1967 Dodge D200: Camper Special

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These older Dodge D200 trucks are among my favorite classic workhorses, but this one is meant for a more recreational lifestyle. Listed here on craigslist, this rare Camper Special is ready for the open road and campfires, but only if you’re prepared to undertake a significant restoration. 

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The seller of this Camper Special doesn’t elaborate much on the truck’s condition, but does acknowledge it barely ran when parked. He has sold his property and needs to move, so the Dodge also needs to go. It will need at least a starter solenoid and battery if you want to hear that 383 V8 engine fire up again.

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These slide-in camper shells may not be as popular as they once were, but they seem more sensible than a gigantic R/V operated by someone who has never driven anything larger than a Hyundai. I can’t determine if this camper was the original one the Camper Special came equipped with, but it does look like a precision fit.

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A cursory glance inside the camper is all that’s offered, but right away you can tell some work will be required to make it hospitable once again. I can see a stove and possibly a sink, and I’m sure there’s a mattress somewhere, too – but you’ll want to just go ahead and update the sleeping quarters no matter what. For $2,250, this seems like an easy way to own a cool vintage camper, but I suspect there’s some wiggle room in the price. What would you offer?

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Comments

  1. Gary Oliver

    A soft plug or Welch plug usually pops out because the casting has been subject to freezing. I would be very wary of this problem. Might be a cracked block or head.

  2. grant

    Eeeeewwwww!

    • Axel Caravias

      Accidentally “Report” grant. Sorry about that.

      “Ran when parked. (Barely)” That must be the best statement of the year, showing up on the last minute LOL.

  3. Bobsmyuncle

    Did the camper specials actually COME with a camper? I thought it was more of a equipment package like a towing package.

    • Dave Wright

      Camper specials did not come with the camper……..they were pre wired at the most and came with standard under truck spare tire carriers and maby a sliding rear window. Some were even 1/2 tons.

      • Bobsmyuncle

        Thanks for confirming that.

  4. Matt Tritt

    Dave Wright is right. Pickups labled as camper specials often came with posi diffs, extra gas tanks, sliding rear windows, heavy-duty outside mirrors and heavier rear springs than standard. This particular camper is a pile that probably wouldn’t even be accepted at the wrecking yard, which is why many of them go up in (illegal) smoke.

    • randy

      Well, Wright is right!

  5. Cassidy

    I think he’s a bit optomistic about the price. He’s running out of time, after the usual assortment of craigslist no-shows and tire kickers who run for the street when they see the inside of that camper, he just might give it away or even pay someone to haul it away. At first glance, not too much to get it started, but its problems might be a lot deeper since it barely ran when it was parked. Another issue might be termites eating that camper’s structure. And its sitting pretty low in the grass, the frame might be rusty. Good luck to the new owner, I hope they do their due diligence before handing this guy any money!

  6. Warren

    Seattle truck, most likely pretty clean with an unmolested load floor if it was used as a camper from day one. I’d offer $1500 and negotiate from there. The seller would have to dispose of the camper as part of the deal.

  7. Ed P

    The camper is a poor bet, but the D200 looks to be worth a good look The dodges in this era did not bow to luxury. They were built to haul and that 383 can do just that.

  8. randy

    Trash the camper, or make it a dog or goat house.
    A 383 truck is worth saving I reckon. It was probably driven so slow and lugged down that the spark plugs, valves etc. are totally carboned up, may be an easy fix.

  9. Steve

    Mopars had “Sure-Grip” differentials, not “Posi”!. Every time someone says a Mopar has a “posi”, Jesus lets Nickleback release another album.

    • randy

      Same difference, the big three just trade marked everything they could.
      Limited slip for Fords.

    • Bobsmyuncle

      Got a great laugh from that one!

      That said I bet you use “Kleenex” and “Champagne, ” “Hi-lighter (Hi-liter) and “Astroturf. ”

      Did you know aspirin and escalator were trademarked at one time? So was Heroine!

      • randy

        Vise grips, channel locs

    • Davey

      Great Comment. I detest Nickleback.
      Every single song sounds exactly the same. What the heck kind of crap do these morons keep putting out.

  10. 64 bonneville

    GM positraction, Ford traction-lok, Mopar suregrip, AMC twingrip optional rear ends for manufacturers for locking differential

  11. Eric Jones

    I agree scrap the camper…but I have been looking for one of these trucks…money is in the ball park if the frame is solid…only issue is that I am on the east coast. Been looking for an older Dodge pick-up for 3 years…none to be had out this way…that are not rusted to the ground…and have not found many of those. I think they shipped all of them to the west coast…lol…still looking…really want a half ton short bed anyway but at this point not being as picky…lol…

  12. Charles

    Actually there are quite a few people around the world who collect and restore vintage RV’s. That camper is has the classic wood framed construction and are surprisingly simple to work on. It would be sort of cool to make the whole rig functional again. It will make a nice weekender or tailgater. There are vintage RV sites all over the internet.

