Scotty Overload: 1963 Serro Scotty Sportsman Trailer

032716 Barn Finds- 1963 Serro Scotty Trailer - 1

Are you ready for a Scotty overload? This 1963 Serro Scotty Sportsman trailer is listed on eBay with bids under $1,000 as I write this and there are 4 days left on the auction. This trailer is in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania, just far enough that it’ll be an adventure when you pull it back to your garage to begin the restoration.

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Serro Scotty trailers were made in Irwin, Pennsylvania until another plant opened in 1963 in Bristow, OK. That’s the same year that they began offering them in aqua and white, like the one for sale here, in addition to polished aluminum. It was the last year for the polished aluminum trailers and I’m guessing that they would be more collectible. Plus, who doesn’t like a polished aluminum trailer? I mean, other than the person who has to polish it. This is the second year for the big, three-panel front window which was quite a welcome change from the former single-panel window.

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In 1963 the company opened up “Scottyland“, that sounds like my mind of place! It was a campground for owners of Scotty trailers but it has evolved into mainly “park models” that are permanently parked there and it sounds like it’s a fairly raucous place now from reading some of the reviews; with golf carts rolling by at all hours of the night and loud music and pit bulls and other dogs running loose. Keep your Scotty dogs in your Scotty trailer at all times if you go there. Of course, anonymous reviews being what they are –written by anonymous people – it actually may be a nice place to stay.

032716 Barn Finds- 1963 Serro Scotty Trailer - 3

The seller has this Scotty Sportsman listed as a 12′ trailer but it’s actually a 13′ trailer, the 12′ trailer had a rear door and was only offered for six months in the 1959 model year. This is the “Gaucho” version of the 13′ Sportman with a smaller bed on one end; perfect for me, not that I’m biased or anything. I would update this baby with all LED lights inside and out.

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The name says it all, this is quality right here! (ok, sorry) Sure, an actual refrigerator would be nice, as would a more modern cooktop and other modern features, but some owners have restored their trailers to have a few of those features and it would make them a bit more livable. Some folks have really done terrific work in restoring their own Scotty trailers. There are a ton of resources out there for restoring this one once you win the auction.

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Here is an ad for a couple of 1966 Scotty trailers; $800, not too bad. In 1969 my parents paid $4,000 for a Winnebago pickup camper so $800 for one of these sounds like a bargain. This is the infamous Gaucho bed configuration. It’s good for one adult, two kids, or an actual Gaucho, if you happen to know one. I guess two adults could fit there if they knew each other really, really well.

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And, the most important feature: a dropped floor for some extra headroom, in case you know a Scotty who is 6′-5″ tall. Well, with a total height of 6′-4″ for the entire exterior of the trailer, I wouldn’t have much luck standing up in there, but I’m used to that by now. Any little bit helps. I think that this would be a super fun project to restore this fun, little trailer with modern functional bits (brakes, lights, kitchen, etc.) yet still keep the majority of it looking like it just came from the factory in 1963. Are you a fan of these old trailers or would you want a more modern one?

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Comments

  1. Spitty 72

    If anyone needs a look-see, I’m in Huntingdon Valley. Be happy to make a run. Contact me at ssegal9234@aol.com

  2. Matt Tritt

    Hmm. This trailer will be a monumental undertaking for some “lucky” soul. A not-very-carfeful look at the photos shows extensive rot and delamination thoughout the interior, so all you would be getting are patterns for all new materials – at best. Not to be overly-pessimistic, but they were never very well made to begin with, being made of plywood stapled to tiny 2X2 (1.5 X 1.5 net) frames too widely spaced, R-3 (if you’re lucky) fiberglass insulation and very thin aluminum sheeting stapled and nailed to the frames on the exterior. The real killer for this type of trailer was the sealant used to keep water out, which invariably dries out and becomes useless after just a few years in the weather. This is why trailers made by Airstream, Boles-Aero, Spartan, Argo and SilverStreak are still so valuable: metal framework with aircraft-style anodised alyoominnieum overlapped and riveted to it. Even if they happen to leak, it never destroys the actual structure. But the only leaks are from the window and skylight seals not being maintained; never though the actual body joints themselves. They are very rigid and movemnt-free, while the cheap wooden framed variety become very loose and structurally weak.

    • Karl

      I cant imagine anyone putting down a Scotty that has already been around for 50+ years, and then compare it to campers that are so much heavier and more expensive, you need to also purchase something big enough to haul it. Scotty’s are way easier to completely rebuild than any camper you’ve mentioned, and are every bit as beautiful as any camper, and will fit everyone’s camping budget. Maybe you don’t realize that camping in the 60’s when this was built was way more for the fortunate poor folks than it ever was for stuck up people that I would care to camp with that just might own an Airstream.

      Like 4
  3. Lee

    The Junk Yard won’t take It —So I guess its Flaming Arrow time ———- Of course maybe the guy who builds the ugly Buick wooden speedsters could apply his wood working prowess and show the impoverished collectors how to fix something that is worthless /Lee

  4. Chebby

    I like vintage trailers but I’ve never cared for Scottys, even though I like their cheerful name and logo. They just seem kind of cheap and cramped and basic. And as Matt posted, this one is pretty beat.

  5. JW454

    My grandparents lived in one this same size for about two years back in the sixties. We lived on an old farm that had outhouse facilities. A garden hose for water and an extension cord to the barn for power, propane tanks to cook and for heat. They stayed there while the new house was being built.

  6. another Bob

    I almost purchased one of these several years ago that needed extensive work also. After doing a lot of research and learning how poorly they were constructed, I decided against it.
    Every time I see one I remember how thankful I am that I didn’t throw my money away.

