These days campers have everything: full kitchens, baths, living rooms, dining rooms, king-size bedrooms, air conditioners, flat screen televisions, Amish wood decor, carpeted floors and built-in barbecue grills. They’re like houses – except they hook to a hitch and they’re nicer than your actual house.
The pop-up my family had in the 80s wasn’t much for spending time in. The inside looked like the outside of a mosquito net and it tipped over if someone got up too fast.
“They’ve come a long way over the years,” said Andrew Oliver of Oliver’s Campers in Norwich. “People think they’re ‘roughing it’ in a camper. But there’s not much they don’t have anymore.”
At this rate, the 2011 models will come with their own fold-out front lawns and neighbors. And a bent basketball hoop with a missing a backboard hanging over the garage door.
Oliver’s has seen the industry evolve since 1966, when the dealership first opened on the Springvale Road. The business has since moved – first to West Hill in 1972, and then to its current location on Rt. 12 in 1992 – but the mission has always been the same.
“We’re built on customer service,” said owner James Oliver. “That’s a large reason why a good amount of people come from some distance to see us.”
“It’s not just because we’re good-looking guys,” he added with a laugh.