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Only One In The US? 1979 Fiat 238 Camper

We don’t want to overload anyone with unusual vintage campers, but this 1978 Fiat 238 with ARCA camper was too good to pass up. This rare-in-the-U.S. rig can be found here on eBay in Oceanside, New York with a buy it now price of $10,500 or you can make an offer.

The Fiat 238 was made for the 1967 to 1983 model years and this one has the 1,438 cc four-cylinder engine which had 45 hp. You’re right, that isn’t a lot of power especially for American roads. The seller says that this may be the only one in the U.S. and maybe there’s a reason for that: not enough power? Otherwise, it sure seems like a great camper setup. I love the cab ladder and storage area, that would be great. Not for aerodynamics while on the road but for getting up there once you’re at a campsite and watching the sunset.

I could really use a small, fuel-efficient camper or motorhome like this Fiat. Being able to stand on the roof for photos would be fantastic and saving clients money on hotels and other expenses would be great, too. But, being in the truck lane with my flashers on every time I’m going up a hill would be a buzzkill. There isn’t much info given on this rig but the seller lists their website where it’s shown with even fewer photos than are on eBay. But, they do say that it has a 4-speed manual on their website and they’re also asking $14,000 for it there. I’ll take the eBay price!

There would be more than enough room inside for a couple of people or maybe four if they’re a close family. Let’s be honest, it’s 2019 and everyone will be on their phones anyway so it’s not like they’ll be crowding around this table and playing games like we did growing up in our Winnebago truck camper. Being a front-wheel-drive format, that gives a nice amount of headroom in the living portion and yes, there’s also a bathroom! I refuse to say flush-it-again-Tony, one of you will have to stoop to that level… wait a minute.. Have any of you owned a camper or motorhome like this Fiat?


  1. Fred W

    Cool little camper but power wise, a fuel injected VW Westy camper could easily outrun it.

    Like 1
  2. Coventrycat

    Trying to find parts when you’re broken down in Tinytown, USA would be the buzzkill for me.

    Like 2
  3. Kevin Harper

    The engine is Fiats Lampredi 4 cylinder and is in one of the smallest configurations, changing it to a 2 liter and adding a supercharger would help the motivation.
    The transmission is most likely something similar to the Lancia Beta.
    Interesting but I am not buying it. It would be fun to take to the Fiat freak out, but not 10k of fun

    Oh the dealer definitely has some oddballs for sale. Worth a look at their site.

    Like 1
  4. t-bone Bob


    Like 1
  5. mark

    Brought to you by the same people that made the X-19 and most every car that stood for Fix It Again Tomorrow. 10,000 bucks for a 40 year old camper with a whopping 45 horse power…………..I’ll think about it. NO

    Like 0
  6. Will Owen

    Same drivetrain apparently as the 128/Strada cars, so a 1600 would be an easy swap. You still wouldn’t exactly scamper up any hills, but that single-cam is a super durable engine. Easy to work on, too. I really would like to get some further specs on this, like GVW etcetera.

    Like 0
  7. rod444

    Well, we have over 300 hp in our Cummins powered motorhome and we still back up traffic climbing hills.

    I think I’d have to pull over and give up my man card with a 45 hp road blocker… but I have to say, it IS cute, and if you live on the flatlands it could be adequate.

    Like 0
  8. Martin Horrocks

    Rare anywhere. Have never seen one of these in Europe either.

    Better parked, but you can say that of many cars and all RVs

    Like 0

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