By: Scott Way
Human beings have an amusing tendency to mash two things together to see what happens. It’s how we got peanut butter & jelly, wine & cheese, bacon & eggs… and camper boats. What’s a camper boat, you may wonder? It’s pretty much what it sounds like - a mashing together of land and sea that takes design features from a camper/RV and plops them atop a boat hull. The end result is a peculiar hybrid that’s yielded mixed results. Some camper boats can arguably be called ‘houseboats,’ but that doesn’t always do them justice. If you’ve ever seen a legendary Footprint Boat, you know that sometimes a house, on a boat, isn’t quite a houseboat- sometimes it’s just a weird pontoon boat with a tent on top.
Not all camper boats have been winners, in fact most haven’t. But in the same way a ‘bad’ peanut butter & jelly sandwich is never really that bad, camper boats are oftentimes pretty good. Their style may not be universally adored but there have been some innovative designs over the years- like the Tumbleweed Tiny House that’s a trendy survival pod with a motor, or the Monade Capsule that’s actually a sporty houseboat. There have been some oddballs too, like the station wagon-esque EcoCapsule, which put a whole new spin on the word ‘bulky,’ and the Archipod, a trailerable camper boat that was basically a Winnebago with a propeller. Check out ‘10 Camper Boats From Retro to Modern’ and judge for yourself whether boats and campers go together like peas and carrots, or whether they're oil and water: