All Aboard Harvest | Jada: Spartans and the new generation camper PART I
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Jada: Spartans and the new generation camper PART I

If you see harvesters on the road or parked in campgrounds, you will often see 10 wide, silver campers. They may not necessarily look pretty like new campers on the outside but harvesters love these campers which are quite “homey” in the inside. They are called Spartans.

Spartans were built in the 50's by a company that built airplanes
Spartan Campers, which were built by an airplane company, are in high demand among harvesters.

Why are they not necessarily aesthetically pleasing on the outside? They are old! Most of these trailers were built in the 50’s by a company that also built airplanes and as you can guess, the metal on these campers is the same as on an airplane. The reason why harvesters love them is because they are built to last, have tons of storage and room for full sized appliances and a full bath. Not only are they very functional, they also are very well insulated.

Not necessarily asthetically pleasing on the outside Spartan trailers are in high demand by harvesters
Here is a photo of our Spartan trailer where the crew lives and I do most of the cooking. We love it and think the blemishes just add character. : ) 

The kitchen
Our kitchen has a full size stove, two residential fridges and an ice maker (not pictured). The cabinets are the originals. [See guys, I told you I would find a way to show our mom’s how clean we keep it! ; ) ]

Those who own them wouldn’t trade them for anything and those who don’t have them would love to get their hands on one. However, several of these campers have seen their days. The main problem is the frame and floor giving out. Some have spent money to replace the frame and redo the flooring as well as the entire interior while others are moving on to what I call the “next generation” harvest trailer.

James, Callum and Oak hang out in the Spartan.
James, Callum and Oak hang out in the living area of our Spartan- a favorite place for us all!

If you check out campgrounds you will see they have more and more truck trailers parked in camping spots. These are what I refer to as the “next generation trailers”. They have the reputation of being roomy and well built like the Spartans and also better insulated then any camper on the market today. Harvesters also enjoy the extra space (they typically are longer than any camper on the market) and the ability to customize their own space because they are building their own. Some harvesters who have done this are Froese harvesting. Stay tuned for Part II of this post for a tour of Froese harvesting’s truck trailer.

Fun Fact: Other harvesters that own converted truck trailers are Goessen Harvesting, Paplow harvesting, and Wipf harvesting. Do you or someone you know have a custom built a camper? Luxury by design is a company that builds custom travel trailers and 5th wheels. These campers are also popular with harvesters.

What I am digging today….. this picture I have been meaning to post since Texas!
Me, my sister Tara and Ryan Campbell.
If you can’t tell it’s rather old… The picture is of me, my sister Tara and Ryan Campbell, son of Mike and Julie Campbell (our farmers in Olney, TX). After some debating, Mike and Julie determined that Ryan was 3 years old in this photo which means I was about ready to turn 6 and Tara was 9.

Jada can be reached at All Aboard is sponsored by High Plains Journal and DuPont Crop Protection.

  • Charles M. Gore
    Posted at 05:48h, 14 July

    This was informative. I wondered about some of the housing for the family and crew. In todays market the big 5th wheel trailers are the quickest way to go. Setting up a custom trailer is also an easy way to go, depending on how deep one wants to go into their bank account. A 53 ft x 9 ft reefer trail is about the quickest way to get a cheap set up. The back doors and side door can be removed and house hold type door can be built in those holes. Holes will have to cut into the floor for the bath room and kitchen pluming. Then the floor plan can be designed to suit with in the limits of working with in a long tunnel. The reefer will heat and cool the unit and any side windows can be placed within the limits of the frame of the trailer. The fuel tank for the reefer is hung under the trailer and storage boxes can be installed from the back of the tractor turning range to the back of the trailer. If a person has deep pockets there are builders that will take a 53 foot flat bed and build a house on it. This way slide outs can be installed to increase floor space.

  • Karen
    Posted at 07:58h, 14 July

    Thanks for the trailer reporting. I was wondering myself how you managed to cook and keep for the crew. Have enjoyed following your reports this year as well. The pictures are great! Continue to have a safe harvest travel!

  • Jada: Spartans and the new generation camper PART II | All Aboard Wheat Harvest
    Posted at 10:45h, 14 July

    […] This is Part II of my post from yesterday.…… […]