Friday, December 8, 2023


Found inside a barn, this perfectly preserved RV is an amazing 1955 time capsule

This 1955, 24-foot Boles Aero Ensenada was sitting in the back of a massive barn on a wheat farm in eastern Oregon. This was a real barn find! The current owners’ son discovered it in 2011 as he was putting equipment away in the barn after a day of cutting wheat on a combine. He knew his folks enjoyed their teardrop and Lakewood 12-foot “canned ham,” so he couldn’t wait to text them a photo of this perfectly preserved RV. A few months later, they got up there and made a deal with the owner, whose parents had bought it new. After a month of cleanup, tire and axle replacement, and clearing the barn to get it out, it headed to its new home in California.

Barn Find Boles
The original Preway, 4-burner stove and oven work perfectly, as does the clock on the stove. The gasket in the Marvel fridge is as soft as the day it was put in. The fridge and little freezer work perfectly.

This preserved RV was tucked away for 40 years

The door to the trailer had not been opened since it was last used in 1974. It was full of clothes, items from the last time it had been camped in, and mice. Incredibly, the mice, having lots of wheat to eat, didn’t chew or destroy any parts of the trailer but had gotten into every crevice they could and nested. Their entry was through the open sewer connection and the air duct under the trailer for the diesel furnace.

1955 Boles Aero
Just an afternoon with some of Vintage Trailer Supply’s plasti-coat removal product and the old, yellowed, peeling remainder hanging onto the exterior washed away.

Beautiful birch interior

As the years of mice poop and dirt were cleared off, the beauty of the preserved RV’s interior shone through. Not one piece or part was missing or broken. The original curtains, Venetian blinds, upholstery, knobs, gaskets, and Bakelite handles, were all there. All of it! And even more amazing, each and every item was in perfect condition, including the beautiful birch interior. No need to sand and refinish! No chips, dents, dings, or cracks. The exterior was in good shape, too. Just an afternoon with some of Vintage Trailer Supply’s plasti-coat removal product and the old, yellowed, peeling remainder hanging onto the exterior washed away.

1955 Boles Aero Dinette
The original curtains, Venetian blinds, upholstery, knobs, gaskets, Bakelite handles, were all there. The beauty of the interior shone through. Not one piece or part was missing or broken.

Pristine park model

The windows and gaskets were still soft, as were the darling plastic ruffled curtains over the porcelain bathroom sink. The 3-gallon flush toilet got new innards, the 200 pounds of galvanized sewer pipes were replaced with lightweight ABS pipes, and the old water heater was replaced with a new 5-gallon model.

This is technically a “park model,” with no holding tanks or freshwater tanks. The “Lucy and Desi” twin beds are easy to make and maneuver around. The owners live in the Boles Aero for a month in Palm Springs, CA, during the winter and can’t get over all the storage and the great layout of the interior. It is a well-preserved beauty that is functional for camping and pristine enough to show.

1955 Boles Aero Galley
The Duo-Therm diesel furnace (left) works perfectly, heating the interior in minutes with no smoke, no fumes, and no fuss or muss.
“Lucy and Desi” twin beds
The darling “Lucy and Desi” twin beds are easy to make and maneuver around.

This trailer was featured in the Vintage Camper Trailers Magazine clear back in issue #26. The Magazine has been in print for more than ten years now. Receive a copy of the current issue (#61) digitally in your online dashboard when you subscribe.

About the Author: Paul Lacitinola and his wife, Caroline, have published the Vintage Camper Trailers Magazine for ten years. The Lacitinolas also host The Trailerfest Vintage Trailer Rallies and The VCT Boot Camp Restoration Learning Experience. They have authored two books on vintage trailering and are advocates for the hobby from coast to coast.

Subscribe to VCT
Celebrating over 10 years in print and digital formats.




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Gary W Mayberry (@guest_216197)
11 months ago

As the title for this article states RV. When these trailers were made, they were not RV’s (recreational vehicles). These were “house trailers”. There were the early mobile homes that the owners lived in as a residence and were set up in trailer parks and not used for “camping” as such.

Ray Leissner (@guest_216048)
11 months ago

If around Amarillo, check out Jack Sismore’s antique RV museum if open. They moved since we last visited. It was his life-long collection. If they kept it all together, you should find several like that, one with an incredible world-wide travel log, more than a few vintage motorcycles, one going back to WWI, a few cars, a 1930s gas station, a 1921 barn find similar to the stroy above, and more. All of them in prestine condition.

