Dodge-Powered 1971 Travco 210

The 1960s and 1970s are what I consider the golden age of camping. Maybe it’s because I grew up in that era and we had a brand new 1969 Ford F-250 and Winnebago camper, but it was similar for snowmobiles or motorcycles, too. Companies were trying anything and everything to get in on the game. This 1971 Dodge Travco 210 can be found in Lockhart, Florida and it’s listed here on craigslist with an asking price of $2,500. Thanks to Pat L. for sending in this tip!

In the late-1950s, a gentleman named Ray Frank, who owned a trailer business, lived in a small town near Detroit and he made a “house car” which was fairly unusual at the time. As he used it in campgrounds, people started to be very interested and he got the idea of going to nearby Dodge Division of Chrysler Corp to inquire about buying bare chassis to make more of his creations. The company referred him to a Dodge truck dealer who worked out a 100-chassis deal and the rest is history. There were much earlier versions of what we now know as a motorhome, of course, some going back to the 1920s or maybe even earlier, but Mr. Frank took them the extra step and he was off and running.

Travco motorhomes as we know them today really started in 1961 as the Dodge Frank Motor Home, a name that wasn’t exactly marketing gold, but they sold over 120 of them that year at around $9,000 each which at the time was a fair amount of money – around $78,000 today. They used a somewhat unique fiberglass body, or skin, wrapped around a steel frame.

A few short years into production, Mr. Frank’s company went bankrupt, and Travco emerged in 1964 with two investors at the helm. They were legendary motorhomes, and they still are. They’re ranked up near the top along with Airstream and Avion in the RV industry. You can see that this example isn’t perfect but it’s a great starting point to make it your own personalized home on wheels.

Sadly, the seller hasn’t included even one lone interior photo and they say that this one is bare inside, so plan on a lot of money in renovations and bringing it back. They also don’t include any engine photos but it has a Dodge 318 V8 and a 3-speed automatic which most of them had. A $2,500 asking price seems inexpensive but it will not be inexpensive to restore this one. Is it worth the effort?

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Always reminded me of a loaf of bread. Reason there’s no interior shots, is it was home to Rocky Raccoon. RV’s are incredibly costly to redo. Stuff like water systems, electrical, upholstery, mechanical issues,all cost a fortune today, and for what it is, not the best investment. However, with the cost of the cheapest Airstream pull behind hovering around the $50g mark, I suppose I could crap in the woods and buy bottled water with this. Motorhomes changed fast, making pioneers like this obsolete fast and not many kept a Travco, with most succumbing to Monster truck shows, or poker shack in the woods, so it makes this pretty rare. Cool find, SG!

    Like 16
  2. Chris

    I like it but too much to fix up

    Like 3
  3. Howard A Member

    Here’s what some enterprising individual( from Minnesota, I bet) did with one.
    https://www.pinterest.at/pin/AfIvRiCHOqXQYoHY0rne6w_6A7ArdTDIVYN3BEUdmgHbhA_FDt5auuU/

    Like 8
  4. pwtiger

    This is badazz, I wish it was on the left coast. It beats the heck out of aluminum skin with a wooden frame, they rot then you can’t nail the skin back on. I’m not sure how these were constructed so there could be a problem with cabinets coming down or steps not secure. It might be under powered but not very thirsty with a 318.

    Like 3
    • JEFF S.

      My Dad a professional auto body repairman, purchased a PU Camper that had been in a wreck, in the 1970s. Completed the needed repairs, and had a nice Camper that slept 6 when finished, for less than $1,000. The whole left side was wiped out. Used screws, not nails to attach the new metal to the new wood. As a teenager, I could not believe how cheaply those PU Campers were constructed. Or that we road all the way from CA to VA every summer, without any safety belts, laying on the top bunk over the cab, looking out that big window, never thinking what would happen in an accident.

      Like 6
  5. Maestro1

    It’s too far away for me and I don’t have the room but it’s an interesting project.

    Like 1
  6. gord

    and how do you contact him… says no emails, no text… calls only but… no phone number… not even in the upper right thingy… got to love CL listings!

    Like 1
    • misterlou Member

      You reply through CL. Then they get an email through CL without giving out their personal email.

      Like 1
      • Gord

        i understand that but the SELLER says to only call, no emails, etc…. so… doubtful he is checking his emails when they have the attitude of “call only”… i emailed, no response and doubt i will get one., ah well

  7. Car Nut Tacoma

    Nice looking Travco. With its size and length, anyone with a driver’s license can drive. The problem I see is that there are not enough photos of this Travco. I like to see as much of the motorhome as can be seen, inside and out.

    Like 1
  8. Ben Slusher Member

    The owners name is Tim and his number is (407) 730-1695

    Like 2
    • Gord

      now THIS is helpful… how did you get this!! thank you

      • Gord

        ah… seller must have updated his ad… that phone number was NOT there before… thank you to all

  9. Cobra Steve

    My family had a 1962 Frank while I was growing up in Indiana. Makes sense since the coach was built in Michigan, a neighboring state. I recall being told it was a “prototype”; it had the traditional blue/white paint scheme and was of aluminum construction–not fiberglass. 28′ long, Dodge 318, and push button transmission gear selector on the left side dash if I recall correctly. Drove it from Indiana to Mexico City in 1968–my job was to check the oil after every fill-up and she consumed about one quart every 200 miles. So, ours must have been one of the first 120 units. The interior was well done and I remember it had solid wood cabinets–not the cheap paper/veneer covered ones found in the Winnebagos of the late 1960’s. The “hump” in the back appeared to be an afterthought, but it housed the generator on one side, LP gas bottles on the other, and a small storage compartment in the middle. Oh, the fond memories!!

    By the way, some of the Travcos and Winnebagos in the late ’60’s to early ’70’s were sold with virtually no interior as they served as mobile display units for companies.

    Like 5
  10. Paul

    The 210 is one of the rarest of the Travcos. 68 to 71 was the entire run. Huge demand for the 210. 220 which replaced it is also a favorite.

    Like 4
  11. David Davidson

    If it’s really bare inside, the buyer will likely build it up to suit himself rather than trying to restore the inside to original. By using a wrecked trailer or camper for the RV fixtures, a handy person could build a nice little motor home for not much expense. If only I was young.

    Like 4
  12. Claudio

    Time guzzler
    Money guzzler
    And
    Gas guzzler

    Pass

    Like 1
    • paul

      Gas guzzler? no more than any SUV. Now the bigger Travcos with the 440 or 413 like the gas.

      Like 1
  13. chrlsful Member

    Travies were 21 – 32 ft https://www.hotrodhotline.com/travco-motorhomes-were-known-“dodge-mahals”#.X9A3bC2ZMWo
    I like this lill 21 footer, but would still go the 12v/allison route. Use PEX for the piping, the steel studs, spray insulation, make pipe births, have a sail boat co supply full bath room, I see mini commercial kitchen gear in a local 2nd hand restaurant supplier. The glass exterior’s got it all over the other leaky finishes. Mmmm, seems like a good’un 2 me.

    Like 1
  14. Kenn

    Thanks, crisful, for pointing out how inexpensively this could be finished if the owner didn’t demand brand-new, top-of-the-line fixtures and interior material. Wish my kids were young again!

  15. DayDreamBeliever Member

    The ad has not been deleted yet, so it looks as though someone with the skills to refit it can still make the deal….

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