to that engine this van has no trouble cruising at modern highway speeds, and it also has both air conditioning and a deluxe high-output heater.
There are two captain’s chairs up front as well as four cupholders which sit on the dog house that covers the engine. The camper has an intercom system and it’s set up with a kitchenette, dinette, a bathroom with a toilet/shower, and a slide out double bed platform.
It’s currently being offered for sale on Bring A Trailer out of Feasterville Trevose, Pennsylvania. If you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can visit the listing here.
Images courtesy of Bring A Trailer
Articles that Ben has written have been covered on CNN, Popular Mechanics, Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, Autoweek Magazine, Wired Magazine, Autoblog, Gear Patrol, Jalopnik, The Verge, and many more.
Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with well over a million monthly readers from around the world and many hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.