Saturday, September 23, 2023


Vintage 1975 hard-side Apache popup camper—Why don’t they make these anymore?

When you take a look at this awesome vintage Apache hard-side popup camper, I’ll bet you are going to wonder why they don’t make them like this anymore. Or wish that they did. I know I do. I know the Apache popup campers in this video have made me rethink my popup camper aversion.

In the video below, Duke and Lola, the team from BossaNova Life, take us down memory lane (well, some of us anyway) and give us a full tour of popup camping the way it used to be back in 1975.

Apache’s hard-side campers were known as “solid-state,” because even though they retain the basic shape of a regular popup tent camper, no canvas (or vinyl or fabric of any kind) is involved. The pop-up rooms have solid walls.

Duke and Lola named their 1975 Apache Mesa hard-side popup camper Olive, and I must say they’ve taken good care of her.

This couple camps in style. The drink cart is right outside the door, shaded by a stylish striped awning Lola crafted.

Inside you’ll find a small but highly functional kitchen that includes a 3-burner gas stove. There’s also a small fridge and a small dinette. Plus a furnace to keep things cozy on chilly days and nights.

Shockingly, this original stove had never been used when the couple bought their vintage Apache camper. It must have been in great shape because the camper’s bench seats still wear their original fabric, too. Lola sewed kitchen curtains in compatible colors to tie the vintage look together, although the bedrooms still have their original curtains in pretty pristine condition. The couple even extended the vintage theme to seeking out 1970s dishes and cutlery.

Like most fabric-sided popup campers, the hard-side Apache Mesa features two large beds at either end. As the couple only needs one, they use the other for storage.

More vintage Apache popup campers!

As a bonus, when this video was shot, the couple was camping with friends who also own vintage Apache campers. So be sure to watch the video as, in addition to Duke and Lola’s 1975 hard-side Apache popup camper, you’ll get to see two others as well!


Cheri Sicard
Cheri Sicard
Cheri Sicard is the author 8 published books on topics as diverse as US Citizenship to Cannabis Cooking. Cheri grew up in a circus family and has been RVing on and off her entire life.


  1. We had one of the earliest Apache campers: a square aluminum box and a tent above the box and to the side. Great little camper! Replaced it with the improved hard (thermoplastic) sided Apache camper which was our home for almost 6 months.

  2. Had one of these and traveled all over with it.
    Only drawback was folding wet ends on bed but cheap shower curtains, spread on beds first, cured the problem.

  3. I have no idea what we saw at a dealership years ago but I saw one of these and it was in horrible condition. I remember the smell. But I love this one. I want to travel as solo and have a bunk model travel trailer that I have no idea what to do with but thinking of remodeling it. But this pop up looks nice and spacious. So maybe…..but for now I think its time to think remodel on the smaller trailer.

  4. I had an Apache Mesa back in 1989, great little trailer, not in this good of condition. Never left home without a roll of duct tape and a tube of bath tub sealant. The drain holes on the bottom on the windows were completely plugged with dirt dobber mud which I didn’t know and when we got caught in a rain storm overnight water flooded the beds. Also the fridge didn’t work so we just used ice, but 4 of us were comfortable for a week.

  5. In the late 80’s through the early 90’s we had a hard side pop up that could sleep up to 8. We had 4 children and would usually have at least one guest when camping. Easy to set up, easy to tow and very spacious. As the kids moved on we upgraded to a TT, miss the pop up.


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