San Diego’s Hipster Trailer Park

October 4, 2012 | By | Comments (19)
Mobile Love Den in San Diego

The first Mobile Love Den (Photographs courtesy of Helene Cornell)

By Heather Hansman

The evolution of the Western trailer is nearly complete. Far from its early days as a humble camping device, it has since been polished into glam teardrop campers and urban quasi-hotels, like the Mobile Love Den, a refurbished trailer in one of San Diego’s coolest neighborhoods.

Balboa Park-based photographer Helene Cornell started collecting trailers five years ago, scouring eBay and Craigslist for cheap ones that she could clean up and remodel. She styled out a 12-foot 1958 Dalton “Canned Ham” Trailer, dubbed it the Mobile Love Den, set it up in her backyard, and began renting it out on Airbnb.

Now, she has three set up across the city: A zen-ed out Airstream, which she calls the Bonsai Beach Bubble; a Parisian-themed one dubbed the Love Zen that she keeps in a friend’s driveway; and the original Love Den.

“I’m starting my own hipster trailer park,” she says.


The original Mobile Love Den (from $60/night)

Mobile Love Den in San Diego

Mobile Love Den in San Diego


The Parisian-inspired Mobile Love Zen (from $50/night) 

Parisian themed trailer hotel in San Diego

Parisian themed trailer hotel in San Diego


The Bonsai Beach Bubble (from $49/night)

The Zen Airstream in San Diego

The Zen Airstream in San Diego

The Zen Airstream in San Diego


  1. Jerri martin

    I would like to rent your airstream for a weekend. How do I get a hold of you? My name is Jerri Martin please contact me as soon as possible

    November 6, 2016 at 4:54 am
  2. Jane Maria

    To Kaley…..Whaaaaaaaaaaaa’d you say?

    June 14, 2015 at 9:53 pm
  3. tom waldron

    Starlight RV park, very bad experience , very rude and nasty woman on a Segway, made me back up out of the rv park just inches from my bumper , made my family very nervous, I was trying to turn around to leave because we thought that this place was run down, with old junk trailers with for sale signs dirt road, weeds, I stayed at the KOA down the road.

    August 28, 2014 at 9:58 am

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    January 27, 2014 at 8:22 am
  5. Kaley

    Undeniably imagine that that you stated. Your favorite reason appeared to be on the net the simplest factor to take note of. I say to you, I definitely get annoyed whilst people think about worries that they plainly do not realize about. You controlled to hit the nail upon the top and also outlined out the whole thing without having side effect , other people could take a signal. Will probably be again to get more. Thanks

    October 3, 2013 at 5:08 am
  6. Sylvia Davids

    Also try The Starlite Campground in Canon City, Colorado!

    September 29, 2013 at 7:38 am
  7. Richard

    Bringing the board (surf) and the wife… 🙂

    September 24, 2013 at 7:33 pm
  8. Georgia

    Helpful info. Fortunate me I found your site unintentionally, and I’m shocked why this coincidence did not happened earlier! I bookmarked it.

    April 22, 2013 at 9:00 pm
  9. hmgmanagement

    That is so cute, a dream home for surfer in San Diego Hospitality Management Companies

    February 23, 2013 at 4:34 pm
  10. a

    is it legal?

    February 14, 2013 at 5:45 pm
  11. pinkpartygirl

    LOVE,love, love this!
    Thanks for sharing….

    November 3, 2012 at 6:22 pm
  12. Sally Martin

    have you checked out its a Tiki Trailer park in the Mojave desert with Lakes. Stages and a giant clam shell bar

    October 25, 2012 at 1:26 pm
  13. A Slice of Trailer Park Americana – Westphoria | A blog by Sunset

    […] post may qualify us as truly trailer-obsessed, but there appears to be a never-ending supply of creative campers out here. Meet one of the […]

    October 25, 2012 at 11:30 am
  14. helene

    Hi there! If you want to rent them contact ! Thanks for the great article xoxox

    October 9, 2012 at 6:07 pm
    • Aislyn Greene

      Thank you, Helene. We love your trailers!

      October 10, 2012 at 6:13 pm
  15. Linda Rocky Thurber

    SO Cool. I have one that looks like this but it’s not in this shape lol. Been trying to sell it to someone. Any ideas?

    October 7, 2012 at 12:35 pm
  16. Catherine

    Friends here in the NW also like the Sou’wester, on the SW Washington coast:

    October 6, 2012 at 3:34 pm
  17. Dierdre

    This is ALMOST as cool as the Shady Dell in Bisbee, AZ, which has fixed up, retro trailers like this for rent 🙂

    October 4, 2012 at 9:39 am
    • Aislyn Greene

      The Shady Dell is SO Westphoria, thanks for sharing.

      October 4, 2012 at 10:03 am

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