1970 Ford Bronco with Pop-up Camper

Todd FitchBy Todd Fitch

Have you ever seen a Bronco with a pop-up camper? Me neither. This 1970 Ford Bronco pickup with a bed-mounted camper turned up on Parkersburg, Florida Craigslist with an asking price of $24,000 and a 22 word description; more than $1000 per word seems rather pricey in my book. Thanks to Darrun who spotted this remarkably original-looking compact off-road camper. The pop-up camper unit appears to be a Four-Wheel brand unit, one of several made in the 1960s to 1980s for back-woods truck camping. For some potential buyers, the camper represents exactly the kind of practical purpose to convince one’s spouse that your family needs a first-generation Bronco. It’s not simply another “extra” vehicle; it’s a gateway to family fun and adventure.

While the camper may have some imperfections, it seems to have lived a fairly easy life. Notice how the Bronco-specific camper extends precisely to the length of the dropped tailgate? Every inch of space is precious on a rig this small. Due to their often dedicated purpose, many pickup-truck campers are never driven except when camping. The seller lists this one as having 17,000 miles.

Though not practical for a family of five (unless that’s husband, wife, and three ferrets), the Four Wheel camper would serve an adventurous couple well, or maybe a couple of hunters. Thankfully it has not been “updated” with materials and gadgets from multiple decades.

The listing includes no pictures of the usually-trusty 302 V8, but the seller says this Bronco is “driven frequently,” and that beats “ran when parked” any day. The “three on the tree” column-shifted standard transmission makes a space-conscious choice for the small cab. Even if only a handful of these exist, it’s truly the kind of vehicle that should be maintained and enjoyed. Who’s up for a camping trip?

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Comments

  1. Arthur

    A great rig for car shows. When you get tired of sitting around you go in and take a nap. Of course, it would be more fun to take this out for a trip away from civilization. Either way, this one is cool!

    6+
  2. Jeffro

    Absolutely love it. It’s funny (or sad) that younger drivers have no idea how to drive a three speed manual on the column. I’m showing my age. Hell, I’m older than my bourbon! Lol

    13+
    • DrinkinGasoline

      I was unable to access the ad due to connection issues and didn’t know that it was a 3-speed before I posted my comment. 🙁
      And I’m older than 4 bottles of my Kentucky Woodford Reserve bourbon bottles combined 🙁 I don’t dare crack them as they are distiller signed unless somebody gets married or dies).

      5+
      • Jeffro

        If you go to a wedding or a funeral, let me know. I’m sitting next to you!

        2+
      • Pat A

        People die and people get married every day. I’ll be right over.

        0
  3. Todd Zuercher

    This one’s a neat rig that’s been for sale for quite awhile with the current owner. It’s been with a flipper or two since it went east from CA a few years back.

    3+
    • half cab

      Yup sure nuff. Is this the one that certain red,black,white n orange,bronco restorer had?

      0
      • half cab

        oops i ment blue not orange

        0
      • Todd Zuercher

        No, he had one similar but not this one. His went to Ohio?, I think.

        This one was purchased by a flipper on the East Coast that turned around and had an asking price of 3X what he paid for it. It finally got sold and went to the current owner, who has had even less luck trying to sell it.

        0
  4. Gunner

    24K is a lot of money, but it is fairly common to see these Bronco’s in good shape to be north of 20K. This one is of the pickup variation and that makes it even less common. I have never seen one of these campers in the bed. Very cool, and like Arthur points out, great for napping. If the condition is in fact what it appears to be in the picture, then I say it’s worth the money. Great conversation starter!

    1+
    • Nrg8

      Pickup? You can see the tailgate over the frame extensions. Slide the camper out, buy a hard top and unbolt the bumper extensions and voila Bronco.

      3+
  5. DrinkinGasoline

    I applaud the ingenuity but…(there’s always a but)..A few things concern me with this one even though it seems very nicely done. With loaded gear for any outing, it is under powered. I love 302’s and have built many but the 351W would be better suited for this up-fitter packaged Bronco.
    If a C6, you would be beat to death in MPG’s and high RPM’s trying to maintain 65 MPH when loaded with gear, to get to where you could enjoy it “away from civilization”. A ZF conversion would make sense. Once away, I’d be hard pressed to take this off-road given it’s thin track, higher center of gravity, and it’s overhanging camper. One miss- judged rut on the trail and you might just be digging mud out of the side windows of the camper….after…. you righted it. It looks like fun and frolic with a palm tree in the background and I do like it but it has very limited use.

    3+
  6. JW

    I would give him 20K and he could keep the camper. I had a 80 Bronco with a 302 and went to Missouri camping pulling a small camper, that 302 was laboring big time on those small hills, I had VW Beetles blowing my doors off.

    2+
    • DrinkinGasoline

      So true. My 66 VW Type 1 1300cc keeps up with My 84 F150 302/C6 🙂

      0
    • LAB3

      That was my first impression, a Bronco is an off roader, not a hauler. Really can’t say it would be enjoyable rolling down the interstate either. On the other hand, if you live closer to where your adventures are it certainly would be a nice rig to get way off the beaten track with.

      2+
  7. Steve R

    Even with the top down it looks like it would be unstable and top heavy. Would a serious off roader use it?

    Steve R

    1+
    • JW

      Steve I know of one but he’s a six pack short of a case.

      2+
  8. Mike

    Top collapses to cab height.

    2+
    • Blyndgesser

      Still carrying a lot of weight up high though.

      0
  9. Sam

    What great find. Maybe add a small trailer for a Rokon, screen tent, cooking gear and go have fun.

    0
  10. Neal

    I’ve seen pics of similar model Scouts. Cool rigs. Don’t seem too practical. A regular pickup with a canopy would do fine.

    2+
  11. chad

    300/4.9 & ZF-5 or NV3550, sure, but I’d go w/it as is.
    Never to Moab or anything. After some trial runs you’d
    know…

    0
  12. Rustytech

    This is a nice little camper. There are no interstates near me and hundreds of little fishing holes, and hunting spots where I could park this thing. Most are off road and would require 4 wheel drive for safe access, but aren’t so rough I would need to worry about roll overs. This would be perfect. Unfortunately I don’t have $24k in cash to throw around or I’d be looking at this one.

    0
  13. Kevin W

    First gen Broncos seem to be coming out of the woodwork with the recent growing interest. Considering the rarity of truly nice originals, as most have been hacked up and left for dead, the price is in line when compared with other classic 4×4’s. But the camper needs to go away, it’s nothing more than a boil on the ass of an otherwise very collectable vehicle.

    0
  14. Snag5185

    Yikes, these vintage Bronco’s were prone to rolling over when the going gets tough, with the extra weight up to high and it’s short and narrow wheel base it would again me more likely to flop under pressure of swaying to and flow. I’ll pass

    0
    • Kevin W

      They were no more prone to roll over than any other vehicles of that type. Many friends and myself used them for years in extremely rough mountain country, never an issue. And like I said earlier, the camper needs to go away.

      0
      • Todd Zuercher

        The camper can easily be removed and sold for a nice sum. They are very desirable with enthusiasts, especially when they are in good shape like this one appears to be.

        A good friend of mine had one on his truck for awhile and enjoyed it. He and his wife drove around the country on their honeymoon in it.

        0
  15. Paul

    I had one of these, mine was turquoise in color. I drove to Colorado and had the camper installed. Mine was bare inside so I could design the interior as I wanted. Sleeping above the cab was fine. I also had the back end of a 1961 ford long bed pickup bed grafted on to lengthen the sides to cover the rear of the camper. The top folded down in under 5 minutes. I really liked the rig.

    0

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