  7. Matt Tritt

    I see that I’m with like-minded souls here. I also lived in a 12′ while working on my house, but it was well made (for one of these things). I think it was a Terry – maybe? And “cozy” doesn’t quite describe 2 adults and a small child squeezed into such tight quarters. That might be why my daughter has certain issues now that she’s almost 50. ;-) I belong to a vintage RV group that has a number of members who’ve bought these olds pieces of – uh – equipment, and they spend so much time, energy and dough it boggles the mind. Besides that, they don’t even LOOK good. To me, anyway. I think that if you like little trailers and actually plan on being able to use one, get a Casita or Burro – or something along those lines.

  8. Gerry

    The majority of these comments really surprise me. Fact being that the vintage trailer following and restoration of same is hugely popular now and growing. This Scotty is ready for restoration and ten “Glamping” . Maybe in tow by a vintage 60s station wagon ?

  9. bcavileer

    Like the airstreams much better than the “canned hams”. Bought a 75 airstream land yacht 10 years ago. Very strong design and easy to maintain. Plywood under skins is scary. Pass.

  10. jim s

    back in the day, i think you could see the Irwin factory from the Pa. turnpike. either that or or it was a very big Scotty only dealer. interesting find.

  11. grant

    It would be fun, but like others have said there’s probably better examples and they were knocked out fast and cheap.

  12. Howard A Member

    So clever, Scotty reporting on a Scotty. We had campers like this when I was a kid. My old man would buy them cheap and restore the inside. It was actually pretty simple. Just a metal framework and plywood. We had Winnebagos, Shastas, Friendship ( which had a step down floor like this), and Avalon, but no Scotty, although, they were popular, and cheap. Families on a budget could pull these behind a Rambler or Falcon, and enjoy camping. ( not like today’s 6 figure “ultimate behemoths”) These are getting harder to find, as many turned into poker shacks in the woods, or rotted to the point of be junk. (roof leaks were the killer) Be great for a classic car. Ever price a new camper lately? You could fix this up in your driveway for 1/10 the cost. Many a camper met it’s fate with this activity. Cool find. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTMlITafAJ0

  13. hans grafftenberg

    It may be a 13′ camper but 3′ of that is the tongue so the actual living space is only 10′. I have one exactly like this that I restored and I can tell you that they were cheaply built. There are no studs or framework, Rather just plywood construction with the aluminum skin stapled to it. That being aid they are very easy to completely disassemble and restore. My wife and daughter and myself really enjoy ours. Since finishing it we have used it very often.

    • Matt Tritt

      Wow. Now that IS cheap! No studs or insulation at all? I wonder how they ever got the recreational vehicle safety listing with that approach? I suppose that you’re correct about the ease of re-manufacturing one, which would be a good thing with this example. I have a really amazing RV made in ’73 – a Hall GTC – that I’ve put countless hours and Dollars into that we use about one or 2X a year. ;-)

  14. rangeroger

    Thought this picture was appropriate, seeing as we just had a Jeep wagon on BF.
    I’ve got a 1940 aluminum teardrop that is registered as a special construction. Whoever built had to have been working in an aircraft factory. The framing is all aircraft ribs, plywood inside, and the skin is all Reynolds sheet aluminum with about a million rivets.

  15. Stu

    Have to share this:

    A few years back we had a heifer that was uncontrollable. I made a deal to trade her for an old Scotty just like this. The guy drove off smiling with his new heifer and I stood there staring at my new portable family vacation–definitely two guys, each having one of the happiest days of our lives.

    Shortly after that my wife and I loaded the still-small 3 boys in the truck and headed out for a 1000 mile journey to a family reunion. About a hundred miles into it my wife was pulling into a truck stop. I asked why and she pointed behind us. Both sides of the Scotty were ballooned out, filled with the air from our movement. We got out and the tin siding was pulling loose everywhere. We were already committed to the trip and, fortunately, had brought a cordless drill and a big bag of long sheetrock screws. We screwed everything down the best we could and took off. The only other problem we had was all the sharp ends of the screws sticking through the inside wall where we sat at the table.

    The trailer had come with a little plastic porta-pottie thing. After having motorhomes with real toilets we could never bring ourselves to use it.

    So, you probably guessed: A few months later I watched another new owner pulling away from our place, smiling and pulling his new Scotty camper. Another beautiful day with two guys, each having one of the happiest days of his life…..

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Great story! Thanks for sharing!

    • Matt Tritt

      Ah. The quality lingers long after the thrill of purchase. :-)

  16. Keith

    I remember seeing a lot of these growing up in Montana out in ranchers fields. Ranch hands would live in them summer the summer months….always sounded fun to me as a kid.

  17. MikeW

    I bought one in ’68 to follow my construction work. Pulled it with a ’65 Mustang 6 all over California and into Nevada where I used it as a down payment on a 55′ mobile home. Fond memories.

  18. lrry

    Looks like a candidate for a flat farm trailer. New/reused plywood deck. Good for 10 yrs around the farm.

  19. MountainMan

    Bought one of these about four years ago in very nice shape that had been taken apart to correctly repair a roof leak. The inside was complete and after I put everything back together it was a nice little camper. We ((wife,son&I) used it a couple times and found it a new owner. As mentioned above 13′ is counting 3′ of tongue! They do have quite the following

  20. vince

    I purchased a 63 scotty for $50. im redoing it n yes ur right. there aint much to them. the guy was useing it to put his chicken feed in it. it was pretty rough but I just couldnt give up on it. it deserved a makeover. it made it this far, 54yrs, im thinking thats pretty dam good for something supposedly made so cheap. I love it.

    Like 1
  21. Brenda

    Hi Everyone
    I need the name of a company that sell vintage camper items.
    I have a 1963 Scotty Sierra camper. I need to purchase a door and a
    Sink/Stove unit. Hope someone can help me out.

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