A Slice of Trailer Park Americana

October 24, 2012 | By | Comments (6)


This 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 original trailer park motels and, quite possibly, the ultimate ode to retro kitsch: The Shady Dell in Bisbee, Arizona.

The 9 gorgeous, fully-restored vintage trailers are like a portal to the 1950s. I’m a sucker for anything mid-century modern and these beauties don’t disappoint: they’re decked out with vintage appliances, ceramic cats and swans—even retro TVs that broadcast in two colors only and old issues of TIME. The icing on the vintage cake? The motel restaurant is an authentic milkshake-n-burgers diner (it was built in Kansas in 1957, then shipped to L.A. before landing in Bisbee).

The only things missing (we hope) are the machismo, TV dinners, and heavy drinking that permeated the Mad Men era.

Here, a few of our favorites, so wind back the clock at your leisure:

The Royal Mansion

The Royal Mansion

The 33-foot Royal Mansion (circa 1951) has leopard carpet, martini glasses, breakfast booth and a phonograph with a collection of 78rpm records.

The Royal Mansion

The Tiki Bus

The Tiki Bus

The 1947 Tiki Bus (yes, it’s a bus!) has a hand-carved outrigger bar and its own Tiki God.

Tiki room

The Tiki Bar

COMMENTS

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  2. Sandi Solverson

    Such a FUN place….Thank you for this article. Go to the website http://www.theshadydell.com
    and have a look around at all the trailers, and book yourself a reservation!
    (I’m biased….cuz I’m Jen’s mom)

    April 3, 2013 at 4:21 pm
  3. James McAvoy

    The Royal Mansion looks exactly like my first “apartment” in The Wagon Wheel apartment complex, Sunnyslope (Phoenix) Az. I was 18 and so proud to have my own place, for only $200 a month! My Mother cried when she first saw it…”my son lives in a trailer!” I felt like I was camping!

    January 1, 2013 at 7:44 pm
  4. Pat S

    I stayed there in October with 12 ladies – Gals’ Get-Away Weekend!! It was so much fun. It was the perfect weekend. Great time – loved that they had old music radio stations too.

    January 1, 2013 at 2:33 pm
    • Pam Prince

      I’d love to be part of a group like that Pat S.
      Sounds like so much fun…
      Pam and The Ojai Pack

      January 1, 2013 at 2:48 pm
  5. Pam Prince

    Awesome….I wish there was a trailer park where we could all live like this….what a fun way to commune! Thanks, as always, Aislyn for your great photos and articles….
    Pam

    October 25, 2012 at 1:54 pm

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