    We have a modern Lance truck camper that we haul on an F-350 Crewcab, Dually, 4×4 with a 7.3 L Powerstroke diesel and a six speed manual trans. We bought the rig new in 2002 and keep it in a garage when we aren’t using it. The TC is fully self contained with a full bathroom, a built-in propane generator, full kitchen, and satellite TV. It has a king sized bed in the cabover bunk.

    We choose this style of rig because we have a one ton truck to use for what ever we need. The camper loads in about an hour and makes the truck a fully functional RV. We tow a 22 foot sport boat with it, or we can tow an enclosed race car trailer that we can haul one of our show cars in. At the lake it serves as a camper. At the car shows we use it as a base unit using the generator to power sound systems and lighting. We also use it as a tail gate rig. TC’s are very flexible RV’s and can be used for all sorts of activities.

    If someone were inclined to do the work this old Dodge and camper could be a nice rig for someone to enjoy for many more years. With the prices of pick-ups as high as they are these days, it makes sense to consider putting one like this back on the road.

  13. Charles H.

    Wright is always right…..accept when he’s wrong…..then he’s still Wright….right? But seriously I have always had a interest in these old Camper Special Trucks…..although this one might be a little rough for me to have a whole lot of interest in….but still like a lot!

  14. Charles

    I think that Wright is correct about the description of a camper special package on these old trucks. On an older Dodge it is the location of the spare tire, slightly heavier springs, lower gear ratio, bigger cooling system, camper tie downs, and some extra wiring for the camper.

    On older Chevy trucks the camper special package upgraded from coil springs to leaf springs on the rear in addition to the items mentioned on the Dodge’s Chevy also built a version called a Long Horn which had a 8 foot six inch bed, essentially an 8 foot bed with a six inch extension bolted on the front.

    If memory serves, Ford followed a similar pattern. Ford did offer a camper unit for their trucks that was a fiberglass clam shell design built by an RV builder who private labeled it for Ford. Those are rare and I have not seen one in years. No one else offered a factory built camper except for the Blazer/Chinook units offered by Chevy in the 80’s.

    In 2015 Ford entered a contract with Livin Lite campers to make a camper with the Ford name on it. The Livin Lite is an all aluminum unit with no wood in it at all. Most truck camper buyers purchase their truck first then go to an RV dealer and pick out a camper.

    • Mike H. Mike H.

      I owned an early 1970’s Ford F-250 Camper Special and it had a longer wheel base (the rear axle sat back further on the frame and the box was significantly different from the standard), it had a storage box built into the lower box sides, the rear bumper was “extendable” so that it could go past a longer camper, it had heavy-duty cooling with a 6 row radiator (which was prohibitively expensive to replace – it got a standard radiator at my hands), a full floating rear axle with whatever Ford called their limited slip rear, and what were probably 1 Ton rear springs. With the extended wheelbase it didn’t turn as well as one would have liked, and the rear gears seemed to limit the 390 to a top speed of about 70 mph.

      • Charles

        I had forgot about those extended wheel base Ford trucks. Some of those were F-250’s and some of them were F-350’s. They moved the rear axle back as far as they could and created a special bed to fit the truck. That was a good idea for handling a truck camper because most TC’s are loaded with the majority of the weight on the rear axle of the truck, due to the overhang. Those huge 11 and 12 foot units with the multiple slideouts on them often weigh close to 4K and really are too much weight for one ton truck.

        The camper on the Dodge truck should not weigh much. It looks like an 8 footer and probably has no bathroom, no holding tanks, or such that add up in weight quickly.

  15. wayne

    Is it $2,250 or $2.250

    • randy

      It’s a dollar, $2.98 ;>)

  16. Mark

    Steve, every so often a comment just gets to you, your

    “Every time someone says a Mopar has a “posi”, Jesus lets Nickleback release another album”

    Did that to me at work today while eating lunch, sitting here grinning fairly largely while eating my tuna sandwich.

    • Steve

      Thanks, I’m sure some Mad Men-era marketing guy spent a lot of time coming up with that name, gotta respect that. Sure, there are technical differences between different types of limited-slip diffs, heck there are even two different styles of Sure-Grip (neither of which is a locker), but just tryin’ to respect the history.

  17. Matt Tritt

    You say potato and I say potahto. Let’s just call them lockers and be correct, except for the limited slip versions, of course. I HAVE to add that when I first got involved with my own vehicles in the early 60’s, all locking rear ends were called “Posi-Traction” by every gear head that worked on trucks and/or hot rods. Like everyone called refrigerators Frigidair, and molecular deconfabulators hyperparodoxicons.

    • randy

      You are having solutionations again!

      • Matt Tritt

        Trajectitudinally unavoidaboble!

  18. randy

    precisealutely my dear Watson.

  19. geomechs geomechs Member

    My co-worker was in the right place at the right time. He got a ’66 D-200 given to him if he just got it out of the yard. He dug it out and brought it to the shop. Not bad at all. It’s a 318/3-spd manual, got some rust in one door and one sill and that’s it.

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