WilBB (@guest_216074)
11 months ago
Reply to  Ray Leissner

I’ve saved that. Thank you.

Heather (@guest_192427)
1 year ago

What a thing of beauty. It’s amazing it exists in such pristine condition!

jillie (@guest_182055)
1 year ago

There was a television show called flipping RV. They were based out of Oregon and I think ran like 2 years. This RV I believe they found somewhere and restored it. They were in the business of restoring RV to its original condition. This one is going to cost someone a pretty penny if they want it. But I have to say this. What a find. That was what an RV use to look like until they went with cheap parts and et all.

Drew (@guest_243491)
5 months ago
Reply to  jillie

It was called Flyte Camp. They have a site you can visit. The Scribners are talented builders, and crafts people. They even started manufacturing a line of trailers that were all retro-styled.

Anale Wright (@guest_181352)
1 year ago

How much would this trailer cost?

Switepine (@guest_181438)
1 year ago
Reply to  Anale Wright

The value of this now as is, just to start a conversation I would say would fetch in the hood of $50g -$70,000.00 maybe more.

Switepine (@guest_181440)
1 year ago
Reply to  Anale Wright

I have a 1951 Boles Aero 14 b (14 ft) that I am restoring to sell (girlfriend said we have too many trailers lol)as best I can and it is valued at 10-15 g and it is nowhere near this condition lol.

Tom Howell (@guest_181351)
1 year ago

I love travel trailers, Park models, this one’s unbelievably nice what a great find wish I could see it in person.

Rhea (@guest_181341)
1 year ago

Is it for sale?

Shelley Beaver (@guest_181340)
1 year ago

I lived in a 1951 Royal Spartanette for 10 years. Only one leak, fixed easily, all appliances were original, and worked. The trailer cost $4,300. brand new, with was quite a lot in 1951, but to still be in great shape without having been stored inside is remarkable! Too bad the RV makers today won’t make a product that will last more than 10 years!

Richard (@guest_181314)
1 year ago

My sister and I lived in a trailer like this in Cincinnati around 1957. Lots of memories, some good, some bad. The trailer park has been gone for decades but we fondly remember those days.

Bruce Nance (@guest_181203)
1 year ago

Being that the trailer and I are the same age, I wish I looked that good and that well preserved…

Kimberly (@guest_181166)
1 year ago

Thats the kind of RV I’m looking for and maybe have someday I will find one like this.

Gary Swope (@guest_180673)
1 year ago

This reminds me of the old Holiday Rambler 25′ TT we had when I was a kid in the early to mid-1960s.

Bill (@guest_180607)
1 year ago

Thank you for this wonderful story. Simply amazing!

Kimberly (@guest_180587)
1 year ago

Was the ‘pin-up girl’ calendar above the dinette original, too? LOVE this sweet, vintage camper!! What an incredible find!

Mark (@guest_181249)
1 year ago
Reply to  Kimberly

Yes. It is original to the trailer.

Christine (@guest_180579)
1 year ago

Did you notice the box of shredded wheat on the kitchen counter? I don’t know if they still make it, but I remember my mom breaking up the big “pillow” of shredded wheat and adding milk to soften it up.

Gordy B (@guest_183237)
1 year ago
Reply to  Christine

My Mom used to put hot water on it. then drain it off and then milk. Happy Trails

Tom (@guest_216103)
11 months ago
Reply to  Gordy B

Same thing my mom did.

Drew (@guest_180542)
1 year ago

That’s a real beauty!

Tim (@guest_180495)
1 year ago

I wonder how many RV’s built today will be around in almost 70 years?

Ann (@guest_181280)
1 year ago
Reply to  Tim

Tim, I would say 000. I wish they made & built stuff today like so many yrs ago. Be saving lots more $$$. But NOOO

Julie (@guest_181322)
1 year ago
Reply to  Tim

I read an article where RV manufactures admitted that they build RVs to last 44 uses. So the answer is a big no!

I’ve lived in my 2000 model R,V for the last 10 years, 24/7 full-time and things are definitely falling apart. My favorites are water leaks and sewer related problems.

Bob M (@guest_180460)
1 year ago


BILLY Bob Thronton (@guest_180429)
1 year ago

Ah, the good ole’ days. Loan this to the RV Hall of Fame in Indiana. Nice find!

Jesse Crouse (@guest_180414)
1 year ago

And a family of 4 could actually sit in the dinnette and eat together. Manufacturers take note.

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