1971 Shasta Compact Bar Trailer

Named for the towering peak in California’s Southern Cascade mountains (not the value-priced, multi-flavored line of soft drinks), Shasta began making simple camp trailers way back in 1941. The first trailers, built in a small factory in Los Angeles, provided housing for members of the US Armed Forces. By the time the W.R. Grace Company bought Shasta in 1972, it was the largest seller of recreational vehicles in the United States.

Vintage style RVs have become popular for catering and mobile bars. Since Shasta originally designed the Compact for family getaways, we needed to make some serious upgrades before the vintage camper could hit the outdoor event circuit. 

One of our first improvements was to add 6 inches to the interior height. We also added a sizeable pass-through service window for easy customer access. 

Construction began with refurbishing the frame with boxed sections for strength and rigidity. To make the Shasta more road-worthy, we installed a Timbren Axle-Less suspension. We then used rust-resistant paint to protect the frame from the elements.

Once we finished with the frame, we added new walls with new spray foam insulation. Of course, we couldn’t skin the Shasta without the correct pleat spacing and the signature “wings.” Finally, we finished the exterior with a rust-resistant paint to enhance the original vintage look.

The Shasta’s interior required a complete update. We started with a new subfloor and Marmoleum flooring. Solid Surface countertops and distressed white oak interior cabinets provide bulletproof durability and a clean, modern look.

For increased commercial usabilty, we added a large, 3-basin sink, new holding tanks, and 2 additional under-mount ice bins. We updated the electrical systems, as well. This included 2 AMG 6-volt batteries, a back-lit white board display, and new LED lighting throughout.

After 600+ hours of clocked build time, this modernized Shasta Compact heads to Jackson Hole to begin the next chapter of its life. Check out The Thirsty Cowboy if you happen to find yourself somewhere between the Teton Mountain Range and the Snake River. Luckily, you don’t have to drive to Wyoming to enjoy a snack from one of our renovated canned hams. Our Tin Bars, vintage style campers that are available for rent through Retro Rentals, can be found at all type of public and private events. Visit retrorentalsusa.com for more details.

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